7.27.2020

My response to a comment on my blog. Title and name edited.

Here is a comment from a commentor on our blog:

"A few entres ago, you started to “gear up” to business again. You’ve shown, that you also can handle a G16 and other nice cameras on tourist-like walkabouts to keep fit mentally and physically. Very commendable. And you have, of course, shown historic work in portraiture and from the Zack theatre. But... but... where’s the video business, you also wanted to keep going? Where’s the entries, that show, that you even master video and sound on a “shoestring” - or if you like: “fully geared up one man show”? Where’s that?

In many ways, your recent days, weeks and months remind me of a man, who has retired In reality, but still avoids admitting it to himself.

Acting more or less like a tourist on a walkabout for weeks on end is hardly preparing for the future, is it? Will that enable you to show any of your future corporate clients - theatre, engineering, construction, production and whatnot - that you “still have it”?

Let me provoke (you don’t have to take the following literally, but you’ll get my drift): Why haven’t you “borrowed” a pigs head, put it on a broomstick and mounted it on tripod. Give it a hat, and start experimenting with various kinds portraiture, lighting, angles etc. Use this to create a video story, that edited down tells both portraiture behind the scenes - or call it “Stillleben” for all I know - and via sound and video deliver a story of the hard work involved in pig head portraiture. You could make it funny, real life sounds could involve the curses and hurt, if you trip the tripod holding the head or a Ishtar or... and on and on.

Now you have a product to show potential future newcomers. A product demonstrating your abilities and that you “still have it” in spite of lockdown, COVID-19 and all that follows.

I’d love to see your real and CURRENT creative “product” - not only what comes your Way during your “pensioner rounds” in downtown Austin ;-)"


Here is my response:
Mr. H_____ seems to take me to task here for not moving forward with bold new video material and fresh essays about state-of-the-art assignments for national and international clients. He exhorts me to spend time experimenting with anything and everything at my fingertips. He questions why I've been spinning my wheels and walking around downtown with doddering cameras when I should be studiously and single-mindedly preparing a new portfolio of cutting edge materials aimed at the new legion of clients who will surely be waiting (just off stage) to hire hordes of creative people in twin quests for profitability and overall economic growth.

My hiatus from serious engagement is detrimental, he insists, to being able to show my clients "A product demonstrating your abilities and show that you "still have it" in spite of the lockdown, COVID-19 and all that follows." 

The gist of his comment is that everything in my life is starkly binary: either I am continuously productive and writing about my constant process of creation or.... I have thrown in the proverbial towel, put myself out to pasture and am reduced to shuffling around in my bedroom slippers (which I do not own) waiting on a pension check (which we don't really have anymore in America...) and waiting for my nurse to prepare me the "early bird special" of soft foods and weak juice. In a brief five months I've been reduced from an engaged artist and business owner to an aimless and grizzled husk just marking time with a series of silly old cameras. Even for someone as over-the-hill as me that's a pretty fast slide from productive to defeated. Being a Texan that sounds like my horse died under me, my ten gallon hat blew away in a gale and left me crying in a ditch in the west Texas desert...

So, let me break this down for Kurt and anyone else who may have noticed a "slow down" in the quantity and quality of my work...

It's true that we've been on hiatus from actual face-to-face photography and video work with clients. While I have watched (with dismay) some local, small time shooters skirt the health department rules and keep on working with like minded, individual clients I have taken the pandemic lockdown seriously, as have my clients. While Karen may still want to have her daughter's senior portrait done NOW!!! My clients tend to be larger companies and national corporations, many of whom are still having their employees work from home and have discouraged face-to-face contact across the board.

I'm not eager to spin the roulette wheel and take my chances with a nasty virus just to earn a buck, and happily (and with much gratitude) I don't have to. While many in my country feel a pressing need to return to work to earn money in the moment I have the luxury of not needing to rush in until w've got enough safety valves in place to make work fun, productive and non-life-threatening. I am my own mini-German government subsidizing my own lost income.

