Each year I like to look back and view my growth & accomplishments as a photographer. It’s a chance for me to see if I fulfilled my photography goals I set and to gauge where I need to focus and plan for the new year. So here we go!
Highlights of 2016
My husband & I traveled from Oregon to California, Nevada, Arizona, Utah & New Mexico. You can see my favorite photos from last year here. I didn’t get to go to some of the places that I had planned on. Since I live nomadically, I can make those places at another time.
It’s always nice to meet up with other photographers while out in the field photographing. The first photographer meet up was with Anne McKimmell and her husband Ray. We camped with them in a couple of locations, plus Anne & I photographed the Algodones Dunes one evening during sunset.
While we were visiting White Sands National Monument, my husband & I met up with Alan Majchrowicz another fantastic landscape photographer. I met Alan for the first time on the Oregon Coast a few years back.
Interviews & Recognitions
I had the privilege of being interviewed by Anna Gragert of My Modern Met in March. They have a big following on their blog & social media so it was nice to see traffic coming to my website from it.
I was fortunate again this year to be interviewed on three separate podcasts!
- Photography Roundtable Podcast – (4/11/2016) Interviewed by David Johnston.
- Three Colors Podcast – (8/2016) Interviewed by Johny J. Spencer for his landscape & nature photography podcast.
- PhotoProfit Podcast – (9/2016) Interviewed by Brent Mail. The podcast is about making money in photography.
I submitted some photos to the USA Landscape Photographer of the Year photo contest. Even though I didn’t win any of the categories, I’m honored that at least three images were shortlisted in the first round. I usually don’t do photo contests, but thought I would give it a try.
During my May visit on the Oregon Coast I pulled my work out of an interior design shop that I had high hopes for. My work had been in their showroom for two years without a sale even though I had heard from several people that my metal prints garnered a lot of compliments. When I picked up my pieces I was disappointed that there were several scuffs and scratches on 3 of my metal prints. Something to keep in mind if you are in a shop like this, things get moved around a lot so they have the potential to get damaged.
I’m going on my 5th year at the Second Street Gallery in Bandon, Oregon. This continues to be a good fit for my work and I really like the owners and the employees who work there.
The other gallery I really love to be in is the Mindpower Galley in Reedsport, Oregon. The two sisters who run it are fantastic women and artists.
I am happy that four of my images were licensed by an art consulting company for Curry County Health on the Southern Oregon Coast. They are large acrylic prints. I will have to check it out the next time I’m back home in Oregon.
What’s Coming for 2017
I’m always looking forward to the new year and traveling to new locations and a re-visiting a couple of my favorite spots. So definitely more travel is on the agenda for this year!
Goals for 2017
My main priority is finishing up my ebook, Your Photography – A Guide to Selling Your Work Locally. I was trying to finish it up and launch it during a time when we were traveling back to Oregon. Once I got back to Oregon, we began camp hosting at Oregon State Parks for the summer and I just couldn’t devote the time I needed on it.
I will continue writing for Visual Wilderness as a contributing author. I hope to also write more on my own blog. Definitely writing is again on my list of high priorities for 2017.
Grow My Mailing List
This year I am going to focus more on increasing and growing my current mailing list. There has been some steady growth but I have not nearly spent the time needed to segment my list and utilize it to the fullest. I have missed a couple of months of sending out a monthly newsletter. Now that I am paying monthly for MailChimp. I am more motivated than ever to send something out each month.
Balance Social Media Accounts
During the last couple of years I have gotten burnt out on social media. There were so many accounts I was posting to and so many new ones I was invited to try, it just became too much. Since I started traveling nomadically, I spend a lot less time on the socials. Partly due to the data usage. I need to keep a close watch on cell data because it is expensive and we only have so much we pay for each month. It’s a lot more expensive than cable in a real home. Another reason I spend less time on social media is because I just choose to. I would rather be outside exploring than spending hours online.
Last year I closed my 500px account for the second time since it began. It had turned into a disappointing place to share my photos. It was a super easy decision to close it and be done with it.
I will continue to post to Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Instagram and Flickr. Flickr is on shaky grounds though as Yahoo has undergone some major changes with their company. I still like some of the contacts I’ve had there for a long time and enjoy sharing there. Google+ is not what it was a couple of years ago either but I still have over 57K followers there and still have some good interactions and contacts. Only time will tell on both Flickr and Google+ but for this year, I will continue to share on them. With Facebook I still have an audience though it hasn’t grown like it has in the past. They want you to pay for promoting your page more and more so it makes it difficult for my audience to see everything I post there. Since a ton of people are on Facebook, it’s just smart to have an active presence there.
One of the things I hope to focus more on is pointing every post to my own website. The majority of any work whether it is print sales, publishers or art consultants comes through my own website. I often ask how people found me and probably 95% tell me they found me in the search engines. Which brings me to my own website…
Focus On My Website
I would like to fit in a redesign sometime this year. I want to make my site more e-commerce friendly. That is, I want to integrate Spotify or something else. Adding a shopping cart plugin, would be helpful with selling eBooks or other products other than my prints. My WordPress website is already integrated with SmugMug for print sales. That continues to be the primary place where people purchase my prints. I have my SmugMug account set for print sizes up to 24×36. Anything larger I prefer to work directly with customers because I may choose a different lab, depending on the type of print they want. People often will contact me directly anyway when they don’t see the size they want on my SmugMug account. It’s always great to give the personal touch to my customers.
I already made my site responsive a few years ago but it’s good to continually look at new web technology and make sure my site is mobile friendly as much as possible. After all, I come from a web development background and it’s in my nature and training to be staying on top of this stuff that is constantly changing!
Shows and Art Galleries
I haven’t done any shows in the last couple of years since I began traveling nomadically, mainly because it’s hard to carry inventory in an already crowded RV. But if the right show comes up I may be submitting an image or two. I’ll be looking for the right fit.
I visited a few art galleries this year just scoping them out for possibly seeing if I could get my work into them. This year I plan to approach them with some samples in hand. We’ll see how that goes. It would be nice to be in a couple of galleries other than the Southern Oregon Coast where very specific images sell well there.
Changing my Gear
Last year I made the decision to sell all my Canon Camera gear and switch totally over to Fuji. I found myself bringing my Fuji X-T1 more and more on hikes. It was nice packing a lighter weight mirrorless system. Plus I was finding that my favorite photos were taken with it. You can read about my switch to Fujifilm here.
After I sold all my Canon gear I purchased the new Fujifilm X-T2 camera and one new lens. I already had three Fuji lenses but I plan to purchase a couple more sometime soon. I purchased two new camera bags to go along with the new system. I’m excited about getting out and shooting more with my new camera!
I’m still months behind on processing images from last year’s travels. I hope to stay on task this year and finally get caught up and stay that way! We’ll see!
Thanks for reading to the end. I hope this year turns out to be a good one for each and everyone of you!