Skip to content

Putting Myself Fully Into It

January 30, 2012

. . . . . . . .

Sometime last year, I read an interview with photographer Mikael Kennedy. One thing he said really struck me, and I wrote it down because I didn’t want to forget it.

“I can say this though, there was a moment, sometime in 2002 or 2003 when I was sitting by the sea, up on an island off the coast of New Hampshire when I realized I could make my life into anything I wanted, that I could choose my reality. That was when I put myself fully into this, that I decided to just go and see what happened, nothing else mattered.”

[Link to the full interview is here]

These words really resonated with me. At one point last year, I had a similar moment (although I think it struck me when I was in the shower, where I seem to hatch most of my ideas). I finally realized that I needed to make a change in my life and in my career. It was time, as Mikael says, to “put myself fully into this.”

So just after the new year, I gave my notice and resigned from my job, and Friday was my last day at the office.  It was a very good day.

I’m going to pursue photography full-time this year and see where it leads me.  I have a lot of ideas and projects I’ve wanted to work on, but my job kept me from doing a lot of it.  I’m very, very excited to be able to devote my time to something I love.

I’ll have more to share in the coming weeks. I’m going to take a few weeks to myself to regroup, get settled, unpack my boxes from London, get organized. (Right now, I’m just enjoying a Monday morning without waking up and rushing to the office in time for a 9am meeting.  It’s pretty damn amazing.)

In the meantime, the good news is that I’m now looking for commissions, projects and collaborations – and I would love to hear from you if you have something in mind. Drop me a note at brianwferry [at] gmail [dot] com.
Please do share my info with friends and colleagues, too.  I’ve been amazed by the support of this community in the past, and I appreciate your continued support as I move forward into a new chapter.

I will say this: I can’t wait for what’s ahead.

More soon.

  1. January 30, 2012 10:44 am

    That sounds very exciting! Good luck with it all!
    I bet lots of people wish they had done, could do, or might still do the same.

  2. January 30, 2012 10:47 am

    Brian you rocks! congrats for your decision and courage for the coming time! :)

  3. marthasnail permalink
    January 30, 2012 10:48 am

    that’s a great quote by mikael. i’m so happy for you, b! can’t wait to see what’s on the horizon.

  4. January 30, 2012 10:48 am

    Congrats Brian! Very exciting news. I know so many lawyers that talk about making the big leap and doing the thing that they love but very few who actually go out and do it. Very happy you’re taking this step.

  5. Louise T permalink
    January 30, 2012 10:48 am

    That is amazing news. Congratulations. I have done this twice in my life (left academia then left full-time work in publishing) and on both occasions, though there were hiccups, I never regretted it. I think the best way to live your life is as if it is very very short; if you ask yourself what would you do if you had a year left to live? and you’d change nothing, then you have reached an equilibrium that few can lay claim to. I look forward to seeing your pictures, and work, develop and blossom.

  6. January 30, 2012 10:51 am

    i am so excited to see where this takes you brian.

  7. January 30, 2012 10:53 am

    big cheers over here, bf!! that’s a great quote and there will undoubtedly be great things to come. hooray!

  8. January 30, 2012 10:53 am

    wonderful. congratulations!!!!!

  9. January 30, 2012 10:55 am

    So exciting and inspiring, Brian! Congratulations!

  10. January 30, 2012 10:55 am

    congratulations!!! that’s amazing and you will do amazingly well i know :-)

  11. January 30, 2012 10:56 am

    so happy for you brian. today must feel so surreal to you. enjoy it! (i know you will)

  12. January 30, 2012 10:58 am

    Congratulations Brian. Best of luck! Looking forward to seeing more work in the future.

  13. January 30, 2012 10:59 am

    Congratulations, Brian. I recently left my job in finance to pursue a career in food. For years, fear kept me from leaving my comfort zone (one that was never very comfortable), but after my sister asked me what I would do if I were at the same job in a year, I knew it was time to pony up, and I applied to culinary school. It’s been a challenge piecing together a schedule that resembles a full-time job, at least so I can survive, but each day I wake up excited. I look forward to following along this new chapter for you.

  14. January 30, 2012 11:04 am

    Wonderful! I wish you the very best. It’ll be so neat to see what you’ll be working on! I admire your courage and passion.

