Upload & Sell: On
Great thread! Here's my story...
I married out of high school (best decision I ever made), and dropped out of college after only one year (worst decision I ever made). Quitting college was a mix of not really being able to afford it and just basically having no idea at all what I wanted to do with my life other than play guitar in the band I was currently in. So, I quit college and the band thing worked out for probably a year before I realized I was going nowhere with it. I then spent 8 years of my life working the night shift at a factory that made oil filters. Completely dead end job, but I made decent money so my wife and I bought a house, had two kids and tried to be happy. But we weren't..I was always too tired from working nights to do anything, I missed my family, I wanted a normal life and I wanted to do something I loved.
In came photography - About 7 years into that 8 years of factory work, I picked up a canon 50d to give my wife as a gift for her birthday. We just had our first child so I thought we needed a nice camera. She loved it, but didn't really know how to use it. So I started trying to learn along with her and it turned out that I really had a knack for it. I became almost obessed with learning the art of photography which, at the time, was hard because like I said.. I was working nights with barely enough time for my family as it was, let alone to be spending every chance I could learning and practicing photography. It felt a little selfish at the time, but in the back of my mind I always felt like maybe this was finally what I wanted to do with my life, and I was right. My wife stood by me, supported my decisions to invest in some gear when we really couldn't afford it. I got better and better and tought my wife what I knew along the way. People started asking and we started booking shoots. Somewhere in 2010/2011 my wife and I were both able to quit our jobs, though, with a lower income at the time, we did have to sell our house.
It wasn't easy and I'm not gonna lie, we had some months where we wondered if the money was going to come in, but it always did. We are still able to do what we love today and I'm happy to say I feel blessed to have the opportunity to do what I love and spend soo much time with my family.
My favorite part of the story is telling my factory co-workers that I was quitting to be a wedding photographer.. They all thought that I was completely insane! First of all they didn't know me as a creative person, they knew me as the guy who ran the seamers on 4000 line who always had oil up to his elbows. Not a very creative job - And, no one respected the idea of being a wedding photographer.. It was a chick job, it was a hobby, it was silly, it definitely wasn't a reason to quick your job. I definitely got more than my fair share of crap. Now, when I see them they always tell me how much they hate their job and how lucky I was to ever get out of that place. As I said, I count my blessings every day and I hope I can do this forever.