Monthly Archives: May 2009

Growing, learning, and adapting

This blog has been neglected over the past few months.  During that time many things about my life and my photography have been undergoing changes.  This post is not going to be focused on filling in the blanks since my last post, although I might cover some of that ground in a separate post.
We live in the now, how we got here is important, where we are traveling is the adventure.  People use various metaphors for life.  Since this blog is centered around photography, I will use photography analogies for life and life analogies for photography on occasion.  In itself, that’s no big deal but it seems to lend consistency to the intent of the blog.
Currently I am in transition with my career outside of photography.  At this point, photography doesn’t provide a sufficient revenue stream to be my main source of income.  Making some changes to bring me closer to combining my passion for photography and my income sources is a work in progress.
There are a number of business aspects of trying to increase my income from my photography.  The steps involved are important but they will vary from person to person because life situations vary.  There are some solid basic underlying strategies.  For this post, I will focus on two aspects of my efforts to improve my chances to succeed as a photographer, both artistically and financially.
Simply put, these two aspects are networking and exposure.  There are other aspects that are ongoing efforts but let’s stay within the networking and exposure arena.  Because we are all different, the specifics will vary but the ideas should generally apply to anyone that is in a similar place in their journey as a photography.
Networking is primarily a relationship resource.  This involves:
  • Who do you know?
  • Who do they know?
  • What are the groups in your area that are active in promoting the arts?
  • Can you build relationships with other photographers that have traveled this road and are willing to share their experience with you?

Exposure will overlap networking, they are related in many ways.  You have this growing body of work, you want to share it, you want to create a market for your work.  Finding opportunities to display your work is critical.  The Internet is a great tool that can provide a digital storefront for your work, it is global, and it runs every hour of every day.  For me, it will not be a substitute for finding opportunities to exhibit my work in the physical form for people to see in a finished form that they can both enjoy and purchase on the spot.  My first public exhibit will be in June 2009.  The Gadsden Museum of Art is holding an event that is a competition and exhibition for photography.  My entries have to be submitted by May 20th but the actual event at the museum is in June.

Besides selecting photographs to enter, I needed to be aware of branding and offering methods to contact me for people that would see the exhibition.  My photography site, Dream Hat Photography, displays my new logo (a version with a dark background).  My business cards were completed this past week and feature the same basic logo but a version designed for a light background.
So many people have contributed by giving me advice, support, and sharing their experience with me.  The list of people that have made meaningful contributions is long.  Family and friends cover the lion’s share of that group.  Some of the people on the list of friends are people I have known since I was very young and some are people I have only met over the past eighteen months.  The Internet has allowed me to meet people from places that are far from my physical location but the friendship and help have not been lessened by the distance.  Many are friends from the Daily Photo Community on SmugMug.  Melissa Rodwell is an incredibly talented fashion photographer that has become a great friend and an invaluable resource with her years of professional experience.  She has a fantastic blog, “The Fashion Photography Blog” that I highly recommend – it is always informative and entertaining.  In February 2009, I attended a photography workshop in Santa Fe, NM at Santa Fe Photographic Workshops that was taught by Eddie Soloway.  It was one of those life experiences that I will remember forever.  He is a great person and a talented photographer.  The facilities and the staff at the workshop are first rate and I highly recommend them to anyone wanting to learn and grow as a photographer.
So, this is where I am and my direction is moving in a positive.  There is more to come in future posts.  Much love and thanks to all of the people that have been a part of this journey for me.  Hang in here with me, this whole thing could get interesting.