Same Shit different Day!
I was sitting in my living room this evening after spending a day at my day job, we will get to that part of the story shortly, my house mate was just in the door from work, the conversation was more or less the usual conversation lots of us have every day, his third reply to me was “same shit different day!” and that one phase has me here writing this article, oh of course you want to hear about how I ended up at the America’s Cup World Series (ACWS) in Plymouth and here the story starts:
This is a story of not the same shit not the same day:
So, I have two jobs, and for the most part, the past couple of month’s it been more 50/50 shared time, this is a good thing. If I told you trying to break into the sailing photography scene was as simple as buying lots of expensive camera equipment and rocking up to a sailing event was as easy as that, I’d be lying to you, It’s not!! I have to be conscience of the fact, I have a good job as an Architectural Technician too, and my employer have been supporting me, being rather generous with leave and generally being positive with my honest approach that leaving this business is my preferred choice.
This marriage of part time photographer and part time employee is a balancing act, in fact, it’s been a 8 month battle of mental strength and slow moving progress to get to where I want. My life is very fluid at the moment, going from one event, back to the day job and then to the next event. Yes, Crazy! I need to get off the fence and move in one direction, but time is what I need, more photo jobs and the scales to firmly start tipping in one direction, so this brings me to the quickest synopsis of my life in 12 months.
The first act, my dear friend Ric Morris, rings me up, “hey mate, fancy shooting the Irish Match Racing Nationals”, well why not was my answer, so there it began, next thing you know I’m doing all of the match racing regional event’s, a couple of months pass and so 2011 begins.
I enjoy sailing SB3′s I thought I would travel over with friends to shoot the SB3 Worlds rather than sailing, well it turned out that I was unofficially the event photographer thanks to the wonderful Katie Ashworth until the legendary Thierry Martinez rolled into town later that week,
Hell yes, it was a big jump and not what I was expecting!! This was a turning point for things to come…!! happy to have been part of this, the unexpected still is to develop from this single event.
So I’m back in Ireland and I get an email introduction to Andy Rice the legendary writer for several magazine’s and countless books, the list goes on… What the hell does Andy Rice want an introduction for ?? where my thoughts.. So we converse a little via email and then more over the phone for a couple of days and what do you know my photo’s are featuring in his new book coming out this Christmas “Asymmetrical Sailing” well I was pretty chuffed with myself to have been approached and by such a well known and respected writer, whom considered my photo’s worthy of publication.
It had been at this point I was feeling like “Geeess, while its going well I’m still not where I want to be…” I need more jobs, but how do I get them?, who do I talk to?, how is this ever going to work financially on a full time scale? I was excited and frustrated at progress, but then again what was I to expect, it’s only been a couple of months really working on this new business. I think the one thing that got me through was a deep rooted believe that I can do this, I had a good support group of family and friends to rely on when I had those moments, “what’s it all for?” are my efforts all being wasted, is someone actually going to take me seriously? It’s those moments you decide it’s a make or break moment and to quote a movie “Is the juice worth the squeeze?”
Meeting similar people was about the only way I could see this working and Tom Gruitt really just put it all into perspective, I spent a couple of days with him at the SB3 Worlds, and having listened to him and his knowledge of the business I thought I can do this. It’s bizarre how some of these moments pass by at the time, only for you to reflect some time later and go, you know what he’s right.!
So I progressed with Irish events over the course of the summer and was lucky enough to be getting work at all given the lack of sponsors and simply the sheer lack of attendance! It really is the best time to start something new, the only way is up when you’re at the very bottom rung on the ladder.!
So on came the big break I was so desperately waiting for, Andy Rice drops me a quick line and asks would I be available to take some photos for a magazine he’s working for at the America’s Cup in Plymouth, It didn’t really take too long for me to answer, Eeehhh….. Ok! I can do that…!
Well, holy ****, I’m off to work for a magazine at the biggest, most well known regatta in the world, not a bad result for my efforts over the summer!
So with that all organized, flights booked and accommodation sorted, things just get better! I was asked to provide a media package of video highlights, interviews and photos for the ISAF Team Racing Worlds, It was all looking so positive, and finally getting to reap the rewards for working harder than I have ever worked before, but more so following a dream that was slowly becoming a reality. It was all a bit scary!
So a couple of weeks later, myself and Jason are at the Worlds in Schull, working long days but enjoying it immensely, Marcus Hutchinson strolls into the sailing club, a pleasant surprise!
I met Marcus about 12 months ago in Kinsale, of course at that point I was none the wiser to his involvement in all things related to VOR, America’s Cup! you name it, Marcus has been involved with it at some level. So we chat for a while about the week so far and then “Booommmm” in true Marcus style, and if anyone out there knows him, he’s a “let’s get to it”, “I need this now”, type of guy.. he never seems to waste time on anything, and he didn’t waste time asking me to be the team photographer for the French entry, “Aleph” to the America’s Cup World Series in Plymouth.
When all starts going to plan, positively breeds positivity and here I was just 4 days after the Team Worlds, I’m on a flight to the UK to cover the ACWS in Plymouth! If you said to me back in April, while shooting the SB3 Easterns in Howth that in a couple of months I’d be working at the America’s Cup WS, I would have slapped you, called an ambulance and got a doctor to evaluate your psychological state! But no, this is where I actually ended up, what an awesome way to finish the season!!
I’d like to tell you in detail about those 10 days but it’s more of a story in itself and too long to explain here, all I can say is that the AC45’s are unreal up close, the people that work in the media center are just the nicest, most helpful and positive to be around and thank you Marcus Hutchinson for the experience and you’re believe and trust in me!
It was a serious come down after Plymouth, back to the day job and reality hit hard! I am so used to coming back from an event, finishing and completing the endless tasks and getting ready for another trip away! It was different this time, the sailing season is coming to a close for the year, and what am I going to do now? So much free time, motivation is slowing down, what else is there to look forward to with this imminent winter just ahead!! Oh, it was time to reflect on what happened over the summer!
That didn’t take long, it was a great season, but I really don’t want it to end! I decided to do some personal projects that I was unable to tackle during the summer months!
I wanted to work as much as possible as an onboard camera man with some of the top boats in the country! So I spend 2 days onboard with Jump Juice and Gloves Off capturing the immense battle between these two teams! It was a good learning curve, and all in all I found it to be beneficial in developing more of these skills.
Now it nears December and my focus is so strongly pointing in one direction for next year! What do I want from it, what direction do I need it to go! MCM at Off-shore racing, more of the ACWS and some other projects still in their infancy!
I really want a job as MCM on a Volvo 70, I need to build next year on this particular goal, I’ll be seeking out boats who are looking at doing off-shore, the Round Ireland, The Middle Sea race and maybe the Caribbean 600 early next year, this is where I am right now!
So does anyone have an offer on the table??