Refocusing my presence here.
I am an avid listener of podcasts, particularly podcasts about news (sigh, another day) and living a creative life. I am an actress by trade but have recently been working to transition my hobby of photography into a second career. I have neither the drive nor the talent to become a full time photographer but I haven't found anything else that gives me pleasure like photography. I love the photo taking. I love the editing. I even love posting on Instagram. In a way, it makes me feel like I have accomplished a task, however small, when I create a photo.
There are so many artists out there who have figured out a way to gain a following and, therefore, a career because of social media, and many of these people are really helpful and willing to share their experiences. Many of them were on the forefront of developing a social media presence back when social media was hardly a thing! These artists willingly share information about photography, lighting, and editing as well as what they've learned about social media. I have benefited tremendously from their generosity while also enlisting and paying for a couple of courses. It has helped me develop my craft (which still has a long way to go) and has opened my eyes to new ways to make money.
Get a feed going on Instagram! Gain followers! Study when to post and when not to post! Try to guess when the most people are bored and when they might be scrolling through their feeds! Pick your subject! Photography only this subject! Pick your colors! Pick your purpose!
These are the parts of trying to be a photographer that I don't enjoy, and it's really, really boring to me trying to chase these "numbers" in order to justify the hours I just spent taking a photograph. However, all things considered, Instagram is pretty simple. It's easy. It doesn't cost me anything and I am grateful to have an online album of my progress.
When I started The Copper Spoon Collective, I imagined thousands of followers would flock to my work. Companies would instantly begin contacting me and work would come to me. It was very exciting! I would day dream about being known as an Instagram influencer and how I would spin this into a six figure salary. I imagined working from home. I imagined setting my own hours. I imagined spread sheets involving photo shoots and deadlines.
You gotta dream. You gotta day dream. Yes, it's taken me far longer than I imagined it would to gain even 300 followers, and I realize now, my expectations were unrealistic. SO unrealistic. But I don't regret signing up for this creative outlet. It isn't over. It's still growing, and I'm still investing time in developing my eye. I think I'm okay. I think I take some nice pics. I can see how my photography is changing and I'm excited to see where it goes. At the end of the day, does it matter if 300 or 300k are along for the ride? Probably not. It's time to refocus my efforts and do it because it makes me happy.
The best part of all of this is that I have connected with some cool people on Instagram. Some foodies. Some photographers. All over the world. That never would have happened had I not started putting my material out there. It's much easier to be brave and reach out via social media than it is to pick up a phone. And people do respond! It's a whole new world out there and I love connecting with folks!
Keep day dreaming people. Keep creating and keep sharing. Keep bringing the beauty. Stop looking at the likes and the followers and do it, whatever 'it' may be for you, because YOU love it. Let's all keep pushing ourselves to learn more, to do the things that scare us a little and let's all take a giant step out of our comfort zone. How else will we learn that our boundaries are further out there than we thought?