Some changes are instant. One moment you’re sitting comfortably, sipping a Tequila Sunrise (as I am wont to do) and the next you’ve been hit with such a shock that you can barely think of anything else prior to it. These often appear as sad incidents such as a relative falling into bad health or a friend moving away, but can also occur as happy surprises such as a new job opportunity or finding that $20 note under the couch. Other changes can be more subtle, more gradual. Finally rounding out the discography of your favourite artist, or discovering the perfect route to work that saves you 3 minutes, for example.
For me, 2010 has been a year of gradual yet important changes.
I ‘opened doors for business’ in February by launching my website. I had finally reached a stage where I felt confident in my own ability to shoot a photo that someone else could be proud to hang on their wall. Between the launch and the end of June, my site was host to 294 visitors – and 0 clients. My tax return for my ABN displayed an anticlimactic ‘0’ – but I was not deterred. A launch is a launch and I was one step closer than where I was before. I was obviously missing something – I just needed to find what it was.
In the abscence of bookings, I continued to shoot my friends, my family, and myself. A shoutout is due at this point to my awesome friends/subjects/light stands Jo (@jlyncho) and Joe (@andermang). 11PM, you say? Freezing cold, you say? No worries, let’s go make some pictures! Ideas are not meant to be kept locked up and having others to bounce off and chat about photography with really makes the journey 325 times more enjoyable (actual amount may vary).
The second half of the year definitely picked up – I got to work on some great shoots and even produced a couple of shots that got into my extremely exclusive ‘proud of this photo’ category. It is terribly cliche to say that I am my own worst critic, but it is true. Keeping an objective view of yourself (in any line of work) is incredibly important to developing and improving. To all of the clients who have put their trust in me this year – thank you. Your support and feedback is invaluable to me.
They say that slow and steady wins the race, and while I feel that this is very misleading in some fields (i.e. horse racing), it seems to be applicable to photography. I feel that I have found a job that simultaneously satisfies my creative, artsy side (ooo! pretty pictures!) and my geeky, tech side (did you know my camera shoots at 8 frames per second?). And with this in mind, a few goals for my photography in 2011 :
- Shoot more pictures. I spend way too much time reading/talking/thinking about photography and not nearly enough time actually doing it. So more pictures on the way.
- Show more people. Shooting is only half the fun – sharing with others and hearing their thoughts and reactions is the other. These 2 goals are shamelessly adopted from one of my many photography idols, Nick Onken (@nickonken).
- Be more transparent. Not in the literal sense, obviously – but to you, my audience. I follow the work of a lot of other photographers, and those who I connect with the most are those who give a little more of themselves to their readers. Starting from this post (as you may have guessed) I aim to give you a more accurate view of who I am as a person and a photographer (are they even separate?) instead of just ‘let the pictures do the talking’ blog posts and updates. If you like my style of photo-babble, follow me on Twitter – @benhowland – it consumes more and more of my time on a daily basis.
I think this is enough for now, seeing as this post just about equals the length of all my other posts combined.
See you in 2011.