outdoor retailer

The Off Time: Musings from the In-Between Moments

I don't want to romanticize it, working as a freelance photographer is an emotional rollercoaster.  Throughout any given day there are highs and lows, positive leads and dramatic disapointments - the right or wrong email can send you spiraling up or down. It doesn't help of course that Social media makes for FOMO. The logistics behind capturing that one money making shot are enough to make you look fondly at the lifestyle of your friends who hold 9-5's with steady paychecks.  In honor of the "off time" between shoots, between jobs, between home and away, I've gathered the insight of a few photographers I met at Outdoor Retailer in Salt Lake City and have created a post that I hope captures the essence of the in between moments.  Thank you to Jules Davies, Taylor Burk, Peter Amend, Erin Sullivan and Adam Wells for your musings - it was such a treat to meet you all in the real life! Enjoy.

A coffee shop, the desk three feet from your bed, an airplane tray table. These are the homes of the in-between moments.

Creativity like fire, or lava, or sometimes it's just volcanic rock - stuck on the side of a mountain. Sometimes it's neither and just has an ellusive, nebulous quality.

Coffee stained mugs, the dredges of smoothie fruit, a peanut butter glazed knife.

Creases in between eyes, flickers of excitement and deep, deep thought.

Fingers tap tapping on laptops, smartphone screens and pen on paper.

Reusable water bottles tell the stories of places visited, clients and favorite hometown brands.

WIFI, electrical outlets, spare batteries, bathrooms, clean water.

Keeping trips schedules organized in your head or vast spreadsheets.

"This or this" Asking the nearest person to pick a photo or an edit to extract yourself from the emotional ties you have to that moment. Remembering what the air smelled and tasted like, how cold your fingers and toes were and what happened immediately after - laughter or perhaps a trip and fall.

When you are most still is when your subconscious is most loud.  Productive journalling and napping happening at cruising altitude or without a laptop at a coffee shop.  Also napping, resting and recovering.

Try to make the most of the day. Looking at the potential ahead, feeling productive and inspired by the people I've met.

In real life everything is messy - nothing is curated - cords and cards scattered, empty bar wrappers and squeezed tea bags, notebooks and receipts.

A chipped manicure, stained sweatshirt, a watch that's in the wrong time zone.

Staring at the screen, contemplating emphasizing certain colors, fading others or asking yourself the question - should this image be cropped?  

Refreshing your email and willing the right lead to come back - refreshing instagram for the third time in ten minutes just to see a new like or ten pop up. Trying your hardest to stay away from the black hole that is Facebook these days.

Spending far too much time inside and not enough in the mountains, on the water or simply breathing in fresh air. This was as close as I got to the mountains at OR but I was stoked to meet so many of the people I spend so much time talking to, working with or being inspired by in my "off-time".  All of the little moments make the big ones so worth it and I'm learning to embrace the nitty gritty ugly parts of the job as part of the experience.

Would love to know your thoughts about this post - leave a comment or shoot me a note if there's something you'd add! Thanks for being here!