Christmas has passed, the year is new and I'm back on the blog. It's only taken three months, but here I am. Back with two posts in one day.
So what's going on? And what are my plans for the 2018?
Blogger shoots and my first presentation
2017 was the year I took the plunge and went full-time freelance. I quit my job without any real safety net and jumped right into taking photos for a living.
It was also the year I started photographing people. Before then, I contented myself with subjects I didn't have to direct or speak to. Needless to say, I soon found that it was a whole new ball park.
This year, I'll continue shooting the bloggers that kickstarted my fondness of portrait photography. I've met some really cool people through these shoots, and it'd be great to keep that up.
A few weeks ago I was asked to speak at a Bumble Bizz event for those who want to generate a buzz around their blog. I was pretty nervous, but I accepted. After some overhead projector troubles (a real throwback to my schooldays), I spoke about the methods behind some of my photos and gave some tips on blog photography. I think it went pretty well. Either way, it was good to meet some more local bloggers and learn some SEO tips from the event's other speaker - A Branch of Holly.
Getting more creative
I've found myself getting frustrated in the past few months when it comes to the creative standard of my work. It's not that I don't care about being more experimental, it's just that the grind can get me down. As a result, a couple of my recent projects and shoots have been pretty average by my own standards.
With the help of my ultra-creative girlfriend, however, I'm getting back on the horse. We recently crafted a red themed shoot, complete with moody lighting, that I'm really proud of. Check out one of the shots below, and see some more of the photos over at Daisily.
Meeting new people and collaborating
Moving to Nottingham after uni was a tough transition. I went from having a close group of friends to knowing virtually no one. On top of that, I was working from home for the first year or so, which made it even harder to get social.
Being a freelancer means combatting loneliness, but I've found that it's better for my social life than having a full-time, working from home position. I've met up with a few local creatives, and 2018 is the year when I make an effort to really engross myself in the local community. Just having my camera around my neck has started a few conversations with strangers, so maybe that's my "in".
Shooting for fun and finding a project
The creative rut that I've been speaking about has one major cause: working for the sake of work. When that seeps into my photography, it's a problem. I want to take photos because it's what I love, not just because it's what is paying the bills now.
I've been shooting more film lately, and that always helps me to refocus on why I enjoy photography. I'm currently toying with a few different project ideas - maybe a mixture of short and long term projects to keep me occupied.
I've also been approaching personal projects in a different way, of late. I used to think that I needed an idea to be fully-formed before I could commit to it. Now, I'm much more open to letting things evolve naturally. I've been reading more widely, looking at other art forms, and generally opening up to more cool stuff.
I'm hopeful that the coming year will be a fruitful and creative one. I'm serious about making this career work, but I need to remind myself that if it becomes a chore, it's finished. As long as I can find the motivation that brought me to photography in the first place, I think this could be a great year.
If you're a blogger, small business owner or anyone else in the world, drop me an email and we can talk about creating some cool photos together.