But as I related in a post Mr. H_____ mentions, I am working towards re-opening the business, step-by-step, and am proceeding towards that goal with diligence. But...that doesn't necessarily mean that the first and only thing that will make a real business successful is the generation of exciting new material to showcase.

We're a bit more methodical than that. The first step is to reach out and see who is still standing and which companies are planning on success in the future and which are furloughing entire staffs and shutting down operations from a lack of capital and sustainable income.  I want to create a curated client list that reflects where we are and who will be able to go forward with us. Who will be able to continue advertising and who will be able to pay for our services. That takes time, research and networking.

The next step is to reach out to those clients in the "going forward" category and re-establish or newly create our relationships with them as a trusted vendor. This requires the creation of marketing messaging and materials, which we have been doing in concert with a favorite graphic designer and with the consultation of several advertising professionals. These are time consuming activities but I think they are crucial to the marketing/ongoing branding of a creative services firm.

In the interim several of our clients have reached out to me to discuss near future projects. One is a multi-national biotech company that recently acquired a smaller company which makes state of the art testing tools. Today, after I write this, I will put the finishing touches on a project proposal and estimate that, if accepted, will require pre-production days, three shooting days and multiple days of post production. Another is a national medical services specialty practice which has affirmatively engaged me for several projects in the early Fall.

We are now currently providing portraits for a regional medical practice and will have produced portraits for five different physicians who are joining their practice this month.

On a more local scale I have been retained to photograph and create video product for a law firm here in Austin. The photographs are environmental portraits of partners and associates while the multiple video products are interviews and former client testimonials.

Most of these kinds of projects come with restrictions and embargoes on sharing publicly. I would love to show you the portrait of a physician I made last week because it was fabulous but the firm gets to use it first. That's part of being a business instead of just a dizzy artist.  

In Mr. H_____'s comment is the idea that clients want to, and must see, absolutely new work on a continual basis in order for me to win their current favor and secure future jobs and so I should abandon all work older than, say: three months, and supply a relentless pipeline of dazzling new work that shows I haven't lost my capability to actually do work between doses of stool softener or Metamucil™.  

I find that charmingly naive. Clients who work in fields other than tweener music, bargain fashion and social media have much more important considerations when it comes to hiring freelance creative resources than whether or not they fired up a video camera and made a selfie video for Tik-Tok last week. These considerations include mundane things like whether or not the person or firm in question carries enough liability insurance and whether they have the experience to provide effective producing skills = getting stuff organized. Getting scripts done. Financing a production. A history of delivering solid product. An ability to work with management teams and marcom teams and, even the ability to endure a major financial crisis and still have the tools and resources at hand to do the work during the recovery.

It may seem trivial but some of the financial considerations on the client side are real deal killers. If you, the photographer, were financially devastated by the lockdown and had to liquidate your working tools for cash you'll have issues getting the work done. If you don't have a financial reserve for production you can't very well accept projects that pay in 60 to 90 days. If you can no longer afford office and studio space then you might not really still be in business no matter how creative yesterday's test Instagram movie was.  And without liability insurance of two or three millions dollars you may not even be allowed on a potential client's property.

So, in the past five months I've tried to set the stage for a recovery in the business and have successfully engaged or re-engaged with a number of ongoing clients. I've worked on new marketing (which I almost never share on the blog) and I've done assignments in situations where the clients and I agreed felt "safe."

But beyond all this I wonder where in the fuck people get off telling me I'm not entitled to have a bit of time off as well. I lost both of my parents in the last three years and spent lots of high stress time caring for each of them. Then I spent time right up until this month settling their estates and being the administrator for my siblings and nieces and nephews. Sure, I would rather have spent the time on the beach proving I can still film scantily clad models and drinking frozen daiquiris but I wouldn't be proud of myself for dropping the responsibility ball. (Oh the joy of working with multiple accountants for estate tax preparation in the middle of a public health crisis. So fun. So creative!)

So, while I'm juggling clients with privacy concerns, bereft of my favorite theatre client (for the rest of this year) which was a fun and regular source of material I liked using in the blog, as well as being a great test bed for new equipment and sharable videos, I am taken to task for enjoying some walks around town with a series of camera and then, for free, writing about the cameras and my experiences with them. Seems like a bit of a slap in the face to me.

