A lot of you might know this already, especially if you follow me on Instagram, but over the past month, I’ve made some major life decisions. I recently quit my day job in Los Angeles, and moved in with a few of my friends in Seattle. Everything happened extremely fast, and I’ve been busy trying to get my life together ever since making that decision.
Let’s start with why I quit my job. As you guys should know, I was an Assistant Manager at a luxury apartment community in Los Angeles. It was in no way, shape, or form, my dream job. I wasn’t happy with my life there, but it paid the bills, and worked for the place I was in life. I had great benefits, I got a discount on my apartment, and I lived where I worked. On paper, everything was great, except the fact that I hated it.
The main reason I stayed there for so long was the fact that I got a discount on an apartment that was REALLY nice! It was in a great location in the valley, near tons of shopping and restaurants, and had amazing amenities like a free gym, and even two pools. Another reason I stayed was because I wanted to eventually become the Property Manager, since they get a FREE apartment, not just a discount.
The current Manager did her best to train me to make sure I was ready for whenever the time came that I would become the Manager, and we had a plan that whenever she left, I would be the one to take her place since I know the property so well.
Well, not to get into too much detail, but around the beginning of September, she had some things going on in her personal life which led her to need to move to a property in a different location. While this was surprising news, it was also great news since I knew I would be next in line as Manager (or so I thought).
When she notified the office that she would be transferring properties and would no longer be the Manager there, she also notified the team that a new manager will be taking over in her place, and that the new manager would be coming from another property to take over her place. The second she said that, my heart dropped. I had been working so hard to be the one to take her place, and out of nowhere she tells me that some random manager from another property will be taking over instead. She looked directly in my eyes as she made the announcement, and I was in shock.
After we had the meeting where she made the announcement, I rushed to my computer and drafted my resignation letter.
I know it might have been something I did based on emotion, but after feeling backstabbed, it made me really put things into perspective. Why was I fighting so hard for a promotion at a job that I really hated? I literally sat in an office for 3 years, working my ass off just to pay bills, and only did what I loved when it was convenient for my schedule. After realizing this, I figured that it was finally time that I took the leap to do photography full time.
Well, I know you might be thinking: “Well why not do photography full time in Los Angeles? You were in the perfect place to do it, and you already built a name for yourself there”.
See, while that might be true, I also didn’t really love Los Angeles. It’s a great place to make a name for yourself, but not only did I not love the city, I also didn’t love the people. Everyone there has this way of thinking that they are so much better than you, which results in little to no paid work. It’s also extremely competitive when it comes to working with agencies, which resulted in hardly any work from them, let alone paid work. I would have also needed to find a new place to live, and a part of me wanted to finally be away from my family.
I had a few friends that were looking for a roommate in Seattle, and figured it would be much easier to just move here and start fresh. The rent is cheaper, I can afford nicer place and still be paying less than if I was in LA, and it’s still a great market to be in for photography. So, I packed my things, got movers to store most of my big furniture, and I moved.
I’ve been here for a little over 2 weeks now, and I’ve already started making some big moves here in photography. I contacted a few agencies, and two already got back to me saying they’re interested in working. One already sent me a package, and I shot with one model so far, but I want to set up a few more test shoots so that I can get them to add me to their team. I’m still waiting to set things up with the other agency so that I can start shooting some of their new faces, but it’s taking a little longer with them for some reason.
So basically, how it works with agencies is that they send you a “package” of their new faces that need more shots for their portfolio, and you choose the ones you want to work with. It’s essentially a collaboration where the model and photographer work together to show off their skills. What I need to do is show the agency that I work well with different models, and can produce great work regardless of model or location. Once I prove myself and the agency is interested in working with me regularly, then we start talking about paid work. I’m in the stage where I’m shooting with different models, which is great for only being here 2 weeks, but I’m still pretty far away from getting paid to shoot with models.
All of that being said, I’m at the point where I’m running out of money, and need to figure out what I’m going to do to pay the bills. Luckily, I paid rent for November already, so I still have some time, but I just bought a car and needed to get insurance as well, which is only adding to my expenses. I also still have to pay the remaining balance for the moving company to bring my furniture from Los Angeles to Seattle this Saturday, and I need to buy lighting equipment for a home studio. When all is said and done, I’m going to be absolutely broke by the beginning of November, and for the first time in my life, I’m scared financially.
I’ve always had a secure job, and I’ve always had a way to pay my bills. Now, I have bills to pay, and I’m not quite sure how I’m going to pay them. I can easily apply for a day job here, but then that’ll put me right back to where I was in Los Angeles; working a job I don’t want to pay the bills. While it might be the most logical thing to do, I still want to wait a while before falling into that same trap again.
So what are my options? Well, I have to put my heart and soul into my work (as if I wasn’t already), and create such beautiful content that the agencies will have no choice but to hire me. Obviously, that would be the best case scenario, but it’s really hard to tell with agencies whether you’ll actually get hired or not. In addition to that, I’m thinking of maybe signing up for Uber or Lyft to make some extra money on the side during my off-days. The only issue I have with that is that I’ll be driving a TON with a new car, and will eventually have to worry about maintenance and miscellaneous repairs. I’m also going to be working a lot harder on my Patreon, providing content for people that truly want to support me. I’ve been neglecting it for a while, but it’s time that I started taking it more seriously.
I also have a little side hustle where I’m working on my own swimwear line. I know it’s totally out there, but it’s something that I think can make me some passive income on the side once I get everything sorted out. If you wanted to check it out, you can take a look at www.offtheclock.shop.
For some strange reason, I also want to start a twitch channel where I edit photos and chill with people that are interested in how I edit and which techniques I use. It might be a good way to connect to my audience a bit better.
I think I’m done ranting for now, but I definitely wanted to keep you guys in the loop since I’ve been missing for a while. If you have any other ideas, please leave me a comment! Trust me, I’m all ears…
Until next time,