Why Keep Trying?

Since before the birth of my daughter in January, the time and financial resources available for photography – going out to photograph and preparing articles and submissions – has been limited more and more. I felt as though my photographic pursuits were being squeezed through an hourglass: the freedom of time and money being nudged into an ever narrowing space with the hope that someday… someday things would loosen up again.

In some ways I felt like simply laying low for a couple of years. I let my photo association memberships go into hiatus for the next year and I haven’t renewed any subscriptions for magazines or ever a pro account with Flickr. Though I have projects on the go and a list to pursue, the restricted time for working on them (basically between 7 and 8 in the morning) has been frustrating and uninspiring. I honestly feel like just doing whatever I feel like, even if it’s just typing blog posts or preparing uploads for Flickr, and working on the business stuff when the mood strikes. But there’s the reality of a large deficit in my account that has to be made up. My wife will not look kindly upon me if next year my son’s kindergarten tuition is insufficient. So I must work in order to fill up that hole.

And then there is a sudden spark of encouragement. Today Gakujin magazine called and left a message saying they’d like to run my submission in their August issue. I’ll speak to them tomorrow but for now the news has reminded me that it is worth it to keep trying. Though the efforts rarely pay out soon (this is the third magazine to receive this submission after two previous rejections) the call that announces a turn in my fortune often comes when it is least expected and when it is most welcome.

6 responses to “Why Keep Trying?

  1. “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” – Wayne Gretzky

    That why I keep trying…

  2. Well, a call from Gakujin is quite something – they have the pick of Japan’s mountain photographers to choose from. Congratulations!

    As for the squeeze on time and money, alas, it’s true for almost all the mountain photography fraternity (and sorority). Even St Ansel, it is said, had to take up vulgar commissions for (eg) advertising shoots in order to finance his landscape habit …..

  3. Chris (how’s it going?),
    Wayne Gretzky was the reason I learned about hockey and became accepted by the local boys in the ‘hood who didn’t think reading about volcanoes and dinosaurs was cool. They didn’t like Wayne but at least I could talk hockey with them. I know his famous aphorism and I keep it in mind when climbing. Or kept it in mind. Climbing has been horrendously limited these days. Thanks for the encouraging words.

  4. PH, the call was most certainly welcome, though this time it is for a submission of Rocky Mountain photographs. I am pleased because Asahi Kamera said they were nice but a little “orthodox” and Yama-to-Keikoku said they were nice but didn’t I have something from Japan? So that someone is interested is pleasing.

    Yes, Ansel Adams and his contemporaries did have to accept commission work but I don’t even get calls for that (not famous enough!). Well, I am working slowly through my next submission and then I have to eventually get back to those interviews (foreign mountaineers in Japan). It just takes time to work out the Japanese translation.

  5. Hello! I found your blog via the Japan Blog List and I have a question for you.

    As I am moving to Japan in the coming months I am making a list of places to go and things to do while in Japan. I would like to make a similar list for my blog featuring other Japan bloggers.

    All I ask of you is to send a paragraph (or more if you’d like) explaining your favorite part of Japan and why, maybe include a picture of it if you’d like. Just send me an email at kaleyjapan@gmail.com with your reply (or questions) and I’d love to feature you!

    Thanks, I look forward to hearing from you!

    • Thank you, kaleyjapan, for stopping by, commenting, and your invitation to provide something for your blog. I would be happy to write something to contribute. I’ll try to get that over to you as soon as possible. In the meantime, I hope you find Japan a fun and interesting place to be.

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