Off The Grid

Detroit Michigan Model Photographer Mary DuPrie

Well, well, well… where have you been!? Nowhere exciting, just off the grid. No exciting vacations, no health issues… just burned out, overwhelmed and underwhelmed.

An often used phrase I like is “I didn’t sign up for this”.   I’m sure a lot of photographers can relate. Don’t get me wrong, digital has been great and without it I wouldn’t be a professional photographer. My images were never good enough shooting film that anyone would ever pay me for them (perhaps by now someone would). But I feel I would of given up and moved on long ago to another artsy fartsy adventure.

As I don’t label myself a photographer as much as an artist who happened to stumble upon it. I don’t have the “I have to be a photographer or I’ll die gene”. I do however have the gene where I must “create” something with my hands and my eye towards design, whatever that might be.

It’s when couples get married to someone and they change… one partner says “I didn’t sign up for this”.   The honeymoon phase is over.   Living day to day in the same house sets in.  That’s what photography has become, day to day living.   Did you pick up the cleaning, you left dishes in the sink, why didn’t you pick up milk, what do you want for dinner, you need to pick up Joey, Susie broke her glasses again… blah blah blah.  It’s a husband or a wife… I signed up for a lover.

To “keep” a husband or a wife as a lover is an almost impossible task.

I tend to change careers every 7 years like clockwork and here I am at that crossroad. I don’t plan on leaving photography but the idea of even shooting sounds like a lot of work. I have so much invested in this particular career and that’s keeping me here. If the investment was much less I’m not sure what I would be doing.

The diversity of talents a photographer needs to acquire can be overwhelming.

I want to have fun shooting,  great music, laughing and dancing… asking clients to do silly things.  I want to laugh so hard I can’t keep my camera still enough to get the shot!  All this stuff has become so serious. I guess that’s why they call it The Business of Photography.

And on a side note, for all the thousands, no hundreds, wait ehhh 10’s, humm five people who asked “What happened to Mary?”

You will be my invited guest to any workshop I’m having in 2011! yoo hoo… you know who you are!

20 comments category: Photographing models,Workshop

1 frank t January 4, 2011 at 6:22 pm


I assumed you were taking a well deserved break from a very ambitious blog schedule – and taking time for you. I didn’t want to bother you (as I am sure there are a number of others who felt the same) as I feel that it is necessary to take time away from the “job” and being always “on.”

thanks for sharing.

frank t recently posted..Maternity and Family Portraits


2 Juan Manzano January 4, 2011 at 9:31 am

Welcome back from a well deserved time-out.
When things get somewhat difficult I try to remind myself that things are never as bad as I think or as good as other people pretend.
Somehow it works for me.
As far as changes in personal life, I try to make important changes every 6 or 7 years and start planning the changes after 5 years.
2011 is a year “5”. I am starting planning.

Happy New Year and all the best for you. You deserve it…


3 Mary DuPrie January 4, 2011 at 12:39 am

Ahhh, thanks everyone.

I’m so quilting of thinking of doing great and thoughtful things with no follow through…

I have to say the follow through is what people remember. I should send a thank you note, I should bring a bottle of wine, I should send some flowers, I should donate some money, I should leave a comment on this great blog, I should…


4 Connie January 4, 2011 at 12:03 am

Glad you’re back Mary, and all is well, missed your inspiration.


5 Caleb January 3, 2011 at 11:10 pm

Your honeymoon phase might be over, but mine is just starting. Your love of the craft helped to inspire mine. Take that for what it’s worth. 🙂


6 Mary DuPrie January 4, 2011 at 12:41 am

Thanks Caleb… yes the honeymoon phase is heaven


7 Rick Rosen January 3, 2011 at 11:10 pm

Hi Mary,
I was just asking Claude about you the other day. I am in MI now until next Friday. Perhaps we can get together and talk about the business of photography. Give me a call when you can; 949 322-1561.
All the best,


8 Mary DuPrie January 4, 2011 at 12:40 am

Hey Rick
Just give me a call when it’s convenient. Come by for a shoot!


9 Matt January 3, 2011 at 8:47 pm

Yay!! Glad you are back. I was actually getting a little worried. And, I missed seeing the little star on my Safari browser saying that you had updated your site. Yes, life and marriage can get overwhelming. For me, I change jobs about every 4 years. I have only changed careers one of those times, but 4 years is about the max I can take on the job. The marriage is going on 10+, the wife keeps wondering when…. Ha Ha

Welcome back and Happy New Year!!!


10 Mary DuPrie January 4, 2011 at 12:43 am

ahh, i didn’t know it gives you a star… now I feel really guilty

Stars were a huge incentive in grade school. I loved those gold stars.

Always the competitor


11 Josh R. January 3, 2011 at 12:22 pm

Sounds like you need to find a personal project you can be passionate about.


12 Mike January 3, 2011 at 10:31 am

Yay! Hope to see much more this year, when you get the time, no hurry 🙂


13 Paris Carter January 3, 2011 at 9:15 am

I hate to say your frustrations make me feel good, but ‘misery’ enjoys company;).
The hardest part of photography for me has always been mixing the art and the business. I think it will always be a struggle for most of us. The good thing is Mary, you truly are great at what you do. I bet you will find a different sort of inspiration and maybe create some personal work to balance it? Balance is my key word this year! Best wishes for 2011!


14 Mary DuPrie January 4, 2011 at 12:44 am

Yes balance… that’s why I’ve taken up Ballet.


15 Cliff Workman January 3, 2011 at 9:09 am

Welcome Back Mary!

Glad your rested and OK! Always enjoy reading and learning from your blog here. Also, whenever I hit that burnout stage I find the little video that Zack Arias did on Scott Kelby’s blog last year helps.

Again, welcome back and Happy New Year!


16 Mary DuPrie January 4, 2011 at 12:44 am

ahh yes, the winter blues. i can relate.


17 Bruce Albert January 3, 2011 at 8:41 am

I was too busy getting out those last promised images for the holidays to ask what happened to Mary as I assumed she was in the same state of opperations. If you suffer from the 7 year
itch, scratch it, don’t amputate it. Digital photography is still too new to bore me, I came
from the age of preproduction and film, you remember the old sayings “take a picture
it lasts longer”, and “photographs don’t lie” some times I wish I was back there. I’m saving
my Omega D-2 and fine brushes for painting out dust for retirement. Do you want to book
for one of my workshops well in advance?


18 Craig January 3, 2011 at 5:30 am

Just the other day I looked back at the site and wondered why you hadnt posted since my birthday! I know the feeling your going through, I sometimes loose the passion of my “paying” hobby once it became a business. Most people dont realise that only about 10% of being a professional photographer is actually being, well, a photographer. You work, and your posts are quite an inspiration over the pond, it would be a shame to lose you…so don’t hang up that camera strap yet 🙂


19 Viktor January 3, 2011 at 2:42 am

I did not ask “What happened to Mary?” just kept on checking back. Does it count?


20 Mary DuPrie January 4, 2011 at 12:46 am

thoughts are nice… but actions get results
next time I disappear I’m afraid my in box will be full!


Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge

Previous post:

Next post: