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 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 two large online galleries that have 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. My newer online gallery just for Costa Rica shots has an ordering service and when I want a print now, I just order a print from my SmugMug.com gallery. I'm currently partial to the glossy metal prints for display and have several in my Costa Rica house.
Explore my photography articles to learn more about my hobby. See how it got started, some of the fun I've had with it, some awards, and of course I hope you look at some of my photos in the two galleries on the main menu above! I'm proud of my work!
I shut my eyes in order to see. ~Paul Gauguin
For years I have been using different versions of the Canon Rebel 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 used to also keep a little pocket camera with me most of the time. Most didn't last long for various reasons. I'm currently using my Samsung cell phone for casual shots and when out walking. I recently got a close-up or macro lens, but honestly don't use in much, just mainly my 75-300 cheap Canon lens for birds and other distant subjects.
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 used to 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 was quite pleased and only used commercial printers for larger than 13x19 prints. For that I prefered Chromatics Nashville. I also used Dury's Nashville which is also a good printer. Because canvas prints are so expensive at Chromatics, I tried one mail-order company for one canvas print and was quite pleased. Now that I'm in Costa Rica without a good photo printer, I mainly see my work in the photo books I make and on my walls with the metal prints from SmugMug.com.
When selling I made greeting cards with mats from Photographer's Edge and had hundreds left which I gave away! :-) !
And then I let CafePress.com print my photos on various products for a small commission. Plus someone may order a print from SmugMug, but not holding my breath!
“I believe the world is incomprehensibly beautiful – an endless prospect of magic and wonder.” -Ansel Adams