What's Next?

 Portrait of Rine from Out of Chicago - GX8, Summilux, SOOC JPEG

Portrait of Rine from Out of Chicago - GX8, Summilux, SOOC JPEG

Since I released my video about leaving Panasonic last week I got a flood of support and questions about what's next for me. I want to thank you all for the gracious support and I always appreciate moving the conversation on photography forward. Here's what's next.

Education

I just finished my last officially Panasonic sponsored event at Out of Chicago. OOC is a special photo event and if you ever get the chance make sure you go. I'm a big fan of the smaller educational events like OOC, Capture in Phoenix and Glazers PhotoFest. The smaller events gives me more FaceTime to get to know the attendees which means there's a deeper level of educational value for those that attend. Smaller events puts focus on you, the learning creator and I appreciate that.

I'm wanting to do more event like the above but it might take time to make that happen. In the meantime I'll be doing more event in Austin, Texas at my studio and on the street.

Gear

Let's talk about gear for a moment. There's going to be a continued talk on gear from me but now that I'm not under an contractual obligation I can talk freely about gear from camera companies that are not Panasonic. For my shootout at Out of Chicago students had all sorts of camera/lens combos. I did get a chance to use the new Fuji medium format digital GXF50 and I gotta say I was impressed. I could go on about the specs and such but that does not matter much. What matters to me are the people behind the camera. You matter. What you create matters. The camera is an important part of the creating process but it's just a tool. I'm going to go deeper down the rabbit hole with gear, the creator and the process of creating in the future. The conversations will challenge you, inspire you and help you grow as an artist.

Photography

To help you grow as an artist I must do that myself. It's a slippery slope seen far too often in the photo world: someone starts a side hustle making review videos, assisting or maybe educational products and they're good at it. They struggled to make a living from photography directly (which I understand completely, it's a hard biz) so they continue to grow other areas. They get caught in the trap of making a living vs making art. That is not me.

I'm fortunate enough to have a healthy photography business. I know how to make something beautiful from nothing on time and on budget. In 2005 when I left corporate America I wrote a simple note to myself, "shoot and get paid" and I intend to continue this. It's important for my creative development to continue to collaborate with other creatives, to shoot for myself and to teach others how I do it.

If you've not been on my site in a while you can see twenty something projects that are a mix of commercial and personal work and there will be more going forward.

This is a time of bold moves for me and I think as a whole we should all be taking some risks. If I try to please everyone my work will suffer, I'll loose my edge and you won't know what to expect. Leaving Panasonic while they are experiencing growth (the GH5 is a good seller to say the least) was a bold move for me and it will not be the last. What's next for you? What are you taking on in your life that's bold for you? Sometimes when you walk towards the sun it can be hard to see but the shadows will fall behind you.