now that i've laid claim to a humble piece of cyberspace pie, what next? i'm reminded of a tribe called quest's inaugural album people's instinctive travels and the paths of rhythm. where does my path lead from here?
well, there are a few things coming together simultaneously that have pressed me into action. though i've been entertaining the idea of going "pro" for a while now, i've been caught up in quite a bit of indecision and self-doubt. first off, i have to get my photo-skills up. to do so, it would be invaluable for me to have a network of fellow aspiring photogs i can tap so we can learn and grow together. in order to be taken seriously by my peers, i need more, better equipment. this circle of overlapping assumptions and reckoning has gotten me nowhere fast. then it all came to a head when i caught wind of an upcoming smugmug meet-up next tuesday night.
i follow the cyber-trail (blog and twitter) of wedding photographer jasmine star who hosted the first such event here in orange county, california, about a month ago. i discovered her a tad late to be aware of the event. fortunately, i was on the lookout this time around, and am primed to stake claim on two seats (mrs. yutaka will be joining me for moral support). as soon as i decided to attend, it was made clear to me that this will be a golden opportunity to launch my endeavor. about 250 people attended the first meet, and i'm sure that number will swell next week. this is my big chance to mingle with like-minded people and, god willing, begin to carve out my niche. to this end, i decided to press on with a personal blog (i'd been experimenting with a group blog with friends for a few month now). i'm also looking at getting some basic business cards made. in the end, it seems crucial that i have something tangible to point others toward next tuesday night.
the lovely and mysterious mrs. yutaka (henceforth "dawn") will provide moral support at the smugmug meet-up.
what do i hope to accomplish at this thing? i'd love to take steps toward clearing up some of my personal predicaments. perhaps i could find opportunities to assist, second shoot, or simply pick the brains of some other pros at or near my level. i'm SO eager to bridge this gap because i feel like i'm swimming in an ocean of theory i've immersed myself in via the internet, but to see it put to practical use by someone with experience would just unify the whole thing.
i also get to hear the great jessica claire guest-speak at this event. she's one of the first pros i became aware of since i started down this path, and i absolutely jock her work. so i get to hear two important pros that i follow speak in person, and for free! if nothing else, i'll get a little pseudo-celeb thrill out of the whole thing.
in a similar vein, i decided to read dane sander's book fast track photographer in hopes of getting more focused on how to get things rolling. one pointer that i will take to this smugmug event is the idea of networking across rather than up. it's unrealistic to think industry leaders like claire or star would put a scrub like me under their wings. not to say they aren't nice people, but what do i have to offer them in return? not a whole lot. however, when networking laterally, other similarly-experienced colleagues might be able to learn some things from me, and me from them. this would be a true win-win situation. so rather than shoot for the stars (pun intended) i'll keep it real. keep your fingers crossed for me.
what lies down this path of my life? hopefully more than a big orange.