Generally speaking, I consider myself to be a positive and upbeat person. Although, when faced with certain challenges, I sometimes find myself thinking about all that could go wrong rather than focusing on the good aspects, finding it hard to keep negative thoughts at bay. For this reason, I was really pleased when asked to reflect on appreciation. Certainly there is no room for negativity when thinking about all the things I am grateful for.
Being a freelancer and having time to spend with family is number one. I don’t have to accept every assignment and can always block out time for say, vacations; a much harder thing to coordinate with full time employment. I am grateful for that.
Over the years I have been lucky to bond with a very supportive group of friends and colleagues. We give each other all kinds of support. From input on contracts and rates, to equipment advice, we are always there to encourage and counsel each other. Even with something as small as a text “How did your shoot go?” I appreciate them endlessly.
I’m grateful too for all my clients; past, present, and future. Without the trust they place in me to execute their shoots, I would be nowhere. I never forget that they are themselves often under tremendous amounts of pressure to deliver to their superiors. We often talk about “the client” as if they are some mysterious, omnipotent force; but the fact is, they are humans like us and are under the same level of stress and scrutiny we are faced with. I thank them for every opportunity.
I often reflect on all the hard work of every producer I’ve ever worked with. The ability to coordinate an entire production, dealing with both the big stuff, as well as all the minutiae. People whose jobs it is to arrange the shutting down of an entire highway, transporting boats from coast to coast, booking pyrotechnics crews as well as the required fire and EMS crews to go along with them. From thoughtful catering to keeping everyone on schedule all while knowing that the entire budget rests on their heads. I have so much respect and appreciation for what producers do.
Just about every artist I have ever worked with brought something of value to the table. The make-up artists who introduced a color palette that challenge my perceived notions of beauty. Assistants who suggest a small tweak in the lighting I hadn’t thought of but made a world of difference. The set designer who created a wall of paper flowers. I am in awe of these people. I often gush over things they create to the point where I could be considered a super fan. It’s all just so exciting and magical.
All in all, when I look at my chosen field of work, I have so much to be grateful for. Just being able to make a living from writing and taking photographs and styling photo shoots is such a tremendous blessing. As well, the mere idea that I can immortalize my creative thoughts into videos, pictures and printed essays is a very special and fortunate endeavor.
Words and image by Naila Ruechel