  15. January 30, 2012 11:08 am

    wow, brian, what news! how much i admire you for following your passion, that’s something i think we should all do a little more. i hope nothing but the best for you!

  16. January 30, 2012 11:12 am

    Exactly right. Congratulations, Brian.

  17. January 30, 2012 11:14 am

    Brian, your work is terrific! I’m excited to follow along and watch your career will grow and flourish. Be strong, be brave, be true.

  18. January 30, 2012 11:21 am

    Congrats, Brian. Even though at times it’s a little terrifying to be so in flux with my income, it’s the best decision I ever made and the thought of going back to a full time job fills me with dread! I think this means you should come to LA to get some sun, no?? (It’s 75 degrees right now.) For business purposes, of course. Think of all the photos.

  19. January 30, 2012 11:22 am

    congratulations and best of luck in your future endeavors! can’t wait to see what’s to come!

  20. January 30, 2012 11:32 am

    Cheers to that Brian!

  21. Sarah permalink
    January 30, 2012 11:33 am

    This is great news – congratulations! Really looking forward to seeing the fruits of your work.

  22. mghallock permalink
    January 30, 2012 11:41 am

    I’m a new follower, but this resonates strongly with me.

    Last year, I jumped feet-first and moved from Detroit to NYC on a lark, starting at an advertising agency that has come to be unfulfilling. Similarly, I find projects in my head I don’t have time to complete — I’m plotting my exit, and this note has made me think to do it sooner than later.

  23. January 30, 2012 11:49 am

    i am forcing truly’s hands into tiny fist pumps in your honour. you are brave and awesome.

  24. January 30, 2012 11:56 am

    so happy for you brian. it much be catching. i just wrote similar things yesterday about looking forward to what comes next. it’s an exciting feeling!!!

  25. January 30, 2012 12:01 pm

    congratulations brian! such an excellent quote.

  26. January 30, 2012 12:11 pm


  27. January 30, 2012 12:13 pm

    How very exciting! Congratulations on taking a big leap – I can’t wait to follow your progress and the adventure.

  28. January 30, 2012 12:17 pm

    good luck for those new projects !

  29. January 30, 2012 12:35 pm

    That’s so exciting. I just recently found your blog and I have to say I think you are very talented. Great work! I look forward to following your adventure on this new path.

  30. January 30, 2012 12:50 pm

    Congratulations on your courageous choice.

  31. January 30, 2012 12:57 pm

    Onward and upward, BF. I’m so excited for you.

  32. January 30, 2012 1:00 pm

    It’s funny that I actually heard a buzzing rumor of this news at the kinfolk dinner over the weekend. It got me super excited, even though I didn’t really believe it. This just made my morning, Brian! Very excited and inspired by the decision. No doubt this will be a wildly successful and fulfilling year…

  33. January 30, 2012 1:02 pm

    What great news. Congrats, cheers and hooray!

  34. January 30, 2012 1:07 pm

    So exciting! Congrats on being finally able to follow your dreams and best wishes on your future endeavors. All the best!

  35. January 30, 2012 1:07 pm

    hear, hear for removing those golden handcuffs and all the best in your next chapter!

  36. January 30, 2012 1:13 pm

    That’s awesome! Congratulations! I can’t wait to see how much your work expands and grows now with full devotion! I adore your photos!

  37. January 30, 2012 1:13 pm

    Congrats! I can’t wait to see what happens. “Putting yourself fully into it” is the scariest and most wonderful feeling.

  38. January 30, 2012 1:19 pm

    Many many congratulations! What a brave and exciting thing to do!

  39. January 30, 2012 1:29 pm

    Brian, honestly, you are awesome to have done that. Pursuing your thing and living it. I am glad and happy for you and proud of you! It will be very exciting your new year!

  40. January 30, 2012 1:41 pm

    Best of luck!

  41. January 30, 2012 1:42 pm

    exciting and inspiring!

  42. January 30, 2012 1:52 pm

    So great, Brian! a very inspirational article, thanks for sharing it. I’m hoping to do the same someday although right now my job is raising my small children so quitting isn’t an option. of course, their growth is imminent!
    p.s. let’s do a project together!

