Photographer Ken Jarecke has a guest column over on the blog Tiffinbox where he gives us a brutally honest look into the life of an editorial photographer. His lack of motivation for making pictures over the last couple years stemmed from the constant worry and struggle to pay the bills.
It’s sad, because I didn’t become a photojournalist to get rich (I was never that crazy or misguided). I’m ashamed because much of my money problems were the direct result of poor or stubborn decisions that are completely my fault.
[…] Over the past few years, we’ve cut expenses, and eliminated most of the extras that come with family life, in my vain attempt to reinvent the editorial market and make things right.
A medical emergency with one of his children snapped him back to reality:
Ironically, being in this powerless situation has seemed to heal me also. I have no cares about my reputation, or my standing in the photography world. I should be totally freaked about the medical bills (on top of everything else), but instead they just don’t seem important. I just want to be a better dad and husband (I thought I always was, but I didn’t give any thought to the huge burden I had placed on my family).
Strangest of all, I also want to make some really good pictures. Go figure.
There’s still a giant smoldering crater where editorial photography used to exist. And, while I’m still optimistic about the future need for high quality editorial photography this serves as a gut check for the difficult road ahead.