Once I realized that I wanted to make a career shift, one of the most significant issues I’ve encountered is balancing romance with reality. By that, I mean that I’ve been guilty of romanticizing the idea of life as a photographer. While I recognize that life for most artists is far more hard work and struggle than it is glamour, I couldn’t help but be swept into a number of private moments where I envisioned my images in galleries, magazines, books and adorning walls in people’s homes. I come tumbling back to reality when I return my focus to my “day job,” family, and making sure that my financial obligations are met.
I’ve been working with a coach at work, and he, within three coaching sessions, pin-pointed that one of my biggest challenges is that I get into my head—deep into my head — with ideas. There’s nothing wrong with deep thoughts, but at some point you need to move from thoughts to action. I think, to date, being in my head with thoughts about becoming a full-time photographer has been comfortable because it allowed me to romanticize the career without breaking the requisite sweat. It afforded me the luxury of creating a pseudo-reality of what my life would, or could, be like as an artist instead of an attorney. The reality, I know, is that any entrepreneurial endeavor – particularly an artistic one – will take considerable effort, commitment, hustle and endurance. I look at Carla with envy as she pursues her passion; all the while seeing just how much time, energy and grit it takes to even stay afloat, let alone thrive
A person can read all the books in the world about how to do something. It is only when you put down the books and get your hands dirty that you find out just what it takes operate. Even then, it may take a number of stumbles, or even face plants, before things make sense and water finds its level. I imagine that it is during this trying time that your romance – your true love — for that “thing” has to carry you through. It’s allowing the flame of your romance to be tempered by reality; not extinguished.
I have so much to learn, and am thankful for the outpouring of support and advice from my family, photographers, editors, friends and even strangers. One thing my coach asked me to do was articulate my vision and commit it to paper so that I can better identify, align, and adjust my priorities. I was looking through videos by my friend Gary Vaynerchuk, and came across a piece that really spoke to me, and tossed a dart straight into the bull’s eye of the type of focus and perspective I need to maintain as I pursue my goal.
Allow me to take a moment to explain the title of this site and blog.
As far back as I can remember, there has not been a time when I’ve had a positive reaction to being called Matt. I typically try to nip the “Matt thing” in the bud right away; hoping that addressing it early will dissuade people from thinking that as they get to know me better, I somehow morph into Matt. No…not so much. As a matter of fact, being really familiar with me means you know how much I hate being called Matt. Accordingly, I always refer to people by their full name unless I am instructed otherwise.
I won’t belabor this issue. I started this blog a couple years ago as a cathartic exercise. One of the first things I wanted to get past was being apologetic for wanting to called me by my full name. I ran with that idea for the title and bought the domain. I would much rather channel my energy toward further developing my writing and photography. Please hang with me, and let’s see where this goes.