Whenever I wonder about moving forward with my photography or changing the things that I do, I am assailed by doubt. What if I am giving up success and courting failure? What if I can’t do the new thing and no-one wants me to do the old thing? What if all the people who knew me forget me?
If you’re a creative person in any field of endeavour you’ll recognise the panic.
But the fact remains that you can dig in a mine only so long before you run out of gold and run into dirt. Unless you have a ready market for dirt*, it is time to stop digging and climb out of the hole. It is also time to start sniffing around for new gold.
My Little Studio was once the Hazel Leaf Studio, for whimsical reasons. It shot belly dancers, costumed societies, portraits and weddings. Neve made a fortune but never lost one either. Eventually, however, the overburden of these subjects – the props, costumes, sets, and lighting filled out the avaiable space until there was no room to move or work. The visual images filled up the mind of the photographer as well, and left no room for new ideas. The quality of the work declined and the interest shown in it did too. Dirt, not gold.
Well I have climbed out of the hole. The studio bears a new name more attuned to new interests and I am actively seeking more of them – and tying them into commercial gain as well. I illustrate photographic stock for my old employers and write it up for them – for pay. I have put in proposals to other firms for this same work with different products and I think I might get the work – for pay. Any weddings will be just icing and will be regarded as a treat.
To seal the new road to success I have disposed of the bulk of the studio costumes. Oh, there is still a lot of cloth and junk jewellery there and this will get used as needed but the closet space that held 200 kg of cast-offs has been converted into shelving space for miniatures. And I was never so relieved in my life.
Now I will dive into all the lighting and studio books that I have collected for decades and see what magic the Little Studio can make for pay. I shall put a picture of Steve Sint on the wall and plant a vase of flowers in front of it…
- Even Hugh Hefner has stopped doing the centerfold nudes, apparently, and that was always paydirt…