I have to admit, today’s project seems like an exercise in futility. Without a running vehicle I see the same scenery and the same photo subjects day after day with little hope of shooting anything original or new. And even if I did the odds in this saturated marketplace that anyone will even see my work is becoming more and more remote. Last week I wrote of alpenglow, the cool celestial effect from which the Sangre de Cristo mountain range got it’s name. I don’t know, maybe everyone but me already knew about alpenglow or maybe I’m just more easily entertained than others, but the fact is virtually no one saw the article. Or maybe I am the victim of the new Facebook algorithm that picks out for people what Mark Zuckerburg thinks they should be looking at. I have noticed recently that I am only seeing the posts of a couple of people, over and over and over. Funny, I eliminated 90% of my most annoying liberal friends and now all I see are the annoying posts of my few remaining liberal friends. Not sure what that means, maybe liberals make the most posts or maybe FB thinks I am in need of reindoctrination, lol. The fact remains however, virtually no one is seeing my posts and Facebook has become a nearly irrelevant tool for marketing my work. On every post I make, I am reminded that others are “boosting” their posts by purchasing ad space. And true enough, my side space is filled with ads by other photographers that I have no interest whatsoever in making a purchase from and am quite sure that they have no interest in my work either, a waste of money for all involved.
Barren springtime Colorado aspen trees
Fortunately for me, the business models of my stock agencies are more business oriented in their search methodologies, favoring those who work hard and consistently produce new material without making judgements on the political correctness of the producer. Shooting for stock is quite a bit different than shooting for art, in fact too much artistic manipulation will only get your work rejected by the stock editors. Subjects of great beauty are of course helpful in stock photography but not necessary. Advertisers are often not looking for magnificent scenery for their ad campaigns, but are looking for a concept that matches their vision. A suitable backdrop for their vision often includes a copious amount of open space for text or imagery of the product they are marketing.
So today, the mountains looked pretty much the same as they do every morning at sunrise, amazingly beautiful and worthy of a few shots even though I don’t see any difference since the last time I photographed them. But today with the despair of the failure of my more artistic work to sell I turned my sights back to stock. I have been eyeing these aspen trees for some time and today I noticed that the sun was casting an interesting light upon them and the parched mountain grass. Knowing that sharp focus is important to stock editors, I set my camera to Av and f8 in hopes of a razor sharp image and tried to capture a vision of solitude or loneliness in the simplicity of barren late winter aspen trees. These I uploaded to my stock agencies along with some of the morning Sangre de Cristo, however only this one have I added to my own website where it will be sold as royalty free stock.
Facebook posts of my work require a lot of extra time, and my return on investment of this effort does not appear to be worthwhile so I won’t be putting in any extra effort making my images available for viewing there. Until I see some effort in fairness by Facebook I consider it to be an irrelevant tool as far as business marketing is concerned. On the upside, I have recently noticed that I have made “All Star” at LinkedIn as interest in my portfolio is growing there 🙂 Any of my readers who want to continue to see daily updates are welcome to add me as a LinkedIn contact! You are also welcome of course to subscribe to my blog by clicking the follow button and you will receive an email each time I publish a new article!
Famous marathon runner Bill Rodgers once said, “No one who works 40 hours will ever beat me in a marathon.”. I always thought that probably applied to photography as well, thinking nobody who works a full time job will be able to compete in the world of stock photography. This of course was before Getty Images set out to single handedly destroy the stock photo market with predatory pricing combined with the worst royalty percentages in the industry, making a full time job a survival necessity
Now though, forced into working full time in a non related field of expertise, my original premise has become more reality than theory. My head constantly swimming from lack of sleep, problems at work that need solving and overwhelming time constraints. As I suspected so many years ago it is difficult to compete. When the moment comes I am doomed to miss it… I am at work when the awesome sunrises happen, at work when the clouds are at their most amazing, at work when the wildlife make their brief appearance at dawn and dusk and at work when my buddies plan their next mountain summit adventures. Ideas are few and far between as fatigue turns my brain into mush for days and my camera sits dormant in it’s Lowepro backpack for weeks at a time. There are no pictures to process, no adventures to write about and all the while my portfolio grows more and more outdated.
On the other side of the Catch 22 however, without the full time job there would be no money to finance an adventure, no money for a house payment…. no money to sustain life. So there has to be a way, giving up on our dreams just to work full time is unacceptable. I’m thinking the answer may lie in better planning, better time management and planning ahead for opportunities. I can’t wait for that moment when I can finally think clearly to dream up a plan. Ideas come and go and I hope that with some good notes some plans will formulate, maybe at lunchtime or maybe in my dreams at night. Definitely not the optimal situation but maybe it will be just enough for precious progress.
Maybe if I can dig deep enough I will find within the ability to carry on with my writing and photography despite the adversity.I know times are difficult for others trying to realize their dreams in many fields. I wonder if any of my readers are facing similar struggles and what you might be doing to overcome the obstacles of time and fatigue. Thoughts, leave a comment!
