Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Last Quarter of the Year Reflection

This blog will actually cover a number of things as I haven't posted since July when I joined the art gallery, and many things have changed.

So I'll start were I left off, the gallery. Since I have started in the gallery I have made many connections within the art world in Kenosha. I've learned so much of the art culture, that I couldn't believe how much of it was hidden in plain site! Just about every weekend is a gallery showing, local music, or a farmers market happening. It's amazing how communal this city is, but at the same time how it is hidden in plane view that you may not see it when you come here. I sure did. Also, I sold my first print last month in the gallery! It was such a great feeling receiving my first check and felt I reached another milestone in my photography.

At my day job, I have been constantly asked to work on my manager skills, organization skills, and over all more education. Another thing I found out myself, is that I lacked general business knowledge. I didn't really know how to record things, organize things, or even what options are out there to grow my business. I simply knew how to sell things and do a general decent job at marketing. So I reviewed my options and found a perfect opportunity with my work to go back to school and get a Bachelor of Science in Business Management with a concentration in Entrepreneurial Studies. This is a mutual gain for my day job and for my own business, and I have already started and just over halfway through my first set of classes.

Another new thing is I purchased the Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 AT-X 116 Pro DX Autofocus Lens for Nikon DX-Format DSLRs. Why? I was missing my landscape pictures. I was missing being able to take a photograph and not having to take 4 images to capture the subject (even though the benefit was a very high res image for printing large prints). I reviewed many online videos and read many blogs about this lens, and decided this is what I wanted. I have to say that this lens is incredible for the price. Here is a sample image I took with it.

f/4 1/400sec ISO 100 16mm
So what new am I doing in the photography business subject? Building an inventory. I started this year with 5 products (5 different prints). These were to be used in the gallery and when sold, I take the profit and purchase more images. So I have been paying what I need to on the bills for the new purchases to where I draw no interest, and _all_....I repeat all of my extra money is going to buy prints. One of the things I need to have is product as next year, in August, I will be one of the featured artists that month and have a room dedicated to show my pieces. I wouldn't fill a wall with my current images, so to make sure I have a strong presentation I have started to build an inventory. This will also allow me to do flee markets, or similar things, next year if I choose to do that as well. So over the next months I will only be purchasing prints on sale days where I purchase my prints from. Just a last week I ordered 5 metal prints, each at 30% off!  I also have to renew all of my permits with the state this year as they are due every two years. This year, I plan on taking a loss on my business as this year I only make money on prints I sold and not on photo sessions and events like I did last year. To date, I have turned 9 weddings and over 20 portrait sessions. Those numbers, I may have to purchase my portrait lens.....but that would be another $1,300 purchase. I was actually thinking of starting to print all of the 13" width prints and less at home, which the printer is $1,000. It would pay for itself in 3 years at the current rate of sales. So I have some decisions to make with that; do I return back to portraits or continue doing what I love.

Upcoming blog, that I actually started last month and never finished, is about photo processing. I also have another blog subject in my head as well, so hopefully In October I can at least give 2 blog posts.

milwaukee skyline canvas prints

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