Photography, Art, Medication, Business.

Six(ish) months ago, I went back to ‘school’ with TAFE. I decided to study Photography. Firstly, lets have a YAY moment, because I just finished this semester. And I’ve been unmedicated for months sitting on a waiting list to see someone in my new city. I FINISHED THE SEMESTER!!

It got really hard by the last couple of weeks, it felt like any action or thought regarding study involves moving a big hairy body through that really dark, solid, sticky black treacle stuff. So I’m kind of surprised I got here. And I’m happy that I did. By the time we go back I’ll be settled into a routine with my new doctor and psychiatrist, too.

I’m looking at starting to get my work, my face, my lens; out there already, because I’m not very good at it (I don’t produce stunning professional images yet, and my personality is terrified of PUTTING myself out there, I just don’t know how) – and I want the time to build the quality while I work out how the HELL to get noticed, how to believe (or have someone else do it) that you’re actually any good at it, and try and see what I can work out as a reasonable business pathway to doing this as a career. The idea of running my own business scares the shit out of me – mostly due to the idea of ‘small business’ and not knowing how to attract clients.

Which makes me think I should go back to the days at the newspaper, sort of – and add a marketing or advertising course to my workload. So I can learn how to market myself…

I know what I *want* to do but I can already see that the area I’m most keen to develop as my primary photographic type is one that has the least linear, obvious pathway there (not necessarily a bad thing, I’m non-linear too, I can adapt to that). I feel like Jon Snow (I know nothing…). I’m super interested in location and event photography right now. By event, I mean like the ‘press pass’ photographers you see at festivals, open days, public events and so on, not events like weddings or other personal things. I want to be autonomous, for the most part. I want to be mapping my own day out, with some freedome there. I don’t want to be the only person being relied on to get results. I want EVERYONE to know I HAVE PERMISSION to be there taking photos – one of those little paranoias and anxieties I have involve being confronted about taking pics without permission, or having someone get in my shot and then go nuts about it.

Anyway that’s floating about. It is where I’m at.

Tonight I’ve been reading about licensing, especially when it comes to websites like Flickr. I’ve been setting up my flickr account properly, and ordaining it with some organisation and systems worthy of belonging to Miss ADHD-is-us. It’s a balancing act, really. You want exposure, you want someone to use your images, buy them – want to buy them, get your name out there, whatever. But you really seem to have to say ‘yes have it for nothing’ to encourage that, apparently.

So I have this one:

Creative Commons Licence
Unless otherwise stated, ALL images by Kelly Hensley is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

It’s not too bad I guess. They can share, reproduce, copy etc my images, but they can’t sell it, make money from it, or share it if they change ANYTHING about it, no alterations. I’m assuming ‘without my permission’ is the unsaid rest of that sentence. Because if they ask, maybe they can buy a copy that they can edit. Seems logical.

I’ve been stressed lately so my brain has been pretty overactive on all topics. One that I was thinking about the other day was that most photographers say they fell into whatever their primary business and therefore income is. I am quite worried I’ll never get a business off the ground. The next 12 months (almost exactly), I have to focus on getting as much experience as I can, and learning to feel as comfortable as I can in whatever environment I’m shooting.

And I REALLY REALLY need to build up my kit to be a basic starter Pro kit, at least. I don’t want the best of the best, just a good all-round, in good working order kit that doesn’t embarrass me in its gaps. Because right now my kit is ONE lower end DSLR, and ONE lens. The end. I’m paying a lot of money to study this course and get a proper, accredited qualification to set me apart. I can’t do that and sell myself as a ‘proper photographer’ and then rock up with an 8 year old camera and one pissy 18-55mm kit lens! I am already missing out – there were a couple of events I could have shot as a volunteer already – but because my equipment doesn’t cut it, in any kind of professional role or job (even as a volunteer), I pulled out.

Beyond that, I want maximise my time, and do what I can to give myself as many handy tools as I can to actually make a go of it.  I’m looking at throwing a second course in there, Photography is part time. I haven’t decided yet how I feel about that. Maybe? I was thinking Event Management, or something businessey might be good. Graphic design was my other option.

There is so much to discover, on a practical level. I am still worried most days that there won’t be enough work, or the right skills, or something else, shall come along and wreck it.

Deep breaths and put the collection tin by the virtual door?


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