The Writings

What Am I Doing? [7.1 - The Silent Treatment Edition]

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All of the photography business advice you will receive will, at some point, include in its list of pointers that you should regularly update your blog, even when you're busy, because potential clients will see the lack of updates as a signal that, to the contrary, you are not actually busy, but instead, you've got nothing going on. For the past two weeks, I have decided to shun conventional wisdom, not because I feel I'm above it, but because I was just too busy to give a shit about conventional wisdom.

Between a trip to Philadelphia while simultaneously plotting a trip to NYC, shooting events, menu tastings for a new restaurant, a wedding shoot, new business and photographic opportunities, and debating myself about what to do next with certain ventures, its just been one of those kind of 14 days. Let me explain. No, there is no time. Let me sum up.

Because I'm bucking conventional wisdom, sure, I'll go ahead and say it: I don't shoot events. They're not my bag. Yes, it's true, I own a camera, and a mighty fine Canon 7D at that, but let me dispel a rumor for all of you out there: just because someone owns a camera and professes to be a photographer DOES NOT mean they will shoot anything and everything.

Man, I'm being such a Grumpy Gus today, aren't I?

"So, if you don't shoot events, Mr. Smartypants, then why did you shoot this one?" I can hear you disdainfully ask me, hypothetically. First of all, we just say "smartypants". Doesn't matter who said "mister". Secondly, there comes a point in your career where you do things you don't normally do for the sake of doing. This would be one of them, as I was starting to get the itch to shoot something out of the ordinary to stay focused and fresh, since I was feeling a bit out of touch lately. And thirdly, because I... wanted to. Isn't that good enough of a reason?

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I have done a few shoots for one of my favorite clients, California Tortilla, and they passed my information along to the fine folks at Acumen Solutions, who were having a get together. It's one of those moments where you get giddy because your client is spreading the word about you, making me especially not want to let them down. The thing about events that I don't like is essentially feeling like I'm whoring myself out to strangers to get some posed photograph of uninterested people who may have only met that evening and are now associated with those people forever in that photo. I hate getting posed photos and I feel like I'm being completely intrusive to everyone's good time. So, if you connected the dots, shooting an event that involved attendees who actually KNOW the other attendees ahead of time, giving a much more relaxed and celebratory atmosphere instead of the tense, desperate, unenjoyable nature of networking events or fundraisers, you can see why I made an exception to the rule. There are always exceptions to the rule.

Meanwhile, good friend and occasional shooting partner, Alicia Griffin, managed to get an email about one of my favorite chefs, Spike Mendelsohn, opening a new restaurant in DC and hosting a tasting dinner for media. Along with chef Brad Race, the two created Béarnaise, a steak frites, French concept based on the pair's experiences in France and cooking in NYC. I'm one of the biggest fans of Spike ever since I saw him on Top Chef, so to get a sneak peek at his latest venture was a thrill (thanks, Alicia!). I'll have to write up all the goodness into a post (which Noe has delightfully done on her fresh and updated site). Suffice it to say, the food was amazing and I look forward to directing friends and DC newcomers to yet another location!

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I mean, just look at those profiteroles! And that's not even the best item on the menu!

This was quickly followed by a wedding Alicia and I shot together for the third and final installment in the "Keats Wedding Series". Each wedding has been noticeably different - fitting for three vastly different personalities - and this one was no exception. After shooting Paul and Heather's wedding back in November of 2010, followed by John and Samantha's wedding back in October of last year, Brandon and Aley were ready to get hitched, and the occasion certainly left nothing to disappoint. A venue by the water and kilts... need I say more?

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I mean, KILTS! And no, I didn't check for... "authenticity", so you can keep those questions to yourself.

All of this while simultaneously trying to figure out what on earth I'm going to do with the podcast. I've noticed a TREMENDOUS surge of photography podcasts springing up like newbie photographers flooding the industry, and it's a little disheartening to put forth so much effort and have it thwarted by - and this is speaking from an entirely subjective and bitter place - weaker podcast shows who get more reps. I'm worried that I'm spending more time on a modest podcast program and not enough on promoting my photography business, so this is something I'm deeply contemplating and mulling over.

Meanwhile, I've got a lot of upcoming news involving my photography racket (of which I can't yet speak... I know, I'm such a tease and a jerk) that I'm very excited to share. Once everything gets settled, I'll be happy to flood your social media streams with the news, but in the meantime, it's nice that, just when I start to feel I've hit a slow period in developments with my photography (no pun intended... sort of), something always presents itself; a lesson you'd think I'd have learned by now after nearly four years of this nonsense.

So, there you have it in a nutshell. A nearly one-thousand-word nutshell... oops. With so much going on, honestly, it was a bit overwhelming to think I had to designate time to write some type of photography blog post just to let you all know I'm alive and kickin' it. Sparing you from half-assed posts to waste your time on, as well as attempting to achieve this amidst photo editing and social events, it was more of an afterthought to everything I was trying to accomplish. You can respect the decision for the momentary silence, right?

However, if you forgive me and can find it in your hearts to give me another chance, I'll make it up to you with new blog posts about what I've shot and a new podcast episode full of my ranting and venting. How about that?!

Until next time,

- Patrick