Dear World,

My biggest fear might become a reality much sooner than I anticipated.


As I am sitting at my childhood home, I’m reflecting about my photography career. 

I was a 23 year old student of computer science when I fell madly in love with photography. 

I knew that one day I would make it my career. Even when friends were telling me that it was impossible – that it was a rich person’s profession and that I couldn’t even afford a camera – I didn’t care. I would follow my heart no matter what. 

While finishing my degree, I took every opportunity to learn and save to buy a camera. Six years later, photography was my full-time hobby. One that would be my escape from reality. At the time, I was doing an internship in computer science and I was really unhappy. One day, I took a leap of faith, and I quit the internship. 

I applied for jobs as a photographer. After a couple of months I was hired as a freelance photographer in a local nightclub. 

It was seasonal work, six months a year. I had to work a second job in order to pay my bills, but I was happy! And I even managed to save and buy new equipment. 

One year after, I was still happy with my job but somehow, something was missing. But what?


Realizing that in the past two years I hadn’t traveled, I came to the conclusion that I needed to travel, which was another passion of mine. 

At the end of the working season, I decided to make a backpack trip. A journey of forty-five days, four countries, all in West Africa. Being a West African, and not knowing anything about it, I figured it was about time to start exploring it. 

The journey was a life changing experience, and after seeing the potential of each place, I started reflecting on how much of a positive impact that a photographer like myself could have on changing the negative ideas surrounding West Africa. 

That’s when I came up with my project. Backpack across West Africa and share positive stories of its rich culture, people, and landscape. 

For the last three years I’ve been working hard at various nightclubs, saving money and travelling to many different countries in the region. 

Everytime I returned, I would have a happy heart and a spirit full of hopes and dreams. 

Knowing the instability of the freelance world, I gave myself a five year window to make it as a professional travel photographer or leave it and go back to my degree. 

Truth being told, it was my biggest fear. But, after all the progress I had made in the last few years, I was confident and determined. 

Today, due to the Covid-19 crisis, I am forced to stay in Cape Verde, my home country, and see most of my plans being canceled. As I am facing unemployment, I realized that my biggest fear might become a reality much sooner than I anticipated.

Leaving me with only one question.


Is This The End?

Support this photographer: Vlademir Rodrigues ︎  @vadurodrigues ︎ PayPal   



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