It has been a busy and fantastic run but over the past couple years I have steadily been shifting my photographic business back to my original intentions. I went into the building in town to have an office space outside of the home and then things got a little convuloted at that point. Instead of focusing on my corporate/editorial work like I originally intended, I started getting into retail portraits just by having the exposure on Main Street. Now, mind you, that is not a bad thing. I enjoyed dabbling in that for a while. That side of the business took off like wildfire and quickly took over my life. And that was unintentional. I used to have a hard time saying no! (Except for weddings, no way!) Not anymore.
I have had a great many wonderful clients over the past years and thank them very much. Sheridan schools approached me about working with them and that took off. I enjoyed working with Mrs. Shelburne and Mrs. Pitzer with the yearbook and Mr. Shelburne and Mr. Jones with the athletics. They were always great with me. It was kind-of neat to shoot some high school sports again after 20 years since I was a newspaper photographer. I also got to meet a lot of great kids and have seen them go on to the workforce or college.
But there was a problem, with all the new work on the retail portrait side, my corporate/editorial work was getting pushed to the wayside and I found myself working many hours, sometimes up to 70/week. And getting burned out.
A couple years ago I decided that I needed to step back. I was going to give up the school contract in 2011 but stayed on another year; but in that time I decided not to advertise with the phone book, newpapers and other avenues to try and lighten the retail load. It helped some as I was able to do more corporate work. But not enough. In June of '12 I let the school know that I was not going to be the official photographer anymore. In July, I let the athletic department know that I also would not be doing the sports photos anymore.
I am dedicating my photography back to what I love. Hittin' the road when I want and going where I want and not worrying about retail hours and having to be at the studio at the beck and call of local clients. It's been liberating! Corporate sales are back up to where they should be and expanding.
With the technology now I can sit in my RV out west with my dog by my side, or sit in a Cafe and upload photos to my agencies with ease. I can work when I want and be with my wife and kids when I want. I can work with the police department a little easier with my open schedule to help fill in shifts for them. And I can dedicate more time to the US Naval Sea Cadet Corps and the responsibilities of commanding the Indianapolis division.
This past year I was hardly ever at the studio. So, finally, I decided that there was no point in maintaining that space if I was rarely using it. I think I kept the studio longer than I should have just because I didn't want to move all the stuff! I hate moving!
I have a full year coming up and lots of projects. The beagle and I will be putting thousands more miles under our belts on the back-roads of America. I'll be able to go to drill weekends and summer trainings without juggling clients and worrying about other people's schedules. I can take a day at the last minute and fill a shift at the PD without cancelling on somebody. I can feel un-rushed cutting grass or doing other things at church. Selfish? Yes. But not to my family and my volunteering.
So this is "so long" to Sheridan but not goodbye as I will be shooting a lot, just not here. Thanks for the Main Street memories but it is time to move on. There is still a lot to fit in before the Good Lord decides to call me Home!
The mobile office, somewhere outside Area 51, Nevada, 2012