Seeing as Bec was nice enough to tag me on Facebook, I thought I would finally write up my 25 Things – be they interesting, thoughtful, or just plain fluff. We’ll see. This is a direct copy/paste, but some content is better than no content.
1. The basics – I am 23, work full time plus my own business, am married, have a puppy, and am a photographer.
2. I’ve never actually completely ever finished one job and started afresh in a new one – every work transition has been drawn out over a couple of months of starting the new one while still working the old one, etc. In fact, in my current non-self-employed job, the transition from when I started working 1 day/week up to 5 days/week has taken over 14 months.
3. My puppy Zahli on the most part is a perfectly well behaved dog. She doesn’t bite, she doesn’t destroy things other than her own toys, she eats fine, all that kind of stuff. But she barks. Knock on the door or ring the doorbell, and she’ll bark until you’ve said hello to her. That said, she knows certain people who come around enough, and will happily wait in silence until they’re in. And don’t get me started on the two new dogs that moved in next door in the past couple of months.
4. Beth and I live with another married couple, and for some reason most people cannot get their heads around this. Please understand that the house we live in is perfectly suited to such an arrangement – we live downstairs, they live upstairs, we share a kitchen and laundry, and have our own living spaces. That said, we love our housemates to the point where when neither of us are doing anything, or are having a night at home, invariably all five of us end up sitting around together. In fact, we often hang out when us or they come home.
5. There are five of us living in this house – said housemates have a 3month old baby boy, who is the best baby you could possibly ask for. His name is Max and I take great delight in being Uncle James, and that he smiles every time I see him.
6. I recently weighed in at as much as 130kg (as of 2nd December). After heading to the doctor to enquire about a solution to the stomach cramps that persisted after a bout of gastro, I found I had high cholesterol. Currently, 2 months later, I weigh 115kg, and am proud of myself. I also blame my job for the weight, as I weighed around 118 before I started there.
7. I aim to keep losing the weight, and get things as they should be for once. To that result I’m off sugary things and saturated fats – as well as eating a lot of fruit. I also started running yesterday for the first time, and it was the first time I’ve run since high school compulsory athletic events. Scarily, I enjoyed it, and am doing it every day on my lunch break.
8. I choose to get up at 6:30am every morning, leave for work a bit after 7am, and start my work day at 7:30am, when I could quite easily not start til closer to 10am like my boss. For those of you who know me pre-Beth, you’ll know that flies in the face of my then go-to-bed-at-5am sleeping habits. But it means I beat the traffic, get work done without other people distracting me, and get to finish for the day at 3pm.
9. Beth has been the best thing that has ever happened to me. Meeting her and getting to know her over the subsequent weeks was an insanely exciting and incredibly happy time, as we both kinda knew from the start where it was headed. Knowing that it was going to happen while still getting to know each other made all the things we did, all the days we hung out, all the time we spent sitting on the couch watching crappy TV and talking over the top of it that much more special.
10. I used to be a lot more arrogant. In fact, I used to be fairly arrogant. I used to think that it was more born out of being confident (perhaps overconfident) in all situations, and taking pride in myself, my acheivements and my people skills – but the fact is, it was purely arrogance. And while I’m not as actively outgoing as I was, and don’t relish making conversation with new people quite as much as I did (without that arrogance to hide behind), I much prefer the person I am now.
11. Being a photographer was not something I ever dreamed of doing. From a young age through to high school and even the beginning of Uni, there was the desire to be a pilot, a physiotherapist, an IT dude, an aerospace engineer, a paramedic, a cameraman, and even right down to such specifics and a gaffer or grip. Yet looking back through my life so far, I see how I’ve ended up as a photographer, and am grateful to be able to draw on some of those other things I dabbled in to hopefully make me a better photographer.
12. Beth never used to be ticklish, and it used to bug me as I’m incredibly ticklish. Get me started, and you don’t even have to touch me for me to be rolling around laughing uncontrollably. I take great joy in the fact she is now more ticklish.
