I’ve been using photography as my creative outlet for about 12 years now, and I’ve always considered myself to be a landscape photographer, because landscapes are what move me the most.
The trouble is, if you aren’t where the landscape is, then you can’t photograph it. Happily though, I live near a lot of nature reserves, and get quite a buzz out of photographing wildlife too, so I’ve called myself a landscape and wildlife photographer, and this blog has been mainly about that pursuit, and my Etsy store is stocked almost exclusively with landscape and wildlife images.
But, here’s the thing – the internet is jam-packed with landscape and wildlife images, and I really do feel like I get lost a little in the noise. A lot of people like my images, but only one person has ever actually bought any, and aside from a quick view on here or social media, I don’t think many people come back to look at them again. Now, that’s fine, but I put a lot of effort into my images and a lot of thought, and ultimately, it’s for my own benefit – not selling them isn’t really an issue, especially when I consider that there are a lot of people out there who do it for a living (check out Thomas Heaton – amazing work), and I dabble here and there.
Recently, while I was working with Zizi Moondust, the owner of the studio, who has modelled for decades and is now a photographer with heavy hitting credentials, suggested I could take care of some of the cosplay work he sometimes gets, if he is out of town. Zizi herself then suggested that I should do more studio work and since then, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it. My collaboration with Zizi has been incredible so far, in both the creative project, and the fact that we have sold quite a few prints to some of Zizi’s fans, which helps cover the costs of more studio time.
I love photography, and photographing people is a lot of fun! Even more so in a studio where I control everything. So, increasingly, I am thinking of expanding my studio work. It’s a great opportunity for me to work through some of the hundreds of ideas I have for interesting images of people (I have literally had to start writing them down there are so many). Money becomes more of an issue, the studio has to be hired, and models have to be found and paid for, but maybe that’s worth it to create what I want?
Another option, in addition to my own creative projects, is to book the studio for a day and offer some family photography or similar. People are far more likely to be in the market for their own images, and it might be a way to bring in a little income to cover the costs of the more creative work.
Naturally, I will always be a landscape photographer – I grew up in a very rural landscape and it’s just part of who I am – but sharing the joy of creating images by taking them of other people, for other people, feels like it has a magic of its own.
For now, this is just a pipe dream – I have no real idea how I would go about making it happen, but I have a few whispers of ideas that might just work…