New Beginings and Old Feelings...

I have a new job!!! This week was my first week of training. I work at a gas station now. And I like it. Like, really, REALLY like it. It’s hard being the newbie at the bottom of the employee food chain again and I know I will adjust to things there, and honestly there are super hard parts like wrapping my head around a new computer system, new checklists, and how to get everything done within the time allotted. However--- the amount of stress reduction is amazing!! I don’t get my ass chewed if I am off by a nickel, or a penny like at the old job. I like everyone I work with. And my new lead manager is completely awesome in the fact that she respects me! She asks is this or that is okay with my schedule instead of surprise! You’re only available for 24 hours this week- here’s a 38 hour schedule! She is willing to answer my rookie questions and doesn’t roll her eyes or yell in my face- “You should know this by now!”

The emotional scars from working for a f**king lunatic are still present. I silently scream at myself for not picking things up fast enough. I am super cautious and timid when asking questions of my new co-workers hoping they not think me as ignorant. I have a milder form of a panic attack when it comes to counting down my drawer at the end of my shift because I haven’t quite figured out the new method they use or scream in terror in my head and pray that I’m not off by even a cent.
But my hair falling out has grown to be less than it was in May, and my body is detoxing nicely given I was fired on Memorial Day and started my new job last Sunday. Having a three week break helped get me out of one mindset into another. I am sure and the shifts go by, I will pick things up quicker and soon it will all be muscle memory.

Today is the first of July. In 27 days I will be living in a college dorm with a number of wonderful models for the annual SWMCCC “Summer Weekend of Photography” event at Hope College. I am completely caught up on my paperwork for the event, all applications processed, information and acceptance emails sent, the “Sorry but you weren’t chosen this year” cards mailed out, and am completely on the same page with my co-coordinator already and we are still just a little under a month out.

I have decided that I will be taking a hiatus from shooting for free right now. I am back logged on photo editing (I should probably be doing that instead of blogging). There are six folders on the desktop of my computer staring at me, chanting… “EDIT…. EDIT… EDIT US!!” I will, hopefully, get them done before SWMCCC at the end of the month. And if I don’t get them all done… at least make a great effort at it.

I have come to realize I feel like people are taking advantage of me to some extent. Certainly not everyone, not all the time. But some people, I feel are using me as their personal paparazzi. Like, hey let’s hang out and you can shoot me… I am not just a camera. Worse yet, someone recently tried getting me to shoot them for free, but also threw in the whole- “Larry would want me to keep modeling…” Using my friend and mentor of five years, when you knew him for like two months, to get me to do something? Not the best way to get me to do f**king anything for you. Worse yet- making it seem like the only reason you stopped “modeling” was because my friend and mentor died?? Especially not f**king cool. People have been doing the same sort of thing with my artwork too. Hey good buddy, old pal, old friend… love you’re work, you should do this or that for me… Um, sure- here’s my rate… Oh… I have to pay?? Yes. Yes you do! Art isn’t free!! Photography- also not free!  

Will I still do random shoots for free? Yes. But they will be when I want to and damn sure not all the time. But my focus, especially this month is paid gigs, or pre scheduled free group shoot gigs. I need to pay my bills. I need to bring money into my bank account. Will I give discounts to certain people? Of course. But if we aren’t the closest of friends, don’t expect a discount, don’t try to talk me down lower if you are already getting a discount, and if I don’t know you- don’t expect anything for free! That’s disrespectful as hell, and most human beings know that!
However- I do have a lot of editing to do. Emails to send out. And a new day planner to fill in and organize before I head off to work tomorrow morning… With that final note… Here’s some pretty pictures!!!  J

"Am I standing in poison ivy??" Hubby- "I'll google it."


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