  43. January 30, 2012 2:16 pm

    I love that quote by Kennedy. You’re either all in or you’re not really living. Good luck!

  44. January 30, 2012 2:36 pm

    Congratulations! Enjoy your meeting free Monday, so exciting. Looking forward to seeing where your photography will take you. Best of luck!

  45. January 30, 2012 2:39 pm


  46. January 30, 2012 2:42 pm

    Your time mate…go for it, cheers!

  47. January 30, 2012 2:49 pm

    positively brilliant!!! well done you. xo

  48. Jillian permalink
    January 30, 2012 3:03 pm

    Congrats on making the leap! So happy for you!

  49. January 30, 2012 3:06 pm

    Congratulations on making this decision! There hasn’t been a single moment I have regretted leaving my position at my job (4 yrs ago) and devoting my time instead to my career as an artist. I am sure you won’t regret it, either. Best of luck to you in all of your endeavors!

  50. Miriam permalink
    January 30, 2012 3:21 pm

    Congratulations! And how wonderful for you that you have (or I’m assuming you have!) the financial resources to follow your heart and explore some projects! So many of us don’t have the financial ability to do that. You might be interested in exploring minimalism to help you continue funding your projects for the year. I’ve been following The Minimalists ( who both gave up their corporate jobs to follow their passions and find their missions in life.

  51. January 30, 2012 3:32 pm

    A big congratulations on your new chapter. Good luck!

  52. January 30, 2012 3:59 pm

    as someone who left a job in finance a year ago last year, i am really happy for you. the satisfaction from doing something you love and the decision to pursue it, is unparalleled. when i made the leap, i was scared and had no actual plan. but i was scared in an excited, anticipating sort of way – not a dreading, foreboding kind. And while i had no structured plan, I had a feeling that something good would happen. I’m finishing up my first cookbook collaboration and starting the 2nd. It’s been a crazy, beautiful year. And I wish the same for you! Congratulations, Brian!

  53. January 30, 2012 4:04 pm

    Yay!! I’m sure you’ll do great. I’m not the biggest photography fan, but I love your photos, so effortlessly unique and expressive. All the best! x

  54. culturepants permalink
    January 30, 2012 4:13 pm

    Amazing. I’m biding my time to make the same move. I’ll be watching your progress. Good luck!

  55. January 30, 2012 4:41 pm

    Yay, Brian!

  56. January 30, 2012 4:48 pm

    Brilliant! I’ve also heard it described as “leaning into the wind.” I have no doubt your adventure will be a great one – rich and deep, surprising and fulfilling. At times scary, but you’ll be astonished how generous the universe tends to be. Congratulations, Brian!

  57. January 30, 2012 5:14 pm

    Hooray! I think your creativity is just going to rise to a whole other level. Glad I’ll be around to witness your transformation from an already incredible body of work so far. You inspire a lot of people with your photos.

  58. January 30, 2012 5:55 pm

    Oh, you go, Brian! Knock ’em dead, or, at the very least, dazzle the hell out of them. Surely you must know your cheerleaders will be here. We’ll be honest, but we’ll be here. Onward and upward.

  59. January 30, 2012 6:00 pm

    I know you were probably doing good for the world through law, but it’s going to be a far more beautiful place with more of your photos out in this world. We’re all excited for you, and for us.

  60. January 30, 2012 6:10 pm

    I love change and hearing such inspiring stories; reading such inspiring quotes as the one by Mikael Kennedy. I look forward to following you and reading about your success!

  61. January 30, 2012 6:26 pm

    very exciting year ahead, i am sure. congrats and enjoy the journey!

