Over the last few months I have been reevaluating what I do. The things I enjoy, make me feel fulfilled, and make me money (have to list that one, lol).
On November 16th my youngest, oldest and her other half went with me to the gallery opening of “The Diversity of Southwest Ohio Photo Show & Competition” at the Middletown Arts Center. I had entered one of the photographs I took at the Dayton Arcade. This is the first time I have ever entered something like this. So, it was a complete shock when I won First Place in my category, Architectural Landmarks.
I have very much loved my career in photography. But finding my specialty has been quite an adventure. I spend a lot of time photographing events, but I really don’t like dealing with clients in that way. I put time and creativity into each and every photograph I present. With these events, they so often just get filed away and few ever get to enjoy them. But seeing how people responded to my photograph in the gallery, and when I submitted it for the Taste of Greene County silent auction, that is fulfilling.
I love to travel with my camera and explore new things. The challenge there is finding a new way to photograph something that has been photographed many times before. But travel has its own difficulties. I also love to do things in my studio – grouping sentimental items. I did a wonderful one after my oldest’s wedding. I gathered items like the decorations, centerpieces, take-aways, napkins etc., all items that end up packed away, thrown away, or just lost to time. Now they have a lasting memory of all that. So I think I have found my specialty in capturing special memories.
Now to move on – I was offered a part-time position with one of my clients. In the past I have done graphic, publication, marketing materials for them. They recently had some staff changes and asked me if I would be interested in taking over the IT side, i.e. website, social media. Well the website was an easy one. The social media will need some education. Yes, I know Facebook, but Twitter is another whole kettle of fish. I have spent the last month navigating the ins and outs of this new position. I have been learning how to use Mailchimp (a program for sending out mass emails). Their website is through WordPress, which is the same program this blog is through. So even though I have familiarity, there are still things to learn and navigate through with a website vs a blog. They say the best way to stay young is to continue to learn. This job is definitely giving me that, and overall I am enjoying the journey.
Then there is the craft side of everything. Yes, making things with your own hands is very fulfilling. My handbags are a real hit, and many have suggested I start to sell them. But here again, in order to make money you have to deal with clients. This is not my strong suit. As I get older, I find that the favorite pastime of my grandmother is so much more appealing, knitting. Over the last few years I have been learning more about it, and took on more challenges. I recently completed a lace knitted scarf, and I am now working on a technique of making two socks at a time. So overall, I am really hitting it on all sides to keep learning new things 🙂