We all spend our Labor Day differently, most reflecting on our work and lives, as we enjoy the last holiday of the summer. My girlfriend/best friend/ long time partner is enjoying her spin class for the energy, and then changing out her summer clothes for her fall clothes. I'm sitting at one of my favorite dog parks with my Duke, a black Labrador mix. Duke has been enjoying his day by being chased or being the chaser.
Since today is a day of reflection, I think about my choice of moving into retirement from a secure law enforcement job, with the Federal Government. It's a great photography job, fantastic assignments, work with equipment that I would never think about using as a civilian or even being able to afford. It does have one down side, with the very nature of the position, you can't go into details about what you do.
You can't go and tell a new client about that great travel assignment, where you photograph some technique that was amazing. Matter of fact, you can't even tell people where your going on your assignment. Since your only as good as your last assignment, it's hard to tell someone your work history. It's also specially hard when you can not show any of the work from those assignments.
That's the problem that I have, from working for the Federal Government. Trying to prove that, yes, I've worked in a photography career and can do the work. I could never go and tell a prospect client any of the details to my federal employment, just to try and get them as a client. Giving details about photographing the command staff at one of our field offices, or even showing the final portraits is not permitted.
So what do you do to show that you have been working in the photography industry? One way is to take on jobs, that can fit in between your federal employer's assignments. One aspect of my job, requires that I be on call almost twenty four seven, it has changed over the years and so have my private photography projects. There have been times, where I'm traveling week after week, and then their was times, I could photograph weddings because I knew I wouldn't be chosen for a travel assignment. This has put a condition on what types of work that I can do, outside of my government employment, while I'm still employed.