I have a tendency to compartmentalize parts of my life. I rarely talk about finances and investing. I spend a tiny percentage of time writing about swimming (a true and sustaining joy in my life). I try mostly to protect my family's privacy. I rarely discuss politics. With that said it seems beyond presumptuous to assume that I am not currently working on projects that leverage my knowledge of photography and film.

Some projects are long term. Some don't come together the way we'd like and end up getting shit-canned. And some we don't share on the blog because I don't think there is an audience for long form video that exceeds 90 seconds. At least that's what the perennial feedback indicates.

I'm sorry. As a reader you don't get a license to inspect and approve or disapprove of everything I do in my daily life. You don't get to dictate content. You don't get to publicly shame me as a pensioner hung out to dry. Or a person who is retired but unable or unwilling to admit that to myself. Sorry, you just don't.

If you know where to buy a pig's head then you are a few steps ahead of me. If you want to buy one and regale us with its creative awesomeness then please do so.

My plan is to re-engage with business safely and, from a marketing point of view, effectively. I'll stay in the business until such a time as clients no longer return calls and write purchase orders. At that point I'll volunteer to do photography and video for the Theatre exclusively. I'll stop swimming when I float to the bottom of the pool having breathed my last breath. And I'll stop writing the blog as soon as I get a few more comments with recommendations for how I should live my life and how I should function, day-to-day, as an artist.

I'd like to write more but right now I think I'll take a walk through downtown with an ancient and shitworthy camera and see what it might be like to be a worn and cast aside "pensioner" with nothing better to do than bother random, bored strangers with his images of life. Now, where did I put my cane, my trifocals and my shuffling shoes?

Just thought we needed to have this "talk."



note added: Let's take the vitriol in the comments down a few notches. Mr. H_____ is a long time reader and consistent commenter and it's my belief that he meant his comment in good faith. We don't need to be too quick to divide and conquer here. Just wanted to be emphatic about the idea that we welcome well intentioned comments from our regulars but we are also emphatic that they may get the "push back" delivered above. 

In his defense, I wish I had the opportunities right now to photograph like those that used to be part of normal life. We're all a bit frustrated. Let's not make it worse.



50 comments:

Rufus said...

Your response seems fair enough to me, in the sense that you are free to do whatever the hell you want.

Underneath the snarky and (perhaps) deliberately provocative attack, perhaps if I may want to be charitable to Mr Hansen, I wonder if perhaps he is hoping you may do something new. Without joining him in his criticism, he "may" have a point there.

You can post whatever the heck you like , but I would be lying if I did not wonder if your older work ( especially the Hasselblad film portraits ) showed an eye, a delicacy if you like, that I have not seen for some time.

Your film portraits are just wonderful. It would be amazing to see you doing more, even if right now the pandemic makes that difficult.

Speaking personally, $600 spent on Bronica MF film gear during lock down has been the most wonderful decision I have made for years. I am getting up early, shooting sunrises and urban landscapes I have never seen before. It is quite an ephipany for me. I am truly excited by it. And I'm no spring chicken.

Kurt Friis Hansen said...

Smile! Now go do something really stunning!
We all know, you could!

Henry Lesesne said...

Hi Kirk !

I enjoy and appreciate your postings through this Covid hot mess. Being even older than you, I enjoy sharing your mature personal and business outlook. Of course, it all reminds me of the commonality we all share in dealing with being the adult in the room, Covid, and our futures.

Peace !
Henry L.
Lake Conroe, Texas

Eric Rose said...

Well said Kirk! Don't let the ankle biters get you down.

Eric

Jim Metzger said...

I am reminded of my days of gear acquisition syndrome when we all "needed" new and exciting. Back in the 1990's I read "Mountain Bike" magazine monthly and was convinced that I was the only one left on the planet that rode a rigid steel frame bike. That is until the 5 Borough Bike Tour passed by my front door. 10,000 riders covering the 5 boroughs of NYC. I exaggerate a little but I am guessing that there were only about 20 fully sprung bikes in the pack. We are sold this bill of goods that everyone everywhere is only interested in "new and shiny". As an Architect for 40+ years I'll tell you my business relies strictly on word of mouth, clients who are satisfied with real world designs and cost considerations and great service.

