Getting Lost is Easy!

To say the last couple of years have been rough is putting it mildly. I had relaunched my business 2018/2019 having moved here form South Africa in 2011. I had big plans for 2020 and then covid happened and along with covid came lock downs. It's extremely difficult to build a business when you rely on meeting people and taking their pictures. I saw this quote somewhere on social media and it aptly describes what the last 3 years have been to me:

“2020 Changed me, 2021 Broke me, 2022 Awoke me”

When you are stuck at home with your thoughts and you have a lot of personal stuff happening it is hard to stay motivated. Your own thoughts can be your enemy. You start questioning yourself especially when the jobs are not coming in and you yourself are battling with what politicians are selling as the new normal. You are spending a lot of time online, looking at what other photographers are doing and during the last 3 years we ended up spending a lot more time online and the way we interacted with people changed. It became Zoom and Teams meetings and online collaboration. I found myself looking at what a lot of other photographers were doing. I have relied on Instagram to be a source of growth for me but recent changes by Facebook to Instagram meant you could no longer rely on hash tagging for organic growth, it was all but dead unless you paid for ads. There is this proliferation of accounts where they "feature" other photographers work, they get the growth in followers because they are featuring the BEST work of photographers and you as the photographer have to be grateful for the feature and thank them. The system is broken. I also made the mistake of looking at what a lot of other photographers were doing on social media. The way they use presets and manipulate the colours to get different looks to their images. I learned old school, using film, doing everything in camera and taking natural images. I felt like I had to compete with these photographers and developed a full set of presets myself. I felt I had to follow the trends in order to get recognised. Problem with presets is they work nicely on some photos and not on others, depending on the colours worn and the colours in the image so you spiral into this trend of creating more presets. The other issue with social media, especially Instagram is its mostly fake and unrealistic. I was headed down this route, trying to stay ahead of the pack and trying to be to much, Weddings, Portraits, Maternity, Newborn, Landscape and the list goes on.

Sunset from the Eagles Nest, Kosciusko New South Wales - January 2022

Finding Yourself again, not so easy!

At the start of this year I was completely lost. I had lost a lot over 2020, 2021. A lot of people had left my life permanently. I had stopped using social media such as Facebook for anything personal as I did not trust Zuckerberg. Three years ago I was getting 200+ Birthday wishes, in 2022 I got less than 10 wishes and that is okay. In 2022 I learned who my real friends were. In 2022 I decided I would try my hand selling some of my Artwork at the Canberra Handmade Markets which has proven very difficult in itself. Getting a stand is by no means cheap or guaranteed. I did the July and October Markets and did okay in that I paid my rent and covered my costs. I was hoping the December markets would change that but did not get a stand so I took a stand at the Christmas markets, although I was offered a stand at Handmade at the 11th hour. The foray into selling my art was not as successful as I had hoped. Many people complementing my work, but I think high interest rates and the downturn in the economy has resulted people not spending on items they don't necessarily need.

In 2022 I found myself. Getting out to the markets and meeting people and telling them the stories of my work was fantastic. We are a social species who are drawn to each other. We need each other and despite the best efforts by governments and main stream media to drive hate and division between us, we find each other and its a beautiful thing. In November 2022 I was lucky enough to attend a Wedding Photography Workshop with the fantastic Ben Connolly on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, who pushed me out of my comfort zone and forced me to stretch my abilities. I was fortunate to be able to attend this with my son Ryan.

I have been extremely privileged and lucky to have the support of a few good friends and my family this year that has allowed me to find my photographic direction again. I am extremely grateful to the new people who have come into my life this year and also grateful that the doors have closed on previous relationships as I don't believe the new doors would have opened had the old ones not closed.

Easter Sunday, Canberra Australian Capital Territory - April 2022

2023 Bring it on!

What I learned in 2022 is to embrace the style of the photographer who I am and have always been. I take natural looking timeless photographs. Goodbye presets (Sorry if some of you like them but they are gone). Personal social media is still a no for me and I love the time I have in my life for doing other things rather than mindlessly scrolling through a Facebook feed that mostly does not show me what my friends are doing anyway. In 2023 I will continue to strive to build my business, putting myself out of my comfort zones so that my skills can grow. I have recently relaunched my web site. While I will be open to work in other areas of photography, my focus will be Weddings and Portraits and I will continue to grow my fine art landscape photography. I don't care if people like my posts or follow me on social media or if my feed is one consistent colour/look/feel, I care about taking pictures that people will love and cherish for years to come and will still be loved by future generations.

On this page you will see 3 of my favourite pictures taken this year, Eagles Nest was a Focal Stack of 5 shots, Horse head rock was a 4 Minute exposure.

Thank you to everyone who supported me in 2022!

Horse Head Rock, Bermagui New Soth Wales - February 2022