(This is a deeply personal post. It is a story with a happy ending: but you need to read through the whole thing to get there. 🙂
Big Mark Photography will be going through a few changes over the next few months, I just thought that I’d take a bit of time to explain why. Many thanks to all of my loyal customers and clients, friends and family and crew who have supported me over the last four years. To anyone who has bookings later in 2016 these changes should have minimal effect on you, but I’ll be touching base with everyone over the next couple of days just to confirm what will be happening.)
I’m sick: and I’ve been quite sick for a while.
The only people who really knew how unwell I’ve been have been my crew. They always saw me at my most depleted, at the end of the day when I had no energy left, where I was so exhausted and breathing so heavily it would take me an hour to walk a mere 100 metres.
I was never so unwell that I was unable to get through a job. I would sometimes struggle, but the crew would pick up the slack. But about three months ago my breathing started to get worse. And it all came to a head during a wedding: where things got so bad that I had to get my assistant to finish the job.
I went to the doctors the next day: and he determined I had pneumonia. I started taking anti-biotics and told to rest. After the first course of anti-biotics I did feel better: but the heavy laboured breathing remained. After a second course of anti-biotics made no impact on my breathing my doctor sent me to hospital to do further testing.
It turned out I had a pulmonary embolism: or a series of blood clots in the lungs. Some of the clots were very old: but others were more recent. Combined with my weight issues and some problems I had with my heart a couple of years ago and the reality is that I am not a well man. I’m being treated for the clots: and I’m not going to get better over night. But on the flipside, I’m alive, I’m kicking, and ready to make fundamental changes in my life to help me get better. But there are some basic things I’m struggling with at the moment where there is no quick fix. And these things that I’m struggling with prevent me from being on my feet for too long and stop me from being an effective event photographer.
I’m at the point now where I needed to decide what to do with the business. I both love photography, but I also love the independence you get from being self-employed. I had to answer a few key questions and do a lot of soul searching.
Do I want to work for someone else? The answer is NO.
Can I run my business effectively as it is currently being run with my health as it is? NO.
Can I make changes to my business that will allow it to continue, without compromising the service and quality of images that Big Mark Photography is known for? YES.
So it has come to the point where things have to change. Big Mark Photography will be evolving.
I made a very important decision. I’m going to be splitting the business into two.
The events part of Big Mark Photography will become “Big Event Photography.” I’m going to be stepping away from being lead photographer (but that doesn’t mean you won’t see me with the camera anymore.) Over the last couple of years I’ve been working with a great crew of people and some of them will be making the step up to cover events on their own. And I’m adding new members to the team: experienced event photographers with a professional attitude and great customer service skills. Big Event Photography will continue to cover the big community events we have always covered, as well as conferences and corporate events, parties, graduations, school balls, any event or gathering we can cover it.
The more creative side of Big Mark Photography will be morphing into Big Creative Studios. We will be focusing on commercial work, food and products, environmental portraits, headshots, editorial and lifestyle photography. I’ll be the principal photographer for the Big Creative Studios, and will be joined and assisted by some new and rising photographic talent.
This is the biggest change I’ve had to make to Big Mark Photography since we opened: and while these changes are risky and scary, they are also very necessary and very exciting for me. I’ve been working in the business for the last four years: now I have the opportunity to work on the business. We look to launch Big Event Photography early in July, and Big Creative Studios shortly after that. If you have any questions regarding the change-over send me an email.