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Point of View 2

Selling the Dream

“Sometimes the things we can’t change, end up changing us.”

The times we’re living in are certainly character building. Things are changing faster than ever before. It’s almost a palatable hum. The kind of hum you’d find in a Stephen King novel. Most of it being generated by technology. From social media to medicine, the impact of quickly evolving technology is unprecedented.

Our world is all at once fascinating and incomprehensible. It’s clear that in order to survive, we must change. The world has seen this before. It was called the Renaissance. A time of great crisis and great change. Between plague, the Catholic Church and war, nearly every aspect of life was challenged. And during that time artists struggled with many of the same challenges we’re facing today. Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael all had to find benefactors amidst an explosion of new artists.

I put a lot of thought and effort into my writing. It doesn’t come easy for me and it’s not paying the bills, so it often takes a back seat to the daily struggles of self-employment. Yet writing is salve for the soul and it’s time to step up. Nearly a year has passed since I departed for London and much has changed. Ends up that stock photography is a wonderful opportunity, but it’s a numbers game and it takes time to build up a portfolio of images that are generating enough income to make it a viable business. No looking back, I’m jumping in.

The reality of life on the other hand dictates that I pay my bills and the business of photography has seemingly, overnight become all about the cult of personality. Our industry is a complete mess and in great upheaval. Everywhere you look, there is someone taking advantage of the throngs of photographers, picking up a camera for the first time and entering into the business of photography. I’ve said this before, I get it. If you’re good at what you do, it looks easy. It’s the dream of the hopeless romantic. Traveling the world, meeting famous people, getting behind-the-scenes access to a world few get to see. It’s terribly intoxicating.

At the end of the day, it’s all a dream. If you don’t run your business like a business, you will fail. The only thing about the business of photography that hasn’t changed is the business. And business is good for those selling the dream.

For now, I’ve opened up a studio to pursue professional portraits, headshots and small business clients. A creative space. I’m hand-picking weddings and focusing on building my business the old-fashioned way. Dynamic images that tell the story of my clients, taking care of business and finding balance in my life.

As artist Chuck Close commented, “Inspiration is for amateurs! The rest of us just show up and get to work!”

As I was going through images for my website update, I found these two going back quite a few years. I don’t eat fast food, it’s disgusting and yet, I was tempted into thinking Wendy’s was onto something with this Frescata artisan bread sandwich. Kristen, my associate at the time, joined me in tasting this new sandwich. Well, as you can see, the reality was nothing like the ad. Not even close. Let this be a lesson to you kiddies. It’s all about selling the sizzle, as they say in advertising.

Wendy's ad

I’ve been working hard on my business and while I’ve gone missing from the blog, I do have piles of notes for new content. From post production workflow techniques using Photoshop and other great tools to arm chair philosophical musings on the state of art and technology. So stay tuned.

Inspire a riot and leave a comment. Don’t be shy. Speak your mind. Operators are standing by.

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  • Bob says: April 13, 2012 at 6:23 am

    There you go. (You can’t see, but there is a smile on my face.)

  • Randy says: April 17, 2012 at 9:04 pm

    Thanks for the push Bob!