Most days I love what I do, but some days I feel like the lonely old peach tree that lives in my backyard that has been sprayed with herbicides. So lately I have been wondering if being a photographer is really the right path for me, or should I be something else… like a vet. (But I can only be a vet who works on healthy animals because just the thought of blood makes the room go black as I start to pass out.)
And then, one week in December, as I was wrapping my Christmas presents with the North Bay Bohemian I read this…
Libra (9/23-10/22) I’m hoping 2010 will be the year you do whatever it takes to fall more deeply in love with the work you do. I’d like to see you reshape the job you have so that it better suits your soul’s imperatives. If that’s not possible, consider looking for or even creating a new job. The cosmos will be conspiring to help you accomplish this. Both hidden and not-so-hidden helpers will be nudging you to earn your livelihood in ways that serve your highest ideals and make you feel at peace with your destiny. – Rob Brezsny, Free Will Astrology.
I haven’t read my horoscope in a really, really long time, and I don’t know Rob Brezsney, but I feel like he read my brain. He heard my doubts and knew I would wrap my presents with his newspaper, so he threw his wise words in front of me and made me think. And he is right, this is the year I have to jump in with both feet or switch pools.
I have been so incredibly lucky in 2009.
I have had so many wonderful opportunities and jobs that have just landed in my lap, and I am grateful for each and every one. I have met amazing people, and been to amazing places, and learned so many amazing things. But this year, I am going to put myself out there and find documentary photography jobs that make me fall more deeply in love with the work I do. Jobs that tell stories about communities, about people making positive change, about people overcoming adversity. Stories that show what it is like to live in the year 2010.
This is my new year’s resolution and it starts now. Here goes everything. (ps: I am going to need those hidden and not-so-hidden helpers so feel free to help away.)
Happy New Year.
About the author paige green
Paige Green is a documentary and portrait photographer, whose storytelling approach to photography frequently addresses issues involving agriculture, land use, and food. Her work is featured in nine books and has been published in Glamour, National Geographic Traveler, New York Times Magazine, Conde Nast Traveler, GQ, Country Living, House Beautiful, and Culture. Paige lives in Petaluma, CA with a house full of boys.
My Brain On War… (And FREE Photo Shoot for those who match my donation to relief efforts in Ukraine)
When the World Feels Upside Down… Together We Can (plus: bonus photo of me in middle school)
Headshots for Women’s Rights
All the best, Paige!
I’ll be back in Spring.
We should swap notes!, or just have some tea! 🙂
I have made my way to your blog from Dig This Chick. You take the most beautiful and thought provoking pictures I’ve ever seen. They are so complicated in their simplicity. I hope you change your field. My standpoint it definitely seems to be your calling.
thank you for this. i’m no libra but i think it good advise for all. i hope you find your dream job. you take the most beautiful pictures. life is always choosing paths and learning. sometimes i wish there were more road signs.
hi. is that a real tree? it’s so beautiful. i love it.i think it would look great blown up giant above my mantle. is that possible with rollei photos??? lemme know. i will pay. also, you rule. just a reminder.
go paige go!!! i believe you’re an amazing photographer so i dont think you should change professions!! but i do believe you should shoot what you want to shoot! shoot what your creative urges long for and i think the cosmos will make it all work out! love!
I want to be a helper! However that may be…
What a beautiful, thoughtful post. Not surprising from you…a beautiful, thoughtful soul. I am so never worried about you because whatever it is that you do, it is always intentional and important. So, I can’t wait to see what it is that you find for yourself this year. It’ll be very cool.
I’m not one for newspaper horoscopes. that said, Rob Brezney is the best of them all. Only seen you in one other vocation but your light is shining with photographer. Deeply loving your vocation or advocation is a joyful thing but probably like most things in life has an ebb and flow. I feel in love with my job this year. It has been a long time since I can say that. What changed was how the work fit into my life.
oh wow. i used to read rob brezney in some other paper…whose name i don’t recall. but it always did something to me.
this post did something to me too.
i get ya.
Hi Paige! Molly’s sister here. I just read this post of yours… and I have a really good story (that is just beginning) about people in one bay area community overcoming adversity. And it’s funny I read this this evening, because I was at a picnic today to celebrate the first big “win” of ours, and I took some really unremarkable boring photos–I really just don’t know what I’m doing with a camera. Anyway, I’d love to talk to you more about this; you can see the proposal I wrote and some of the boring photos I took here:
Long story short: we just found out we won the contest last month. It’s great news, and Vallejo REALLY needed this! The money will be coming soon to start the garden, and we would love it if you could come to a garden work day sometime as we start to build the first garden. That’s all! Just an idea. We could really use some good photos to bring in volunteers to the project.
Hope you and Arann are doing well this summer, and hope to see you soon!