Updated: Mar 18
There are a lot of changes coming and I suppose this is where I'll tell you about them.
Let me preface this by stating that I am not a writer. Words are not my craft of choice and you are likely better off because of it.
Whoa! You’re Back on Facebook?
If you have followed me for any period of time, you will probably have noticed that I’ve let my Facebook page become inactive over the years.
FB has, for years now, been progressively making it more and more difficult for artists and businesses to reach new audiences and has all but smothered their ability to be seen by an existing audience without purchasing ads. Rather than become frustrated with FB, I just stopped using it.
Facebook was never a driving force in my business and I didn’t miss it.
However, this year I am making conscious effort to rebuild my Facebook page in concert with my old portrait Instagram (which I also semi-abandoned a few years ago) and I will begin slowly updating both in the near future with new work.
So, yeah... I’m back!
To some degree, at least. I am an introvert by nature and discussing my work (read as: “selling myself”) is not something that comes naturally to me so give it time.
So what’s been going on with me since I gave up on the FB?
Well, I’m glad you asked!
For as long as we’ve known each other, my wife and I have always had a touch of the wanderlust. We have lived in numerous states since we first met in 2007 and already traveled frequently in our small Class C motor home. We usually dreaded returning home after a trip. At some point we just decided it was’t worth going home anymore and we decided to make a change.
So we decided to give full-time RV’ing a go for a bit.
After selling our Southern Oregon house, we have taken the last couple of years to travel the U.S. and Canada, following the seasons and booking work with established clients wherever possible along the way.
As you can imagine, traveling this way makes it difficult to reach new clients but I’ve always been able to pick up some additional client work here and there between meeting obligations with some of my regular clients.
However, I’ve had plenty of free time on my hands as well. I spent that free-time working on one of my passions, documentary and candid street photography on 35mm film.
Traveling to the many places we have has given me the opportunity to photograph cities I never took the time to explore before.
Historically, whenever I traveled for work I would be in and out as soon as the job was done, never taking time to explore the city.
While it doesn’t come without it’s own unique set of challenges, living on the road doesn’t suck. I wouldn’t trade the last two years for anything. However, nothing is ever constant in our lives and we felt it was time to make another change.
So, now what?
Well, here’s the deal. My wife and I have selected a new city almost at random.
We are both quite wanderlust and have spent most of our lives moving around so we specifically wanted to choose our new home someplace that neither of us have ever lived before.
We both love fishing (warm water sport fish, in particular) so we had our hearts set on some place with big Cats and large Bass.
We also wanted to choose a city with an active and thriving art community.
And finally, living on the road for the last two years, we haven’t been able to socialize much and we want to be able to go out with friends now and again. We’re both busy people but it’s nice to know that we can hang out with some friends once in a while if we so desire. We love our dog but he doesn’t have much to say most days.
So where’s it gonna be, Drew? Pitter-patter, let’s get at ‘er!
Alright. We choose… Chattanooga!
We’ve got friends there. There’s fishing. Chickamauga Lake, as far as I know, is basically a monster factory for Bass and Catfish. From my understanding, the art community is quite lively. And we’ve never lived there before.
Or been there...
How’s that gonna work?
I don’t know! It’s scary as hell! But why not, right?
We’ve been living this way for a long time. Packing up and moving with very little planning just because it seems like the thing to do. We’ve picked up and planted roots too many times to count. It’s different every time and that’s sort of the thrill of it.
We won’t be settling down for a couple months yet but I’ve got plenty to do in order to prepare. I’ll be working on rebuilding my website and contacting some of my loyal clients to notify them of the upcoming change.
I’ll be researching the local market and working out a strategy to inject myself as fluidly as possible. I’ve got a few clients that will travel to me and others I’ll happily travel for but I really want to settle in and try to build a local clientele base which, in all likelihood, means giving in really trying to leverage social media to my advantage.
I think I would really like to involve myself in the local art community as well. I’ve never really engaged with a community of artists before. Not for any reason, specifically, other than pretending I don’t have the time because that’s easier than admitting I’m socially inept.
Perhaps I’ll even work on putting together some gallery shows with some of my street photography or conceptual work.
Eventually, I think I’d really like to open a studio with shared space. Maybe make it a learning space for other creatives as well. Perhaps even a darkroom co-op? I don't know yet.
For now, I’m just kind of winging it and looking forward to making some new contacts for portraits and small brand work in Chattanooga.
Header photo courtesy of my good friend Travis Haight.