The New Business as Usual?
It's been some two months since I last had the chance to write a post here on my website. Thats just way too long.
Sure, much has transpired to keep me from writing. I've taken a slight hit on the personal side, tending to some things that required my immediate and full attention for a few weeks. Those issues haven't gone away but they have diminished and I can focus on my work again but not at full bore. When I have worked, I've been busy with photography and with running the studio, working on longer term photo projects, networking and I managed to squeeze a week off in there to spend time with my son and some friends for an annual getaway to Canada. In these months since the last post there have been enough work and life related changes to make me ponder keeping the studio going, staying the course as a photographer and there have been some gut wrenching truths that have surfaced about the work I do and what I truly need to keep doing it.
And my building sign was stolen.
I have a new sign now. I've also evaluated my work and my business and I've done some serious soul searching in an effort to get answers. I feel progress. I'm feeling creative, although that comes and goes it seems. I think I've turned a corner as a full time professional too. Pricing was definitely a worry in these 3 years since opening, but of late I have stood my ground on what I charge for work and have come to realize that my customers find value in my work. I don't (and won't) get every job I'm considered for. I'm okay with that now. It used to bother me, at differing levels of annoyance, but I have learned that I can't be right for everyone and lets face it, a bunch of people just don't value photography for the work it is. They aren't my customers. I have simplified pricing yet kept it at the same level income wise and feel pretty good about it. Thats a first. I've examined the sort of work I have been contracted for lately and also have made some determinations about what I need to spend time doing and in how to prefect my style even more. For instance, as much as I love the Fuji X system and even with finding that many of what I consider to be my best photos have been taken with it, I'm at a point where the Fuji equipment just isn't cutting it for the direction I want to go in. It excels in some things and is just adequate in others. Maintaining and tending to two systems at the same time is not easy when working a gig. It lacks some very key features and components and you couple that with some recent tech announcements from Hasselblad and their new mirrorless digital medium format and I need to seriously reconsider my equipment and how I can improve on my future work by making my equipment workflow more efficient and standard. Its not that I need anything new, but I want to take my work to the next level and the map I'm making to get there may mean using different tools. May. I thought the Fuji X system would help. I know after renting a Pentax 645z that I wanted to work with medium format cameras. The photos are simply more rich in every way. I want my customers to experience that. But the Pentax system, as reasonable in price as it is, still lacks key things. Like high enough sync speeds for flash. This new Hasselblad ticks off many of the concerns I had at a price thats not much different. And now, I hear rumors about Fuji and Canon possibly doing medium format - soon. So I will continue to evaluate...but it means that my equipment "romances" may also change because it has to be about my end work and not the tools.
In these months since posting, I have been approached by a few larger companies about some very interesting and larger projects. I won't say more right now but both recent inquires have me excited. I'm so fortunate to have these opportunities and I'm truly blessed to know the people that have brought me to them. Networking matters so much in what we as photographers do. I have no idea of what will happen moving forward. Pricing soars as any campaign starts to take shape so budgets get slashed and reduced or are taken away. Its something we all have to deal with, I know I did in my software world many moons back when. You do what you do and work with your team and usually it works out. I also have two other projects I really want to shoot. I have talent in mind, a storyboard of sorts, and love each concept. I just don't know if I can pull it off being a one man show. So I'm also entertaining collaborating with many and thats again, new and exciting, but a bit scary. Still, if I can get these things moving it will be a nice creative jolt I need to keep me moving towards that place I want to go. Hopefully in the next months, I will be able to report on more of that effort. In the mean time, enjoy the summer! Its almost July as I write this...that I cannot believe. Take care every one.....