I was at my usual haunt – Starbucks BF Aguirre – Monday evening to write an overview for Infinity Blues Photography. I wrote the fees I charge, how I do things, etc. The basics. As I was writing and writing, it suddenly hit me that what I was writing was the Terms & Conditions of my freelance work. It was the contract – the agreement – between Infinity Blues Photography, yours truly, and the client.
It surprised me as I’ve never done anything like that. Business and I don’t gel. I’ll admit, it did seem pretty easy to write. To me, anyway. I’m sure that not all of what I wrote belongs to an actual Terms & Conditions, but hey, not bad for a first timer.
In other Infinity Blues Photography business news…
I’ve been handing out my business cards to people. Granted, they’re people I know and are already in contact with me via my Facebook (personal and IBP) and email. Some are even friends already. Some are movers and shakers in the local independent music scene, or “Indie OPM,” as I refer to it in my Instagram hashtags. It’s a silly designation that promotes divisiveness, but it’s like cigarette smoking – a habit I can’t kick. Anyhow, I don’t think of the pointlessness of the gesture. It’s gratuitous, at best. What I think of, however, is the formality of it. It’s really more for me. It makes me feel like I’ve accomplished something that I never would have otherwise. Not without help from other people, anyway. It makes good sense, as well. It does make me look more legitimate.
Speaking of legitimate, my first ever paying gig is on Saturday and I am both excited and nervous at the same time. Oh, and fearful. It’s an EP launch of a band. It’s covering music. It’s shooting bands. It’s music photography. It’s my thing. It’s what Infinity Blues Photography is all about (for now.) But I’ve never been paid for what I’ve been doing. There’s now pressure involved to deliver. I haven’t fucked up yet when I’m shooting for myself or in behalf of musicians/bands or a website, but this is an actual PAID GIG. AN ACTUAL CLIENT HIRED ME FOR MY SKILLS AND TALENT. AN ACTUAL CLIENT HAS PLACED HER TRUST IN WHAT I DO.
But hey, I just gotta treat it as every other gig that I’ve covered. Just have fun. Just enjoy the music, enjoy the high. I love what I do, regardless if I’m getting paid or not. This I just me letting it sink in so I can get over it already. This is new territory for me, after all. I’ve never been paid for my talents before. Hell, I didn’t even think I had any, even when I was making music, writing, or photography. That was pre-treatment, by the way. I now see my worth. I now see what I am actually capable of.
All this is truly exciting. I’ve never done something like this my whole life. This, I consider, is taking a leap of faith. All this – leveling IBP up to an actual paid freelance work, having business cards made and handing them to people, networking, etc. – while I’ve always wanted this to happen since last year, fuck, I didn’t think I’d actually be where I am now. It’s good. It feels good. It’s all an accomplishment in my book. And that, for me, is saying a lot.
I’m actually making something out of my life. I’m actually living. Finally. It took a loooooooooot of time – a decade, in fact – to finally step up and make something out of my life. There are times when I look at where I am now and think that I’m way behind compared to my age group. It’s a fact. I’m not denying that. The depression got the better of me all these years. My depression was preventing me from being who I really am. Am I jealous of my peers? I am. I am. They’ve got a family of their own (not that I ever wanted one.) They’ve got high paying jobs. They get to travel the world. They seem fulfilled. As fulfilled as their gleaming Facebook photos can presents, anyway. They seem to have their shit together.
And here I am. Here I am just beginning my life. Starting a life that’s still in its infancy. It’s not a race, I know that. But I’m way behind. I have a lot of living to catch up on.
I’d often think about my past, like, where I’d be now if that void didn’t hit me and I lost my drive to live and to make art and to write. Where would I be had I never stopped photography all those years ago? Where would I be had I never lost my love for writing? I’d most likely be in the same level as famed rock photographer Nina Sandejas. I’d be in demand like fashion photographer Mark Nicdao. I’d most likely be professionally writing for Pulp Magazine. I’d be living in specifically tailored dream condo in Makati or BGC. I’d be in a loving (and sometimes dysfunctional relationship) with a faceless woman (a bassist/painter) of my dreams and we’d vacation in Santorini every summer and she’d change my mind on marriage and I’d eventually propose to her in one of our Santorini trips.
But no. That’s fantasy. That was merely a dream. That was the ideal. That’s what should have happened. That’s where I should be now.
I was talking to a friend about that and, given my newfound optimistic perspective on things, I realized that I could still live that dream. That could still happen. I just have to adjust the timeline ten years – set it to now. I am starting anew, after all. I could live in that faux-brick laden two bedroom condo. I could still live in London when I’m older. I could still be an esteemed photographer. I could still be a published novelist and have a weekly column on a music website. I could still be in love in Santorini with the faceless bassist/painter where we’d talk about how Thurston Moore is a complete asshole and the complexities of Chopin’s Nocturnes.
I’d have a life that’s fulfilled. And not just a facade on social media. A real fulfilled life.
And I’m on the road to that dream. And that dream will become a reality. I just gotta work hard, fight hard, bleed for it if I have to. Depression be damned.