13. I am secretly proud. Not in an arrogant/showoffish way (I hope), but I do take pride in what I have accomplished.
14. I am almost daily frustrated at my inability to use my studio more. People photography is probably my first love in photography, and what I want to make my name doing, yet I so rarely actually get anyone down there in front of the camera for me to constantly practice my craft.
15. I wake up each morning and find my dog has gotten up from her bed, jumped up onto ours lightly, and very gently worked her way down under the doonah. The position I find her in each morning? Lying in between Beth and I, on her side, with her head either on my pillow, or inbetween both pillows.
16. I had an operation on my hip three years ago. I had torn cartilage in the hip joint, which made it painful to stand still for too long, or walk more than 10-20 steps. After the op, I wasn’t allowed to sit up for the first couple of weeks – either standing or lying. I got sick of that pretty quick. Funny thing is, when we were watching Bondi Vet a couple of weeks ago, when a dog had the same thing, they just chopped the top of the thigh bone off. Glad they didn’t do that.
17. I have on my desk a Tickle Me Elmo Extreme (TMX) and a What the Duck plushie. I can’t decide which I like more (prob WTD atm – but perhaps purely cos I’ve only had him for a few days). Elmo often gets raided for batteries when I’ve forgotten to buy in bulk for my flashes, and one has gone flat downstairs in the studio.
18. I never paid back my parents all of the money I borrowed from them for my first digital camera body. And while I have spoken to them about it, and we laugh about it now, it still haunts me.
19. I now regret buying my MX-6. And don’t look forward to trying to sell it. I just want it to be gone, and get my new car. I loved it. But it has to go.
20. People often think that either a) I’m less nerdy than I actually am, or b) I know more about computers than I actually do. Both are because I am only partly nerdy. And I can hide it well.
21. I read a fair bit. Nothing amazing, mostly just mind-numbing fiction, and not necessarily books I would want to own. But the thought of having a study with floor-to-ceiling shelves filled with books makes me far too excited.
22. I spend down time at work looking through design blogs that have furniture that I like, and contemplating whether I could reverse-engineer the pieces I like, and make them myself.
23. Something that seems to shock people, I am quite handy, and enjoy working with my hands. I do most of the handy-work around the house, have built small items of furniture, built a changeroom in my studio, gobos for the studio, and the wardrobe that Beth and I have. I have more ambitious projects I’m currently about to start on and cannot wait to start. I don’t know what it is, but my brain is just wired the way of making and building things. I do have my dad to thank, who spent a lot of time as a kid teaching me how to do the things he did around the house.
24. My dad is someone I admire incredibly, even though I never actually say it. He retired when I was 6 due to having Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and has never been able to work since. He’s suffered with it for basically as long as I’ve been alive, and as such I’ve never had a dad who would run around with me kicking the footy or things like that. I’ve had my issues with him (mainly when I was a teenager, and thought I knew best), but for the most part I appreciate what he has taught me and instilled into me. I entirely have him to thank for the fact that I’m a photographer, and that it is my dream job. I love that I get to talk to him now and ‘talk shop’, and then realise we’ve been yakking for a couple of hours. At some point, I would like to spend some time shooting with him, and have a great desire to digitise some of the things he’s shot over the past 50 years since he bought his first camera. And I love that he knows he can ring me in my office, and have a chat about stuff.
25. I am incredibly excited about the future. It literally keeps me up some nights, as I think about things, and try to plan some of how to make it happen. The long-term goals include working for myself full time, and Beth working with me. I sometimes wish I was 40 already, so I could see whether we’ve made it. I get excited by the fact that Beth wants to work with me, and I know that her presence and input will take the business further than I could ever have imagined on my own. The part of the dream that I’m not sure on yet, is whether I ever make the jump to start paying a non-family-member to work with me, but I do know that if I do, birthdays will be considered public holidays for each employee, and they’ll get a paid day off.