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Shooting for Yourself
WHO: Me   |   WHAT: Cityscapes & Landscapes, Travel   |   WHEN: July 23, 2010   |   WHERE: Somewhere between Austin & Dallas
On Monday night I was in Austin speaking to the Austin Professional Photographers Association about "Finding Extraordinary in the Ordinary", and on the way back home to Dallas Tuesday I took some time to put into practice part of my message from the night before... carving out time to shoot for for myself.

I had a big long post typed up when technology consipred against me and wiped out the entire thing a couple minutes ago when I went to save and post it. A cruel irony, indeed, when the act of saving erases all your efforts. It's now 3:47 in the morning, and my eyelids and babble filter don't have enough juice to re-write the whole thing at this time.  So, for those of you that never read the books in high school and just used the Cliff Notes to do your book reports, today's your lucky day.  Here's the condensed version...

Unless you do your homework whe you start a photography business - and I clearly didn't - nobody tells you how little time you'll actually spend, well, photographing.  You won't know how much time you'll instead spend reading, learning, marketing, selling, order filling, order checking, editing, client contacting, cleaning, tax prepping, insurance'ing, equipment researching/buying, equipment fixing, scheduling, business plan writing, policy-writing, book-keeping, sample ordering, etcetera'ing.  I remember when I first started out thinking, but I just wanna create great photographs, I don't wanna do all that other stuff!  Truth be told, I still have that same mindset today, but it just doesn't work that way.  (Note:  if it is working that way for you, you might wanna re-evaluate whether you've got a photography business or an expensive hobby.)

To make a long story short (I told you my babble filter was out of juice this late at night), it's easy to get stuck in a rut to where you feel like a robot because all you're doing is all those things listed above in addition to trying to satisfy your clients with great images they'll love.  When that happens, picking up a camera can easily start to feel like a chore rather than a passion.  I'd like to encourage you to find some time to shoot for yourself in order to keep your perspective fresh, your creative batteries recharged and your passion alive, even if it's only for a few minutes here and there.  I promise you your clients will benefit from it as well.

Here's a few of my favorites from the drive home.

These first couple images are just outside of Salado, TX north of Austin.  I can't believe I'd never visited Salado before now; it was a beautiful town with a quaint feel and lots of history and B&B's.  The people here are incredibly nice, too, as I had the pleasure of meeting a gentleman named Bob who not only owns the property in this first image, but he told me about the place with the waterfall in the second image.  Had I not met him, I would not have gotten several of the images that follow because most of them were found on the way to the waterfall place.

I had never seen fences lined with old white-painted bicycles before, but I saw two of them near Salado.  Very cool.

Found this old truck way back in the weeds off of interstate 35.  Score!  I love stuff like this, and it was the perfect time to get a little sun flare coming through the truck window.  The whole time I was taking this series of images I was thinking, Please don't get chiggers.  Please don't get chiggers.

This dilapidated house was right near the old truck.  Double score!

Drove through downtown Dallas to get back home and stopped briefly near the new Winspear Opera House to walk around.  These tables were just outside the building in a courtyard.

I like the reflection action going on this last one.  Notice the photographer in the middle doing some senior photography with 3 girls laying in the shallow water.  Triple score!


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