Out on my own – Part 6 of my photography journey

When I began this I thought I would do one part, then when I started I thought 2 or 3, but here we are at 6. I’m hoping this is the last one, but I guess we will see.

Last week I finished off where I stopped doing the cycling photography, the link for that post, if you missed it, is at the bottom of this one.

Once I stopped I had to work out what was next. I still wanted to do photography, but I also wanted to earn money from it. I’m not going to go into too much here, but here are some of the things I tried doing:

  • One on one photography lessons
  • doing long exposure workshops
  • starting my own magazine
  • teaching macro workshops
  • teaching people how to process their photos
  • one on one post processing classes
  • starting a facebook group to help people be more creative
  • wedding photography
  • portrait photography
  • creative portrait classes
  • children’s photography

I think that was about it, but as you can see I tried everything I could think of. There are probably more things, but I found that people didn’t want to pay me for anything. I don’t know why that is. I did get very depressed about it from time to time and it is kind of demoralising. When people are praising your photography, but they don’t want to pay you to teach them or to photograph them, well, let’s just say it wasn’t good for my mental health and I really did suffer at times. In many ways when my husband agreed that I should stop pursuing it all and just stick to being a homebody it felt like the weight of the world had been lifted.

That decision was made at the end of 2019. I still feel jealous when people have successwith photography and I don’t understand why, but I have found that keeping myself out of the loop has really helped.

Here are some of my attempts at fine art portraits.

I love taking photos and while over the last 12 years I have continued to do that, there was always that pressure that I should only be doing stuff that will help the “business”. However, I did get into other stuff.

If you have been following me for a while you will know that I love landscape photography, architecture and macro. I would say they are my three main areas for photography. Though I love trying any form and will give other things a go. Going to the city is something that I have always loved doing and taking the camera with me just made it even better. Things are always different every time you go.

I’ve been lucky that I have been given some opportunities to photograph some places that others don’t always get. My way of processing the images seemed to please others and they liked what I did with the images. Architecture has always been something that I have loved and being able to take photos of it was even better.

Here are some of my early attempts at architecture

Landscapes are something a little different. I would never consider myself a landscape photographer. I have found places that just haven’t interested me and wouldn’t want to photograph them. The places that do interest me generally have water or some sort of hand of man there, like a building or bridge. I also find processing landscapes harder, never really sure what to do with them.

Macro is something new for me. I have talked about this before and how I got my macro lens at the end of 2014 and that whole world of close up photography really opened for me. I love photographing flowers and seeing what I can do with them.

Around the same time, I can’t quite remember, I also started learning about long exposure photography. Something I still love doing now, though I haven’t done as much since before the pandemic, but I am hoping that will change in the future.

Here are some of my early attempts at landscapes.

As for cameras, well when I gave up cycling I had two Nikon D300s’ and in the end I sold one because I didn’t need 2. In December 2013 I bought a Nikon D800. That was an amazing camera, I still have it, but I don’t use it anymore. At the end of 2017 I upgraded to the Nikon D850. That was a great camera to use, but to be honest it was heavy and I was finding after a day walking around the city my back would be hurting from lugging it around.

In 2018 I started talking to Fujifilm Australia to get more information about mirrorless cameras. Soon after that, they loaned me the X-T2 and I was sold. I think I knew it was only a matter of time before I would want to go mirrorless. The weight of the DSLR was really getting to me, almost to the point I didn’t like going out for too long.

In 2019 I took a trip to New Zealand and Fujifilm Australia loaned me the X-T3 and some lenses. I made the decision not to take any of my Nikon gear with me and if I found I didn’t miss it at all that meant I should seriously think about changing to Fujifilm. Guess what, I didn’t miss it.

Here is a small selection of images taken in New Zealand

Towards the end of that year Fujifilm sponsored me and gave me the X-T3 and a 10-24mm lens. I haven’t looked back since. Best decision and gift ever.

When the pandemic hit I had to rethink what I was going to do photography wise. I had made the decision a few months beforehand to retire from the business side of it, but I still wanted to take photos. We were in lockdown and we weren’t allowed to go out and take photos, so I had to rethink a few things.

It was then that I got into food photography initially and something I want to do more of, but I need to get back into baking to do it. I also spent a lot of time in my garden so I could photograph out there. It had always been a dream to have a macro garden, one with lots of flowers so I would never need to go elsewhere to take photos. It was really good through the pandemic to have that.

Some of the food photography I attempted.

Now here we are in 2023 and I don’t know what the future holds. I really enjoy going out with friends to take photos and want to continue doing that. I still love photographing my garden, and that will continue. I have plans for some other work, but that is all in the planning right now.

I am not very fit, so I have been trying to get a lot fitter so I have the energy to do a lot more. If you have ever tried to get fit you will know how exhausting it is at the start. I know when I get past this I will have the energy to start doing all this new work I have planned. Hopefully, it works out.

So here I am no business to worry about and I feel I can do what I like if I take photos that’s great if I don’t who cares. I have a massive catalogue of images that I can use, so it isn’t a big deal. It is a very freeing time for me. Who knows what I will get up to?

Well, there you go the last 10 or so years in one post. There is a lot of stuff I haven’t talked about and maybe will if you want me to expand or whatnot let me know. I have been meaning to do a post on social media for a while, maybe I will do that next week.

I really hope you have enjoyed this series on my photography journey.

If you missed the other parts here are the links.

