I have been hanging around with cameras for a very long time.
In high school, photography became a very serious hobby. I had my own darkroom in the basement, and undoubtedly took thousands of black and white photos in those days. I wound my own unexposed film into 35m cans back then in the late 70s.
I wish I knew where all of those negatives were, and as far as the photos that came from them, most of them were given to people who asked for them. Their logic was that I could just make myself another one. A lot of people don't understand how much goes into creating a photograph, but I gave the photos away anyway. Hopefully, the person who has all of those black and white negatives somehow reads this, and they are returned to me. If not, what I don't remember doesn't always hurt me.
I found that the same thing would happen with the color photos that I processed after I no longer had access to a place where I could develop my own negatives and photos, and so I eventually began ordering doubles so people could have what they wanted. I've always been about sharing my work.
And then digital cameras were born!
I have been shooting digital for 17 years. I acquired my first digital while attending a certification program for visual communications at Gibbs College. It was awesome! Unlimited photos! No film! No chemicals! No mess! It was a miracle.
But, it was also a burden, because I'm a serial shooter, and I just took shot after shot after shot...
As you can imagine, I have hundreds of thousands of photos in my archives. Negatives, prints, digital images. Movies. Birthdays. Bridal showers. Weddings. Baby showers. Newborn photos. Christmas parties. Work. Street. Everywhere. Everything. Everyday, Every day. If you've seen me at a party, I probably have photos of it.
I think what a lot of people don't understand is that finding photos, labeling them, sorting them, archiving them, editing them, uploading them, and sharing them takes a great deal of time. Everybody wants to see the photos I took, but there's a huge time factor involved.
"Cathy, did you ever develop those photos from my birthday?"
"Cathy, where are the photos from the retirement party?".
"Cathy, could you take photos for me and then just send them to me?"
I could create a list of steps necessary to produce and share an album, but that's time consuming, and I have to get ready to visit John where he's rehabbing after his hip surgery. Poor baby.
My brand of photo processing and editing is a lot of time-consuming work that requires a specific skill set. I financed my own college education for digital communications and editing at the turn of the century (I love to use that phrase), and also currently enrolled at Pace University for a certification in digital photography and Photoshop. I cannot even begin to tell you how invaluable the information is that I have so far received here. It will make me very employable.
But there within lies the conundrum.
How am I to sort, edit, label, etc. and share all of my photos with everyone if I do not have the time to do it because work and life get in the way? I am not employed right now at any specific place because I want to start my own business of creating photo books and oversized pieces of art for sale, and have returned to school to learn as much as I can. My hopes are that in September I will be able to take classes in digital illustration again.
In the meantime, it's shooting, homework, and creating. I've also begun posting to LinkedIn; I think it's worth my while to try to make some contacts outside of healthcare.
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Good Afternoon on the precipice of both the full moon and Summer Solstice this evening! Getting ready to leave for school after this. Should be an interesting time in Manhattan.
So, now that there are ten days left to the campaign, I've been meaning to mention that we revamped the entire thing except for the rewards; the video was too long, and it didn't really explain specifically enough what our goals were. The campaign has really become about the book, and not the oversized pieces of art. The oversized pieces have become "stretch goals" (what we will produce if we go 3g past our goal). but will be created nonetheless - especially if someone backs the entire collection at 10g. I was inspired by Brandon Stanton's commencement speech at Wagner College here on Staten Island, and while a lot of it stuck with me, one thing resonated loud and clear - if I didn't just put the Kickstarter out there, if I waited until it was ready, it would never get done. That's how he got started with his "Humans of New York" page. Originally, he had planned to photograph and interview people and create a map, but the map never happened because the HONY page took off on a life of its own, and I'm proud to say that I not only backed his very first book that was promoted in cooperation with Tumblr (I have a beautiful HONY tote bag!), but I preordered several of those books, and also pre-ordered his next two books as gifts as well. If Brandon can do it, I can do it. You can do it.
So, I stuck with the June 1 launch date - even though I was having a lot of trouble with the video and the message - because I knew if I kept putting it off until it was perfect, it would never get done. And you know what? It was far from perfect. So was my marketing scheme. But that's OK; if I can't take risks, what good am I? At least I got the campaign out there like I had planned. It's real. I need help getting the word out, so pardon my request that you share this blog post!
Please check out the updated video and you'll see what I'm talking about. I agonized over my video for weeks and weeks and weeks. The rest of this campaign was ready *months* ago (except for the social media plan, which I now have), and the first video was almost seven minutes long and really ridiculous. I finally got it under 1:45, and the message is now much more clear and concise. Please take a look! http://bit.ly/CathleensScene Thank you!