I will start this post by saying that I am so confused about which direction I want to go that I am nearly paralyzed by the confusion. One day I feel as if I must figure out how to run a business so that I can get my products out there to sell. The next day I wonder why I need to know how to run a business if I am not finding the time to take photos and improve my craft and therefore I am not producing anything to sell. I signed up to be an Amazon Affiliate and then found out that the WordPress.com sites do not support plugins so I need to learn WordPress.org and find a web hosting service. Do I spend my time watching photography tutorials or do I just go out and practice taking pictures? Do I stay home, save money, and challenge myself by finding photo-worthy scenes near home? Do I travel to an inspiring place to get my creative juices flowing? What is the focus of my blog? Does the internet really need one more person giving basic photo tutorials? It is crazy-making trying to prioritize all of these elements. I am not really complaining – I am just confused. What happened to just taking “pretty pictures?” When I started down this path I naively thought I just needed to improve my photography and everything else would take care of itself. The truth is that I need to master all of the skills and answer all of the questions I listed above but I need to find a way to prioritize.
I guess the prioritization process should start with the start. I started taking photos as a natural addition to spending time outdoors. I love to hike, camp, kayak, backpack and explore all things outdoors. When I had to come back to the daily grind I wanted something to remind me of my outdoor adventures. The origin of the logo, Bring the Outside In, came from this desire to hang on to the outdoors when I eventually had to come in. Being outside and then capturing those feelings in a photograph is what started this whole venture. What if I could make a living doing exactly what I wanted to do each day? What if I could make a living by hiking, camping, kayaking, backpacking, and exploring? And now? I spend more time in front of the computer watching, reading, typing, and editing than I spend outdoors. So, in effect, I have brought myself in instead of bringing the outside in.
I am going back to spending the most time taking photos. That is priority one. I I still want to find a way to make photography a sustainable business but it will need to allow me to spend most of my time outdoors. With this in mind I am revisiting two ideas I’ve had for quite a while that might help me advance this dream.
The first idea is to host photography workshops in Lassen National Park. Lassen is a mere 25 minutes from my front door and I spend a lot of time there. I have actually looked to participate in photography workshops in Lassen but there aren’t any. I have searched instagram and Facebook for photographers who focus on Lassen but there aren’t any.
The second idea is to focus on women. I am not suggesting a “girl power” group or anything. I simply wish to address the fact that landscape photography poses different challenges for women than it does for men. It is simply not safe for me to venture too far off the beaten path by myself. My husband and daughter are supportive of what I do but they aren’t always willing to get up in the middle of the night to accompany me on a night photography shoot. They also don’t like to get up hours before dawn to follow me to a sunrise location. It really takes another photographer to get excited about sitting in the dark and cold for hours waiting for the perfect shot. A group of women photographers would be a lot of fun and would provide a lot more safety.
What are your thoughts? Do you think either of these ideas are worth pursuing? Do you know of anyone who would be interested in getting involved with either? I’d love to hear what you have to say.