I've also wanted to tell you this for a long time, your portraiture, old and new, makes me want to meet the people you photograph. Sit down and find out more about them. What more could you ask for.

As for the original poster, I wouldn't have been so kind in my reply, probably could have done it in two words.

pixtorial said...

First, I love it when you remind people that this is -your- blog, your forum, for discussing or posting whatever the hell you want. It is one of the reasons I enjoy stopping in for a daily read. You're unapologetic about your own opinion, viewpoints, and life. As you should be. And especially in response to visitor to -your- site that is so arrogant in their post as if what they had to say really meant anything other than some wasted bandwidth.

But even more, I love that you reinforce the fundamental business concepts that are a key part of why you have had such a successful career. "Trusted Partner" is an incredibly powerful word. It is why the consulting firm that I'm part of has enjoyed the success we do, we strive at every step of our relationship with our clients to ensure that we are a partner to their success (just just a vendor sending them an invoice). And paying attention to what your clients are doing, their own financial health, and the recovery arc of their individual businesses.

If you want to be an artist, be an artist, but that is not the same thing as being a creative professional, something of which you and Belinda intrinsically just "get".

And, for what its worth, I totally enjoy your walkabouts in Austin, if for no other reason than seeing how much a place can change in five short years.

James Weekes said...

Non illegitimi carborundum

Unknown said...

There's always one, Kirk ...

Even though your business photography is not "my" kind of photography I do enjoy your writing & images. Having been lucky enough to visit Austin a couple of times I find your documenting of it's changing face interesting.
Also, as the former owner of a very successful small B2B company I can thoroughly appreciate that side & everything that others don't see that makes one so.
Sadly, as I recently lost my own mother, I ,too, am now coming to be able to relate to the demands of all the estate winding up. :(

TLDR - take a deep breath, have a good coffee & ignore. Many more enjoy your daily musings. :)

TBan said...

Doing a search on Mr. Hansen shows a Vimeo account but no videos. Pot meets kettle.

By the way, I found a G16 on eBay at a great price a couple weeks before you bought yours. I used it the other day at an outdoor chamber of commerce event for a grabshot of a client’s young daughters and gave her the file. She put it on Facebook with a thank you to me. And now I’ve got a portrait shoot enquiry. So messing around may pay off.

crsantin said...

Where in the fuck indeed?!

MB.Kinsman said...

Applause!!!
Somehow I missed the ruling that mandated you do what others demand. I believe there is a two word TLDR response to those demands. Begins with F and ends with F too. Short and sweet. Let those of little minds return to their play with pig heads. The rest of us will will enjoy ALL the topics you feel like posting. Looking forward to the post of the latest shitworthy camera adventure, wherever that finds you exploring.

Anonymous said...

You were charitable to respond to rather than delete the original comment. The chutzpah of telling you how to run your successful business! There are working photographers and there are those who "show" what "they can do" by posting to social media and call themselves pro photographers only because they occasionally get paid the price of a cup of tea to do a "favor" for a friend who needs a passport photo. Perhaps the original commenter confused you with the latter group?

I saw first-hand how hard it is to run a photography business when my wife earned her living from photography for more than a dozen years. If anything, your post made it seem easier than it actually is! I am just amazed that you still found the time to post some 4,600 and counting (and hopefully still counting!) blog entries and happy to read what you post. So thanks for that!

Ken

Bill Bresler said...

That was a bit cheeky of Mr. Hansen. Your response is excellent. As for me, I'm starting to hear from a few old clients and a new one, but I'm kind of starting to embrace being an "aimless and grizzled husk just marking time with a series of silly old cameras". I'm actually dodging one of those clients who were always a pain to work with. It's just not worth it anymore. Now, where did I leave my old bedroom slippers?

