Sunday, January 1, 2012

Shake it up

I'm reading LINCHPIN by Seth Godin.

It is blowing my mind. Chapter by chapter, my brain gets a little more messed up.

But in a totally great way.

It has me realizing that much of what I did in years past is not sustainable, and in order to continue to learn, grow, and challenge myself, I need to shake things up in 2012. This post is an attempt to organize some of the thoughts bouncing around in my head and perhaps engage in some brainstorming

From a Flagstaff SLAM event

Tonight's focus, a bit more than halfway through the book, is about the difference between gifts and business transactions. The difference between people that matter and strangers. I see it as the difference between forming lasting relationships and one-off interactions. The difference between making something I am passionate about and conforming to someone else's vision.

When it comes down to it, as a photographer I make *astonishingly* little money.

Per hour, I do pretty well. When I'm working on images for clients, I can generally get about $50/hour. The issue is that I only get two or ten gigs a year that pay me at that rate, and generally they only involve a few hours, including computer time.


 I have made an amazing number of photographs with people that I care about. I've given hundreds of dollars worth of images as gifts to family and close friends. Each personal shoot I do is a chance for me to engage with people, to make art that I care about, and to learn and grow as an artist.

There needs to be an overlap of some kind. A happy medium where I can shoot things I care about, with companies and people who have the ability to push me, to help me, or to push me to help myself. If I were to find just a few companies like this, that allowed me to work on my craft while giving the gift of professional images to an organization I believe in, and that believes in me... I think a powerful relationship could form, and I *might* find myself with a surprisingly sustainable income.

As such, I will begin the search for an organization that can help me grow, that can give me chances that no other organization can give me, and that is invested in my continued growth. This company or non-profit must also be one that I believe in, and one that can benefit from my artistic contributions.

Thus begins the search.

Can you think of any organization that might meet my criteria? Is it your organization? A friend's? I'd appreciate a comment with the suggestions you might have.