Damn it! I just want to be a photographer

Every 6 to 12 months I need to renew my Visa…which gives/ creates an opportunity to reevaluate what the hell I am doing.

Recently I have been working on the idea of opening a business ( as much as I like teaching english, it will not provide me with a large increase in income)  I have been working on a business plan, running Excel speadsheets, doing initial market surveys… all the things I was taught in business school on how to start a business.

The idea I am working on is tried and true the world round, but does not exist in Zamora… a coffee shop ( think tim hortons before they became a sandwich shop or a starbucks).  A small place with staff trained in North American style service.  It should work.

Last weekend I visited my friend Daniel in Loja to see his new store and photostudio.

I saw his new shooting space.

All I can think about is how great a space he has, and how awesome it would be to get some lights and a couple of models and create some images….

I have come to conclusion that, I don’t mind teaching english, and could be a ok businessman but I really just want be a photographer….


My life…plans vs reality

I decided that I would only teach 4 hours each day this cycle.   This would give me enough funds to live on and allow me to work on other things. This was the plan anyway.

It isn’t working out that way…. due to various reasons I am teaching 5 and 6 hours in a day. This is in one stretch, no breaks lunch etc. where I am “on” for the whole time.   The good thing is that I have a really good group of students, older teenagers and young adults.  I could not do it with children.

How I had planned to spend the rest of my day, was to divide the time between learning spanish and working on stock photography.  What I didn’t plan on was a large 4 legged black furry creature also needing some of my time.

I have had to prioritise.

Spanish learning comes first..at least 2 hours a day on doulingo.  Some days it is a real struggle.  I am still not to the point where I suck, so I have a long way to go.

Next comes Buster.  For him to develop and be a dog I am proud to say is “mine” I have to put in about 1-2 hours a day in training and socializing.  When I took him to the vet yesterday for a shot I realized I have been neglecting leash training so I may have to up this time.

Which leaves my third priority, working on my stock photography.  I should be doing a shoot or two a week, and then editing and submitting images to the agencies for approval.  If I had this type of schedule and workflow I think I could, after 6 to 8 months, be making ok money…. not great but enough.  Notice I said should.   I have not been able to get any shoots to happen in weeks.  It is frustrating.  I know what has to be done…. I just have to do it.


As for what to do in the future…. this is a big ball of confusion which I will try and explain another day.


Fundacion Doctor Oswaldo Loor Ecuador Photography

One of the things I like about photography is how it can take you places that you would not normally get to go.

I am in Ecuador.  Last spring I was thinking about moving to another part of the country, and I contacted an acquaintance I knew in Toronto, who had married into a family from here.

Long story shortened I ended up doing some photographic work for the Fundacion Doctor Oswaldo Loor… a eye institute in Portoviejo Ecuador.  The Fundacion offers support to help with education and micro credit to help build businesses.  Beside the chance to work with some great people, I also had the opportunity to see different parts of Manabi that most Gringos don’t go.  This gallery contains some of my favourite images from the two occasions I had to create images for the Fundacion.


As I was photographing these, the main thing that  kept going through my mind was these people are poor, and they have some problems but they seem to be really honestly happy.

Gallery of Images for FDOL 2013

Nature and Wildlife

Ecuador Nature and Wildlife




The Natural Beauty of this land is stunning.  Birds, flowers, butterflys, rivers, plants, landscapes… everywhere you go is new, different and breath taking.


From the Pacific Coast, to the Andes and into the Amazon basin, there are new sights to see and photograph.  And when you thought it couldn’t be more beautiful around the next bend there is more.






Sept 09

Saturday 8 September 2012

It has been a feast for the senses so far this weekend in Loja

Last night I went to a concert by a 60 piece orchestra. They were good… Unfortunately the hall they play in does not match the talent. 

After we went to central park to experience the fireworks. The way fireworks are set off in this festival you don’t just watch them… No matter where you stand there are in front, behind, and above you…. And sometimes beside or below you.

I am now sitting waiting for a show to start at the Loja fair. I am very impressed with the production ( lights  stage and sound) basically as good as or better then you would find at events at Dundas square.

We left the show early… The talent did not match the venue….


Friday 7 September 2012

Today is a football match between Ecuador and Bolivia. It is a big deal!  A major part of the population is wearing yellow… Ecuador’s colour…Ecuador won, on a penalty kick.

sept 07

Friday 7 September 2012

9:54 Just booked my flight to YYZ… now working on my return to GYE
by Glenn Specht via Facebook


I am taking donations of Areoplan points from anyone who has some extra they can’t use before they expire…..



Thursday 6 September 2012

8:15 I had a talk with the boss yesterday. It looks like I have next week off.

The second week I am now supposed to be teaching in Yantzaza… Which is a business and mining town in the Provence of Zamora.

I have never been there, and it is further east , towards the amazon then I have been before. I am looking forward to it.

20:11 Last day of classes for a week, or more.   Really not sure what I will do with the time, but I am sure I will enjoy it

Today, before and between classes, I took some pics of the people getting ready for the fireworks tonight. After class I plan to go photograph the fireworks, which is way different ( and sacrier ) then fireworks in canada

Wednesday 5 September 2012

20:14 Found out I may be teaching for a week three hours east of here ie much closer to the amazon
by Glenn Specht via Facebook

Tuesday 4 September 2012

18:10 I still don’t know what I am doing next week.

I may either be teaching in Zamora or have the week off. If I have time off I am thinking I might explore some more of Podocarpus park. I have been thinking that camping or at least hiking would be cool.

The problem is lack of equipment.

I have started putting together a survival kit.
I usually always travel with a rain pancho I picked up years ago in Vancouver, which is great for wind and rain.  I have used it many time to protect myself or my gear

I also carry a flashlight… Wind up and solar powered.

With this idea I bought a compass today. I used to always have one in my camera bag, but I am not sure where it went. It did set me back $15, but it is worthwhile to have.  I will be practicing it’s use to make sure how to use it if I need it.

20:10 Ah crap.   I just found out claim for my trip to the hospital is being denied… Preexisting condition, hadn’t had my insurance long enough….. This will affect my plans
to head to Toronto.

23:12 2nd of 5 nights of fireworks…. loud in this valley… setting off all the car alarms…oh the sounds of Loja
by Glenn Specht via Facebook

Monday 3 September 2012

10:53 Things I learned this weekend.

Beer mixed with coke doesn’t taste bad… It actually improves the taste of pilsner…the Ecuadorian beer.

Scotch causes heart burn.  I used to have problems with heartburn… Sometimes really badly. Haven’t had this issue for a while. Had scotch on Saturday and felt the burn…and am still feeling it. I guess no more scotch for

11:01 Things are really hopping today in loja.

It is the first day back at school for primary and high school. The centro is filled with kids and parents in their clean uniforms.

In the poorer parts of the country there is a rule that children needs shoes to attend school. There are some gringos who have a project to provide shoes to those who need them. The charity and good works of “some” of the expat population is interesting.