2011 marked the end of my 15th year as a full time pro photographer. If you'd asked me back in 1996 (when I was just starting out with a few hundred pounds in the bank and an F801 with a couple of lenses) if I'd still be a photographer 15 years down the line you probably would've been met with a blank look. Still? I hadn't even turned a profit yet.
If you're a regular here you'll know from some of the posts I've written over the past few years that it's not always been an easy ride. From a pro's perspective costs are up, there's more competition, budgets are down and fees are static or falling. 2011 didn't change any of that. There's never been a more important time to be good at the 'pro' part of pro photographer. Luckily, it appears that I can still add and subtract reasonably well.
More importantly, there are enough clients out there who appreciate a job well done for me to continue to earn a living doing something that I love. The people that I work with - from magazine editors and art directors to the riders who turn up with enthusiasm, in all weathers, to ride that corner 'just one more time' - are fantastic. If you've worked with me over the past few years... thank you. I couldn't do what I do without you.
So 2011 turned out to be a pretty good year despite recession gloom. It turns out that more people like riding bikes than ever before - and who can blame them? Bikes rock. All I do is try to capture that essence of that simple truth. Over the year I scored 17 covers across 4 magazine titles, which equals my previous best. Then again, I didn't ride my bike as much as I'd like... but there's always the next 12 months to put that right.
Whatever your plans for 2012, thanks for reading over the past year. Here's to 2012!
Golden hour. Scott Nicol, Santa Cruz CA
Nikon D300, 50-150mm f/2.8, 1/500sec f/4 @ ISO200