When life gets busy dreams tend to go by the wayside. Work has been chaos lately and when I come home I’m exhausted. Lately I’ve been thinking that I should go back to school and get my classroom ed license so that I can have my own classroom. I’m not sure about this. I still want to be a photographer, but is working for myself right now the best idea? Do I even like the idea of having to be the sole member of my company and therefore have the responsibility of all the financial, booking, photographing, editing, printing? It would be nice to work as a second shooter for someone for a while, but how do you even go about getting a job like that? Also, is there any reason why I can’t be a teacher and do photography on the side? I could always move towards photography full-time as I get better and more confident.

I really don’t know how to proceed. I don’t even know where to begin. I’ve always wanted to be a teacher since I was a little girl. That got messed up when I decided that I wanted to be a high school band director. Turns out studying music was not my idea of a good time and I really don’t like teaching high school students. I much prefer the little kids 3rd grade and younger.

There are pros and cons of course to going back to school to be a teacher. The pros are I’m more likely to get a job than going back to school for photography; I’m going to get paid more than I do now as a paraprofessional; I’d get to have autonomy at work which I do not have now, but not have to rely solely on myself; I’d get to work with more than one kid all day; and lets not forget those really nice summer vacations, winter break, Thanksgiving break, and spring break that I would not have if I worked any other place besides a school.

However, there are also cons to becoming a teacher. It costs money to go back to school. I’d only be making around $30,000 a year to start, and for a long time after if I got a job in my current district since they’re going on their 4th year of pay freeze. As a photographer (or really any other career) there’s the opportunity to make much more than that. I’d have to deal with parents who think by forcing their kids to actually work you’re ruining their spirit. I’d still have to work with difficult kids. There’s no guarantee I’d have the support of my principal in my philosophy that discipline is a part of providing a caring and nurturing academic environment and part of preparing students to function in the real world. Then there’s all the drama that is present in the elementary schools between the staff over kids, philosophies, etc, etc… And lets not overlook the fact that being a teacher would make it more difficult to pursue photography as a hobby or as a profession.

Like I said before, I really don’t know what to do. I applied for a job with a photography company and probably would have received a position there. However, it would not be as a photographer, it would be in sales. I would have had to travel around the country and back all the time and pay would be commission based. The commission was measly too and there was no insurance and no guarantee that I’d make enough to pay for insurance through DH at the school. Overall, it was not a situation that I wanted to get into and not the course I want to take with my photography career.

The main problem with photography is I don’t even know where to start. I’d like to get some schooling to gain experience and knowledge; but that cost money and unlike with education there’s not a decent guarantee that I’ll get a job afterwards. I also have no idea how to go about getting a job in photography not working for myself at least for the time being. How do you find a job working for another photographer or studio? Do they want you to have formal training or is it possible to find someone who will take basic knowledge and want to train you in their ways themselves?

Needless to say the word of the year is “uncertainty.”

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Things I Wish I Could Do

There’s a load of laundry sitting by the dryer waiting to be washed and I’m sure the house needs to be cleaned. However, all I want to do is something to do with photography. I’ve been thinking lately that maybe I should try to find some sort of work to do in photography. Get my foot in the door, carry equipment, set-up lights (learn to set up lights). That sort of stuff. I realize that no one will probably want to hire me as a second shooter since I have no experience, but it would be nice to be doing something in photography. Now just to figure out how to get a position doing this…

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Lomo Photo Effects

I’ve been playing around with some photo effect actions I found online today and here’s one of the pictures I came up with that I like a lot. Every day I’m more and more convinced that I need to purchase Photoshop CS5 despite the fact that I said I was only going to get Lightroom. They both do such completely different things that I ant them both. Good thing I work for a school and get an educators/staff discount!

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Wordless Wednesday: Mountain Pass

I’ve decided to start doing Wordless Wednesdays. For those of you who don’t know Wordless Wednesdays is where you post a photo instead of a blog post. This Wednesday I’m adding words, but only to explain. Please feel free to post links to your own photos for Wordless Wednesdays in the comments sections. Enjoy!

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Playing Around With Photoshop

I’ve been playing around with Photoshop this afternoon and attempting to create a decent self-portrait. At some point I would like to have someone else take a portrait of me since it is a tad bit difficult to take a good self-portrait IMO. Anyway, here’s what I came up with. It’s not too bad. Also, I added two other edits I did playing around a few days ago. I’m trying Photoshop out for a month after which I will probably end up buying it.

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DBA or LLC While Portfolio Building – Weigh In!

Okay everyone, here’s my dilemma: I want to start working on portfolio building asap, and obviously I will be doing sessions for free. However, if anyone I do a photo session for would like pictures from that session I don’t want to just give them away for free (since they will cost me to print). What I’d like to do is to offer the pictures to those who want them at cost so I don’t incur the price of photos as well as the price of the time to travel to and do a session (which I am glad to incur for the time being while portfolio building).

Seeing as I don’t want to get on the bad side of the IRS I am looking on advice for how to proceed with registering my business and have a few questions:

1. Do I need to even register as a business before portfolio building if I will not be making a profit?

2. If I do, should I start with registering as Doing Business As or just register as a LLC which I eventually want to  become to protect myself and my family?

3. Should I offer photos at cost or should I just take the hit for any photos the people kind enough to help me build my portfolio want? (I know there will be differences of opinions, but I’m looking for how other people did this before. Why reinvent the wheel?)

