About five years ago is when I began taking photography seriously, in terms of making it into a business. My talent was being recognized and my photos were getting published in magazines. It's addicting, really. I kept wanting more, and began setting my goals higher and higher, but when I did that, oddly enough, my momentum slowed down immeasurably, and my creativity began to suffer.
I became so caught up in what all of the other photographers were doing, and how other entrepreneurs were running their businesses, that I lost my own vision and spark when it came down to just taking the photo. I was spending so much time trying to get my followers to believe in what I do, when really I should have been getting honest with myself, because it was clear that my energy was not in the right place.
I rebranded, lowered my prices, hell, I just started giving things away for free. Anything for some recognition. I let people whom I don't even know, get me down. Things like, people ghosting from my inbox, not winning the photo contest, or not getting credit where credit is due. It consumed me, and drove me crazy.
In my previous blog post, titled "Why," I sugarcoated so much. I love photography with my whole heart, but if I'm being truthful, I absolutely hate the business. I feel like I've tried to go from zero to one hundred so quickly, that I skipped so many steps, and now I'm just trying to keep my head above water.
Photography is not draining me, the business is. The business has made me forget why I started, it's frustrating, stressful, and sucks the life out of my craft.
A few weeks ago, was the first time in a while, I picked up my camera just for me. I photographed horses, which I haven't done all summer. I photographed an abandoned house, which I haven't done since last October. For the first time in a long time, I wasn't thinking "would people buy this?" I let my guard down, and let my shutter go wild. For the first time in a long time, I felt inspired.
The goal was always fine art, gallery quality products. I have processed and inspected every order myself to ensure the highest quality, because no one wants to deliver crap to a client, nor do I want my work displayed on mugs, mousepads, or Christmas ornaments. I'm realizing now, that this is a major cause to my stress, and lack of desire to go out and photograph.
I have decided to outsource printing of my photos to a professional photo lab, so that I can get back to enjoying the things I love most about capturing moments. The prices are better, the shipping is faster, and the quality is still fantastic.
So, I'm just going to do my thing, and see where the next adventure takes me.
You can view my entire 2017 Collection, and purchase prints here. 2017 Collection