People have been telling me for a long time that I should sell some of my photography. My whole life I’ve loved taking pictures. When I was eight I got a second hand Polaroid camera and did extra chores to pay for the film. I upgraded to a 110 film camera when I was around twelve. I still remember the flashbulb sticks and not wanting to waste a flash! I remember how excited I was when I got my first 35mm. I used babysitting money to pay for film developing. Anyone else remember the double print specials? For years I printed pictures almost weekly and headed off to Meijer to search through the alphabetized racks looking for my envelopes. I made over 40 full size photo albums in the first 20 years of my adulthood! I was a holdout when digital cameras first came out on the market. I loved my multi lens Canon Rebel EOS and didn’t like the idea of not using real film. I eventually got a little Canon Sure Shot pocket digital camera and then later a multi lens digital Canon Rebel. It took me years to get out of the habit of taking every picture twice in case someone blinked! Around 2009/2010 I switched fully to the digital world and just last year scanned all the pictures from my albums and created new digital albums. With each new camera I marvel at how much better the photo quality is. I now have a Canon T7i and am very happy with it, though I am still learning all of the settings and features.
I did two of my kid’s senior pictures and my daughter’s wedding pictures but I never wanted to get into portrait/event photography. That’s a lot of pressure! I enjoy landscape/nature photography. Michigan is a photographers dream, it is gorgeous all year long and we have 4 full seasons. There is always something interesting to take a picture of. I can’t tell you how often we go to the same places and I have to pause to get a picture, even though I’ve taken pictures there dozens of times before.
It’s always just been a hobby, something I have done for fun. I decorate my home with my prints and occasionally gift some to other people. I have never sold anything and if I am being honest, never really thought anyone would be interested. There are so many people that take pictures and so many websites now that make it easy to have your own prints made. I talked myself out of it for years. I told myself that if it became a “job” then it would take the joy out of it. There was always an excuse not to try. After all, I can’t “fail” if I don’t try, right?
Part of this empty nest journey for me is figuring out who I am other than a wife and a mom. What are my interests? What can I see myself doing with my future? Do I have the courage to put myself out there in a new way? I’ve been kicking around the idea of trying to sell my photography since we moved up here. Other than my volunteer work, my schedule is pretty open. I have the time, I have a little extra money to get started. I am finally saying out loud that I believe I have the talent. Now can I actually make it happen?
There is a new artist space opening in Oscoda early next year and I’ve been in contact with the owner about selling a few pieces there. I’ll start with a 4 or 5 piece collection and see what happens. Right now I am ordering different prints from different companies to try to find a good fit. I’ll do the framing and matting myself. I may try a couple of canvas pieces too if I can find a company that can do them in a quality I am happy with. Once I find the right company to do my printing and am happy with the results then I can look into selling them on my own as well.
I’m not looking to make a living from this. Just selling a print every now and then would make a world of difference to my confidence, and maybe help pay for new camera equipment. Even if it doesn’t end up working out, at least I will know I gave it a shot. And for me, that is a big step.