Earlier this week, I received this note from Jaime:
Grant and I have been sharing emails the past couple weeks since no one else is emailing us at the moment and this week appears to be more of the same for both of us. I’m not really sure people want to read about us whining for the 3rd or 4th week in a row about summer, slow time, being poor and such, so I was curious to get your take on it. Do you think we should maybe discuss a topic or something? Take a week off? Force someone at knife point to give us work? Apply for night jobs at Wal Mart?
Whoa, let’s not talk crazy. Instead of the whining, I suggested the boys talk about the last 10 months of A Year in the Life: how their careers have grown in that time, how the blog has affected that growth, and how all of this measured up to their expectations. Sort of a check in as we near the end of our Year.
Jaime reports today, watch for Grant’s feedback tomorrow.
I think this year has been both better and worse than I was expecting. My client list has certainly grown and I definitely achieved a few goals along the way, while losing sight of a few others.
My main focuses this time last year (outside of just straight up getting work) were to grow my client list and perhaps start to make some headway in the commercial world. I’m happy to say that at least part of that has been working out for me thus far. I’m definitely shooting for a wider range of publications than I was a year ago, and now my focus in that regard has switched to figuring out ways to promote myself better to gain some larger assignments. There are still many times that I’m flipping through a magazine wishing I had been tasked to shoot something. While I hope that sense of inspiration never dies, I also want to start getting some of those gigs.
On the commercial side of things, it’s a bit of a different story. I can’t say that I had a clear vision of where I wanted to be with my commercial work and I probably still don’t. While I have been asked to quote a few jobs, my phone isn’t exactly ringing off the hook with calls from agencies. Through all of the chats and meetings that I’ve had in the past year I think it’s become quite clear that I don’t have a commercially viable book – at least not in the local market – so the onus is on me to change that if I want to move forward. I know it’s been a big talking point for both Grant and I, but it’s still a little confusing.
As for being part of the blog? That’s been exceeding my expectations all year long. I had hoped that starting this blog would be the launching pad I needed to get to the next level, and it hasn’t disappointed thus far. I definitely got to experience things that I otherwise wouldn’t have, were it not for being a part of this.
First off, I knew going in that there would be some increased exposure for me – when I was featured in ‘The Lounge’ there was a spike in the hits on my website and a couple phone calls – but I never expected it to be all that it has. My web traffic for one has quadrupled, which gave me the motivation to get off my ass and build a new site. Also being featured in PDN’s Emerging Photographer magazine, as well as other random interviews aren’t things that probably would have happened otherwise. I’ve made contacts all across the continent it seems. While I’m sure not everyone follows along every week, it’s at least made our names more recognizable I think, which is so important in this industry. Hell, I’ve even found the assistants I use through the blog.
I’ve told Heather before – I don’t want to leave. I’m going to be that 40 year old wearing an Iron Maiden t-shirt, playing video games, drinking beer and eating solely pizza and mexican food while still living in his parents basement, or in this case Heather’s blog… And maybe her basement if the summer continues to be so dead!