I’ve always been lucky because there’s a very thin line between my work and my personal life. That’s because I’ve never looked at what I do for a living as work, or at least if one defines work in negative terms.
I became a photographer and later a filmmaker because I’m a born storyteller and the camera is a means to that end for me. I come from a long line of storytellers, as evidenced by boxes of old letters telling the tales of family long gone. While they may have told their tales by pen, through their words, I have chosen the camera as my tool to tell the stories that I have to tell. So how could I possibly equate the word work with the professional life that I’ve built – telling the stories of people and companies around the world? It’s in my blood.
Sure, there have been jobs through the years that seem a lot more like work than others, especially when a client hasn’t trusted their instincts in why they hired me by allowing me to trust mine. But there have been so many other jobs where I’ve had to pinch myself to believe that they’re real.
I’m also a firm believer in following my instincts and that has led to many rewarding opportunities in my life. I’ve been doing that a lot lately and the universe is opening up for me. I’ve stopped waiting for someone else to validate me in order for me to pursue a project that I’m passionate about. I’ve stopped telling myself all the reasons that I shouldn’t do something and I’ve replaced them with all the reasons that I should. I think about the pros and don’t dwell on the cons. And that’s because I’ve blurred the lines between work and pleasure.
I’ve just completed a 99-day journey shooting a documentary on change makers – people who were making a positive difference in the world. Over the weekend I got an email, inviting me to show my ten-minute tease at the opening of the European Summit For Global Transformation in Amsterdam, this weekend. I immediately started to discount it, telling myself that I didn’t have enough notice etc. etc. Then I saw it differently – I saw it as an incredible opportunity to not only show the tease of my film but to network with like minded people. So, this evening I’m headed to Amsterdam.
Years ago when I was traveling a lot, shooting for magazines like Travel & Leisure and National Geographic Traveler, as I departed for my trips, my mother always used to say – “have a nice vacation”. I used to get annoyed because I thought that she didn’t recognize the fact that I was working and not going on vacation. But, as I reflect back on the “work dynamic” that I’ve set up for myself, I think – maybe she was the one that had it right. It’s been one long pleasure trip.