Normally, when I launch a new website, I announce it on all my social media accounts with enough fanfare to hopefully get visitors. Then I go about my business and start updating my brand-spanking new site.
Last night, on August 16, 2017 at around 11pm, I did my obligatory “Visit my new website” post with the link on my personal Facebook. That same night, I was going to announce it on my newly changed Instagram account, @anjanettearnold, but unfortunately, I was watching “So You Think You Can Dance” clips on YouTube in a zombie-like state. This eventually put me to sleep at around 4:00 in the morning.
Today, I was about to announce my new website on IG, but I think I need to explain to my combined few-hundred social media followers why little ol’ me has THREE photography websites and Instagram accounts.
Here is a simple answer to a complex situation…I’m at a crossroads!
I was originally was going to call this blog post “See You at the Crossroads” like that Bone Thugs-N-Harmony song, but I held back because, well, that song is about memorializing death or at least the end of something. Don’t worry, I’m physically fine and I don’t think I’m going to die any time soon. However, I’m at a crossroad where I’m contemplating ending something that consumed my life for the past 5 years…photography.
This all started back around May or June when I announced to my 600+ friends on Facebook that I’m going to hang it up after finishing all my outstanding shoots for 2017. At the time, I was feeling burned-out and felt it was showing in my work. I was also getting mad at myself for not opening a book to study for the GMAT (to apply for grad school) because I said to myself I was going to start in March. I basically was “over it”.
Since then, I was trying to make a conscious effort not to add on any more work on top of my other photography obligations, and I think I’m doing a pretty decent job. I haven’t added more trade-for-print (TFP) shoots lately and I may try to continue that for the rest of the year. I’ve also stepped down as an organizer for my Aspiring Photographers group on Meetup.com and just demoted myself to just a member.
Sorry for rambling, but every reason needs a back story. I’m now going to cut to the chase and explain why I have added more work with 3 websites and 3 IG accounts. I have decided to make 2018 my last-ditch effort to actually making some REAL money with photography, and assess from there whether to make it a business or just a hobby.
I love all aspects of photography, but I can’t be the jack-of-all trades photographer. I need to find my niche.
I really want my niche to be fashion photography. It’s my ultimate dream is to be on the same level of the people I look up to like Nigel Barker, Matthew Rolston, Herb Ritts, Russell James, etc. Unfortunately, the chances of reaching that level are the same as becoming a celebrity. I’m going to be doing TFP’s for the rest of my life and resort to teaching and conducting workshops to earn money, which I absolutely don’t want to do!
Well what about wedding photography? It’s great and all, and I can make decent money out of it, but it’s so much hard work and stressful! Also, I live in the wedding capital of the world…Las Vegas. It’s hard to compete with the chapels and more established wedding photographers. To be honest, I don’t see myself doing only wedding photography long-term.
I asked for advice in a Facebook group on finding a niche, and someone suggested I do glamour photography, which really resonated with me. Instead of working with models, I can make potential clients feel like a model for the day. They were so popular in the 80’s and 90’s. I just need to bring a 2010’s spin to it!
From that point forward, I decided to do a whole re-brand overhaul. I plan to re-brand Vogue Shots (@vogueshotsphoto) as a boutique glamour photography “studio”. Once the Vegas weather cools down in the Fall, I may do a few model calls to help market my new brand and get up and ready for early to mid-2018.
With 2 more weddings down the pipe for 2017, including one in the San Francisco area, I may still want to do weddings every now and then. I have great wedding and engagement work to share, so I made a new IG account, @photosbyanjanette.
But then, I still have dreams and aspirations of being a fashion photographer too. This prompted me to change @anjanettearnold to a personal IG account. I may still want to do cool and exciting shoots that I would like to share. Maybe I will go the blogging route with this, if I can keep up!
Sigh…I’m truly at a crossroads indeed!