You don't take a photograph, you make it. Ansel Adams
Hobby to Business . . . Back to Hobby - A Quick History
From late 2003 until spring of 2008 I worked pretty hard at selling nature photos and photo products. I called my business Nature as Art. I set up my tent in dozens of Arts & Crafts Fairs; had several indoor shows and at one time was in three local art galleries, one restaurant and the Nashville Farmers Market. See "Photo Exhibits" in the menu for photos of a few of these shows.
It was loads of fun at first and I sold a lot of photos. But it was also a lot of hard work; it kept me away from church often; all the heavy lifting and long hours standing created serious backaches; and after 4 years I was still losing money. I sold my trailer, tent, displays, tables, everything! Out of business!
I now do photography for my own enjoyment with no serious efforts to sell. Without even trying, I sell a few each year on my CafePress.com shop at a 10% commission for. I offer photo books for sale on Blurb.com and have sold four! :-) My photos are still in the Garden Brunch Cafe but getting old and when I moved out of downtown, I donated them to the owners. I think I sold 4 or 5 photos there earlier. Three or four times someone found a photo in the online gallery they wanted to buy. So the photo business is almost accidental now with no real effort and certainly no real income!
My biggest joy is maintaining a large online gallery that has had over two million visitors so far with some nice comments. I also self-publish a photo book about every major vacation trip and an occasional subject book or family history book. I also display some of my photos in my home and they are displayed in my church and in some businesses. Nashville Zoo has used a lot of my photos for promotional purposes, though less since they got an official photographer.
Explore my photography articles to learn more about my hobby. See how it got started, some of the fun I've had with it, and of course I hope you look at some of my photos! I'm proud of my work!
I shut my eyes in order to see. ~Paul Gauguin
Currently I use a Canon Rebel xti SLR Digital camera for most of my work. It replaced my earlier Canon 10D which was my first SLR Digital camera. I love both of them and have become brand-loyal to Canon. I also keep a little pocket camera with me most of the time. Most don't last long for various reasons. I'm currently using a little Canon PowerShot Elph, but have had an earlier PowerShot, a Nikon Coopix and a Sony SureShot all of which have had the zoom to lock up or the menu controls quit working on the Sony. I now buy them at Office Depot where for a moderate price you get a 2-year replacement warranty which has paid off twice now!
In the 1990's I got a Canon Rebel G film camera which was what I used during my three years in The Gambia. And I guess that was when I became sold on Canon. It was easy to use and made quality photos. I did better when shooting slides over print film, but in Gambia only print film could be processed and mailorder was undependable there. Thus I shot print film and don't have good digital copies of them for much practical use now. Most of my Gambia prints I make today are from poor scans of either the negative or a print on my HP Scanner. I wish I could afford to pay someone to make high-quality scans of thoses thousands of Gambia negatives! Oh well . . .
What processing I do is now in Photoshop Elements v.8. I started off with the first Elements program then went to full Photoshop which kept upgrading too often at too high a cost. So I returned to Elements and they are doing the same thing and now talking about an annual membership required. So I may end up checking out Corel Draw or something else if Adobe keeps pricing me out.
I print all of my images up to 13x19 on an Epson Stylus PHOTO R2400. It replace my earlier 2200 printer, both of which do superb jobs of printing with 100+ years color-fastness guaranteed says Epson. I have been quite pleased and only use commercial printers for larger than 13x19 prints. For that I prefer Chromatics Nashville. I have also used Dury's Nashville which is also a good printer. Because canvas prints are so expensive at Chromatics, I have tried one mail-order company for one canvas print and was quite pleased.
When selling I made greeting cards with mats from Photographer's Edge and still have hundreds left if interested in some photo cards! :-) I give them away to visitors to my house!
And then I let CafePress.com print my photos on various products for a small commission.
“I believe the world is incomprehensibly beautiful – an endless prospect of magic and wonder.” -Ansel Adams