A Week in the Office

We all have romantic visions of what life as a full-time landscape photographer is like. The freedom to indulge in our passion and to immerse ourselves in the landscape. This week I discovered that the reality is far more boring.

Monday 9th December 2019

We were in Edinburgh for the Christmas Markets over the weekend.

Didn’t get home till late this afternoon.

I find it frustrating to loose a whole day, especially as I have so much work to do.

Tuesday 10th

As I didn’t get back from Edinburgh until late yesterday I didn’t have much time to get this week’s video edited.

It is the first time I have filmed an entire video solely in my office; normally I would do most of the filming on location but with the poor weather that we have been having recently that hasn’t been an option.

However, before I could start I had some domestic chores to take care of.

Since leaving my old job I have taken a more active role in running our day to day lives. Helen used to take care of most things allowing me to focus on my job and my photography.

Now that I have more time I can start doing my fair share.

It is something that I really enjoy. I feel more involved, particularly at this time of year with Christmas just around the corner.

Wednesday 11th

I yesterday’s video I experimented with using two camera angles to make the process of filming faster.

The problem is that despite how it may seem in my videos I am actually not very good in front of the camera. I am constantly making mistakes which I need to cover up with clever editing.

This usually involves cutting out the mistake and covering it over with b-roll so that the cut is hidden. Unfortunately there isn’t a lot of opportunity to shoot b-roll in the office so I hit upon a cunning plan.

I would film using two camera angles so that if I made a mistake I could cut it out and change angle making it appear seamless.

Genius!

Or so I thought.

Unfortunately a lot of people have said that the second angle is distracting. They also didn’t like it that I wasn’t speaking directly to the camera.

Back to the drawing board…

Thursday 12th

Spent the day organising my workshops for 2020.

I have 3 planned for the winter including one a Rydal Water which I will be co-hosting with James.

  • 25th January – Derwent Water – limited to 2 people
  • 8th February – Ullswater and Brothers Water – limited to 2 people
  • 22nd February – Rydal Water (with James Burns) – limited to 4 people

For more details check out my workshops page.

Things certainly seem to take longer than I expected. It has taken me all day to confirm the details for just 3 workshops for January and February. I still have the spring workshops to do.

We are keeping things simple to start with but I hope to be able to offer more ambitious workshops in the autumn.

Friday 13th

Back to Edinburgh today to join my old department for their Christmas do.

I have thrown myself into the challenge of establishing my own business and have been completely focused.

So it came as a bit of a surprise just how much I have missed everyone, particularly the other guys from the management team that I used to be a part of.

In some ways nothing has changed and it others it has changed a great deal. It is great to see some of the younger guys have been promoted and given the opportunity to make their mark just as I was all those years ago.

Good luck to them.

Saturday 14th

With my workshops for 2020 starting to take shape it was time to turn my attention to my prints sales.

Here I have a huge amount of work to do.

I started by selecting my 20 favourite images from the last 3 years. I found breaking them down by year tells a story:

  • Jul to Dec 2017 (my first 6 months on YouTube) – 4 images
  • Jan to Dec 2018 – 1 image
  • Jan to Aug 2019 (before going full-time) – 5 images
  • Sep to Dec 2019 (since going full-time) – 10 images

If you are interest to see which images I have chosen as my favourites check out my shop.

Now that I have a decent selection of prints for sale I can begin the task of marketing them.

Moving forward I need to make sure that my shop updated regularly. I cannot afford to fall behind again.

Sunday 15th

Pleased with the progress that I made this week so I have allowed myself to have the day off.

We met up with friends in Grasmere for a walk around the lake followed by lunch in one of the cafes.

It has now been over 2 weeks since I was last out with the camera. I am really looking forward to getting out next week.


I knew before going full-time that there was more to building a successful business than taking photographs.

The work that I have done this week will stand me in good stead for the coming months.

But somehow I need to find the right balance of time in and out of the office.

11 thoughts on “A Week in the Office”

  1. Re: the video angles, I would give you the advice to stop listening to commenters. Be you. Do what you want to do. Do what you _like_ to do. You’re the artist. Fans find and support their favorite artists, they don’t create them.

  2. Hi Chris ,
    I think Colin D summed it up, comments are a double edged sword.
    If I could invent a “troll and unhelpful comments ” filter I would definitely send it 🙂

    1. I think YouTube needs to provide more tools to creators to handle the comments that we get. I would like to be able to prioritise the comments from the people that support me (like you) over the folk that turn up week in, week out just to criticise. Google are always asking for our feedback; I might make the suggestion.

  3. Hi Chris. I believe that ultimately we (photographers) should shoot what brings us joy. If others share that joy when they see our images, great. If not, then hopefully they can at least recognize that the image is ours to produce, worry over, reflect upon, and ultimately do what we choose with. I suppose what I’m saying is do what you want to do and ignore the “less constructive” comments. Personally, I think that you are incredibly brave to not only make the decision to do what you are passionate about full-time, but also to be willing to share that challenging journey with complete strangers. Good on you.

    1. Thanks Gary, that is very kind of you. It can be difficult to ignore the nasty comments but I am starting to learn. It is all part of the game and we all have to deal with it to one extent or another. Merry Christmas.

  4. Hey Chris , you probably know this already but just in case you don’t ,Mark Denny has a new vlog out on YouTube in which you get a mention. It’s called “favourite landscape photography YouTube channels 2019 ”
    Merry Christmas to you when it comes
    Stuart

  5. I really like what you’ve done with your shop and it’s informative to see your pricing.

    It’s easy to sympathize with your poor weather conditions. It’s been a long time since we had sunshine and last week a new record was set for Seattle’s darkest day. I don’t usually suffer from SAD and the sky is beginning to really get to me.

    Also, the photography class lesson on bird photography has not been going well as ISOs must be around 8000 even half an hour after sunrise to get a fast shutter speed. Landscapes have been out as well because the sky is just so dreary.

    1. I am sorry to hear that Theresa, the weather at this time of year can be a bit hit and miss so we need to make the most of it when the sun does appear, however briefly! 🙁

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