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The big step, Going full time

The back story

I’ve been working a full-time day-job at Skarabee as a developer for the past 15 years. 8 years ago I rolled into photography and started as a part-time photographer. Finding a balance between a full time job, photography and family was a tough exercise, but we always made it work. I say ‘we’, because without the support of my wife that wouldn’t have been possible.

In those last 8 years I learned that I really love photography, when I haven’t been out shooting for a while I really miss it. My focus was on wedding photography because that is my ‘thing’, but also because it is the easiest to combine with a day job. I haven taken on some commercial assignments too but for the most part I had to say NO to potential clients because I couldn’t fit it in my schedule.

A good friend of mine always thinks we can fit 30 hours in a day… I wish that was the case.

The turning point

Last year I invested some more time in personal work, blogging, social media, networking. I’ve taken on a couple of new opportunities and assignments, some outside my regular scope of work. I learned that when you invest time, new opportunities seem to find you. But soon I found myself having to say NO again … because of a lack of time, or not being able to always take a day off at work.

Sometimes you just have to follow your heart and take the leap.

The decision *with a small heart*

I quit my day job to go full time. I feel 80% excited and 20% scared. (and I’ll probably wake up tomorrow feeling 20%/80%) Leaving a fun job and colleagues that have become friends over the past 15 years isn’t easy, stepping away from a fixed income feels like jumping of a cliff.

I guess this is something that has been on my mind for a couple of years now but I always found a reason (excuse) not to make the switch.

Sometimes you just have to follow your heart and take the leap.

I don’t want to wake up in 5 years time and feel sorry for myself that I never went for it.

A midlife ?

A midlife I hear you ask. Sure, I’m at halfway mark to 40 but if this was a midlife I’d be happy to choose between a bike or a mistress. Considering I’m not even into bikes that much that would have been the easy choice. So not a midlife but a choice of heart AND a well thought of decision. I don’t want to wake up in 5 years time and feel sorry for myself that I never went for it.

It won’t just be photography

I don’t wan’t to wake up in 5 years regretting that I did (jump) either.

Front End (Web) development has always been a passion of mine. So as a consultant I’ll be offering my expertise as full stack developer too. That way I’ll maintain my IT skills and force myself to stay up to date with trends in design, and evolution in technology. Photography will be taking the forefront and on some projects I’ll even be able to combine my skills, but at least this way I’ll be able to manage my own agenda.

Lets connect – lets work together

So for 2017 my focus won’t just be on wedding photography. I welcome commercial assignments (event photography, portrait, product and architectural photography). Whether you need a hand on an in-house project/application or your company needs a fresh website or online-store for your company. I can now make myself available 😉

The future is what I’ll make of it. Wish me luck 😉

See you soon!

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8 Comments so far  
by Frank 12.10.16 3:02 pm

You are More than capabLE of doing this. I always enjoy looking at your work. Best of luck!

by Glenn Vanderbeke 12.10.16 12:35 am

Succes Tom! (y)

by Wes 12.09.16 7:20 pm

Succes Tom!!

by tom.leuntjens@gmail.com 12.10.16 4:28 pm

thx. “copy” that 😉

by Anouck Meier 12.09.16 4:58 pm

Excellent! I know all about taking that leap… Looking forward to seeing more of your work and maybe cooperate on some projects! Best of luck!

by tom.leuntjens@gmail.com 12.10.16 4:27 pm

@Leen, moh Leentje. wist ik niet dat je die stap nog niet had gezet

by Leentje 12.09.16 4:49 pm

je gaat dat goed doen, Tom. Ooit durf ik ook!

by Kristof Malfait 12.09.16 3:01 pm

Good luck, U got what it takes, i guess