Last November they offered a buyout to all its employees.
Some took the offer, others thought they’re bullet-proof, indispensable and safe.
I figured out had I stayed on I would have been eligible to $50K minus Uncle Sam’s cut.
I kicked myself, of course, for not staying on.
Actually it wasn’t that hard a kick I gave myself.
In the time I left, I easily made that much.
The silver lining in this is: I learned never to be complacent again especially not in today’s job market.
Vianey and Gary dance during their reception on board the Dandeanna.
Had I stayed on and taken such a buyout in November, I’d be just another digital photographer with 20 years of newspaper experience.
In case you haven’t noticed, there’s a lot of newspaper photographers out there–some with more experience than yours truly.
When I walked home after turning in the keys to my company-issued car, along with all the gear, it opened so many more doors and I have never looked back.
That weekend, I shot Gary and Vianey’s wedding on a yacht named the Dandeanna.
A wedding guest of Gary and Vianey enjoys herself during the reception.
So I better send them an anniversary card or email now that I reminiscing.
Officially they were my 1st clients.
You see, while under the employ of the newspaper, it was mandated that I could not do any freelancing, even if it had nothing to do with photography on my own time.
Not only that, they wanted to know all sources of my income. Why? Well, to make sure there were no conflicts of interest in my journalistic coverage.
Nothing personal. That was their way of saying, â€œit’s their way or the highway.â€œ
Very recently, the newspaper cut more folks. This time the photography department wasn’t spared. They lost 3 photographers and 1 middle manager/picture editor.
Of the 3 photographer casualities: one was my replacement, the other a relative newcomer and the third, a veteran who is a good friend.
I am saddened that it has come to this because I still have some very good friends who work there.
Instead of hiring people who are knowledgeable about web technology, they promote from within. That is in itself is not a bad move, but when they don’t make the commitment to send personnel for any sort of re-training, it’s a guarantee for disaster.
So it means the on-the-job training is going to cost not only money, but time because those â€œnewly-promotedÂ technologyâ€™ managers end up buying gear or technology which they have no clue how to use. This means they are often walking down hallways which are dead-ends and having to retrace their steps.
It’s a truism which we can’t deny: the Peter Principle.
Vianey walks down the aisle with her son during the ceremony on board the Dandeanna.
Back to the wedding… It was on a yacht which cruised the harbor for the 4-hour wedding.
There’s always a first time for everything as they say.Â For me, shooting a wedding on board a yacht seemed like it was going to be different. I relished the challenge.
But boy was I surprised! My early years of flying school taught to always mentally prepare. The instructors used toÂ call it â€œbunk flyingâ€.
You visualize in your mind every detail, step-by-step to help you prepare. So in applying this in photography, I knew in advance that if I didn’t have something with me on the yacht when we departed, I will have to improvise and do without it. The skipper is not about to go back just because I forgot a spare battery or more memory cards.
After the last of their guests disembark, Gary and Vianey share a quiet kiss on the dock.
What you should know when shooting a Yacht Wedding:
- Bring everything you think you need
- Expect to have very little space and room to work
- Most weddings are short because the cost is very high chartering the vessel and crew
- There’s a lot ofÂ herding of the guests from one deck to another while they set up for ceremony or reception
- You won’t have as much ability to control where you shoot, so backgrounds may be an issue
- When it’s time to leave the yacht, no lollygagging, you have to hustle or it will cost your clients more money
- When doing the formal portraits, expect the light to be changing a lot because the skipper is actually circling the harbor, so you have to light!
If you’re anything like me, go on… you’re probably thinking where’s the picture of the bride and groom at the bow ala Kate Winslet and Leonardo Di Caprio in Titanic?
Well, for that picture, I would have to have access to a helicopter or another yacht. I can only dream of having such a budget, can’t I?