Two significant things happened in May. I spent a week with my boyfriend at the end of the world, or at least at the end of Poland. I shoot a wedding as the first and the only photographer.
The first significant thing
Spending a week in Orawa, a pristine region in the south of Poland just at the boarder with Slovakia, caused me some headache, frustration, and moments of serious thinking. I finally had time to spend with my beloved one and this was the first time we went somewhere together for a year and despite that, as soon as I found out there was no internet connection, I felt anxious and distressed.
Instead of enjoying the experience of being cut off, I was worrying about everything else. That I should be available to possible photography clients, responding to emails, updating my social media channels. I experienced exactly the same feelings as when I was in Iceland last year. The famous fear of missing out. However, in Iceland I knew the internet connection was nowhere to be found and in Orawa, I knew I just had to look for it. This was even worse, because instead of enjoying the time there, I was subconsciously looking for the connection. After a day, I realised this could no longer remain like that or I would go crazy. Either I would do something about that or my mind would blow out. I decided to stay away from my phone and stop looking for internet. It helped.
The second thing I noticed was that I no longer could just do nothing. My last few months were very busy. I was always either working out at the gym, taking photographs, doing post production, learning how to improve what I offer. At the end of the day, I would come back home after 8 pm completely exhausted and unable to do anything else, which, as you can imagine, cause further frustration. And weekends are way to short to catch up with everything.
I used to think that being a photographer means taking good photographs. In fact, this is only a small portion of the whole business. I suddenly need to have time to run and maintain my website, update social media, prepare contracts, test photo products to know I am choosing the best ones for my clients, taking care of taxes, preparing my offer, and last but not least – self-promotion. With the last one I have the biggest issues. It’s practically non-existent.
If you have some useful hints on how to self-promote, let me know. I will greatly appreciate that.
Back to the subject.
While I was in Orawa, I literally couldn’t just relax and enjoy the moments for the first days. I was constantly feeling as if I was supposed to work and that relaxing was, in fact, being lazy. I bet a lot of freelancers have troubles with drawing a limit between work and private life.
All in all, I enjoyed my stay in Orawa once I let go of the things I told you about above. In the end, we finally had a lot of time with Wojtek to spend in each other’s company. My friend Roksana and her boyfriend visited us for two days and we made a great yet tiring (sometimes hilarious) trip up the Babia Mountain. We hiked 25 kilometres in snow. Pure fun.
We walked in the deepest and darkest forests you can imagine. At moments, they were so thick, that I had to squat or walk in zig zags. I put ISO in my camera to 1000 and only then could take some photos. I had an eerie feeling of being the Little Red Ridding Hood trying not to get too lost. There is nothing more deceptive than to think you are walking in a straight line in the woods. It just seems so until you look back and notice you no longer know where you came from.
We also had a day of thick fogs. Those fogs were behaving like some supernatural beings. Setting downs of meadows and treetops in such a tangible way, I wanted to escape but there was nowhere to. It was beautiful yet scary. Absolutely sublime.
We hiked following the footsteps of a roe deer, a wolf, and a boar.
We once went to a peat bog. It was very green, fresh, with silver trees growing, yet we couldn’t just stop and stare, because our feet sunk deep into the mud. I even climbed a platform used by hunters to keep eye on the animals. Or I shall write “I ALMOST climbed it” since it broke down under my weight and I fell 2 meters down. While I was falling, two thoughts crossed my mind: what would happen to me, what would happen to my new camera. And then I concluded by thinking “fuck” and hit the ground. Nothing bad happened except for a few yellow bruises. My camera survived.
The second significant thing
The other significant thing that happened in May was the wedding. The wedding I photographed as the main and the only photographer. I was stressing over it a week before already but when the time arrived, I felt good at the job. I somehow knew what and how to shoot, got relaxed and realised I love it. I love the rushes of adrenaline when things pace up, talking to the grandfather of the braid, observing people, taking “street-wedding” shots and allowing myself to do some artistic ones too. I absolutely loved it. Also, still being at the wedding, I heard a very nice feedback from the family of the bride and was later invited to “leave the camera” and “just drink some wine” with us.
My second biggest concern (the first being about taking ugly or technically incorrect shots or missing important moments) was confronting my dreams with reality. I was seriously afraid that once I try being the main photographer, I would realise I didn’t like it. I am happy, though, to be able to say now that the opposite happened. I loved every minute of it.
All other significant things
In May, I had a family shoot and it well extremely well. If photography is to make me meet more and more inspiring people, like those I met, I am even more into it.
In May, I also visited a blogging conference, but just briefly. The weather was so nice that I preferred to stay outdoors rather than to listed to people tell me how to run a blog. Actually, I find it so pleasant to run this site because I can but I don’t have to absolutely anything.
I also took a lot of walks when the weather was good.
May was way too short and I am afraid the second half of 2017 will be even faster. I am happy, though, to look forward to some amazing trips this year.