The Illusion

June 29, 2016

In the cover photo we see an old wooden boat past its prime; but certainly had its share of glory back in the day. On the bow section we see the name of the boat “Freedom 55”. People have asked me whether I photoshopped in the name of the boat. The answer is no, I did not.

It is likely that the boat was named after a dream failed to materialize. In advertising we often see a marketing term or product transcend the original intention and become a household word. There are many that come to mind; Xerox, Kleenex, Popsicle and Scotch tape.

In 2000, London Life created a subsidiary called Freedom 55. The goal was to sell financial products intended to help you retire at age 55. Thus Freedom 55 became synonymous with retirement and a household word. The boat was likely named as a pun or somebody’s broken retirement dream.

What does the naming of a boat have to do with photography? It actually has a lot to do with photography. If you are a professional photographer you must make plans for your own “Freedom 55” and succession planning for your business. If you are a serious amateur who has dreams of generating a retirement income there may be stormy waters ahead. Either scenario requires careful planning. Some people will be successful at this and some will end with a broken dream. Although in a photographic perspective, you might paint a famous moniker on your lens cap instead of a boat.

As we pass through the years and decades we experience pivotal moments in our lives. These will sometimes snap our heads back to attention and get ourselves back on the right path. These moments help us re-examine our lives; sort of like the annual year in review show on television. Recently I had one of these moments when an old friend of mine passed away at the young age of 52. It made me think long and hard and I realized that sometimes there is no “Freedom 55” and we have to live our life to the fullest as sometimes there is no tomorrow.

For photographers this means you have to carefully look at your future plans and at the same time come up with your plan B. Will I have to work longer? Can I actually generate any income in retirement? What if my health starts to fail me?

Moral of the story: Get out there and experience life! Create some meaningful images at the same time!

 

Watsonphotography.ca creates unique images of fashion, models, people, travel, nature and racing sports by Toronto photographer Peter Watson.

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