Notoriety and Two Job Offers: Now What?

Stephen F. Dennstedt

UPDATE (04/25/17): I have officially declined both offers although they were flattering to my ego and tempting. My inner Still Small Voice kept whispering no. I’ve come to rely on that voice more and more as I get older. My remaining time is precious to me and my priorities lay elsewhere right now. Both offers have kindly left the door open if I choose to reconsider my decision. SFD

Since retiring from corporate life in 2011 I’ve really come to appreciate my freedom. My mantra is: Live Simple, Live Cheap, Live Free. I pursue my photography, writing and travel full-time and enjoy myself immensely. It is a very satisfying way to live life (at least for me). It’s hard for people (especially Creatives) to understand my hesitation when it comes to accepting job offers that involve my creative talents—I get that. And though I love having my work recoginized and appreciated I don’t always like the baggage that’s sometimes attached. I have two opportunities before me now that would give me more exposure (notoriety) and showcase my work—but I hesitate.

Anitra Cinema & Tv is a cinema and television production company headquartered in Brazil. They are currently producing a TV documentary titled: Pleasures of Life. One of their producers came across my blog post Wasting Away in Matapala-ville and liked it. Long story short they recently approached me and asked if they could feature me in their upcoming documentary series—my first knee-jerk reaction was to say no. They said they were disappointed but left the door (wide) open if I changed my mind. I’m thinking I might have reacted in haste and will ask them for more information before giving them a definite answer.

Pleasure of Life Documentary Series

First Exposure at is the world’s largest curated photography gallery online. A member of their Head Editorial Team contacted me about writing for their online magazine. In the past I’ve curated thousands of photos for and provided written reviews and critiques for members requesting feedback. The talent of the international photographers featured on is staggering. I haven’t done much with them the last couple of years because it was eating up an enormous amount of time—and I value my time almost more than anything else these days. Northrup Photo changed their format so I haven’t been submitting articles to them—so maybe now I have time for

My Photo of a Northern-crested Caracara Featured at

Notoriety is a two-edged sword: on the one hand it’s nice to be recognized for my work but on the other hand it puts demands on my time and calls for commitment. After almost fifty years in the corporate arena I am very hesitant to saddle myself with deadlines, expectations and commitments again. I know people who would kill for these opportunities and a younger me would have jumped at the chance. But the older me has different priorities and fame & fortune no longer rank very high on the list. I toyed with the idea (not too long ago) of developing a YouTube channel for my photography, writing, travel and lifestyle but decided against becoming another YouTube personality (there are plenty).


10 responses to “Notoriety and Two Job Offers: Now What?

  1. Sounds like a great problem to have. On the one hand, the documentary might put a little rainy day stash in your pocket so you can enjoy life just a bit more. As someone still mired in corporate America, I would be kicking and screaming if someone tried to drag me back in after an escape like yours.

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