"It's getting faster, moving faster now, it's getting out of hand; on the Tenth Floor, down the back stairs, it's a no mans land"
- Ian Curtis, Disorder - Joy Division
Well, you might wonder why I am yet again using a quote from Joy Division's Disorder.
I recently wrote a blog about the attention the Tenth Floor has been getting recently, and told the story about how it came to be something real; an invention created by the energy gained by the dislike of my 'real' job. If you haven't read that, you might want to check that out below.
In all honesty, building the Tenth Floor has almost killed me. It's been mentally, emotionally, financially and physically exhausting. The thing is though, it pays. Every doubt I had - not only in my ability - but in it's potential, is slowly fading away.
I constantly tell myself to do more, do more, do more. Last night I was able to step back and think - job well done.
We had two prestigious commissions on Saturday and Sunday. One was for Samantha Cumming, who works for BBC Scotland. She needed some professional shots taken of her for a website. On the Sunday we were asked to take shots for a business called Neatebox, who deliver exceptional assistive technology for disabled people.
This shoot was originally assigned to Christina and Grant, but I thought I would tag along. For the first time, we were given specs to adhere to, and Samantha told us exactly what she needed. The pressure was on.
Grant's speciality is portraiture, which complimented our ability perfectly, but again, the stress that comes with paid work creates something different inside of you; something intense when you realise that you are doing something creative that can't, and mustn't, go wrong. At the end of the day we all realised we had done a good job, and confidence builds and self doubt decreases a little.
Neatebox are a professional organisation that develop apps for disabled people, and are very successful in the execution of this, and Tenth Floor Photography have been proud to have been asked to be part of their journey.
This time was a little different. ADVERTISEMENT PHOTOGRAPHY!
I was so close to turning this one down due to the immense pressure that goes around this style of photography, never mind post editing, which is more work than creative, personal photography. But we agreed. I love what the company do.
Adrenaline is pumping, the creative mind goes into overdrive. Then, you remind yourself, the same rules apply. It's only optics. Then me and Amy really got into the swing of it. It was so difficult at times shooting backlit subects, people moving all the time, or dim lighting, but we got there. Coming home and looking over thousands of photos and finding those special ones was such a great feeling!
Just to follow on from my last blog, it's not all as easy as point and shoot. It's not as easy as saying that you want to earn money doing what you want in life. It takes anxiety, it takes self doubt, it takes those huge mistakes - the sleepless nights worrying about where the business might end up, and it takes all of your energy. Then a weekend like this arrives, and you realise that you can do it. Not just artistically, but also financially. This could really be something...
I sat on Sunday night, and for the first time since Tenth Floor Photography came into existence, stepped back, mentally stopped working on it, reviewed my work, and felt a sense of pride.
It was the first time I had done that. We constantly go at things without reviewing them, and realising that there's a possibility you might have made someone happy. I hope I've made Samantha happy, and I hope I have made Neatebox and their team happy.
I've finally realised that sometimes I need to step back and just feel that, yeah, this is doing brilliantly, not only in one weekend, but the packed diary, and a lot more lined up to come in the future. I need to continue to strive to be better, to help the others on the team, but feel proud of how far we have all come along, and to realise there's a lot of people wanting to pay money for something we have all worked so hard for.
Now, excuse me, I've got literally thousands of photos to sift through from both shoots. It will all be worth it in the end.