After the first of the year I was able to finish up some remaining work and take some time to reflect on 2011. Last year was quite a roller coaster ride to say the least. It was not the kind of fun and exciting roller coaster that you would want to buy a ticket for. It was the type of ride where you suddenly find yourself sitting right up front, there is no way to get off, and the ride just won't end.
The year started with bookings, a slam-packed wedding season to look forward to, and the addition of some new gear. Now out of the gate and making the assent, everything felt great. As the year continued on there more bookings, a number of events to shoot, I was producing work for clients that they loved, and I was published in the BMX magazine PULL (2) (3). But, we all know that the first drop is a doozy, and my first drop on the 2011 roller coaster was the loss of my one of my cameras to the murky depths of the Swallow Bag Bay in Manteo, NC (the blog post on that story).
The ride continued with ups, downs, twists, and turns. I had the opportunity to meet and work with a lot of great people, had some fantastic experiences, and produced great images for my clients. At the other end there were equipment failures and back-up equipment failures that occurred before, during, and after shoots. As one thing was replaced, repaired, or a problem was solved; the next issue was waiting around the bend. It wasn't just my professional life riding this roller coaster, my personal life was sitting shotgun which only made the ride drag on and on. It was truly an ongoing mixed bag of gut wrenching disappointment and excitement.
When the ride finally came to a stop, I jumped off and ran like hell. Needless to say 2011 was not exactly a year I would like to have to repeat, although I did come to some sort of understanding and was able to make peace with it. With the exception of my camera going into the drink in July, nothing else that went wrong was my fault. They were things that just happen in life and were beyond my control. The great times in 2011 were either the result of good timing or something I had a direct hand in. The bad times of 2011 ultimately taught me a few things and really tested my ability to adapt to and overcome situations I hadn't experienced before. We all know that there will be things that happen in life that we cannot control. When they do happen, it is how you deal with them and what you learn from them that help define you as a person. I've never been one to get caught up in "what if's" and "why me's" because they are simply a waste of time. When you find yourself in the front seat of that roller coaster just before the first drop, you just have to suck it up and deal with it until the ride comes to an end.