I Decided to Stop Working as a Photographer.

I started doing small assignments in 1998, when I was a sweet 19, and continued working full-time as a photographer until the end of last year. Now, after 23 years, I'm calling it quits. The photo and journalism industry has completely fallen apart in recent years, and it's actually surprising to me that I've survived so long. (Read more.)

Financially, I managed to get by mostly thanks to a couple of corporate clients who’ve hired me consistently over the past two decades and payed me decently, and also because I hardly ever spend money on myself apart from rent and food.

 

Mentally, I’ve been in constant crisis mode over the past six or seven years, and I guess it has taken me a while to acknowledge that that’s simply not normal (nor healthy). It’s not just me: Many of my colleagues have left the industry, and the ones who haven’t talk a lot about changing careers. The pandemic has exacerbated everything: It’s become impossible to plan, and clients are wary to assign jobs. I love photography so deeply, that’s why I’ve been hanging on. But 2021 was my year of looking reality in the face; the reality is that I’ve been feeling alone and depressed about work for too long.

 

I used to be a true believer. Naively, I thought that I could make the world a better place by telling important stories, shooting cool imagery for companies all over the globe, and working on inspiring projects with editors and clients who don’t treat me like garbage. But like everyone else, I depended on a system, and that system is broken. I’ve long stopped trusting anyone commissioning or editing photography. And why should I be the one to bear a cross that no one seems to care about anymore?

 

Now, I’m looking forward to coasting a bit, traveling the world, chasing swell and raising hell, and taking lots of naps. I’m Audi 500. Peace!