This is the third blog post on my return from the pandemic. I had a photography studio in Houston from 1998 until 2020 – over 20 years. Some were large, HUGE, and some were smaller. At the end of 2019, I was thinking deeply about the work. What am I doing and where am I going. The studio had always been a vehicle for that. I decided early in 2020 that I would NOT renew my studio lease in March and go “on the road” to create. Yes, March 2020, just as the COVID pandemic was starting…. Timing. At least I didn’t have to pay studio rent for a space I could not use. But travel was out of the question.
When we returned from France, I decided I could get “back on the road” and start that travel I had wanted to try. My “day job” from 1987 until 2004 had me on an airplane almost every week. Travel is nothing new. I actually like travel – or at least I’m used to it. My first opportunity was to going to New York state and visit a friend and photograph some area models.
I have to report – travel is just not what it used to be. COVID has hit lots of travel-related business – none harder than the airlines. As a former US Air Force officer, I had lots of friends that were pilots who left the service to join the airlines. I’m seeing that not so much anymore. Plus, airlines – in my observation – have always been a bit lazy and let pilots come to them, then took their pick. Post-COVID, I don’t think it’s that easy any more. One key thing to remember – every seat is full these days. If for any reason your flight does not fly, there is no “just put you on the next available flight.”
I will say my trip to New York was wonderful. It was good catching up with friends. All of the fine folks that were willing to model for me were great. I did lots of good photography and was very happy. There were a couple of small bumps in my travel – but my outbound flight arrived pretty much on time and my return flight was maybe 10 minutes late. If you look at the numbers of cancellations lately, the majority of flights are on time with no problems.
As I go forward, I will continue to travel for photography. Planning is underway for my next trip. If you read my previous blog post it was about our European travel. I will be planning that carefully for my future DOMESTIC travel. It’s just crazy out there and only good planning will reduce the crazy issues. I’ve also stripped down my gear bag and my trip time. I want one small camera bag and one duffel-style carry on for 3 days of travel. No combining locations – a simple in-and-out. I’m also taking a close look at what destinations are direct and how many flights there are per day.
Hope to see all of you out there. BTW – if you’re a model and you’re reading this please drop me an email with your location(s) and availabilities. At this point I don’t know where I’ll be next. If you are coming to Houston, please let me know – I shoot here too!