  62. Jorgelina permalink
    January 30, 2012 7:07 pm

    Dear Brian, Warm greetings from Buenos Aires! I support your decision 100%. And – if you allow me to suggest – DO wait for what’s ahead, just flow with whatever life brings you “out the the office schedule”, just remain as an active observer (at least for a few days) I guarantee that “magic” will operate… as it always does (while we are busy on business meetings. I’m not sure if this message can be of any interest and/or help to you, just wanted to say that someone in Argentina supports you fully, and sends you the best vibes. And, one other thing: THANK YOU for making me HAPPY with your pictures, your music, your way of unveiling daily treasures in “common” life. You will succeed, you have succeeded already. Wait, flow, do nothing, enjoy. Love, Jorgelina (from Argentina(

  63. January 30, 2012 7:20 pm

    Wow Brian, that is fantastic news! I’ve been following your blog for a long time and your work is such an inspiration. I’m sure the decision to dedicate 2012 (and hopefully a lot longer) entirely to photography is the right one – I’m sure I’m not the only one to be terribly excited to see more of your wonderful images in the future. Congratulations on making the choice, and bon courage and all the best on the journey!

  64. January 30, 2012 8:16 pm

    I wish you all the best!

  65. January 30, 2012 8:26 pm

    It’s always amazing to read about people who leave their corporate fat-paying jobs to pursue their dreams. I’ve been a follower of your blog and this is the first time I’m leaving a comment. A big CONGRATULATIONS…and all the very best….God bless~

  66. January 30, 2012 8:50 pm

    Im so happy for you Brian. You are so talented and I knew it was just a matter of time. Wish you the best of luck and success in this new path! I so wish I had a bit of your bravery!

  67. rodi permalink
    January 30, 2012 9:16 pm

    Congratulations! This is an inspiring decision and I am confident that with all the beauty you put into the world there is a wealth of returns just waiting for you. Thank you for sharing your journey with us.

  68. Lori robbins permalink
    January 30, 2012 10:54 pm

    You are my hero!!! I so needed to hear this exactly at this moment in time! Congratulations on taking this giant step. Can’t wait to see where this leads you,,,,thanks for the push closer to my own doors.

  69. January 30, 2012 11:15 pm

    Wonderful news! I can’t wait to see what develops… pun intended!

  70. Michael permalink
    January 30, 2012 11:50 pm

    Incredibly inspiring, if only because I too resigned from my job after the new year and my last day was Friday. But you made the right choice. This blog is a constant joy for me.

  71. January 31, 2012 12:19 am

    Congratulations on the next chapter Brian! No doubt it will be big…big, I tell ya! :)

  72. mcc permalink
    January 31, 2012 1:37 am

    I’ve been waiting for you to post something like this — congratulations!

  73. January 31, 2012 2:36 am

    Incredible and amazing. There is no where to go but forward.

  74. January 31, 2012 3:36 am

    I’m happy for you and excited to see what you’re going to do! It is always great to hear that somebody has the power to change his life to follows what he really loves.

    I wish you all the best Brian!

  75. Jimjam permalink
    January 31, 2012 5:04 am

    It’s that strange thing that after university/school we set out to do what we chose to do and then somewhere along the way we get caught up in something ELSE, something unworthy.
    You’ll look back on this in a few years and think two things, 1 ) that there’s no other way but to do the things you WANT to do 2 ) that what you love, someone ELSE will love. And you might even find yourself thinking ‘what took me so long’…

    I love your photography Brian, you’ll do so well with it, ( you already are ) ~ well done on the beginning of making your dream reality

  76. January 31, 2012 5:06 am

    I’m so very pleased for you B, cheers to big decisions and an exciting future.

  77. January 31, 2012 6:56 am

    Brian, I am very excited for you and I have no doubt that you are going to make a success of this new adventure.

  78. January 31, 2012 7:52 am

    Congratulations Brian! I am looking forward to your new adventures!

  79. January 31, 2012 8:17 am

    Perfect quote & picture. All the best for this new adventure.

  80. January 31, 2012 8:37 am

    I think this is very good news indeed! It made me smile as the sun shines in my eyes above my computer screen on a chilly Tuesday morning. Best to you Brian. I can’t wait to see what the future holds.

  81. January 31, 2012 8:56 am

    brave and inspiring! i know things will go your way.

  82. January 31, 2012 9:30 am

    this is incredibly exciting brian! i admire your clarity and courage and i’m going to be taping that quote to my bathroom mirror. i look forward to seeing what comes next for you!

  83. Suzie permalink
    January 31, 2012 9:42 am

    All the best for the new chapter!

  84. karin permalink
    January 31, 2012 9:44 am

    congrats! couldn’t be happier for you!