Didn’t even feel like getting out of bed this morning, much less going out and doing anything… But after wrestling with my mind I finally made it out the door 🙂 Of course having doggies who need their daily activities attended to help a lot! Had to make a stop at Walmart to pick something up for a friend and after that we just kept on going… There is a secret place I like to take the doggies for their hike, no one is ever there and that suits me just fine
Finally arrived at the destination and was getting the doggies ready to hop out of the back door of the camper shell when Son Boy decided I was moving too slow… Dang near knocked my teeth out with the camper door, while smashing my sunglasses into my face and then onto the rocks where they received a number of lovely scratches. A few exclamations later for which I have since made peace with God I noticed that a group of nicely dressed well to do people had pulled in near me and were looking at me with sad disapproval… Lol, but in my defense, Son Boy can be an asshole and though he looks quite sweet they were not there when he was dragging me face down for about 30 feet across the Walmart lawn, and I feel quite justified in calling him an asshole for today’s infraction!
We had a lovely hike to the summit of Little Grouse Mountain and the overlook onto the distant Collegiate Peaks and Sangre De Cristo Mountains. It was a beautiful cool cloudy day in the Pike National Forest and a magnificent day for a hike. On the way home I was tailgated by a Teller County Sheriff all the way to Florissant where I finally ditched him by pulling into the Thunderbird, a place I had always wanted to check out anyway. What a cool place it is! Sort of a biker bar in the middle of nowhere in the Pike National Forest, it is an amazing landmark and oasis that everyone should visit if possible! Well anyway, I also ran into a writer for the Ute Country News there and gave her my business card in case they might need my photography services. You never know what you might accomplish by just going out the door in the morning, a lesson I will have to keep in mind the next time I don’t feel like facing another day 🙂
It had started raining while I was there and I didn’t get any good pictures, in fact it wasn’t a good day for pictures at all and I didn’t get any for my website either. Tonight it is still raining and I am just enjoying being inside enjoying some hot chocolate. It is becoming obvious that we have moved past the hottest part of the summer, the days are still warm, but you can really feel the Rocky Mountain chill in air on these nights lately!
We are approaching what is probably the most important month in the wedding vendor business, the first month of the year. January is the month when couples start the search for their wedding service providers for spring and summer weddings. So as a photographer, I am making sure I am doing whatever I can to get my message ready for that most important month!
I recently discovered some new social media tools for advertising services and offers, something which I hope will enable me to reach wedding clients with my capabilities and portfolio. So, my strategy is for a simple easily understood and attainable wedding service. One fee covers the wedding and delivers the days images, unedited of course to provide the couple with an inexpensive solution for capturing the day’s memories. I have placed the details of the service on both of my business pages, S.W.Krull Imaging and S.W.Krull Weddings. In addition I have decided to offer a 20% discount for couples booking and paying their deposit by Valentines Day. This offer is also available on my wedding page, just click to claim!
In addition to the unedited CD, I am also excited to be able to offer fully retouched prints which can be ordered from your own password protected gallery on my website on Pixels.com and shipped directly to your home. Pixels.com is known world wide for providing artwork on the highest quality materials and most modern mediums available at the time. See your special day displayed on glossy aluminum and acrylic sheets, stretched canvas, traditional framed wall art, and on a variety of gift items including greeting cards, apparel, phone cases and more!
It is with the highest confidence that I approach the new wedding season. My equipment and my portfolio have never been more up to date and ready for the task, and years of experience go into each capture, assuring that they day’s memories will be preserved and a delight to behold for the couple and their friends and family.
I am looking forward to meeting new people and visiting with couples as they work on their big plans for 2017!
If I could think of a year in my life that reminds me of this one it might be 1986. The year 1985 had been a particularly tough one and as a result of all the stress I was losing a lot of sleep. At the time I was way overweight from physical inactivity and wasn’t exercising at all after having finished four months of 12 hour days at the end of a major software delivery project. I had just gone through a divorce, was broke and missed my kids terribly.
Winter trail running
What followed was an amazing journey from from the lowest point in my life to one of the highest. I guess you could say that 12,600 feet of elevation on the top of Hope Pass in the Leadville Trail 100 would be considered a high point! On a dark and hopeless evening in 1986 I decided to do something positive and dragged out a pair of worn out Nike running shoes to plod out my first mile in many years. By April I had built up enough miles to run my first 10K, the Run for the Make a Wish Foundation in Wash Park, Denver.
Like then, last year’s battle against Tricia’s cancer left almost no time for exercise and once again I’m not in the physical condition that I would like to be. So this year again has me working on a training plan and I am thinking others may be thinking of taking the plunge as well and have been writing some Examiner articles on this year’s running scene. Fellowship with other runners is a big part of motivation so this winter I am highlighting the subject of Social Running and will be interviewing Jamie from the University Village Colorado Running Club for my next Examiner article. So stay tuned, 2015 is going to be a great year for running! Click the subscribe to author button at the bottom of each article or the subscribe button on my Examiner profile and you will receive an email each time a new article goes live so you don’t miss anything!