Yoram Nevo said...

If I am not mistaken, Kurt Friis Hansen and Kirk Tuck are one and the same ... And I agree with both of them :-)

Michael Kohnhorst said...

I've checked out a lot of sites, blogs and vlogs and I've gravitated to the ones that consistently provide content that I find interesting and useful. When a site, blog or vlog no longer holds my interest I look around for something that might. Unfortunately, there is something about the internet that seems to encourage folks to construct and express extremely strong opinions on anything and everything — invited or not.

I have an uninvited opinion: double the cost of a subscription!

J Williams said...

Don't let other folks who have nothing better to do than tell others how to run their lives get under your skin. Life's too short as they say.

I can relate to the line "Then I spent time right up until this month settling their estates and being the administrator for my siblings and nieces and nephews. Sure, I would rather have spent the time on the beach proving I can still film scantily clad models and drinking frozen daiquiris". I've done both to some degree in my life. Handling an estate is much harder work, but you've apparently retained your sense of humor thru it all. If one comes thru such a task with the relations of their remaining family members intact then that is quite an accomplishment.

Some may regret their own choices when seeing others who've lived their lives in a manner that have allowed them to prepare for something as unimaginable as this. When the rest of the world seems to be loosing their mind, or at least their collective common sense, it's nice to have the luxury of not having to jump in and join them immediately.

Kirk Tuck, Photographer/Writer said...

Yoram, not true but a fun and insightful comment nonetheless.

Kirk Tuck, Photographer/Writer said...

J Williams. I am happy to report that all the family and all their lawyers are happy and satisfied with the way I handled both estates. I never want that job again. But the harder job was managing a geriatric parent with dementia for good long while.... Nothing much bothers me anymore.

Tom said...

So that's where I have gone wrong all these years. I would have loved to have been a successful artistic photographer but had to settle for being just a pretty good amateur taking black and white photos using my cheap film cameras. Alas, I never thought of taking images of a pigs head to include in my portfolio, how stupid of me and how extremely clever of Mr. Hansen. He seems to be an intelligent fellow I'd say although I have never heard of him....anywhere.

Bernie Weiss said...

Bravo Zulu ! Well-reasoned, and well-stated. I applaud you.

Bernie

Anonymous said...

Kirk, love all your stuff You took the high road again. Carry on Sir! Your Site is precious....and exciting! Congrats!!

Michael Matthews said...

Some people derive a positive thrill from being seen as internet gadflies. They often are closeted, sweaty, insecure jerks.

As to Yoram Nevo: Damn, that's funny. Nevo for the win!

omphoto said...

So well said Kirk! I don't think many of us could have come up with such a civilized response. It probably goes without saying, but please, continue being the person we appreciate, a man who unapologetically follows his own path.

David said...

What you don't share every single detail about your life and thoughts with us?
So your not really a photographer than are you?
Kirk is just a made up name for a character you invented isn't it?
Your real name is Lenny and you are an accountant whom is a master at spreadsheets aren't you. All your photos and backgrounds and even your image is just an elaborate speadsheet.
Like this:
https://youtu.be/UBX2QQHlQ_I

Or this:
https://www.thisiscolossal.com/2017/12/tatsuo-horiuchi-excel-artist/


Jeff said...

I think we're all getting a little grumpy from being cooped up for so long and having so much of our normal lives taken away from us. Maybe we should give people a pass for what they might say in the time of the virus.

Bill Pierce said...

HOORAY !!!

jorge said...

Years ago I faced deciding between seeking a career in commercial photography or public administration. I chose the latter as my career and relegated photography to avocation. I have been following your blog for quite some time and have gained many gleams of insight into not only the artistic side of photography, but also the business side---along with a side of commentary about things in general whether directly related or not to photography. Kind of like Tom and Ray Maggliozi´s ¨Car Talk,¨ but based on photography instead of car maintenance.

