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Archive for the ‘Staying the Course’ Category

Here we go…

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Today is my 30th birthday.  Birthdays are interesting occurrences – they’re almost like New Year’s, but just for you.  A time for reflection and evaluation.  This morning I found myself taking a personal inventory, thinking “I still don’t know how to fold a fitted sheet, but I am getting pretty decent at parallel parking.” By 30 it’s pretty much established whether you squeeze the toothpaste tube from the top or the bottom.  How you feel about meatloaf is finally settled.

The first thirty were about training. Acquiring some experience and establishing some convictions.  The next thirty are for action.  The pieces are set, now its time to play.  Just you, a looming game board and that intimidating figure known as “Your Existence”

Time to start focusing my photography.  Begin trying to tell the stories of our times.  Attempt images that speak to the rational and the irrational; that appeal both to mind and to heart.

I firmly believe in the ability for images to impact change.  Photography is all about creating an emotional reaction in the viewer. Composing highlights, shadows and midtones into a message.  Hopefully a message with an edge.

Lots to do.

But luckily that all starts tomorrow and today is one of good friends and family.  Thanks to everyone who made this day feel incredibly special, it will go down as one of the best birthdays I can remember.



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My primary objectives right now are to breath and survive.   I’m at that point, 3 years in, when most sane people get out.  It’s the true test, are you crazy enough to go forward when a brontosaurus-sized neon sign is flashing “ABORT NOW – BECOME A TRUCK DRIVER!”  As photographer, Keith Carter, says, “You have to learn to embrace a life of uncertainty.”

So I gotta breathe in.  Stay the course.

Surviving the photo industry is one part vision, one part business and all heart.

Luckily this year has come with two revelations that I am finding helpful in this department.   The first is that getting a business plan onto paper is incredibly important.  It’s hard to stay the course, when you’re driving down the highway at 85 mph and thinking,

“What course?  There was a course?   Was it back there at mile marker 112 with the KFC?”

A written plan comes with a serious sense of serenity.

Secondly, involvement with a solid photo community cannot be valued highly enough.  People to get inspired with.  Give you an honest critique.  Remind you why the hell you left that great dental and 401K plan behind.   So this blog post comes with a huge thanks to everyone who is right there in the trenches with me.   To all my photo friends: your support is invaluable .

I’ve just posted a bunch of new photos in all of the categories on my website.  Check ’em out when you have a moment –

I’ll be here, surrending to the uncertainity, right on course.

Written by Spelman

01/07/2010 at 10:19 pm