May was a special month for self-assigned tasks. I promised to set aside 80 hours to concentrate on all things photographic. From methods to marketing, amazingly I managed to exceed this task by an extra 40 hours.
So, what have I learnt along the way? Where be the fruits of my labour and was this dedication worth it?
I'm still in the midst of about 5 sessions that aims to build on my technique. These images are slowly coming to the fore, some are private commissions so until I get release forms signed I can reveal only so much.
As for the learning curve, it's a very steep one that has many goals. I started the month reading Bryan Peterson's "Understanding Exposure". This was written in a style that I feel, helps the reader enthuse about photographic techniques, simply put.
I've also have been perusing through two of Michael Freeman's guide books, plus one by Brett Harkness. These are books that I could dip into to back up ideas I had for some shoots that were coming up this year.
Not to mention the myriad of information with the help of The Societies members, the Talk Photography forum, Photo Training 4 U and of course the many, many influential photographers out there.
As I hoped, I have come to identify my strengths and weaknesses in different areas, namely business and procurement.
I feel happiest creating images, presenting them on this website and perhaps even build on the dream of an exhibition or published work.
As far as commissions goes, it harks back to the days of being a graphic designer and satisfying customer requirements on spec. Often in meeting expectations, the high standards causes me to self-criticise too harshly and can have a bearing affect on the final result.
Since having children I've become more organic in my approach to things. There is a line between motherhood and professionalism that is difficult to blend well. This is not to say I am shying away from challenges, I simply do not want to emulate a business model if it disadvantages my health, finances and the harmony of family life.
This all sounds serious, trust me it is not so - I'm glad that I can see what lies ahead. The best thing is that there is nothing to stop me continuing to create consistent work that I enjoy.
And if you read this far, I wish to direct you to the inspiring words I've been following of Cheryl Jacobs Nicolai
(Thanks to a member on the Talk Photography forum who revealed this)