128 Days of Work on a Ship and What it Did to Me

My time working as a cruise photographer is coming to an end and I just want to look back on the 4 last months because they have been a heck of a time. In only a few days I’ll be plowing through the snow in Lapland, taking pictures of the Northern lights and Milky Way, padding some huskies after a nice dog sled ride and try to spot some wild reindeer.
Also something really cool came up with the New York Times!

Quick recap

So what did I do in the last 4 months?

I worked on 3 different ships for 2 different companies. 2 Months on M/S Mariella of viking line as a photographer. 1 Month on M/S Galaxy of Silja Line as a assistant-manager. Now 1 month on M/S Baltic Princess of Silja Line as photo manager.

When I Finnish, I worked 128 days in a row! No day off, sick or not.

I took tens of thousands of pictures, I sold for thousands of euros and made myself only a few thousand euro.

I made friends with a lot of people of a lot of different nationalities. Swedish, Finish, English, Russian, Romanian, Bulgarian, Hungarian, Estonian, Bosnian, Serbian, Greek, Spanish, South African, …

I learned more as a photographer like actual studio photography, shooting in Manual (adjusting shutter speed, aperture and iso yourself instead of auto), Photoshop, Lightroom, …

I made this website.

I got less shy and more brave to talk to people, My first day that I had to ask a person for a picture I felt so uncomfortable, that’s better now.

I discovered that I’m not that bad as a manager and salesman.

I can have a good looking body if I go to the gym enough.

 

If you want to know more in detail what happened the last few months, here are the blog post from then:

Start of my Viking Adventure

The New Me

My Last Post?

A New Beginning!

Things are going Well!

I Got Promotion!

I’m Going Around the World!

 

 

If I look back I can split up the last 4 months in 4 parts, conveniently every month a part.

July – M/S Mariella

July, everything was so new, I was so impressed by everything so it was really exciting. I had good intentions like no drinking during the whole month, going to the gym everyday and eating healthy. That worked out pretty well.

That month I had to push myself a lot out of my comfort zone to get enough pictures and to keep up with the goal, what on my part didn’t work out quiet well. But I learned a lot and I got better, not really good but better.

I met a lot of people who had more experience with the ship life, like years of experience all over the world. All those stories made me dream of my own future plans as a photographer on a cruise ship.
Made a lot of new friends like crazy English Magicians, funny Swedish speaking Finish kids entertainers, serious not so serious Romanian colleagues and many more!

Every day I was in Stockholm or Helsinki, two really beautiful city that I was able to discover. It was summer so everything was so vibrant. That time off during the day was really welcome. Videos of those city will come sometime in the future!

July was a good month, went over really quick!

August – M/S Mariella

in August I got used to the work and most of the excitement was gone. Met new people again and old friends went home half way through the month. Who was new? Tiko the crazy Bulgarian pianist, The o so funny Spanish Magician Jaime and the awesome Romanian band Perpetuum. The party squad was a thing now and instead going to the gym after work, we went to the dance floor or someones cabin for a drink. I got to know Helsinki a bit better because of Elin, someone from the kids entertainers. She showed us around all the cool spots with her lovely dog and fun flatmate.

Work itself got less fun, 13th of August the holidays were over and it got pretty quiet during the week.

September – M/S Galaxy

At the end of August they moved me to an other ship, Galaxy. There I started working with Benjamin the Bosnian. So two 22-year olds had to run the photo business and we didn’t do to shabby. The partying was over, and so were the daily stops in Stockholm and Helsinki, from now on I was on board everyday. There were a few cabin parties but not as much as before. I started focusing more on my photo skills and I finished with this website. In July I started using Lightroom and Photoshop and now I had time to experiment with it. I kept myself busy with taking pictures for the dance crew, in the show and actual photoshoots.

Here was also my first sales experience and I liked it. I did pretty well and we got a nice end result.

October – M/S Baltic Princess

This was my big month, I got promoted to photo manager on this new ship, the sister ship of Galaxy. Something new again but that new faded away really quick. Summer was over and it’s really quiet during the week, the weekends were ok.

I was working together with this lovely lady Olivera from Serbia and we got of well together. We went out a few times to break the daily life of sleep, eat, work, repeat. When I’m not working I’m in bed because there is not much to do.

Luckily we had Autumn holidays where we sold really good (more in one week than what we did in the two weeks before), I’ll end up with a dubbel salary for this month.

For me this was a month of survival, so tired, That healthy life 3 months earlier is far gone, I’m just counting the days. I agreed to stay a week longer to train Olivera to manager, I would have been traveling again if I hadn’t. This extra week will pay for my new purchase, the GoPro Karma grip. It’s a stabiliser for the GoPro so I can have smooth stable footage for some cool videos!

These are my main memories of the last few months. Now I feel I have more negative thoughts about it all because the most recent experiences are killing me. I think it was a month or a few weeks to much but it was a really important life experience for me. In the end I had really good times and I learned so much personal as professional. Would I do it again? Sorry no.. at least not this long.

Next Chapter

Now it’s time for something new, not new, something different. It’s time to start traveling again, in my previous post, I’m going around the world!, I explained what my plans are, some changed and some got more in detail. I made a bucketlist for Finland, it’s not only for this trip coming up because I hope I’ll be back another time in the future.

Go check out my Finland Bucketlist! If you know some cool stuff to do or visit, let me know!

I don’t know how long I’ll be traveling, hopefully for a while but I know my self and I know I’m good at spending money so we’ll see how long it will take. I’m still looking for opportunities to start as a freelancer, contacting companies and businesses to work together.

Something cool came up, Hanne, a friend from back home showed me a application for the New York Times. The NYT is looking for someone who wants to travel to the 52 destination they recommend and write about it. So basically travel and blog, o wait what is it what I am doing now? Exactly, I though in myself and not so in my self, this is what I already do, I write about my experiences, I take pictures and make videos and post that all on my social media.

I applied for the job and hopefully I got some positive reaction soon, fingers crossed!

If any of my plans will cross yours, hit me up and maybe we can meet somewhere. I’m always up for a new adventure wherever.

Thanks for reading and stay tuned on my Instagram and Facebook for some awesome stories and pictures soon!





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