Yesterday I finally realized that on January 1st of this year I had been in business as a self-employed photographer (aka – “freelancer”) for 10 years. Wow. I couldn’t believe it. That anniversary had come and gone and I didn’t even notice. So I did something that I should have done, as a businessman, sooner – made a list of the years I’ve been self-employed with the number of jobs I had each month of each year and my gross income for each year. There it was, in black & white, my company “Rich Green Photography“. The Good. The Bad. The Ugly. To be fair, some years were up and some were down as with any business in this recession.
I thought about the changes I have gone through:
1- I took business courses at a local college in the first month – January 2002.
2- I was shooting film – color/b&w/slide/negative.
3- My equipment was 35mm and medium format.
4- I had a darkroom but only processed and printed b&W.
5- I did a lot of driving to labs for processing.
6- Early in the year I put up my first website.
7- January 2005 – I converted to digital. (Canon)
8- By this time, my darkroom was not being used for personal or business anymore.
9- I continued expanding my digital horizons – reading/taking courses/etc.
10- My website slowly improved but I was probably on page 15 in a google search.
11- November 2006 I decided to upload some images to a stock photo company.
12- I continued upgrading my camera gear, computer & software.
13- I sold off my darkroom equipment keeping a few items for sentimental reasons.
14- Clients came. Clients left.
15- I continued uploading stock images. They started being licensed.
16- I persisted tweaking my website. I’m now on page 1 of a google search.
17- I still, on a rare occasion, shoot with film for fun.
18- I love shooting for stock. It’s not a big earner but it keeps me sharp.
19- I’m still amazed when a potential client contacts me from overseas (like England).
20- And on and on and on.
Anyway, it’s 10 years and I’m still standing.
What else can I do? I’m too old for breaking & entering.