A Life in the Day Of
If you read this blog you know I take photos but you probably don’t know so much about my secret other life. Yes, I have a day job.
My aspiration is to give it up one day soon and immerse myself in my photography, as a wedding photographer but also as a photography student.
I’m desperate to go back to studying and do some sort of fine art photography qualification because as well as interesting me, I know it’ll make my wedding photography better and more creative.
But in the mean time I get up every day (even when I’ve shot a wedding at the weekend!) and go to my job as a social housing manager.
It’s hard to describe what I do on a day to day basis. I might be writing policies and procedures (housing is a highly legislated for sector), supervising my team, overseeing a serious anti-social behaviour case, monitoring our rent collection performance, investigating a formal complaint, representing the organisation at a strategic level at external forums, working on the tender of new contracts, working on the hand over of a new development, or working on projects to improve our partnership working with other organisations.
It’s a busy job and very different from the world of weddings and photography.
As well as the quantifiable, planned and day to day tasks, there are always a number of unforeseen circumstances and things that happen that mean you have to drop everything.
Someone has died in their property, someone is due to be evicted, someone’s son has been badly beaten up by a local gang, someone’s partner has been persistently violent towards them and they need advice about escaping the violence, someone needs to be sectioned under the mental health act or, as happened one day recently, someone has such a serious leak into their property that their roof is about to collapse and their electrics are dangerous.
In Housing you probably have contact with around 10 – 15% of your tenants at one time and they are always the ones that have a problem, many of which are serious and terrible and upsetting, so it can give you a disproportionately gloomy view of the world.
I don’t dislike my day job – I think it’s worthwhile and, probably beneficial to society. I’m not an arms dealer or a banker (sorry banker friends) and I generally help people that are often quite vulnerable for a living but having been in this sector for eight years, I’m ready to move to the lighter world of weddings and the arts.
I could tell you some stories though. There was the 95 year old man that died in his property with no next of kin. When we went to clear it out we found that he’d installed his own beam across the ceiling of the living room, where he had a range of hooks. It was later when we found the cupboard full of fetish clothing and the pictures of him hanging from the hooks that the penny dropped.
There was the lady who, on my first job as a housing officer, would always come out if she saw me on her estate and bring me a cup of tea.
There was the lady with mental health problems who used to upset her neighbours by singing nursery rhymes at the top of her voice, at all hours of the day and night.
There are the people that are lonely and phone up for a chat because they have no one else to talk to.
What makes this job interesting is the people and their stories so it should come as no surprise that I’m drawn to wedding photography as it gives me a chance to meet people and tell their stories with my camera.
Happy Friday x