Taking Stock

I’m just hiding out from the holiday crowds and taking stock as the summer comes to an end.

Plans for Retirement

Highlights of the Steampunk Festival

A few years ago my plans for retirement included shooting sports events and the many culturally rich festivals in many of our Colorado mountain towns.

Unfortunately it has become painfully obvious to me that I no longer have any desire to be around crowds of people. I also don’t like road trips like I used to either.

Running a Studio

A few years ago I was renting a studio in Denver for $350 a month. Insurance cost another $150 per month. I vowed that when my wife passed from cancer that I would have another studio to conduct business in and occupy my time .

Now however, the same studio would probably cost $2000 a month, totally out of range of my small operation and limited motivation 🙁

Downtown Blonde

YouTube Channel

Sprague Lake

I had high hopes for my YouTube channel. I upgraded my Adobe account to get all the software, including Premiere Pro, learned how to use it, and began creating videos. It was disconcerting however, when I noticed in the analytics that the average watch time was only a few seconds, meaning most people weren’t even getting through the intro before switching away.

Then came the devastating news… One Youtuber was fined $1000 for filming in a national park. Turns out the parks service had redefined commercial activity to include ANYONE filming in the park with a profit motive was considered a commercial filmmaker. Lawsuits were filed and the ruling was overturned just in time for me to shoot one more video in the park. Unfortunately that settlement was once again reversed and as it stands all Youtubers need to apply for a permit.

Not only that, but a little additional research revealed that definition of commercial is also observed in almost every state, county, and local municipality in the country. Additional lawsuits are making their way through the system but as it stands travel vlogs in the parks are finished.

Of course it is still possible to film a podcast from my basement office, but my big idea was to show people all the animals that I see on my outings. I’ve thought about it, but I have absolutely no ideas for a podcast that could add to the world of photography shows on YouTube.

So until the supreme court rules on what exactly the definition of “commercial” is, Youtube is out as a retirement revenue stream.

Print and Book Sales

While still feasible, print and book sales have been diminishing, even though I have increased my libraries substantially. Last year in the Artists Coop in Victor, both books and prints were selling briskly. I have yet to make a sale of either this summer, my worst year since taking the space there.

Colorado Photogapher and Author Steven W. Krull

Stock Photography

Fresh snow from a spring storm on Garden of the Gods Colorado

Despite all the discouraging news, one thing has remained constant through the years. My library of stock images continues to grow, now probably over 10,000 images altogether. The stock photo business combines all my strengths with no downside.

It costs nothing to maintain a stock library at the various agencies. And it allows me to spend my time in solitude in the mountains with little need for human contact.

I also don’t mind spending a little time in front of the computer monitor each day, and I enjoy the creativity I can express using the image editing software. Also, quite frequently the images I shoot for stock result in excellent candidates for my print library. Storing prints on Fine Art America also costs me very little, other than the expense of maintaining a website anyway.

Also after looking over my sales over the last few years, I noticed that my highest selling images were all shot a few miles from my home in Cripple Creek. So I can continue to enjoy the activities of hiking, snowshoeing or riding my mountain bike. These are all great ways to capture images and stay in shape through retirement so that is a good thing!

Latest Accomplishments

Winter is fast approaching and you won’t want to miss all the awesome tips and images in my book Storm Warning! This publication will tell you where to go to get the best landscape images and most exciting wildlife captures. Learn how to prepare for safely enduring winter conditions with your camera, what mountain roads and what trails will yield the best results. And most importantly, how to set up your camera to get compelling captures in the harshest Rocky Mountain weather conditions! The book can be purchased on my author page on Amazon and Lulu Press!

Storm Warning Block
Deia Eternally Free

Also check out my latest book Spirit of the Wolf, now available in paperback and eBook on Amazon and LuluPress.

Follow photographer and wildlife activist Caleb as he evolves from his beginnings as a fashion photographer in the Bay Area of California into a wildlife photographer and animal welfare activist in the Rocky Mountain West. Caleb through his many exciting and sometimes dangerous adventures he learns he must risk his life to battle ruthless ranchers and hunters to save the wild animals he has learned to love.

2 thoughts on “Taking Stock

  1. You are so talented Steve and I have noticed how you have perfected your craft with sharper clearer images, not to mention the captures of wildlife that you get. Wildlife photography is a highly competitive field and when you look at all the years John Fielder spent photographing in his his career you have done very well. You live in such a beautiful area and you are still able bodied and able to get out and enjoy hiking and biking. When you start to lose the physical capabilities to get out like myself, that is when life takes on a big change. Keep on doing what you enjoy and live life away from people, if that pleases you, which is what I wish I could do. I live in a “birdcage” and my life has changed drastically since we moved to Windcrest. Be happy and I hope you continue to do well in whatever path works for you.

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