Sunday, 24 June 2012

The End (also known as the beginning): My resignation

So the big news is that I have handed my resignation into Image Photo Services today. I knew I was going to do it but more than 8 weeks notice is too much so I had to keep quiet on here last posting!

I knew I was going to finish this contract even when I was home. I wrote the following blog entry at home but didn't post it until now for obvious reasons! What follows is a bit of life analysis, just humour me...

I appear to be going back for a third contract. I have a few reasons:
  • I got myself into a nice position with a nice group of people and I was having a good time when I left Silhouette.
  • I have absolutely nothing better to do.
  • I have a man in my life who I haven’t spent that much time with, and as he is Filipino the only ‘simple’ place to figure out where this is going is on ship.
Now these are good reasons, I've known people do things for sillier reasons than these of course, however none of these reasons are particularly forward moving ‘life’ reasons that I tend to try to follow.

The thing is I think I’m there with this job now.
  • My photography and importantly my ability to sell my photography has improved a thousand times. Just look at the pictures I’ve been posting on here compared to two years ago.
  • I feel confident that I can take a good picture now and I really didn’t before. I mean you have to, if someone needs an important picture taking on board your manager is going to send the DBS, that’s my job, to be available to be the best! That should be in the job description! Scary though, for someone like me, you have to start doing it to realise you can!
  • I’ve learned that I will always be a ‘post-production’ shooter (aka New Media Artist aka photoshop user!), but that’s ok, basically I get what I want in the end! I thought I should learn to get it right ‘in’ camera, and I have learned how to do that well now (gangways!), but it’s still not the way I shoot best, because I need to be giving attention to what’s playing in front of me to the point that means full attention to the camera is not possible. But I’m fully manual with my exposures all the time now!

So I am a photographer but what about my life? Such a grand, sweeping question but I think I will use it to best explain myself. In life, for me, I need to feel like I’m moving forward in someway to be happy. I could be missing a point but I see this possibility in two ways:

  1. Find a job you can do well and move forwards with other stuff, maybe a side interest or a house and kids and all that other stuff that fulfils people!

  1. Find a career you love and dedicate your time to progressing that ‘ladder’.

Everyone I know, has or is taking their lives one of these ways or has done both over time. For me currently though:

  1. Yes I’ve got a job that suits me but in order to pursue the side interest you need to not be stuck on a ship!

  1. Progression from this job leads to positions that don’t involve being a photographer anymore. Which leaves me at the point where I won’t be loving it and technically could be doing anything.
So the thing is I’m nearly 30 and when I go home, yes some people are excited by what I do and want to know where I’ve travelled and so on, but other people ask the 'right' questions and really I have no good answers about what’s next.

So, what to do?

I have some ideas knocking around in my head:

  • Change department
    If I work for the cruise company directly I will still have elements of a career I like (travel at sea etc) but with a fixed income, holiday pay and flights included, making me more stable and side interests more possible.
  • Work in a hotel
    A cruise ship is a floating 5 star hotel, I can justify this experience, just pick somewhere in the world I want to live and go for it!
  • Teach photography
    I have a masters degree and experience, at home in England I think converting this to teach at 6th form and above is a possibility, however I don’t like England really at the moment, this has to be an if all else fails, including the boyfriend, option!

So that is where my head was at three months ago. Ready to quit but going back because I didn't have any other plan. Now I have a plan!

And it's option number 2! Pick up my hospitality experience and take it somewhere in the world I want to be!

So I'm going to Australia for two very good reasons. Firstly it's my last chance to get a working holiday visa before I get too old to qualify! So I'll be able to work and travel and meet some of the 100,000 other Brits who do it every year and generally have an awesome time. Secondly Australia is right next to the Philippines. My boyfriend is trying to get an Australian visa right now with help from his sister who is there, if that doesn't work out I'm a lot closer for when he comes home (I'm a little worried that if I stay in England he'll find me there, whatever it takes, which could mess up a legal future there, so better I'm in a neighbouring country).

Good, strong reasons. I'm happy I know what I'm doing for up to the next year at least.

So I'm going home in time to photograph a friend's wedding that I wouldn't miss for world as I've had the pleasure of photographing his whole family for many years before I left for ships. Then I need to wait on renewing my passport. And then I'll be off to Oz. Yay!

I promise my next post will contain some photographs! Thanks for reading.

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Celebrity Silhouette: Europe Panoramas Part 3


I'm in Catania, Sicily. Last time I was here I was taking those Mt Etna pictures from my last blog post but now I'm at a nice cafe with fast internet catching my lovely blog up on all the ports I've been to so here goes. Remember all the pictures are being hosted through my Flickr account so just click on them to see the larger version there.

Flickr has organised my files in alphabetical order so we're starting with Bari, Italy. I didn't actually go out in Bari, I took this from the ship as always. Next time the ship goes to Bari my Mum is coming on board for 3 days and I am VERY excited! I've been on ships almost two years now and she has never even seen a cruise ship, so now is the time!


Next up the sunny island of Corfu and the one and only time I will be going there. I went out for lunch with friends here and explored the little markets streets and it was very hot!


I achieved this next image, postcard perfect of the old walls of Dubrovnik, by getting myself onto the cable car tour. The first time I went to Dubrovnik I saw the cable and said that's where the best panoramic is and oh look...


And now Slovenia. Koper is where the ship docks and you can see from the first image the tower that mimics that of St Marks in Venice. All along the Adriatic coast there are Venician influences. The second panoramic comes from the medieval highlight of Slovenia, Piran.



Amazing Montenegro and the ship docks in Kotor bay surrounded by fjords. Three panoramics here, from the ship, to the ship, and the famous Island Sveti Stefan. This is a must see tourist destination says me and bunch of websites!




Next is Messina, not far from where I am now. Again I have one view from the ship and sort of one looking to but not including the ship because that view had ugly flats in it!



Last, but not even slightly least is Venice. This image was an experiment as it was taken while the ship was moving. I had to get up early (ish) to catch this on arrival in Venice. I took a few, just in case, but managed to get this view looking directly down into St Marks square because I'm awesome! ;)


So now I only have two more I want to get- Athens and something from Rome. Because we don't actually dock anywhere near Rome this one is proving hardest but I have one chance next cruise so watch this space!

Meanwhile in around ten days I'll be able to reveal some very exciting news...

Also the nice people at are giving me a free photobook if I write about it on here. I used to try out new photo products on here all the time so I'm good with that. I think I'll make my new book as a record of my time on Silhouette. Watch this space for that review!

Bye for now.