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.


  1. I'm happy for you Sarah! Only who works for Image, knows what is working for Image!
    Congrats for the DBS position, that it's amazing, you did it! Now you're going to a better job and you're gonna be very happy!

    Maybe I'll be on Solstice next season, this ship is going to Australia. So we can try to meet!

    Take care!