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It's a brand new year baby!

2010-01-06 - 4:37 p.m.

Back in my more acerbic, partying days, when asked about my New Yearís Resolutions, I would say that my resolution was to drink more and swear more.

If youíve been reading awhile you may have gleaned that I donít tend to do either. Iíve never been a swearer by nature Ė preferring to express myself in other ways Ė and my periodic flirtations with alcohol? Well, they just didnít really go well so I had to end that relationship. It came down to two things: 1) when I drink regularly I get very ill, very easily with diminishing amounts consumed and 2) I found that I rarely liked the person I became under its influence. Now I may have a total of a few glasses of something in a given month, or I may go for more than a year between drinks. It depends on whether thereís something I like being offered to me. (I have a weakness for Black Tower and for ice cider, if youíre keeping score at home.)

So, in fact, Iíd pretty much always fail at those resolutions.

The last decade or so Iíve declined to make New Yearís Resolutions at all. This year, however, I feel like committing to a few things, and I figure that thereís no better place than a public forum to do so if I want to add a sense of gravitas to my pledge.

This year needs to be a make-or-break year for my photography business. Oh, Iíll always take pictures, but I have to decide if efforts to share and/or market my images is worth the investment of my time and money. Right now I feel like Iím not getting a whole lot of return on my investment in either respect, and while I know that it takes time to build up a clientele and audience, I may decide to scale back the active efforts to do so. And I have been active:
I have a website.
I have a portfolio on Flickr, where Iím also active in several fora.
I have a fan page on Facebook.
I have an Etsy shop.
I even have a Twitter account, though very few followers. Plus most of my tweets are imported automatically from my Facebook status updates: hardly riveting reading.

This past year I was one of the Artists in the Tulips at the Canadian Tulip Festival, did two Art in the Parks, and was the featured artist at the Glebe Community Centre art gallery for the month of November. I also collaborated with another Etsy photographer on a ceramic coaster set that featured my images, and have participated in a Blurb book with about 60 members of the Female Photographers of Etsy group, which should be available in February of this year. Also starting things off on a good note this year, I had a fantastic interview on the fPOE blog. I may have another collaboration with another Etsian in the works but itís not hammered out for sure yet, so its too early to divulge details other than it involves my images and her jewellery.

The biggest drawback of all this participation and marketing? Iíve been spending a lot of my free time on this stuff instead of devoting it to actually taking and post-processing images. I find that I can speak knowledgeably about all kinds of photo-related stuff, but my knowledge is out of proportion with the size of the actual portfolio Iíve got posted. Sure, I may have thousands of pictures, and maybe even a hundred of them are pretty good, but no one will ever know that if I donít actually, you know, get Ďem ready and get Ďem up.

So this year, I will take more pictures, and I will process more pictures, and I will post more pictures. I may concentrate more on submitting them to different venues, but I donít think Iíll do the same two Art in the Parks this year. I need more events like the Tulip Festival, which demanded little in the way of time from me but led to my two biggest sales.

And in between all of this kind of stuff, I have to make sure I stay grounded to take care of myself and to nurture the connections with my family. I think Jamaica on the 22nd will be absolutely fabulous for that, eh whot?

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