2018 was a big year for my career. After a four-year break from being able to work due to living overseas in Italy without a work visa (my husband and I lived there while he was stationed with a U.S. Army unit and they did not allow spouses work visas), I was finally able to work again once we returned stateside.
We’re back in Kansas City and I immediately hit the ground running with editorial work. Some of my favorite assignments came from paying clients, which was really exciting after running a blog for our entire stint in Italy that earned no money. It turned out to be a great portfolio piece for me, though, and I believe it led me to picking up some food clients!
I also returned to my newspaper roots, shooting for the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times, as well as AARP, the American Legion, and then local entertainment magazines 435 and Feast Magazine. HUGE thank you to all the fantastic editors who hired me for these assignments — you did wonders for my self-esteem and also for my wallet. I was actually able to pay all our bills exclusively on freelance work for a few months while Tyler was in between jobs, which was a pretty cool thing to do after not earning any substantial income for years.
I sort of jumped into freelance work not knowing what I was doing, and was fortunate to kind of have an easy transition into it, as we lived with my mom during the first half of the year while we sorted our lives out. I’ve never 100% freelanced before — I’ve only done a few assignments here and there on top of working as a staff photographer or a student. But because my mom helped unburden us from some bills while we lived with her, it made it easier from a financial standpoint to figure out the freelance life, and set things up nicely for when I did have to support us with my photography (as well as family photo and Fizzolino Prosecco truck gigs!)
It was so cool to be able to do photojournalism as a mom. I remember when I went to Mizzou, I would ask every female photographer with children that came through there during contests and workshops how they balanced motherhood and photography. I remember always being a little disappointed with the answers, because they never really reflected what I wanted — which was to be the primary caretaker and not rely on childcare outside of our family (though no judgment to those who do, of course — this was just what I wanted for my family). So when I finally had the opportunity to do what I had been asking other women about for years, it was exhilarating — and, of course, super exhausting at the same time.
I managed to breastfeed our son, Fox, for the entire first year of his life (and we’re still going!) while juggling work, which ranged from part-time to full-time depending on the month. I relied heavily on my husband to watch him (Tyler spent a few months this year in between jobs, or we scheduled around his work schedule) or our family members, like both of our mothers who live locally. We moved back to this area for that reason exactly, and I’m so thankful that we have a supportive family that is willing and able to watch our son – and, frankly, are sometimes more happy to see him than they are us!
And when we couldn’t work out schedules to accommodate leaving Fox with someone else, he came with me! I worked a huge day for the New York Times during the primaries this year, and wore Fox half the day until Tyler was off work. It was so cool, and he was so chill, and it made for quite the icebreaker. He was very popular. It was one of the most memorable things I’ve ever done, and I’m so glad I can share my work with my son.
Anyway, on top of editorial work, I also took a ton of personal photos — mostly of the ones I love, sometimes of food and travels. They’re some of my favorite images.
I’m happy to see most of my favorite images were taken on my DSLR and not on my phone, which encourages me to get my DSLR out more often.
The work I did this year was rewarding. I probably shot a lot less than I have in the last few years, but I shot more of what I wanted to shoot, which was pretty cool. I focused a lot on food assignments and editorial newspaper work, though I did some family photo work on the side. I did not shoot a lot of personal projects, and barely wrote for my lifestyle blog, but it was just impossible between renovating a Prosecco truck, buying a house, working for people who actually paid me and you know, raising a tiny human. I’m okay with that, though, because I loved the assignments I did get, and if you can shoot what you want and get paid for it, isn’t that the dream? More of that in 2019, please.
In 2019, I’d love to shoot more video, book a few food clients (like restaurants and brands), get deeper into my favorite subjects (agriculture, military, food and long form documentary) and just generally grow my own business. I’d like to hone in more on my style and expand my client base, but shoot more of what speaks to me. I assume this will take a few years, and I’m 100% fine with that.
2018 was crazy, in mostly good ways. Here’s to a less wild but just as fun 2019.
All photographs copyright © Katie Currid, 2019. All rights reserved.