It's been a strange summer.
Last year, I didn’t consider money too much. I was a second year student, living off a student loan, getting my film developed for free in the university’s photography department. A pretty cushy situation, in fact. I shot over a thousand photos and developed my understanding of photography and photographic techniques. Eagerly, I awaited the summer, with its long days of glorious golden sun, and all the photo opportunities that would bring.
Instead, summer was a gigantic let-down. I spent the first half of the summer working on a farm, trying to pay my exorbitant rent and bills, and god, it was hard graft. By the end of the day, I was aching, and too tired to do much of anything. In fact, I found myself willingly sleeping before 11pm for the first time since I was a small child.
But at least it meant I had money, and the weekends were my own. Plus, I could steal the occasional photograph on the farm; I tried to carry a camera with me at all times, and made a point of taking a photograph a day, with the eventual aim of making a scrapbook.
However, I lost my job.
The reasons for this are somewhat shady. I took two days off to move house, and came back on a Thursday to find they’d employed a young kid – about 17 – in my absence, and gave him the deal he was only going to work on dry days (unlike my informal, cash-in-hand, non-contracted everyday work). But I worked, nonetheless, and at the end of the day, everything seemed fine. The next day, I turned up to be given a pay packet, and told they didn’t need me anymore. Go figure.
So, thanks to that, the last half of my summer was spent scraping the pennies, not doing anything, and certainly not shooting much film. I did occasionally get out, but nothing like the amount that I would have liked.
Eventually, I found a replacement job, and things picked up. The workload wasn’t as heavy, and it gave me just enough money to live, and enough time to actually shoot some film again. But now I’m back at Uni, doing two jobs, and the nights are drawing in, I’m back to not shooting much film again – but for a completely different reason. Now, I simply don’t have time, and when I do, my themes and techniques are totally different. Gone is the Velvia 50 and the countryside vistas, and in come the tripods, the black and whites, and the flash photography (which, incidentally, I’ve almost completely forgotten how to do).
But, such is the nature of life, I suppose. Things are cyclical, and things don’t always go to plan. All we can ever do is adapt, and work with what we have.
And if that means remembering to charge batteries instead of packing the suncream, well…