[Long exposure (25 seconds, I believe) of the ocean taken in Yachats, OR this past weekend.]
Happy summer solstice!
I know I don't need to explain every move I make, but I wanted to talk something out here.
This blog started as just a place to write publicly for people from all walks of my life. It was supposed to include a variety of things like reviews, recipes I tried, life happenings, musings, and photos. But when I felt like I should take the next step with my photography, I transitioned it over into a photography blog. I didn't want to have two blogs (I can barely keep up with one along with all the other stuff I do online), and I was already posting photos anyway, so why not?
Since I had been following several photography blogs for a couple of years, I felt like I had to do certain things in order to progress. If I wanted to take senior portraits, I needed to post a lot of portraits and remember my clients and future clients might be reading when I blogged. I started feeling more pressure and questioning myself about every post--were my photos professional enough? Was I keeping with the blog's theme of photography? Was I posting enough portraits vs. other types of photos? Was I getting too personal or off topic? Even though I have continued to post about more than just photography, I have felt a little guilty every time, like I was being unprofessional.
Meanwhile, my photography "business" (if you can call it that) is not exactly taking off. I never meant to go full time with it (at least not at this point in my life), but I guess I thought I would get a few more portrait sessions than I have. In some ways I've held back from marketing myself, and in others I have made uncomfortable efforts that didn't seem to matter at all in the end. I have sought out clients for high school and college senior portraits, but I've gotten more requests for photographing families and subjects that aren't necessarily the direction I want to take. It just hasn't gone as I imagined.
The funny thing is, I'm not even really sad about it. The more I get into a business mindset about photography, the less I enjoy it. The truth is, I am not a business woman, and I don't enjoy that aspect at all. It's just been a necessary evil. I hate coming up with pricing and handling a sale. Thinking about photo printing and my website can be stressful. Marketing myself can be intimidating and uncomfortable. I'm tired of trying to keep up with what I'm "supposed" to do to appear professional. I just want to take pictures and make people happy with them.
That's not to say I should just avoid something that I don't like. I know we all need to step out of our comfort zones and take on challenges, and I think I've done that. I recognize that it's a lot of work and expense (for my equipment, etc.), and I think it's reasonable to want compensation for taking people's pictures. I've invested a lot of time, energy and resources into photography to bring myself to where I am, and I hope to continue to improve. I'm still trying to figure out the sort of role God wants photography to play in my life, and how (or whether) to have it as a side job that is still enjoyable for me.
Back to my blog. I've been overly concerned with the possible clients or future clients who might be reading, when they probably comprise about .01% of my audience. Most of you reading this (well, I'm not sure anyone is still reading at this point :P) are friends and family members. I know you guys are fine with whatever I post, and you can read it or skip it as time and interest allow. So I'm going to stop worrying about the business side of things. I want to get more personal.
I don't anticipate this meaning much noticeable change for my blog at first, but over time I hope things evolve into something more comfortable and more me. In saying this, I'm hopefully taking pressure off myself which should give me more blogging enjoyment. Yays all around!