It’s been a tough few years! Three years ago I was employed as a Senior Architectural Design Manager on an US$18bn mega-project in the Middle East, but then the recession hit and I became a casualty of the economic downturn as projects across the region were either suspended or cancelled altogether. Returning to South Africa, and unable to secure employment directly in architecture either locally or abroad, I was forced to fall back on my photography to try and make whatever living I could. It’s been a long tough road trying to network locally and internationally, make a name for myself and find a way to grow a new business but it seems to finally all be coming together.

Recessions are of course terrible things for many but I do believe they are a necessary evil to help realign free-market economies. We however lost everything in this one, some big photography projects failed, some lucrative promised-work never materialised, we cashed in what savings policies we had and had to borrow more money from family members to help make ends meet. We downsized on everything to try and cut expenditure and stretch what little money we had. I’ve worked 15-hour days working late into the night and over weekends chasing new work and making sure I give the best of service to every client I get.

I don’t think we’re out of the woods yet, as it is still very tough out there, but things certainly seem to be looking up. I’m managing to get more and more work, getting published more and more often again and am making some terrific new friends in the most unexpected of places. Recessions are good sometimes as they force many people into considering paths through life that they might not otherwise have had the courage to follow, help you appreciate what you have got, strengthen family bonds, and make you look deep into yourself to find the strength and courage to believe you can succeed.

This is my ‘profit and loss’ graph below for the last three years, I’m not ashamed to share, showing how we’re managing to turn things around here and slowly dig ourselves out of what has been a long terrible tough path. To all the new friends we’ve made, loyal clients who bring us repeat business and the people who have given us the moral help and support to see us through, THANK YOU ALL!