  85. Susan permalink
    January 31, 2012 10:15 am

    Brian, I admire your bravery. I wish you much joy and success in your upcoming adventure!

  86. Gail permalink
    January 31, 2012 11:11 am

    Rooting for you! Big time.

  87. January 31, 2012 11:31 am

    We are always rewarded for leaps like this. Good for you!

  88. January 31, 2012 11:38 am

    thank you for this, you have passed forward, i read this post yesterday and since then it is as if i am seeing clearer the path before me. I think that you will be doing what you are both passionate about and incredibly talented in, benefits all those who love your work!

  89. salena permalink
    January 31, 2012 12:35 pm

    That’s fantastic! I love that quote. It resonates with me, too. I think if you’re lucky enough to be passionate about something that you’re actually good at, you’d be foolish not to try to make a go of it. I’m excited to see what this year brings for you.

  90. January 31, 2012 1:07 pm

    i love hearing about people who have the courage to take the leap to do what they really love to do. i am working on building up the courage myself:) i know this will be a great year for you, and i look forward to hearing about your successes.

  91. Maureen permalink
    January 31, 2012 2:29 pm


  92. Rocio Weil permalink
    January 31, 2012 3:33 pm

    Hi Brian! congratulations for your decision. I find it is so liberating when one makes such a decision. I about to do the same this coming April :) As I say here: “Mucha luz”.

  93. maggie permalink
    January 31, 2012 3:37 pm

    Yay Brian! I’m so impressed with your determination and courage – go get it! And come visit Seattle while you’re at it, ok??

  94. Danielle Charles permalink
    January 31, 2012 3:54 pm

    Congratulations! I’m so inspired by your courage to plunge full force ahead into your dreams. I’ve written that quote out and taped it to my wall, so that I can remind myself of it each day. How easy it is that we have the power to shape our lives how we wish.

  95. January 31, 2012 4:18 pm

    Congratulations Brian! That’s so wonderful for you! I wish I lived closer and could think of some amazing idea because I would love to collaborate with you. In the mean time, enjoy the rest and relaxation for a bit. :)

  96. January 31, 2012 4:59 pm

    Congrats! Cheering you on all the way!

    I’m always up for collaboration and will work on an idea…

  97. gina permalink
    January 31, 2012 7:20 pm

    all the best as you enter this new chapter!!!!
    you are my hero!!!

  98. sassysistersink permalink
    January 31, 2012 8:11 pm

    i love this news!! i’m a firm believer that the minute we take responsibility for our lives and set our intent mountains move. i’m excited to see what opportunities you attract and delighted that as one of your followers my life will no doubt be made richer as well. congratulations!

  99. January 31, 2012 11:29 pm

    Wow. I’m guessing this time feels a little bit scary, very exciting, and entirely alive.

    You know what your news reminded me of? – Luisa Weiss’ “Leap and a Net Will Appear” post: . I know you’ve read it (you’re friends, after all), but you may find it speaking afresh to you, in a kindred voice. I love her closing line, “And somehow, finally, I believe it, too: This is what I was meant to do.”

    You, Weiss, and Molly Wizenberg are three of the bloggers whom I always read. All three of you are a joy, and an inspiration.

    Bon courage, Ferry!

  100. February 1, 2012 1:33 am

    first off, congratulations and good luck on your endeavors! this post is really good to read, i’ve been having a lot of similar feelings towards my own life and trying to figure out what to do next/muster up the balls to venture out into my own. i am also really excited that you mentioned mikael kennedy cos he is the first photographer i ever bought work from, back when it was just interrupt and a small collective of awesome artists and he was doing mostly portraits … following his work throughout the years has been incredibly inspiring to my own life and contributed to a lot of random shit i’ve done. i don’t know, it was just cool to see something from the past that i enjoy so much (mikael kennedy’s work) being brought up in something that is new to me (your work).

  101. February 1, 2012 4:53 am

    Pretty inspiring to read this Bryan. Just about to embark on exactly the same thing!

    Good luck with everything & best wishes for the year ahead.


  102. pewna.taka permalink
    February 1, 2012 12:46 pm

    In your case it sounds so obvious and natural! Good luck and keep doing what you love :)

  103. mehgandallan permalink
    February 1, 2012 4:41 pm

    So so excited for the many blessings and adventures that are ahead. Inspiring!

