New endeavors

Fall rolls around and each year, while I am at first resistant to loosing the warmth and sun of Summer, I find myself eager for a bit of change. You know, just to shake it up. Autumn is perhaps the most strikingly obvious change in seasons for me. Spring of course too, but for some reason Fall is when I feel the urging to get out of any ruts I am in and do something new. Last year at this time was when I revamped this site, which has resulted in me regularly keeping it up and gaining a fair (an honestly rather surprising) number of visits each day.

So this year I am launching into something that has been in the works for many, many years and I have amply tested the waters over and over again, but just never fully jumped into. I worked my way through my Architecture degree by having a job (or a few) on the side of going to school full time. My main one was working in a Photography Studio which was fully equipped with film and digital resources, from a shooting studio with pro lighting and equipment to digital workstations for post-processing and printing work to a huge darkroom and presentation facilities. Matt and I pretty much lived in the Lab, which was located in this dark little dungeon of the semi-brutalist concrete Architecture Building. We worked as lab tech’s, running the studio, setting up shoots, mixing chemicals- everything down to troubleshooting computer malfunctions and teaching others how to utilize the facilities. The best benefits were having all of those resources at our fingertips nearly any time we desired to use them. And mostly, the opportunities we had to work with and learn from some truly amazing, talented, and occasionally obsessive-compulsive Photographers. That led to taking on work on the side, gaining many referrals and beginning to branch out and picking up side work. I shot a lot of portraits, pregnancy photography, even a few weddings. But it always had to be on the side, because our school load was always a pressing priority. We were also continually and amply supported by the resources available at the studio, which made it incredibly easy to take advantage of pursuing a hobby beyond simply a hobby.

Then we graduated and decided to move 1500 miles to Seattle. The guy we worked for in the Lab was the last person we saw in San Luis Obispo before we drove off in our weighted-down Subaru filled with everything we owned (and our sedated Cat). Since then, we just haven’t had the resources at our fingertips to make it even remotely feasible to continue pro photography in quite the same way. Plus, I have had three kids in three years, which continue to be my top priority. However, in that time frame as well, the support resources for working photographers has absolutely exploded. While back then digital still didn’t quite have huge advantages over film (and I still think the true art form of Photography is preserved in Medium and Large format analog form), now it has really blossomed into it’s own realm and has become far more efficient and superior for most types of working photographers. So much of the business and post-production work that has always been too insurmountable of a burden for me to really be able to work as a pro photographer again have been taken care of by the digital realm. Now with online printing and proofing services, everything down to taxes and shipping are taken care of by a third party. This has been the first time since we walked away from working as photographers that I have realized how attainable being a photographer and a mom truly can be thanks to the amazing number of available online resources.

So I am officially ‘getting back into it’. My passion that has been either a secondary thing or reduced to a hobby is getting rekindled as I am launching it into an official business. I have spent the last few months building business models, researching, testing, selling and buying equipment, scheming, designing and planning. In now way am I there, I am giving myself a whole year to get this business to a break even point, having set up milestones and goals along the way. But I feel like I am getting rolling pretty well. There is still a lot of work to be done, but so far I am excited and refreshed by the prospects of what this new venture will bring. Of course, everyone has to start somewhere, and just getting out of square one has been a big leap.

It also means a bit more divided time that must be scheduled out and allocated according to importance and priority. I have so very much enjoyed having this blog to cultivate and grow, I don’t want to compromise it, but I also want to use the resource of blogging to enhance my business, which I just don’t feel can all be accomplished in this one site. I have decided to launch an additional blog dedicated just to that, as I feel one of the downsides to this space is that I call it a design blog and it really just isn’t. This space has become a ‘my life’ blog and I really feel it is important to keep the official pro photography stuff separate from being too muddled in with my goals and desires for this blog. So from now on I will be posting personal stuff here and photography stuff over at the natalie g. photography blog. [I must warn you, don’t bookmark that site because I plan in the next month to launch a wordpress.org site linked in with my portfolio site which will in the near future be at nataliegphotograhy.com as I want to be able to post images wider than 500px and wordpress.com templates currently don’t allow that, so for now use the link over in the left-hand column]

I am also doing a big push to get shoots lined up and get my name out there. Baby steps, baby steps. I have received so much encouragement, complements and inquiries about my photography here that I would like to extend the opportunity to book one of my upcoming (and first) round of Mini-Sessions to readers of this blog. Therefore I have decided to GIVE AWAY 1 Mini-Session to one of you. Unfortunately, it requires that person be in Seattle on the 8th of November, so apologies in advanced for non-local readers.

Here’s the deal: I plan to do a full day of Half-hour Mini-Sessions once every few months as an affordable option for families looking for awesome and unique family or children’s portraits without having to shell out a ton of money. My first round for Fall is coming up in a few weeks and will be at Volunteer Park among the amazingly vibrant Autumn leaves (examples can be seen on my aforementioned new blog).

fallminisession

If you want to WIN a FREE Mini-Session (currently worth $65), simply leave a Comment on THIS POST before MIDNIGHT OCTOBER 30TH. On the 31st of October, I will randomly draw a commenter and shoot their session for free. Just leave a comment, that’s it. Oh, and be able to commit to a half-hour on Saturday, November 8th.

Additionally, if you book one of these sessions with me on the 8th, I will give readers of this blog a coupon code for 20% off professional prints and product orders from the session. Email me at {nataliegphotography [at] gmail [dotty] com} and mention you read g. design journal in your message.

I really feel that launching this business is a big step for me personally. I am putting a lot of myself out there in a vulnerable way, but still have a lot of faith that this is the right thing for me to do and confidence it will work out well. This blog has taught me a lot in these areas where I normally wouldn’t venture out on a limb. I think if I hadn’t have been blogging here for almost two years, I likely wouldn’t have the courage to be trying what I am now going to do. I thank you for reading and hope you have gotten something out of my words and images, because I sure have.

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~ by gdesign on October 23, 2008.

8 Responses to “New endeavors”

  1. Hey! This is so exciting!! We would definitely be down for the mini-shoot if we’re in town that day which I think we are. I will email you. This new business of yours is sure to POP! I’ll pray for you and your new endeavor, friend.

  2. I’ve always loved your photos! Please add us to the drawing!

  3. Awesome…I am so proud of you. You are one of the most creatively talented people I know. (You do not have to enter me into the drawing). If we ever have time I would happily pay full price for one of you mini sessions.

  4. Bravo Natalie! Im elated for you, putting your passions first is always seems a bit scary. Im glad you took the leap!

  5. okay, so obviously i can’t be there in seattle, but i wanted to say i’m very excited for your new endeavors! can’ wait to see all of your beautiful work!

  6. Can we schedule a mini-session for sometime this winter? Maybe during the weekend we come up for skiing, which will obviously be determined later.

    It was great to see you this weekend. We need to get together more often. Portland to Seattle is too easy of a drive.

  7. We’re interested and can do either morning or afternoon shoot.

  8. […] we generated a number having been assigned to each of the comments in the order received for the Photography Mini-Sessions Giveaway and eliminating comments from people not entering the contest], we have a […]

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