#1120 A winding Path with Grit

It is always nice to look back and reflect on the path traveled.

I’m 47. I’ve worked for about 20 years as a photographer / arts educator. Before that I worked as an outdoor educator with aspirations to become an elementary teacher. I couldn’t get into Teacher’s College in the 90s. But I’ve come back full circle to where I wanted to be.

After disappointments I gave up on traditional teaching and pursued commercial art through stock photography – it was lovely work – one of the most traditionally creative times of my life. I produced commercially viable photographs that were marketed through stock agents. My best sale for one grand use of a photo was ~$32,000 split three ways between two agencies and myself. Alas, the industry crashed (digital cameras and websites caused flooding of the stock photo market.) Time to move on!

Assignment Photography

Stock Photography

Someone suggested I teach photography. I built a broad base of photo workshops – live and online that culminated in opening our own studio / classroom on Preston St, below. Alas, workshop sales dropped off significantly. Why? Who knows, but I think it was tech, again – YouTube offered free learning and smartphones reduced people’s desire for traditional photography. Sigh. I was left scrambling again to re-invent myself.

Photo classes in Ottawa

Photo Workshops at our studio.

A couple of years ago I was very low and a friend inadvertently replanted a seed stored in a drawer of my memory. Teacher’s College… I was accepted, thrived and succeeded. I worked hard and was offered a contract teaching a Grade 4 class until Christmas. It has been extended until June, 2016. I love it.

My photo business has been reborn. Although the new business has shrunk enormously, I am only doing work I love – teaching a few clients and working on two innovative and exciting (to me) art projects.

Cyanotype large format photography

Sunstreaks – tracking the sun’s path across the sky.

It’s been a long road… with many bumps and bruises. But it’s been exciting and I am grateful for where my winding path has taken me.

One of my favourite TED talks rings true as I look back… Angela Lee Duckworth talks about GRIT:

It’s worth a view.
Keep pursuing your passions.

#1095 New Adventures

Thanks to all who came to our gear sale. It was a great success!

According to our newsletter I am on a sabbatical for 9 months! I am still here and will be back offering some services and workshops after April, 2015.

My posts here will be less frequent during this time but keep checking back for some fun!

Time off coming up!

#1093 Exposed! Photo Newsletter – New Adventures

Exposed! Photo Newsletter – New Adventures

In 2006, my web-savvy girlfriend suggested “Write a free photo newsletter with tips and upcoming events.
I thought she was crazy! It sounded like extra work to me.

Well, I did it (and then married my girlfriend.) I’ve sent Exposed! every month with photo tips, ideas and workshop announcements for almost a decade.

• I’ve promoted imagination, creativity and exploration of new ideas.
• I’ve challenged you to try new things at the risk of failing (on the way to new successes.)
• I’ve urged you to take time off to keep your creative juices flowing.


I’m about to take a big dose of my own advice…

I’m taking a 9 month sabbatical from my business to build on my love of teaching – I’ll be pursuing my Bachelor of Education degree.

Read the newsletter to get all the details.

 

#1087 Web Distractions – Exposed! Newsletter

“I’ve lost my photo passion!”
I hear many photographers that burn out creatively.

There are many remedies.
One is to look for inspiration.

In this month’s Exposed! Photo Newsletter we look at our reader’s new suggestions for inspiration from the web. A big thanks to our readers for continuing to send links that inspire and engage, creatively.

slow motion photo

Twirling on a 30 deck

This month we link to:
• Stunning views of Iceland
• 6+ years of a selfie-a-day
• Tech news from Apple
• Photoshop variations from around the world
• A video interview of a National Geographic adventure photographer
… and more.

Read the newsletter. Get inspired by the links!

Large Format Photography

© HarryNowell.com Vintage Camera. Modern Views

#1081 Exposed! Photo Newsletter – Following your Passions

Last week we sent out our latest Exposed! photo newsletter.

In it, we explore creative passions and where they can lead. We also look at reality and those who preach based on their rocketing rise to success!

Read more.
Follow your own path!

train tracks

Follow your own path

#1068 How to Boost your Creativity

This month’s Exposed! photo newsletter launches today.

“His photos were beautiful but he was stuck. Our workshop student was frustrated that he had hit a plateau and couldn’t get beyond it…

The workshop student’s photos made beginners jealous – they were classic compositions – beautifully framed and well exposed. He had come on the workshop to get out of a rut.

In this edition of Exposed! we look at ways to:
• boost your creativity
• fuel new adventures in your artwork
• get out of your rut….”

Learn how to ignite your imagination’s fire!

imagination generation

Boost your creativity – try new formats and techniques…

#1061 Finding Creativity – Exposed! Photo Newsletter

“Where do your creative ideas come from?”

Good question! Creativity is an intangible seed that grows under varied and unusual ways. What works for a creative scientist may not work for an artist but there are common, underlying elements that help unleash creativity.

This month we explore one of the ideas – unstructured daydreaming and aimless wandering.

Read more to fuel your creativity.

creative outlets

Learning to harness creativity.

#1045 Five Reasons to Leave your Tripod at Home

Some photo students secretly roll their eyes when I suggest they bring out their tripods. I can feel their loathing as they pull out the cumbersome, heavy, boring tripods.

In this month’s photo newsletter we offer FIVE reasons to leave the tripod at home. We also offer just one reason to bring it. And then we leave the decision whether to haul the tripod out up to you!

Read this month’s Exposed! photo newsletter…

Tripod photography

Winter Landscapes

#1034 Exposed! Photo Newsletter – Printing Your Photos at Home!

Printing Your Photos at Home!

Recently, I was approached by a biplane pilot I had photographed years ago for a stock assignment. He wanted reprints and I offered a digital file and permission to reproduce…

printing on your own printer

He wanted to print the photo at home.
That makes me nervous!

Why?

Printing is tougher than people realize and I often hear “the printer is broken” or “the file is bad.” Usually, the problem is somewhere else… and this month we help you navigate  the printing process to help you decide what to do.