Shoot the Wicked Witch
Hi and thanks for checking out my Ko-Fi page! I'm Kim and I’m a photographer that specialised in alternative portraiture and music photography. I studied Fine Arts straight out of high school where I minored in photography and once I stopped being stubborn I eventually went back to study photography so I could learn it properly. It gave me a lot of new skills and experiences I never would have tried without it and even now I’m still continuing to learn new things. About Me I have Scheuermann's Disease, it's a rare spinal deformity that affects about 2% of the population that I've had since I was 8, and because of this I could never get a normal job because nobody would hire me. I was a risk to them. The first real job I had I didn’t declare my spine and I regretted it, there was so much heavy lifting involved and I was in pain frequently. So in 2009 I started my own photography business, something I was decent at and I could set my own hours/rules. I got back into music photography in 2011 and in 2014 I became a music photographer for Wall Of Sound. Sometimes they let me write things too. I don’t know why, I’m no good at it! In 2015 I had surgery on my knee after an injury, which set off a chain reaction of events affecting my health. By 2017 I started to have random issues with walking and saw a spine specialist, two weeks later I was assaulted at a gig where I ended up with a neck injury that causes such excruciating pain that it affects my ability to move my head. I’m pretty much always-in pain, just various degrees - but the main problem was it hid my back pain. The body can only focus on one pain at a time so it goes with the worst one. I continued to work despite everything and I was unknowingly overdoing it, my spine would lock up and I wouldn't be able to move. It was a frightening experience. Around then my painkillers were giving me severe chest pains so I couldn’t even rely on them anymore to help me through. By the end of 2018 I had to admit to myself finally that I could no longer do client work because I’m not reliable. I can’t guarantee I’ll be able to do the job on any given day, it was affecting my mental health to extremes and so I made the incredibly hard decision to quit my business. In the past 5 years I’ve seen a spine surgeon about a million times, 2x neurologists, 2x rheumatologists, 2x pain managements, a whole bunch of various scans and I’m still no closer to this being over. There’s no cure for Scheuermann’s Disease or arthritis, it’s just about finding pain relief now so I can function to some degree. I tried to keep a pain diary during this time and all that did was show how unpredictable all of this is. I could do a thing one week and it would be tolerable, I could do that same thing a month later and I would be in pain for hours/days later. Some days I’ll wake up with a numb arm and a few times I couldn’t walk for a week at a time. Some tasks were consistent, for instance doing my laundry had me in tears every single time until a friend lowered the washing line for me. I no longer need to raise my arms as high or tilt my head up as much. Holding my camera triggers pain quite quickly. It’s a mix of the weight and the repetitive arm actions to take photos. There’s one silver lining though: now that I no longer have to worry about how to get clients, I can focus on photo shoot concepts I always wanted to do and I’m trying to get my love for art back. I still randomly pick up my camera because I miss it but I figure if I have to be in agony it better be worth it! I don’t want to waste my energy on something I don’t enjoy. I’ve also transformed my website so I can self-advocate about life with Scheuermann’s Disease and Mental Health. My goal for 2021 is to work out what I want to do with my life next. I have to be creative because that’s who I am, I just don’t know what I want to accomplish. In the meantime I’ll be experimenting with different things and I’ll be sharing my work on my website, instagram and twitter. Eventually I hope to reopen an online store for prints etc. I’ve even considered making a photo book. Thanks to those who have shown support so far. I definitely don’t expect it, I just thought I’d jump on the bandwagon and set up a Ko-fi too! What can it hurt right? Half of my money goes towards medical costs, then bills etc boring things..whatever is left I use to order bits I want for photoshoots, make props or get outfits together. It’s a slow process but it’s something to look forward to in the future. Any support from here will just go towards making my art projects happen faster.

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