During this pandemic, I have gotten tired of mainstream news, rather from the left or the right. I don´t need to be told how to feel. I don´t need to be fed opinions as though it was straight-up news. But I find in your blog something I don´t get elsewhere----a straight-up expression of how you dealing, coping and working through these times, yet also finding the time to have some fun along the way. Do I have to agree with your approach at every turn? No, but that´s not the point. I, nevertheless, have to respect it. It is your experience and they are your decision points. And somehow it helps me realize that we are not in this alone. All I can say is keep going....and writing about it. Please.

Anonymous said...

Bravo Zulu! Kirk well stated my friend, you keep on doing what you do, I don’t post often but read your blog. If someone doesn’t like it tough.
Best Regards

Wylie

MikeR said...

My first reaction to that trolling comment was, "Who asked you!?!" Loved your response. And more insight into the business part. And as far as walking around Austin with a point and shoot G16, well, why not? At the very least, it's play, and all work and no play ... you know the rest.

Btw - I did, several years ago, make an image of a slaughtered pig's head (at a local colonial era folk-life festival), converted it to monochrome to avoid the slasher flick effect, and entered it into a show, with the title, "Still Life with Bacon." Someone bought it! Also, my daughter has a framed copy of it in her dining room. (As a family, my son, daughter, grandson, and I share a somewhat cockeyed sense of humor.)

Kenneth Voigt said...

me thinks the man doth complaineth too much. "I wonder where in the fuck people get off. If you disagree with something I've written please do so civilly. Be nice "

Come on Kirk.

atmtx said...

You go Kirk!

Anonymous said...

Heh. I love the comment which suggests that you are both the commenter and the responder (and your denial). Have you ever read Pale Fire?

Your next novel could be metafiction!

I know that I've nudged in the comments in the past for you to go and play and take more portraits of your friends (in whatever way you can or feel like). As a reader, it's mainly because I like seeing the results and like reading about the obvious pleasure you get from doing it. It's probably where our photography Venn Diagrams overlap (I do formal/informal portraits of people who don't usually like to have their picture taken) and love the psychology and the glee that people greet the results with.

I also wish I could spend more time doing it myself...

When I was doing my Law degree, our Trusts lecturer said that making your worst enemy the executor of your estate was a fitting revenge. I've only done that once, thank god, and I'm very happy my career branched in a different avenue.

Although I am decades off from retirement age (and doubt I'll ever stop) I've always viewed how and when people choose to balance their work life as intensely personal. The majority of my grandparents never made it to that age... It changes your world view.

So really, after this meandering, more personal than I probably intended when I started writing, comment, all I wanted to say was thank you for your writing which I've always found interesting and thought provoking.

It's much appreciated.

Mark

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the sharply drawn and very interesting post on the business of being a successful photographer - very much Left Brain stuff

Cathal Gantly said...

Kirk,

You are far kinder to Mr. Hansen than his ill-conceived comments deserve, but than that is the mark of you, the quality of your blog and the selfless attitude in sharing and gently educating. Please keep up the good work!

CG in UK

Ann Mackay said...

I don't normally comment but I've been enjoying your blog for years and have done so recently too...it has been a pleasure to see the new posts through this Covid crisis. And I can relate to what you said about geriatric parents as I've been through the same process not long ago. Dementia is particularly awful to deal with and both mentally and emotionally exhausting, so I've been glad to take time for myself and get my life back. Please keep writing!

tnargs said...

Black and white thinking is seductive in its allure.

Abacus Photography said...

Clearly the person that provoked you originally has never run a photography business, but I bet he owns a camera with "professional" on it somewhere!

Nigel Hodges said...

Oh my goodness! Do you get many of these? There is so much that is both wrong and intellectually vacuous about this person's comments, never mind the fact that they need to learn how to have a debate in a polite fashion.
I mean, seriously, why patronise you for taking a G16 on a walkabout? Hasn't he heard of having fun taking photos with a smaller camera? I've done that with a Panasonic TZ60 when I don't want to be encumbered with anything larger: it's fun and discreet and doesn't wreak havoc on your back.
It is not up to any of us to dictate what photos or video someone else takes. It is also worth remembering that our subject matter and styles evolve over time, something your correspondent ignores.
Kirk, do take as much time off, trips away (when safe) as you want. Having lost my Mum five years ago, going away and taking photos as well as people's support after helped immensely.
The writer seems to imply that you're either retired or not. What absolute rubbish...I've been semi-retired for six years now....it's whatever you want it to be!!
And as a final (polite) comment, I hope you carry on writing the blog too!
Nigel

Frank said...