  104. February 1, 2012 5:54 pm

    Well Done!
    I’m sure the universe will rise to the occasion…

  105. February 1, 2012 8:14 pm

    still smiling

  106. February 1, 2012 9:34 pm

    As one who has done a similar life changing career movement in the past, I can totally understand how you feel. Let me tell you: it gets even better with time :) It is SO GOOD to see someone as talented as you giving up a full-time job for something you love. Your photography work is beautiful, I wish you all the luck! PS. Nice thing to notice when you quit your job: the places in the house that are bathed by the sunlight and that we never noticed before because these were the hours of day we were stuck in the dungeons of a corp office :)

  107. February 1, 2012 10:29 pm

    Congrats!! That’s wonderful!

  108. February 1, 2012 11:54 pm

    obviously i don’t know you, I just read your blog regularly. and it had never occurred to me that you don’t do this full-time. i’m really curious now what else you did. i always assumed this was a full time gig, as your blog is the best photography blog i’ve seen. there’s know need to wish you luck, as you’ll obviously do wonderfully.

  109. February 2, 2012 1:20 am

    This is very good news, it warms my heart and makes me smile. I cannot wait to see the fine fruits it yields – the work you have done so far has resonated with me time and time again. I will be sending a link to your work to any and all whom I know who could be potential clients.

    Wishing you the very best!

  110. February 2, 2012 1:23 am

    ..and enjoy those lazy Monday mornings..they are glorious!!

  111. Mariana permalink
    February 2, 2012 3:31 pm

    can’t wait to see what will be your next surprise! :)

  112. Jaycess permalink
    February 2, 2012 5:56 pm

    Congratulations! What a great way to start the year. I’m a new reader, I look forward to following your great adventure. -jcs

  113. February 3, 2012 4:41 am

    congrats on that big decision – it’s going to be an amazing year!

  114. February 3, 2012 7:49 pm

    Right on, I wish I had those kind of guts. Best of luck for your impending adventures!

  115. February 4, 2012 10:50 am

    Congratulations–How exciting to take that leap of faith! I wish you the best of luck and look forward to reading how it works out for you.

  116. February 4, 2012 2:35 pm

    I knew it was only a matter of time! Always listen to your heart and follow where it leads – well done you!

  117. February 4, 2012 4:09 pm

    holy crap!!!
    a big congratulations
    to you!
    that takes a lot of guts.
    i know you will succeed
    & be amazing.
    wishing you
    all the luck
    in the world
    (feel free to visit us
    in switzerland or mexico
    for photo ops
    & good food).

  118. February 5, 2012 4:38 pm

    That is a beautiful way to put it, that interview. And good luck with your year and your photography, Brian. I wish you all the best in this exciting new journey!

  119. February 6, 2012 2:24 pm

    congratulations! it takes a lot of courage to jump into your passion with both feet. wishing you all the best!

  120. Devon permalink
    February 18, 2012 12:34 am

    I haven’t been here for a while, so I got to see all of the photos til february 17th (in reverse) before getting to this entry. And all the time I was scrolling to get a single photo alone in the window, looking, taking a breath, looking, scrolling for the next photo, looking, breathing – I was thinking ‘Brain! You’re doing it! You’re getting better! And better! This is the real thing! It’s happening!’ But you already knew that. You’re already here. It’s going to be a good year.

  121. February 22, 2012 8:58 am

    I have so much respect for you for doing this. Although I got linked to this from another blog, and haven’t been a reader in the past, I’ll be sure to follow your blog moving forward.

    In general, I think our society grossly under-encourages artists in pursuing their dreams. To me, personally (I’m a writer), it still feels like an insurmountable task. I’m always encouraged when others undertake it, and notably, they always succeed!

  122. Jane permalink
    February 27, 2012 1:27 am

    I check in on this blog every once in a while because I enjoy your visual sensibility. It will be fun to look out for it in new places.


  1. hey there | signs of life
  2. a realisation « Rachel Chew
  3. Grapefruit Pound Cake | Sassy Radish
  4. my fabulous february re-view

Comments are closed.