Hello, allow me to introduce myself. My name is Thomas Billaudeau and I’m twenty-three years old. On social media, I use the name ‘Thomasbilld’ (Instagram). Two years ago, I would never have thought of becoming a photographer. To be honest, two years ago I was still a pastry chef.
At the age of sixteen, I had left college to study baking and pastry cheffing, without really knowing if it was really what I liked. I have three years of apprenticeship in pastry, two years that surely have been the most difficult years of my life. Until I was twenty-one, I continued in the pastry shop without really loving what I was doing. I was fooling myself into believing that I loved it.
… I continued in the pastry shop without really loving what I was doing.
One day, my girlfriend called to tell me that she wanted to make a change in her life; to change what she was studying. At that precise moment, I knew I had to take a chance and do the same thing.
Since that day I’ve been face to face with reality and my true self. I realised that what I really wanted to do all along was create pictures and videos. I started filling my Instagram feed with my photography, and set up my business. I invested in my devices and gear, and I started working hard to change what I was doing and where I was going in life. I was in control.
I started working hard to change what I was doing and where I was going in life.
In conjunction with all this, I followed a YouTuber by the name of Julien Fabro. Julien had taken the necessary steps to change his life also, and unknowingly, guided me to do the same. He motivated me like no other. He was such an inspiration in kickstarting my own journey that I contacted him to ask questions and ask him advice – fortunately, he was so kind to answer every one of my questions. If he were to read what I’m writing now, I’d really want to thank him.
After one year of photographical work, researching style and shooting freelance or collaboratively, I came to understood I held a huge devotion for portrait photography. Along with this new discovery, my half-sister offered me a role in the photo studio where she worked. Thankfully, the boss of this studio perfectly understood that my goal was to change profession and to transition exclusively to photography as a career. I owe a lot to him, as he supported me and afforded me the opportunity to work in his studio that I still work in today; doing what I love.
In addition to this, hardworking artist Murphy Long who created the project named ‘POTENTIALL’, invited me to join his team. His project enables connection and community among creative people. It was an honour.
In July 2019 I made a big decision. I felt ready to finally leave my pastry job gracefully. It was difficult because I had to make a choice, a choice that I knew was the right one. I knew this because I began to have no more time, no more sleep, and I simply could not concentrate on my two jobs. So that’s what I did. I took the courage that I had mustered over these past few years, and I resigned. With belief, it was that easy.
I had finally succeeded in my dream goal to become a photographer.
I went on a celebratory vacation for two weeks in the United States after this, and it was a photographical paradise for me. Many great moments of pleasure were had, because I felt for the first time… free. I was not stressed, I had finally succeeded in my dream goal to become a photographer.
The moral of all of this is that no matter what you do in life, and the conditions you have, there is always a way to realise and reach your dreams. Today I am a videographer and photographer, and I live my passion daily. No matter what you want to do, give it your all to get to your desired destination. You do not have to live to work, but work to live.
Thomas Billaudeau is a french freelance and studio photographer and videographer.
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