I need to give a little shout-out to my biggest supporter.
In case you aren't familiar, it's this gal:
That's my wife.
The talented and lovely Emily. If you have the misfortune of not being acquainted, please take a moment to check out her site at www.Emily-Jaye.com - you'll be glad you did. She's an author, and a damn fine one if I do say so myself.
Sure, I'm biased - but I'm also not wrong.
See, there's this common occurrence when it comes to creative couples. As is usually the case, the level of success, attention, income, etc. tends to see-saw heavily from one to the other. One has to pay the bills for a while as the other finds some new footing in their passion / career.
And even though Emily and I took the plunge around the same time... I'm the one who's getting all the opportunity right now. A couple of years ago, we both quit more "secure" salaried positions at larger organizations to pursue our passions and creativity full time. I shed the day job to work entirely behind a lens (or sometimes in front) and she switched to less demanding day jobs so she could devote attention and time to her novels.
Things are even more slanted than usual, even though she's the one working the "boring day jobs," I'm the one making the (albeit small) dough.
And while I'm paying most of the bills, I'm also getting to do a lot of really fun things that I thoroughly enjoy. I get to travel the country and the world about twice as much as she does (client budgets never really have the wiggle room for both of us to go at this stage of my career, and we had to fundraise 100% of our last humanitarian trip to Haiti). While I'm off interviewing and photographing all these inspiring people doing the things of which I've always dreamed, she's working two and a half jobs cooking and serving food for less than minimum wage.
These three-ish jobs just BARELY make up the difference on our expenses, and the worst part is she usually has very little time or energy left at the end of a long day to devote to her writing, which is the point of this crazy setup we chose for ourselves.
I keep telling her things will change eventually - but I am often in the position she is (usually every winter) and I know all too well that it's EXTREMELY hard to see the silver lining of the starving artist cloud. Seasonal affect disorder and manic depression should be somewhere in the definition of being an artist.
For a similar perspective - please read this post and watch the video (it's about 15 minutes long, but totally worth it. Have the tissues handy).
While I'll be heading to Georgia to shoot a fun assignment this weekend, and getting to see a ton of great sights along the eastern portion of the United States - Emily will be serving food to customers who show up five minutes before closing, treat her like a literal slave and leave an insulting (if any) tip.
All while making roughly $1.75 an hour after taxes.
But that's not the end of her work. She also puts immeasurable energy into keeping me grounded. Reminding me that I might actually know what I'm doing with a camera. Making sure that we have food in the house, and that I didn't oversleep for that meeting this morning. She derails my obsessive rants and provides a unique perspective when I've over-thought every possible angle on a project to the point of creative paralysis. She reminds me that it's okay to (gasp) have fun with this once in a while, or to say no to projects I don't believe in even if it means we don't make a few extra bucks that month.
So if you dig any aspect of what I'm putting out into the world - check out the work she's constructing over on her site. Particularly her blog, to get a glimpse at her personality and writing style.
Because I really don't deserve all of the spotlight.