Making the Leap
I’ve had a camera in my hand since I was a child, introduced to photography by my dad. My sister and I grew up with his Bronica ever present, despite our “Daaaad” (with whiny tone) protestations. I’m glad he persevered because we now have a priceless archive of thousands of slides showing our family and the countries we grew up in from the 1960s to the 80s when my sister and I left home for college.
I love photography. I love the process of creating a photograph: visualising the final result, making the shot, developing the film (yes, I still shoot on film) and then coaxing the final image out, gently shaping it during the printing stage. I also love being outdoors and walking. Mick (hubby) is also into photography, which makes things much easier. We focus on landscapes and wildlife.
I’ve had a day job as a project manager for 25 years. The thought of completely walking away from the corporate world and becoming a full time photographer has come and gone many times over those years. It hasn’t been practical, but as I trundle to work year after year, in the same zombie-like state as the thousands of other black-clad corporate commuters shoving their way off of train platforms and onto London Underground Tube platforms, my soul rebels.
Now, finally, we’re calling time on that life, even if only temporarily. We’re launching our On Your Doorstep photographic project which aims to (1) celebrate the great British landscape and (2) encourage people everywhere to get out and see the natural beauty that’s around them. For more information, check out our blog.
So, Mick, Bea (the dog), and I are packing our tent and heading out for a while. I can’t wait! We have some broad thoughts about where to go (The Lake District in England and various locations in Scotland), but we haven’t made any firm plans beyond the first week. The sense of freedom from not having every day mapped out is tremendous!
That’s not to say planning isn’t required; ours just focuses on what we need to stay warm, safe, and healthy rather than travel logistics.
- We’ve researched places that look interesting all over Scotland. We probably won’t get to them all, but it’s good to know. where we stand a good chance of getting the kinds of images we want. We’re also banking on local knowledge and lots of exploring to find hidden gems.
- We’ve ordered a selection of good walking maps (Ordnance Survey).
- I’ve found a couple of darkroom(s) in Scotland where I can at least make contact prints while we’re away, otherwise I’ll drown when we get back. Mick, being all digital, only needs to worry about having enough space on the external backup drive.
- We have a well-worn packing list with everything from tents to smaller items like salt and pepper in the cook box (I love cooking).
- British weather can be unpredictable, so we’re packing for cold, wet, snowy, sunny, hot and windy
- Sturdy walking boots and good trekking poles go without saying.
- Our emergency kit with compass, whistle, foil blanket and much more is ready. Every year the weather strands hikers walking the munros, even in Spring and mostly they’re not prepared.
- We’ve packed bug juice for midge season in Scotland as well as aspirin, bandages, antiseptic wipes, bandaids, etc.
- We’ve ordered extra supplies of our prescription meds.
- Bea has had her check-up and vaccinations, and we have tick treatments to take away.
- We’ve arranged house sitters.
- We’ve arranged for our mail to be held at the Post Office while we’re away.
- Our bills are all paid automatically; our bank’s great iPhone app allows us to manage our money.
Keeping in touch
- Our website and blog are up
- A Google custom map, embedded in our blog, will allow family and friends to follow our journey. You’ll find us on our website or Twitter @Thurmanovich.
This “just go” approach isn’t for everybody. We’ve quit our jobs, so we don’t have any guaranteed income to come back to; we’re making this our opportunity to really get our photography business going. We can supplement our income with temporary work where we need to, and even if we have to go back to “day jobs” for a while, the new business will have benefitted from some undivided attention at the crucial start-up phase.
Sometimes you have to close one door before another can open.