3 Big Goals to Finish 2020

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I plan to Finish 2020 Strong with my photography business.  Participating in the Ultimate Blog Challenge is part of doing that for me.  

As a photographer specializing in event and travel photography, this year has presented some special challenges. I fall into a high risk category as defined by the CDC, so I’ve been avoiding my favorite photography subjects.  With the pandemic still raging, I needed to rethink my 2020 goals and find new ways to define success.  Thank goodness this is a side gig for me and my main source of income is secure!

As I pondered the future of my business, I decided to focus on three things for the rest of the year: .

1-Find new distribution channels, 

2-Build relationships, and

3-Increase my knowledge base.

Here’s what that looks like so far. First, after considering possible distribution channels I reworked some existing photographs and created a short picture book that is available on Kindle.  I have been daydreaming about selling on Amazon for a couple years now.  The down time we’ve been through freed up my schedule so I could get it done. I also opened online stores at Zazzle and FineArtAmerica.

Second, I want to build relationships with other people in and out of the photography world.  This is especially important since I moved to a new state two years go and I’m still getting to know the community.  To progress on this goal, I have joined the UBC and I plan to build positive connections with this community.  I also joined the local photography group.  I was only able to get to one meeting before COVID 19 shut us down, but the group is very active on Zoom. 

Third, expanding my knowledge base.  THe photography group will definitely help with this and fellow bloggers no doubt have many interesting things to teach me about marketing and running a business.  They also have great blogs on cooking and other life skills.  I am very much looking forward to the rest of the month!

About this Picture: Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton speaks to a crowd

This picture of Hillary Clinton was made during my 2015-16 photojournalism project, tracking the many contenders as they appeared in Iowa to make their case prior to the first in the nation caucus. During that project, I frequently interacted with Secret Service personnel. They were always very professional and amicable, but I found that their demeanor often reflected that of their protectee.

As an independent photojournalist working a side gig on top of my day job in insurance and my side job in teaching, tracking appearances and obtaining press credentials could be challenging! I was decidedly envious of the photographers who just had to grab their pass at the office and show up with their gear!

My daughter and I showed up at this rally and stood in a long line. I was hoping that even if I didn’t get into the press section, I would be able to hear Secretary Clinton speak. Finally, we made it to the front of the line. But I didn’t have a press pass and my backpack-with thousands of dollars in equipment, would not be allowed in the venue. I wanted to stay, but I but refused to leave it unattended. After politely and unsuccessfully making our case, we turned to exit.

But we were *stopped* by a Secret Service agent. He asked me a few questions, did some checking and ushered me into the event, camera and all. Of course, my daughter quickly morphed from simply my daughter to my photography assistant (she excels at both!) We hustled into the auditorium and I was able to capture several images I like, including this one.

PS-I’m adding this as an aside for my Ultimate Blog Challenge buddies-I found this resource while I was trying to get started. https://www.shootproof.com/blog/blogging-tips-for-photographers-blog-hate-write/ Yes, it’s aimed at photographers, but the info is good and readily adaptable to any specialty.

PSS-for a curated sample of images from this project, please check out my e-book at Contenders

Chasing Truth: My Journey

I started the Ultimate Blog Challenge on July 1 to ramp up my social media presence and marketing of my political photojournalism services. It’s been interesting! My new agency doesn’t offer the blogging capabilities I need, so I wound up building a whole new site.

So, long story short, I’m starting a brand new blog on a previously unused domain. I still have a LOT of set-up work to do, so I may not be publicizing the blog yet, but I am committed to keep writing.

I plan to share some of my business struggles and lessons learned, “about the picture” posts featuring my favorite political images, and helpful hints for photographers and clients.

I hope you enjoy my blog-comments always welcome!