Wednesday, December 17, 2008

What Recession?

I've been asking friends this question lately. "If it's pretty clear that we're headed for some slow times, possibly lasting a year or more, do you spend that time scratching for work, with the very real possibility of landing little to none, or do you punch out and spend time doing something else less stressful?"

Responses have been mixed. One friend suggested that we start a Kibbutz, which I have to admit, sounds kind of nice.

I have a hard time with this question as well -- yes, scratching for work that may not exist could be a long, painful process. It always sucks to not have any jobs in the hopper. Conversely, if you spend that down time scratching, you are going to come out in better shape on the other side, when the few photo editors and art directors that managed to keep their jobs are ready to hire again. Maybe you'll emerge with a jaded attitude, and some extra white hairs, but in better shape than those who punched out.

On the other hand, what sounds better -- spending time with the people you love, doing things you love, shooting subjects you love (while sinking rapidly into debt) or scratching for work (while sinking more slowly into debt)? Lately, I have had a lot more time hanging out with my daughter than sitting at my desk figuring out how to get more work.

For those of us that have overhead -- mortgages, studios, wives, husbands, kids, insurance, pets, etc..., punching out is not easy to do. If you are single, flexible, and free, this is a great opportunity to take off and shoot a really amazing project. Leave your one bedroom rental and move into your car. Drive to the tip of South America, then ditch your car in the parking lot, and jump on a flight to somewhere else.

Now if I could just sell my house......

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