The Freelance Ocean
I had been in Montreal for about a month now. Sorting out the accommodation issue happened very quickly, so much so that I never left the first place I stayed in. Finding work however always takes longer. In another Canadian city, I could have settled for a general retail / customer service job, especially with the extra demand before the Christmas. However in Montreal, all these jobs required you to be bilingual. At this point my French was, well atrocious.
Early on in the job hunt, I decided to put myself out there as a freelancer. I had picked up various freelance work in Manchester, mainly for the university. It started when I photographed a charity show, the CATs (Cancer Awareness in Teenagers) a talent show organised by the student's union to raise awareness about cancer and young people. The pay barely covered my bus fair, but it was my foot in a rather lucrative door. Soon, I found myself photographing graduation balls and other end of academic year events with the last I shot being a graduation ball held inside a beautiful converted monastery.
This is where I left my Manchester freelancing work as it was time to move to Canada. After a few months I was hired by Banff Photography which allowed me to live and work in the Canadian Rockies, arguably one of the most beautiful places on Earth. But again, before I knew it, it was time to move on again.
Which is how I ended up here, a freelancer looking for work. I placed several ads on Kijiji and watched them drop, like heavy stones in water. There were a lot of people spamming Kijiji with ads for photography services, which meant existing ads would quickly drop down and sink to the depths of page 9 and below, never to see sunlight again.
Despite this, some work did come my way. The first of which was an office party held in a sushi restaurant on the other side of town. Shooting this event was straight forward and enjoyable. After shooting a couple of graduation balls, you are pretty much ready to shoot any event, apart from weddings.
The event organiser, and office boss, Richard was very friendly and we worked well together. I felt like I was shooting an event for an old friend, rather than some bloke that found me on Kijiji. Richard also hired a performing mind reader, Jonathan, of the Jonathan's Mysteries of the Mind Show. He was a natural entertainer and spent the later part of the night generally causing mischief.
His performances were mostly based on his ability to extract information from participating audience members, such as numbers, words and whether they were lying or telling the truth about a certain event. I am not quiet sure how he did most of his tricks. A keen eye for body language, general probability, sleight of mind? Probably a combination of all of the above, and it was all very entertaining.
I left that night thinking, is there a better job? Being invited to someone's party, watch a mind show and talk to people whilst doing something I love, take photos. I even got to eat sushi as well. I wonder, is this my Montreal equivalent of photographing the CATs event? And if so, what will the monastery graduation ball equivalent shoot be? But to make that happen, I had to dive back into the freelance ocean.