Keeping my eyes on the right balls. Re-marketing after six months of distraction.
I've wrapped up a bunch of family and legal stuff and feel comfortable enough, at the moment, to re-engage with the core of my photography business. When you are working your way back from nearly zero to a level which you enjoy and which pays the bills I think it's a good strategy to go all the way back to the genesis of your work and to figure out what kind of content brought you to the highest point of your historic achievement. For me that's always been making portraits.
With that in mind I've been ramping up a series of mailers directed toward existing, previous and potential clients that inform or remind them of some of the strengths of our essential business. And for me it's the portrait work.
We're doing a bit of painting and renovating in the studio space; may put down a new floor, but the real work lies in the development of a new
portfolio that is lighter on studio work and more weighted toward environmental portrait work. It's a gamble, like all things, but it's certainly not life or death.
On different note I've finally dialed in my headshot work with the Nikon D800e camera and the 105mm Nikon lens. It's a nice combination that returns great files. The first files I've been able to pull from the D800 series that work well as black and white images. I look forward to Nikon producing a truly professional mirrorless camera in the near future because I'd love to be able to work more fluidly in the square aspect ratio.
I've also been testing the Sigma 85mm f1.4 Art lens for the Nikon and I'm making good progress at understanding how it fits into my style of people photography. The focal length might be a better fit for the square format..
I've also been playing with the D800e's video files as written in Pro Res to an Atomos digital recorder. They are actually quite nice. They make me more focused than before on getting the D850. I hope it comes off back order status very soon. That, and a few more Sigma Art lenses and we'll be closing in on two highly useable systems that each have a reason to be in my studio.
And now, the controversial statement: Finally, and I'm sure this will be a sticking point for some, but I want to congratulate the U.S. Supreme Court for changing the interpretation of sales tax liability across state lines. It's about time our local retailers have the ability to compete head to head with online retail without having to take a 8-10% penalty. What this really means, beyond flattening the playing field, is that states will have more revenue for valuable social and infrastructure programs that are necessary in a growing economy and advancing civilization. Yes, your state may spend the money stupidly, but that may be greater impetus for you to get involved in local and state politics in order to help make things better.
To my readers in other countries: yes, it's true. Most Americans watched their local retail establishments (for cameras ) whither and die so they could (in most cases, illegally) avoid sales tax and skate out on paying state use taxes. And then they routinely turn around and bitch as roads, bridges, schools, parks and other local resources ran out of money. It was a sad situation and I'm happy the courts have stepped in to correct it. If you still have a local retail camera store count yourself lucky and make sure to price shop them for your next purchase. Keep your cash local where it will benefit your family and neighbors the most.