Becoming a photographer – Part 1 of how I got started

My first SLR camera – Part 2 of how I got into photography

Trying to get more serious – Part 3 of how I got into photography

Getting to where I hated photography – Part 4 of my photography journey

Falling in love with Photography Again – Part 5 of my photography journey

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  1. Your pictures are beautiful and your personal notes to the journey a truth to behold. I’m no photographer, just an admirer of art and written words and you seem wonderful at both.

  2. Very interesting to follow your journey. Made me think about why I take photos. I haven’t really studied much the technical side of what makes a good photo, one of the reasons I enjoy seeing your photographic craft. I came to the conclusion that I click to record the moments, the people, and the way the world is, a basket full of images, of where I am and where I am going. There are always stories behind the clicking. Every time I read your posts, I think about finding out more about macro or long exposure and so many other things. Meanwhile……look….click. looking forward to your next posts.

    1. I think we all take photos for our own reasons, I know that sounds obvious, but I truly believe it. There are no right or wrong reasons. I take photos for creative reasons. I like to create art images if I can. Sounds good, thank you.

  3. Great series. It’s fun to see some of your past images since I’ve been following you. I think that photography is a tough business and glad to hear that your doing it for pleasure!

    1. Thank you Nora, it was a fun to go back to see the older photos. Some I never want to see again, but there are some that I did. I agree, it is a tough business and I think very competitive so many people want to do it.

  4. I have enjoyed your photography art and science. The individual pieces and series are all so beautifully and thoughtfully created and presented. The parts of this Earth captured in your camera are so awe inspiring! Thank you for taking time to present them in your blog displaying years of relentless efforts and tenacity. Seeing your passion for your profession and faithful commitment to present the best of the fruit are very encouraging reminder to me. Bravo!

  5. And yet in my never humble opinion your black and white landscapes are my personal favourites. They are filled with passion, heart and soul.

  6. I understand the frustration with the business attempts. But, at least you’re running a photography blog with huge followers, which I guess led Fuji to sponsor you? I doubt that a camera brand sponsors nobody like myself. 😅 Do you do anything for Fuji, like publishing your work with them, etc.?

    1. Thank you Joey, I was lucky to get the camera and lens when I did, but they won’t give me anymore, sadly. I don’t do anything for them, well besides trying gear and doing reviews on my blog.

    2. I see, but it’s such a privilege to get the camera and lens for free! Shooting for ourselves (like a passion project) is really fun! Let’s forget about those business attempts and shoot for your pleasure. Business opportunities might come up when you least expect. 😅

    3. It was a great privilege and I feel so good about it. I have sort of forgotten about them, I am definitely enjoying it all far more now. Thanks Joey.

  7. Having now read all of your photography journey posts, the impression I glean from them is that you are a very eclectic photographer in terms of subject matter but you definitely have your own distinctive style in terms of composition and handling of light and shade and the way you approach processing is also very distinctive. I wonder, therefore, if part of the challenge of operating photography as a business model was that you would have to conform to other people’s expectations or criteria and compromise your own vision and flair in doing so. I think when you are a more eclectic person in your creative pursuits that resisting being pigeon-holed is also much more fulfilling and fulfilment leads to motivation. I have, for instance, known a few professional artists who became frustrated at having found themselves in a creative rut because one particular style or subject matter was commercially viable and pursuing that meant there was little time or creative energy left with which to explore other things. Anyway, it sounds like you are much happier and less stressed having decided to step away from the business side of photography.

    1. Thank you Laura. I hadn’t thought of myself as eclectic. I have no idea what it was, or where I went wrong. You could be right, it is hard to know really. Doesn’t matter know. Though sometimes I have to wonder if my problem was the half-hearted effort I made. I don’t think I really enjoyed teaching people. I am so much happier now.

  8. Leanne, these are incredible! Amazing, gorgeous, stunning and a whole plethora of adjectives come to mind. Wonderful photos!!

  9. I’ve enjoyed reading about your photographic journey that, in many ways, mirrors my own. I’m now 73 and have retired from commercial endeavours, although I still do a few paid gigs occasionally. In fact, as we speak, I’m going through the far-too-much equipment in my wee office making a list of things to sell, give away or donate. Tons of expensive gear that I no longer use! I also made the switch to Fuji a few years ago, for much the same reasons. I just acquired the X-T5 and am in love with its focussing capabilities for things like fast moving birds in flight, horses on the run etc. Life goes on and with much less pressure!

    1. Sounds like you were way more successful than me Ceci, no one has knocked on my door for quite a few years now. I have all that equipment too. How are you finding the X-T5, I was thinking about it, but not sure at this stage. I don’t really need fast focusing. I will have to stick with what I have right now. LIfe does do that, and I’m enjoying more now. Thank you Ceci.

  10. I totally enjoyed your biographical series. I remember a lot of the photos. Running a small business is tough. I know because I had one. One thing, you may not believe your business was successful, but you did have an impact. When I did my first post on Melbourne, I got a great many replies from photographers who follow you and love your work. Some have met you. Yes, people don’t want to pay for instruction. Years ago, I had a meeting with a young financial planner who started telling me about his business. Three minutes into his canned presentation, I stopped him. I told him his approach was wrong, he never ascertained my financial needs so how could he let me know the benefit of what he would do for me. I stopped myself, told him I wasn’t giving away any free information. He asked how much I charged and went to the nearest ATM. After that, I never gave away free info. They will pay when they see how it benefits them.

    1. Thank you Anne, you have been following me for many years. That’s wonderful to hear Anne, the people who knew my work. It is funny the instruction thing, I’ve had friends who have decided they wanted to learn and then went and paid someone else, that was a kick in the teeth. Unfortunately people have never seen the benefits, though in some ways it is good, now I don’t have to worry about any of it.

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