February 2016. I remember it like it was yesterday. I was working at a full time job that I didn’t care about while shooting weddings, events and landscapes on the side. Doing anything I could to build a photography business and name for myself. I was out of shape, eating poorly, and sitting behind a desk for 8 hours or more per day. I was kind of miserable. I was wearing xxl shirts and size 40 something waist depending on the brand. I always joked that I had an “end table ass” aka a backside that stuck out far enough for you to put a drink on it like an end table.
On a Friday I texted my wife from work and said “I have got to quit this job and focus on NCP full time”. Imagine you’re splitting bills with someone and you get that text. It was worrisome to say the least. I got home that night and we talked it out deciding it was the right time: I was young enough to find a new full time job if it didn’t work out, we didn’t have kids yet so we had the freedom to make the financial risk, and if it went well I could actually make more money than my previous job. I gave my two weeks notice on Monday starting my full time self employed life in March of 2016.
The first six months of being solely self employed were easily some of the toughest months of my life. I can’t even count the amount of times I second guessed that decision to leave a steady paycheck to build a business. I was making progress and slowly building the client list but it wasn’t easy. I just kept my head down and continued to try to make it work, pushing all aspects of my photography: weddings, real estate, events, and landscapes.
Fitness photography wasn’t on my radar until one of my favorite real estate clients asked me to do headshots of the company’s agents. The only examples I could show at that time were from weddings. I started reaching out to Boston bloggers offering a shoot in exchange for some headshots I could use in my portfolio. I met some great people in that process and one of those shoots ended up being with a fitness blogger. From there, I started doing more fitness shoots and it quickly spiraled into the type of photography I shoot the most.
If you’ve stuck with me this long, you’re a saint. Here’s where the change part comes in. Surrounding myself with people who make fitness and health a priority was a never ending reminder that I wasn’t taking care of my body. I decided it was time to live a healthier and more active lifestyle. I’m all about keeping it simple so I made three changes: started working out twice a week with one of my fitness photo clients, stopped eating fast food/greasy foods and started walking more(Boston is a very walkable city). I also have all of my fitness photo shoots to thank for my active lifestyle. I’ve done 200 fitness photo shoots in just over a year, walking all over the city with a camera bag on my back has been great exercise. After a year of changing my lifestyle, I’ve gone from xxl to l shirts and 4 inches slimmer on my waist.
The physical changes feel great but nothing compared to the mental changes. I went from miserably working 40 hours per week at a job I didn’t like to happily working 40+ doing something that makes me truly happy. Back when I told my wife I wanted to quit my full time job we agreed that we would talk 3 months from then to assess if I needed to look for a full time job again. After 1 month when it still wasn’t quite working yet she told me that we didn’t need to discuss anything. She said could see how much happier I was already and that she knew I was going to make it work. Just typing that gives me the chills, having someone in your corner to support you like that is amazing.
This is where I would finish this blog post with two photos of myself showing a dramatic before and after. Well guess what, I hate being on the other side of the camera. Below is a photo of me from my wedding day in 2015 and at my friend’s wedding in 2017. I still avoid the camera at all costs but if you want to see what kind of progress I’ve made or lost since then, contact me to book your own shoot!