A Photographer’s Point of View: Looking Forward Into 2019January 5, 2019
Fireworks on top of Pikes Peak, taken by Mike Pach
A new year is beginning. That not only means it’s time to look back at what’s happened in the last 12 months, but it’s also time to look forward to the next 12 in anticipation, with a new outlook and new plans for the future.
2018 has been an amazing year for me. It’s been a record-breaking year in more ways than one. Not only did my photography and my business reach new levels, I literally photographed two record-breaking moments. The first came when Romain Dumas broke the 8-minute mark during the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. The second was when Megan Kimmel broke a decades-old record for being the top female finisher in the Pikes Peak Marathon.
The past year hasn’t been without its low moments either. The loss of two things that were very important to me had a very negative impact on my mental health. I have not kept it a secret that I struggle with depression. I didn’t know how deeply the first loss was affecting me until my therapist pointed it out during one of our sessions. The second loss hit me even harder, and I was depressed for weeks because of it. I was afraid that I would slip into a very dark place, but it helped a lot that I simply kept pressing forward.
A couple of weeks ago I visited a friend of mine who works in the photography industry. We had a great chat, and he paid me some very nice compliments about my skills and about working with me. Later that evening, I felt happy for the first time in what seemed like forever. I came to the realization that I needed to switch my focus from this negative experience that was weighing me down to the people who shared my friend’s sentiments about me and my talents. I started thinking about all of the clients I had worked for in the past year and all of the students that attended my classes and workshops. I quickly recognized that there are a lot of people who feel the same way my friend does about me, and that I had good reasons to stop ruminating on the reasons for the losses in my life.
I became motivated to think of ways to replace what was taken from me, and I made some decisions. I’m going to reboot one of my radio shows in early January, and I will start coaching people on how to bring their photography skills to the next level.
I’m reminded of a quote from William Blake. He said, “Expect poison from standing water.” Although I moved slowly, I kept moving forward with the hope that something would give. And it did. Now my thoughts of worry about the future have been turned into thoughts of excitement and discovery.
Sometimes the Universe takes things away from us in order to push us in the direction we need to go. Here’s to breaking records in 2019.