Riding the new wave forward

It’s been a challenging few years, but I’m officially optimistic about the future. We’ve all had to tighten our belts, cut out all but what was necessary to survive and become more creative in how we look for work, refining our business models and reinventing who we are.

Those of us who have managed to come out on the other side of this financial unpleasantness without having to shutter our doors are the fortunate ones. Hungrier, motivated and wiser for having gone through one of the most difficult business climates most of us have ever experienced.

We’re not out of the woods yet, but with every passing week of 2010, it seems as if the storm clouds are clearing. I’ve seen more than a few rainbows this Spring with clients starting to come out into the daylight again, spending, not quite as much as before, but certainly at levels greater than a year and a half ago when everyone was circling the wagons.

It’s still an uphill climb, but it is a climb upwards, not the scary slide that it’s been. There are opportunities for those of us who have spent the last two years answering that all important business question, “How am I different?”

I’ve been lucky enough to be a part of a community of artists who have all helped each other through the tough times. We support each other, brainstorming, critiquing each other’s work and pitching in to help our on our personal projects.

Five years ago, my photography was primary a fine art photography business, selling prints of my B&W travel, people and nude work to private collectors through galleries and online. When disposable income became a thing of the past, and with it, dwindling art buying purchases, it was time to take a hard look at my business model.

My other artist friends and I compared notes and used down time to reinvent who we were as artists. We all grew and tried new things. Today I’ve expanded my photography to include motion and it has become a large part of what I do as a photographer. Taking the skills I’ve honed over the years shooting stills and combining that with 20 year career as a film editor.

Directing has been something my clients and colleagues have been pushing me towards for many years, but I hadn’t really embraced it until the technology of digital shooting allowed me to be satisfied that my motion footage was a good as my still work.

My other artist friends have been reinventing themselves in their owns ways. Always looking for other avenues to expand their respective repertoires.

We’ve all jumped on our new waves of creating and we’re all looking forward to bright futures.

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2 thoughts

  1. Thank you for such an inspiring post, Billy! I admire your courage to look deep inside to reinvent your business and to refine and pursue new skills in your vast field of photography – on your own time and readiness. You are right, only those who have the willingness to change are surviving this new work landscape.

    With this in mind, I leave you with the chorus from Dolly Parton’s, 9 to 5.

    Workin’ 9 to 5
    What a way to make a livin’
    Barely gettin’ by
    It’s all takin’
    And no givin’
    They just use your mind
    And they never give you credit
    It’s enough to drive you
    Crazy if you let it



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