January 2018 Issue

Dear Kristi Drago-Price Photography,

Remember that time back in commercial photo school when we were getting frustrated in the studio lighting class?  A male classmate came up and patted us on the head to say: “Don’t worry, you’re a pretty girl who will get a husband to take care of you in no time.”  Our eyes widened and mouth hung open in shock as the professor, also male, nodded his head in agreement.  This was the photo industry in the 90s.  

Remember when we transferred to a fine art photography program? We quickly realized that not having a trust fund (like the rest of the “starving artist” classmates) meant we had to work our way through college…only to be called a “sell-out” for our post-graduation corporate Conde Nast lifestyle (and the corporate card that went along with it). 

Remember how surprised our family was to hear that being a photo editor at BRIDES magazine meant you stood behind the photographer. “Shouldn’t you be taking the photos?” they asked in thick Long Island accents. 

For those reasons, and so many more, we had to prove to the chauvinist classmate, the trust fund hipsters, the family members and (most importantly) ourselves that we could run our own successful photography business, standing behind the camera. And we did it, and it was invigorating and filled our heart with joy!  

Nine-ish years later, our back would ache just looking at our camera bag. Mexican takeout became the only thing that would get us through the post-production hours tied to the computer (longing for the days of the darkroom). Clients were still happy, and work was consistent, but inside you have to admit it started to feel a little forced. 

Then one of us started sneaking around with someone else. Instead of brides and grooms, that person was finding enjoyment with a new type of client, the solo-entrepreneur. Okay fine, it was ME! I was cheating on you with Editor’s Edge.

I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting, and as we step into 2018, I’m making space for Editor’s Edge and we’re going to go all the way. I hate to use the cliché “it’s not you, it’s me” because I’m not dumping you, I’m just kicking out the chase, the worry of the next gig and all the (literal) baggage that goes along with it. 

You’re still my first love and my forever side-hustle, we just need to embrace a new relationship status called “the paid hobby.”

With all my love,