This is a good exchange for anyone who wants to offer advice, help out, or even make a client happy.

If those are your goals, then the first thing you need to do is to ask questions and together find out either what the problem is or what is wanted. One can't assume that you know either of those things about another person. (Kirk knows this and that is one reason he has a successful business :) )

Second (and actually this might be first), offering un-asked for feedback is spectacularly ineffective, and at best will irritate the person you are trying to give feedback to. For feedback to be effective, the recipient needs to ask for it.

All that said, I wish I had Kirk's marketing skills and discipline for my business!

Dave Jenkins said...

I consider Kirk a friend and I think he feels the same about me, although we've never met in person.

Having on two occasions offered some thoughts about things he might pursue during this slack time (in private emails, not publicly on his blog), I can say that he is gracious, but not especially receptive to suggestions about how to conduct his affairs. That is his prerogative, and I will in the future respect that.

G Gudmundsson said...

Mr. Hansen dear God! Arrogant and plain 'wrong' to put it mildly, on so many levels.

Anyway, good answer Kirk .... I think 99% of your readers both love your writing and your photography ... so all the best..

Dave Jenkins said...

I should add that Kirk has been at this a long time and certainly knows his business better than I or anyone else does.

Dave Jenkins said...

One final thought, and then I'll go away quietly. No professional photographer is ever retired until he is unwilling or unable to take a call from a client.

Mitch said...

Interestingly I have found that a few decades into this whole career of Photography For Money that consistency of revenue and consistency of available work... doesn’t exist. A retaining wall built by myself while free time was plentiful a few years ago is the boldest testament to that fact. (Never doing that again ... well... I know which PARTS of that I’ll never do again ... 18 tons of hand shoveled and wheel barrow hauled rock...) Re landscaping the mother in laws is the current manifestation of a downturn. While I’m in agreement that new self produced work is necessary, if I were solely judged on and able to be hired from fresh cutting edge images I made just yesterday my career would have ended long ago. Clients want, by the largest margin, something that you “do” that you can without fail show dozens of examples of (but our carpet is blue and none of the carpets in your portraits are blue) and can prove you can repeat for them. And there are some things that I’ve essentially been repeating for years. Sure they get “freshened” but they tend to be the same thing and clients still want it. Sometimes I shoot endlessly and consume vast numbers of Hampton Inn breakfasts. Sometimes I haul crushed rock. And it all suits me just fine.

JC said...

On Friday afternoon, I fell off a truck on the side of I-35 in Iowa and broke my right arm just below the shoulder. I'm right-handed. I can't type except left-handed hunt and peck. Can't play guitar, can't swim, can't paint, can't golf, can't shoot my bow, and can only photograph by putting my gx8 on top of my right fist and triggering with my left. iPhone photography is out of the question. I wish I could do as much as Kirk is doing every single day.

Rico said...

Dear Kirk -

While you are spinning your wheels you could go over to Archer City and shoot the Dairy Queen, if it's still there. Walter Benjamin and Larry McMurty may appreciate it.

But don't do it on my account. I respect your need to spin wheels. Street photos of Austin must be getting a bit tiresome; you need to get out more.

Anonymous said...

JC, good luck with your recovery. Get well soon.

Jim said...

I'm a photographer and a musician. You never really "retire" from those careers.

rgonet said...

I have enjoyed your blog for many years. It's your life, your business, and your blog so you can do and write anything you please. If there comes a day that I lose interest I can just stop reading it. But I don't think that will happen. Thanks for doing this.

rgonet said...

I have enjoyed your blog for many years. It's your life, your business, and your blog so you can do and write anything you please. If there comes a day that I lose interest I can just stop reading it. But I don't think that will happen. Thanks for doing this.