Today Farrell texted me and asked how I felt about being a Band Photographer. I’m assuming he means, “You, my lawfully wedded wife, own a camera and should therefore take pictures of my band,” but it did get me thinking about my various chapters as a professional (fill-in-the-blank) over the past few years (and how I actually wouldn’t mind being a band photographer).
Professional Hairwrapper. Following four summers of rigorous training at a local amusement park, I was brought on as a freelance contractor to perform my skills at a Fourth of July barbecue, hosted by my stepmom’s friend. The gaggle of pre-tween girls were thrilled with the piece of embroidery floss tied in their hair. I think I earned $20. (note: don’t follow that site’s instructions; that’s an awful technique)
Graphic Designer. Junior year in high school, my Digital Photography teacher asked who wanted to design the cover for the Gym Night brochure. (another note: what is Gym Night? I can’t accurately describe it. Something like a two-day school spirit rally with themed, choreographed dances) Apparently I volunteered, but I had to be reminded of this fact two days before the cover was due. The theme was “Broadway” and I shamelessly lifted images of musical titles and characters from Google Images, spelled out “GYM NIGHT 2005” in the most obvious font I could find, and filled every pixel of negative space with stars. I forgot to put my name on it and my $25 payment never materialized. Who could guess that gym teachers weren’t good at accounting?
Wedding Photographer. Another case of not fully understanding what I signed up for. My high school newspaper teacher asked me to attend a family function and take pictures. The word “wedding” might have been mentioned, but I arrived assuming it was some sort of pre-wedding function…until my mom dropped me off at a church. I still feel bad for how those pictures probably turned out; I knew very little about photography at the time (despite being the newspaper’s Photography Editor) and nothing about wedding photography. But I probably earned the highest hourly rate I will ever earn in my entire life: $50 an hour (for two whole hours).
Now I’m as close to being an actual “professional” as I ever have been (war profiteering doesn’t count…) and what do I end up doing? As Market Analyst Kirstin, I mostly spend my workday reading a lot of New York Times, seeing how many ridiculous program acronyms I can find (NACHOS, BaTMAN, RoBIN, DUDE, SURF, etc) and drawing up a business plans for my upcoming gig with the Language of Termites (Farrell’s band) or whatever other unrealistic career I’m obsessing over at the moment (which includes, but is not limited to, cupcakery owner and/or DIY/Etsy Queen).
For anybody interested in soliciting for my multitude of useful services, (did I mention pretzel twirling?) please note that these days I only accept (advanced) payment in the form of kittens and Modcloth.