4. Will I also need to get a business license if my town/county requires a business license before I start portfolio building if I accept any money for photos (even just accepting cost)?

I hope that there will at least be a few of you who are willing to give some advice. This is an exciting and scary time for me and I look forward to hearing what you all have to say. Thank you all in advance for your time! Have a wonderful Tuesday!

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Lightroom 3

I ordered my copy of Lightroom 3 and it should be here sometime soon! I found out that I get a great discount because I work at a school so I think once it gets here I’m going to download a free trial of Photoshop CS5 and see if I’d like to buy that too. Pretty soon I’ll be able to post pictures online again!

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Attempt #1 at stock photography: FAIL

I signed up for a stock photo site… You had to submit 10 photos for review and all 10 were rejected. After looking at the photos on the site I’m not surprised. However, I have no idea how to take photos like that. In the words of Natasha Bedingfield “I need some help; some inspiration.” If anyone has any suggestions or resources for taking good stock photos I would be much appreciated.

On another note, I decided I want to sign up for classes at the local community college to help gain some experinece and confidence. I just need to call now and see if I can get into their portraiture 101 class without taking intro to film photography. I can understand the usefulness of this course, but for the sake of time I would like to be able to take what I really need instead.

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I’m Living in a Digital World And The Cable Company Cut Off My Digital Feet

In this digital world we live in today it feels like being cut off at the knees not to have an internet connection at our house. When did we all become so independent on the internet??? I really don’t know how it happened to me. Probably sometime in college when all my assignments and grades were posted online and professors contacted students by email only. It’s not a bad thing though. In a digital world where it is possible to connect with thousands of people with one twitter tweet, Facebook status update, or blog post it makes networking turbocharged and is manna for the individual looking to start a one-person business. Being without a consistent link to the digital world is like being cut off at the knees – digitally speaking.

I am currently writing this blog post from my local library. Yes, that is where I’ve been going most days to get my internet fix if only for a few minutes to check my email and Facebook. It’s nearly impossible to update my blog, Tweet, or do anything else related to my quest to start my own business when my husband is waiting for his turn to use the computer to check his email and Facebook accounts. Not that I blame him; I blame the cable company who apparently refuses to come hook up cable in our house. Today will be the 3rd time I’ve called in the past month and they still haven’t shown up. I’d go with DSL except for the fact that it’s more expensive and slower. It’s getting old…FAST.

It feels as though I’m falling behind on my goals without the digital community to support me and to expect the next blog post or Twitter update. I’ve lost following on my blog and I’ve lost a bunch of my followers on twitter. It’s so difficult to hold myself to my goals when I don’t feel obligated to anyone. The main reason I started this blog and my Twitter account is to feel accountable to others for my goals. It helps. Websites on starting your own business say it helps. Now I don’t have the time, because I have to drive elsewhere and use a computer that’s not mine that doesn’t have my photos on it; and in order to post photos I have to put them on a jumpdrive and hope that my husbands laptop and the library internet connection decide that they want to upload to the internet that day.

Needless to say, I do not have any photos to add to this blog post, and for that I am truly sorry. Hopefully this time will be the last time I have to call the cable company. Hopefully next week we will have internet at our house and I can reconnect with the digital world in which we live. I’m keeping my fingers crossed, but I’m not holding my breath.


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Columbines, Iris And Other Flowers Around The Yard

It’s been quite a while since I’ve been able to post due to the fact that I still do not have Internet at my new house. Our house apparently never got wired for cable and I’ve yet to hear back from Comcast about getting internet set up. Such a pain. For now we are traveling to the library to use the internet and I’ve finally had a free moment to take the time to post.

Our yard is pretty much landscaped, even if it’s not in the way we want. There are tons of Irises and there is a whole bed of Columbines which have previously begun to self-sow and are filling in quite nicely. The bed of Columbines and Aspen trees will definitely be staying when I put in raised bed gardens. Luckily the trees do not shade any of the area that I want to put a vegetable garden in.

Today I finally had some down time to wander around outside with my camera. It was a very sunny day so I put my polarizing filter on my 85mm lens (about 135 on my D90 sensor) to cut down on the glare some. I also went back and put the 18-55mm zoom lens on my camera without the polarizer so I could take some closer pictures. I’m still not sure what I think of the 85mm lens. It’s not very practical for taking nature pictures; my zoom and the 50mm do a much better job with nature. I’m hoping that once I start doing portraits it will show its strength as I won’t have to get so close to my subjects (something I like to do with flowers). All of the following photos were touched up in Lightroom which helped a lot with the fact these pictures were taking in very bright daylight.

Today was the last day of my Lightroom trial. I sadly did not get to use it as much as I was hoping for due to the fact that my computer just got set up yesterday and moving and setting up house took a lot of my time away from taking photos. I do believe that I have decided to purchase Lightroom. I love how it does pretty much everything I want for a fraction of Photoshop and for a lot less confusion. Someday I will probably get Photoshop, but for now Lightroom and Photoscape will do just fine.

Without any further ado here are the photos I took around the yard of flowers today. It’s amazing to believe that such beautiful things are in our yard and in full bloom. (Also, it looks as though one of the two rose bushes hasn’t bloomed yet and may bloom soon!)

Have a wonderful Tuesday evening!

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