Tag Archives: business

New Year, New Direction!

FBCover14ReviewNot all of the portraits and special events I had the pleasure of capturing in 2014 fit in this collage – but it’s a good representation of what the year has held.

Since August 2014, when I decided to pursue portraiture and not solely fine art nature photography, I have been overwhelmed with gratitude for each portrait I had the pleasure of capturing.

What a year of learning and growing! I honestly love to learn so it has been a fun year, even thought those learning curves brought a lot of self-doubt. I am sure I will always be my own worst critique. But, I am proud of what I can do to capture each of you…here’s a peek at the ways I’ve grown in a year:

BA_Sue

Onward to 2015!

Changing Focus: This will be my year of growing the Portraiture side of my business. I will keep capturing beauty in fine art photography, but will only be showing that in the Etsy shop. In an effort to hold myself accountable and actually get new work up, I will be rotating the photographs in there quarterly to match the season.

Building Business: One of the most important things I’ve learned last year was about how much I love to collaborate and help small business owners tell their story. So, while I will still be offering portraits to families, and pursuing my dream to learn non-profit photography with my Bolivia trip, I’ll also be helping local businesses.

Keep In Touch: I honestly haven’t been consistent with my email newsletter. Now, I have to confess that I will miss the art shows and craft fairs, because that was the only chance I had to connect with those of you who love my art photography. Those two things will mean that I will keep in touch more often via email!

To a brighter 2015,

Holli

 

Shifting my focus toward a dream

February was a difficult month. I didn’t blog because it was the month that asked hard questions of the heart. I did my business taxes, and found that I didn’t make a profit. Again, I came close within a few hundred dollars, but as my family is growing and needing more space, clothes, food, etc, I had to admit that I can not keep investing in my fine art photography.

I felt the shift before my husband and I had a hard talk about what I’m doing with my art. It feels like I have failed. I have worked hard and done the best job I could, but it has not been enough to make any money. I’ve learned so much about the local art scene, and have met many wonderful artists in my community. And, I’m grateful for the experience. At least I can say that I tried my best.

A tiny Dogwood art print
A tiny Dogwood art print.

I wont’ be pursuing my art photography fully. I still have lots of art products (magnets, iphone cases, postcards, etc), and will be doing one last art fair to do a “Studio Clearance” where I will sell everything at cost to clear out our garage. I realized that I would rather see my work in the hands of someone who can appreciate it and not make a profit than to have it sit in a box in my garage. And, I’ll keep my etsy shop up to sell all the prints I have in a box since they need a good home!

White Beach Fauna ©Holli wtih an i Framed Art print
White Beach Fauna ©Holli wtih an i Framed Art print.

As many of those close to me know, I will never stop photographing beautiful things I see in life everyday, and someday I hope to share them again as a fine art photographer. But now, I must shift my focus my love of photography as a service to capture people. The truth is that when I started to play with photography as an art form, I focused on people. So, I’m going back to my roots…

While sharing this news with my creative friends, I was reminded that fun is a key to all of my art photography, and I think the theme in my art. I hope to capture the fun that people have in their lives!

My dream is to help support my family by photographing people in a “wonderland” setting that reflects what they love like I did with my children in a local garden:

©Holli with an i photograph The kind of Wonderland photography I dream of doing full time.
©Holli with an i photograph
The kind of Wonderland photography I dream of doing full time.

 

Looking back at 2014: Thank you!

First I want to thank everyone for a busy year.

I love the idea of reflecting back, and will share how the year went for any other photographers out there or others who wonder how it works…so without further ado, I give you my 2013 Annual Review: 

1. Expansion: adding photography service

The year started out with me doing my paper work and filing taxes. All that tedious work gave me a clear picture: I made a little bit more money doing photography as a service than I did as an art form. Without advertising myself as a portrait photographer, the work appeared. So, I started the year with a desire to put more effort into honing my Portrait skills and dividing the business into art and photography services.

This was a fun year to learn more about posing people to look their best, and market my portrait photography. While I had high hopes for this new leg of the business, it again made almost the same amount of money as my Art Photography ($25 less to be specific). Despite not making as much money as I had set as a goal, I did confirm that I love working with people and capturing family memories.

2. Growth: getting my art out there

I wanted to share my art photography outside of West Seattle. And, I did! Granted it was at a one afternoon Holiday and Gift show, but still. I’m happy to have met that goal. And, not only that, but I showed it at 6 different events, which is 2 more than the previous year!  With that many “holiday” or “art” sale events under my belt, I can honestly say that I don’t think I’ve found the perfect fit for my work. My art photography is neither edgy or cute. It’s very modern but fun. And, while I did sell many cards, magnet sets and some calendars, my print sales were seriously lacking. Makes me wonder if people buy prints any more!

Despite not seeing much of an increase in sales of my art photography, I can say that I tried new things, and discovered some things I love. For example, I had someone want a piece for their bedroom. Since they didn’t know exactly what they wanted, I brought my portfolio and after looking at their space, suggested several pieces. They loved what they got, and I loved finding the right fit for them. And, I’m grateful for my early childhood watching as my Mom during her work interior decorating.

{Moving forward}

For 2014, I aim to grow my portrait business and the art photography so that they provide some income. Ever since I started in 2011, I’ve been working on a cash system where I don’t buy new work unless I’ve either sold enough to pay for it or have a show coming up and estimate a certain amount of sales. I haven’t earned a profit yet…and I’m declaring 2014 the year of sustainability for the business. I aim to generate $20,000.00 from a combination of my photography service and art.

I love both so much that I simply cannot pick only one to focus on – and as a result, I may be changing up the website a bit to give them dedicated space!

Here are my dream goals for the business:

– Show my art photography in a gallery

– Open a studio for my portrait photography

– Publish a photography book

Now, onward and upward! Thank you all so much for coming along and helping me grow.

xo,

Holli