Eat The Darkness

by matthew ratajczak

Archive for December 2009

This Party’s Over

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Copyright © 2009 Matthew Ratajczak

My days of being a newspaper staff photographer with a regular paycheck, a regular schedule and an often regular dose of bullshit, officially came to a bittersweet end on Friday. Although I left with the burden of mixed emotions swirling around in my mind yesterday, I also felt an overwhelming weight being lifted from my soul as I walked out the door and drove off down the road. This was a weight that had been getting heavier and heavier over the years and one that started to get lighter and lighter in the last few weeks. Am I nervous and scared and stressed about the future? Hell yes, of course! But I’m also excited, free, optimistic and rejuvenated. Eyes wide open and open to any and all possibilities.

Although it has been good to me at times, allowed me to make a living making photographs everyday and provided many fantastic opportunities that I wouldn’t have otherwise had, it has been very clear to me for a long time that my days at the paper were numbered. It was the right time to leave years ago, but for different reasons I hung around, waiting for the perfect time to make my exit. I learned not too long ago though, that there was never going to be a perfect time to leave. An old friend of mine from college once said there comes a time when one must put off building ships and simply put to sea. Despite having a poor memory when it comes to quotes or lyrics or things people said to me almost 10 years ago, that has stuck with me. And now it seems very fitting. I’ve done a lot of building, a lot of preparing, put in a lot of hours. Now it’s time to set sail and find out if this ship is going to be seaworthy or sink to the bottom of the ocean. I don’t think It’ll sink. It might take on some water and encounter some rough seas, but this ship is solid. I hope.

The hardest part of all this, is leaving behind an amazing, beautiful group of friends that have become like family over the years. They’re what makes this a bittersweet departure. You guys have no idea how sorely you will be missed. I won’t be missing the paper so much, but man, these wonderful people, my collective rock, what’s kept me sane and on somewhat solid footing all these years, they will be missed.


Written by eatthedarkness

December 19, 2009 at 5:20 PM

Posted in Photography


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Got word of a great photography-based project from friend and inspirator John Loomis a few days ago and find it very worthy of sharing with my handful of loyal readers. The brainchild of photographer Kevin Miyazaki, collect.give lets lovers of great photography purchase very reasonably priced prints and donate to various causes at the same time. Every photographer featured on the site, some of my favorite image makers, gives 100% of the print sales to the cause of their choice. Featured photographers this time around are Emily Shur, Allison V. Smith, Dalton Rooney, Susana Raab, Kevin Miyazaki and John Loomis.

Any of these photographs would make for a stunning and unique gift for the holidays or for yourself. And knowing all the profits go to a good cause is just added gravy.

Written by eatthedarkness

December 3, 2009 at 12:27 PM

Posted in Photography