A state of change
I thought I’d give you an update on a few things surrounding this site. You may have noticed some changes in both the layout and some of the peripheral content. To be perfectly honest I’m trying to find ways to get a little bit of income from the blog portion, without selling my soul in the process.
I’m very cautious about displaying publicity here because frankly, I hate ads. Correction: I hate BAD ads. This week I opened a Google Adsense account to test the waters. I added the code to the main page and less than 6 hours later the application was both accepted and active.
I felt nauseous seeing what was coming though, even after customizing admissible categories as much as I could. I opted for the smallest, least intrusive format I could find but it still felt so incredibly wrong on the page that I pulled the plug first thing yesterday morning. No way. If you saw any of it while it was up, I apologize.
Bottom line: I don’t want anything appearing on this site that I wouldn’t personally use or endorse. I’m not going to be a used car salesman.
So I’ve changed the layout to accommodate a new B&H widget. It contains the gear I’m using these days, at least what’s still available for purchase (I have a bunch of old speedlights and lenses that can no longer be linked to). I’ve gotten rid of the banner at the end of each post. I think it looks much cleaner.
I’ve also added something else that I’m sort of excited about: a customized Amazon store. Right now it’s all about photography books that have either inspired me or that I’d like to read in the future. I think it looks pretty cool and I’ll be using this to share what fuels me. There might be a gear section there eventually. We’ll see. It’s an ongoing thing and I’ll be adding to it as time goes on.
The two new widgets are in the right sidebar. In both cases I’m promoting stores and products that I use and respect. Not malware removal tools for Windows - ugh.
At least it ads the possibility of income without the slutty feeling and that’s good enough for me. Hopefully you’ll feel that way as well. What I do here is a labour of love and that’s not about to change. But if you’re planning some purchases and you enjoy the blog check these out. I may just send you a xmas card ;)
Beyond this crass monetizing stuff, I’ve changed the overall look and feel of the entire site to be more in line with the new Editions sub-blog. Where I intend to be going, instead of where I’ve been.
I need to be honest: I’m having a bit of an identity crisis as a photographer. I know who I am. I know what I want to shoot and how I want to shoot it. But the work I’m hired for isn’t necessarily allowing me to do it. It’s like I’m living two lives and it’s… Disheartening.
I recently had an opportunity to work with a great ad agency on a very cool project. Something right up my alley. Didn’t pan out. And it was entirely my fault. Sometimes you zig instead of zagging and you miss the road ahead. Fortunately it appears the bridges haven’t been burned but still…
I’ve also been talking with an amazing Nashville photographer called Peter Nash for the past several weeks. This guy has shot everyone from Willie Nelson to Dwight Yoakam to Julia Roberts and Lyle Lovett for god’s sake. But he left all of that celebrity stuff behind to shoot pets and their owners, something he truly enjoys. High end stuff. And it’s taken off like crazy. Do what you love….
We’ve been yapping about Leica, Fuji, street photography. He’s been giving me some great advice and has made me much more aware of the way I shoot and what I should be doing with it. I feel very fortunate that he’s taken a interest in what I do, “mentoring” me in a way, completely out of the blue. It’s generous as hell. He also happens to be completely mad about the X-Pro1 even though he has a D800 sitting next to it. I guess the revolution continues, one pro at a time.
What I’m getting at is this: at some point you need to find your own way and use the voice you have, expectations be damned. Otherwise you’re expendable. Interchangeable.
At some point you need to use your own damn paintbrush.
Time to do that.