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2017 Midyear Update...

May 9th, 2017

Pshh.. blogs.. who need's em'?

Apparently this guy does. According to Google anyways. Every once in a while as a business Google calls me up to review my site's vast failings and the numerous ways they can help. They usually mention a few things every time.. like..  "Why don't you blog?" like it's something any moron with half an ounce of sense would see as obvious... The other being I have a tendency to move pages within my domain around as if I'm some kind of ultra OCD twitchy designer with a paradoxical ADHD condition that lends its self to crazy complicated file hierarchy schemes that I then forget to finish. Or forget how I even created them. As if.

Oh, and I should buy more adwords. Duh. I don't often advertise because, well, I rarely see the benefit. Anyways, Google removed me from their crawler (sounds scary) until I fix 503 errors leading to a bunch of pages I re-parented but then forgot to change their paths. (For a site so poorly managed and no marketing budget I actually average 5k+ page loads and 1600 unique visitors a month. WTF people are looking at, I don't know.)

Let's talk about 2017........ 

Fuck 2017
And the rain too. Mostly the rain.

I could just leave it at that, but then what is the point of owning your own domain with your very own blog if you can't bitch and moan to anyone who stumbles on by (which, I imagine is just the creepy google crawler.)

For someone that can't find anything to blog about, a lot has happened over the past half a year. Some good, some bad, or some not good or bad, just, there.

Family life - getting divorced. Not necessarily a BAD thing. Not a good thing. It is what it is.. the most irritating bit about it is how everyone basically talks to you like someone died, or no.. like you're dieing. I imagine telling someone I have stage 4 prostate cancer is about the same look I get from many people. The look is like .. how does one describe this glance of deep mournful sympathy .. like, they're thinking "oh, the poor lad.. probably can't even feed himself. I give him 4 months. Probably starve to death, or get trapped in the washing machine."

On the other side of the spectrum there's the other half of the population (you can tell this is basically the male/female reaction) of "You're free!" and then throw out outlandish suggestions to do with your new found freedom in their hopes to live vicariously through my newfound bachelorhood. On one hand, because I am a guy and we certainly have some primitive drive for self destructive behavior when unsupervised by more responsible adults - it all sounds appealing. Then reality sets in and you realize to afford rent in this bullshit hipster town I'll either need to launch another initiative for my company to target or get a job. I don't work for people. I'm a horrible, horrible employee.. that OCD+ADD thing also comes with a complete disregard for authority. 

So.. the business of photography.. 

This all ties into my business because, well, that's life. First, I have to give myself a pat on the back. While getting divorced sucks, 2017 is by far the bussiest year I've ever had. I've done more sales through May this year than the past two combined - my entire wedding calendar filled up months ago and I'm gearing up to begin filling 2018 here soon. It's incredibly difficult to make a living as a photographer (statistically 98% fail within 2 years.) Even fewer manage to build a studio and do this full time. 

That being said.. I suck at business. It's not my cup of tea. My forte. My enchilada? Whatever the saying is.. it's not something I'm good at nor do I enjoy. I like taking photos, I like editing photos, I like the reaction people get viewing my artwork. Building this company I suppress the weirder eccentric artistic side of myself in favor of a brandable image to project and attempt to monetize the things I enjoy.

In an attempt to stay sane I took genres of photography I don't enjoy artistically and refuse to do them - family photos, newborns (oh good God is that a nightmare! haha) event photography, stuff like that.. I had to say fuck it, not gunna do it.

On the other hand I tried to take something I truly love doing and quite honestly is what I'm best at - photographing ballet - and trying to monetize it. What an experience. A disheartening, terrible, bizarre experience I can't even really explain. I'm a great dance/theater photographer - I'll go as far as to say there's not many people in this area that come close to what I do. My ballet photos are often 50% photos and 50% paintings, I have a knack for capturing intermittent displays of emotive expressions within dances that can tell the theme of the piece in a single frame captured at 1/320s.. These photos are well received...

I'm insta-famous

lmfao.. ok I have 5k followers, but engagement is crazy high.. which leads to advertisers sometimes contacting me, which makes me a big deal damnit! Last week I was offered $70 to make a post about a pillow? The offer before that was a yoga apparel company in Europe. I've been offered shitty photo editing software and beta trials of new platforms. No, I would never post anything like that, nor do I know why they would want me to. But it's fun to see the totally random things I get offered as my audience grows.

Anyways.. To make ballet photography work I need to do portraits, and regardless of how much anyone and everyone loves the work I do, I can't seem to get many people to commit to a portrait session. Which baffles me. I could shoot for all the best academies in Portland, but without individual portrait sessions the sheer volume required to generate a profit is simply too much for one individual. I partly blame the rain. Mostly I think I just over estimated the value people would see, which is probably entirely my fault because I hate selling myself. But that's alright, it's something I enjoy doing so I'll continue doing it, I just won't waste much energy trying to "make it work." I have a plan for next year that will focus on the studios, assuming I can accumulate enough capital. I wish being an artist was just.. being an artist, but that's life for you - can't sell art without selling.

So that's the state of things - I'm officially in the busy photography season where it's non stop until autumn! I'll try and actually post photos for once.. maybe.. Here's a few samplings of 2017 so far. =D

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edit Dance Shoot 1-084
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