Friday, 7 January 2011

Cruise Ship Photographer: Happy New Year from the Caribbean


I miss my blog!

I've stumbled across some free time when I don't need to use it to catch up on sleep so I thought I would write something. Unfortunately I can't share any pictures because I'm on the crew computers not my laptop.

I'm currently in the middle of the only 7 day cruise Navigator will be doing in the 6 months I'm on board. The reason for this route is apparently to do with people not really taking cruises right now so maybe it's easier to get them to come for a week rather than our usual 4/5 days. We're not going anywhere new though, just all the places we usually go! Cozumel, Grand Caymen, I'm currently in Jamaica and tomorrow Laberdee.

So, how am I? The job is silly tough and none stop but I think that is a good thing, as soon as I have time to think I would be quitting.

Last cruise I made it to a photog2, getting there involved online tests followed by practical assessment by my managers, so I was using all my free time to do that. That's why I have some time right now actually, I'm not planning to start photog3 yet unless my manager gets really annoying about it. Being photog2 means I can do the job to a basic level without help (you would hope after nearly 2 months) and my wages include a share of the photo commission which means I actually profit now.

The team that I work with changed a lot to start with, the people I'm with now I'm stuck with for a while! It's all about the people to survive something like this and I find the language barriers very tough sometimes. I'm very lucky to have friends at home who know me with me not even having to say anything and I really, really miss that here. I've basically gone two months without talking emotionally at all and that's a huge change for me. I have a few friends who do have English as their first language and those friendships are very reassuring however I barely get to see them with the strange photo hours!

I have learnt a lot about different nationalities, it's all been very interesting actually as there's some interesting opinions and stuff. I think it's something like 64 different nationalities on board and I'm learning stuff like why the Macedonians don't like the Greek etc. Oh and it was Christmas for the Orthodox Christians last night- that was interesting and noisy!

In terms of the job I've got over the issues I had with pushing people and interupting dinner etc, you have to and I do think these skills will help my photography future if I don't start to really hate it! I still have a lot to learn with posing though, I just do the same thing over and over with my couples and don't feel very confident. We have a studio called 'lifestyle' that's a big white one and ideally I need to learn this but I'm terrified at the same time. Obviously I spend a large portion of time also selling what we've been photographing and the customers can be really brutal sometimes, I would hate to do a bad session.

Argh, I'm feeling really reflective at the moment, too much time to think. I desperately miss real conversation, here I am on my blog talking to myself... I had a heart squeezed a little recently which isn't helpful but I'll get past it. I assume it's to weird to miss the company of people who can understand you properly. I got a phonecard and called my mum the other day but the delay was unbelievably frustrating!

I guess I'm learning a lot about myself and my needs which is good for me and at least I'm feeling and living which is what I really felt like I'd stopped doing at home. I love being on the ship, it's an incredible thing and I'm constantly looking at the other jobs to see if there's something that might suit me better but I am doing well at this so maybe just another ship/another contract.

Hmmm I'm not as depressed as this sounds I promise! I need to vent. It's Laberdee tomorrow and a formal night so I'm shooting in baking hot heat all morning (the Gatorade is in the fridge ready) and then shooting all night too. Working that hard always makes me feel stronger and all the stuff on my mind goes away again.

Thank you for reading if you did and take care of yourselves. Don't forget to live, push yourself! Bye for now.