This is for real...

>> Thursday, August 20, 2009

Besides a few of my closest friends, no one really knows all of these crazy ideas that have been flashing through my head for the past 2 weeks. Okay, maybe you have been able to guess by my last few blog posts and my endless status updates on facebook with my new smugmug galleries. The title change of this blog probably gives it away as well.

So, I have decided, for the time being, to stop beating myself up about the impossible situation that is finding a job in the planning field and focus more on starting some sort of an actual business in photography. At first I thought "impossible.. I don't have enough talent.. I'm a little too old.. I'm wasting my masters". And then I starting looking beyond all of that. Who says I have to throw away the value of my masters by going into my own small business? It's kind of ironic that my first choice for a career coming out of grad school was small business development. Maybe a couple of years of owning a small business would help me to actually know what I'm talking about to these budding entrepreneurs.

The more I think about it, planning is a frustrating field full of really idealistic people who get stuck in never ending bureaucracy. Planners have very little power. They come up with all of these great ideas to solve traffic problems, improve downtown facades and increase local commerce, all to be shut down by some politician who is concerned about the real estate company that has supported his campaign for 20 years. The planner is then lucky enough to negotiate just a bike lane in the (already) too congested city street.

Not to say it's a pointless career... it's very important. It's just stuck in a world that is not yet ready for planners. I learned a lot from my dad who has been on the planning commission in my home town for almost 15 years. He was invited to the commission due to his expertise in the business community and due to his reputation for contributing to community development projects. It's sad but true, he has much more of a say on community projects than the few people in our town who have degrees in planning. That's just the way it is sometimes.

So, maybe it's not completely irrelevant for me to be wanting to go into a different direction right now. I've been fighting the idea of owning a business as a career for so long.. when in the end it's probably what I'm most qualified at. When you grow up in a business family, and in a city that is driven by local businesses, you learn a lot of valuable skills that others might not be exposed to. It really helps that my family is very supportive of this crazy idea of mine to start my own business without a dime to my name. I've been blessed with having lots of talented photographer friends and other great contacts. Plus, it's just something I love doing. It's sort of cheesy to say, but I was inspired by Julie and Julia (go see the movie if you haven't!). Sometimes you just have to do what feels right even if it's not the most practical decision. Being stuck in the recession has helped, since I'm sure otherwise I would have taken the first decent paying planning job that I found.

Who knows, within 5 years I might be able to finally open a coffee shop after talking about it for so long. Heaven knows Columbia desperately needs one. We also need a coffee shop/art gallery, so that could be a fun project as well. There are so many simple improvements my town can make, especially with the mixed-use projects forming on State Street across from the Blossom Street Bridge (directly by the river).

Who knew I would ever say that, or even consider staying in Columbia. I at least have the benefit of being about to travel with this career, so it wouldn't be so bad to call Columbia home.

Right now I'm working on my website (would love advice if you have some!) and planning a trip to Greenville, Clemson and Pretty Place on Monday to take some shots with my good friend, Sarah B. I'm also doing some photo shoots with my adorable baby cousins and some newlywed friends who never had engagement pictures made. I'm taking a photography certification course in October that should really help as well.

I'd like to have the website done in 3 weeks and everything printed and put together for the Okra Strut on Sept. 26th. Please come down to visit me if you are in Columbia!

Here's one of my latest Charleston pictures. I got my first comment from a fellow photographer today so I thought that was pretty exciting!



So, if you don't mind, say a prayer, wish me luck... throw some positive vibes my way :) It's kind of a big change but it feels right and I'm pretty optimistic. I also broke down and finally joined twitter: tianicolephotog. I figured it would be a good way to update with business news. Add me if you'd like!

That's all I have for now. I've gone with 'Tia Nicole' as a business name. Maybe it'll stick ;)

4 comments:

Anonymous August 20, 2009 at 4:34 PM  

Can't say I am suprised by your recent career change..but congrats! I think you will do very well. Maybe I will have you snap some photo's of my real estate ventures (in a few years). Good Luck!

Amy August 20, 2009 at 7:53 PM  

Tia- I wish you all the best! How exciting and scary. I am glad your family is so supportive, that helps a ton. I will tell Michael's parents to buy some of your prints at the Okra Strut!

hodges August 21, 2009 at 10:16 AM  

So can I still say "Tia Tia"..or "Tia Nicole" OR Tia Tia Nicole" haha:) love you Tia! you have my full support, and I'm very inspired by your ambition and passion and commitment! We can do anything when we possess those qualities!
I can't wait to display some of your photography on my walls!!! Your work is beautiful, and it will only get better as you grow and learn!

xoxo,
Sarah

Hi! My name is Janet. August 22, 2009 at 7:26 PM  

yay for photography!! Have you heard of "Fast Track Photographer" by Dane Sanders? This book is for people starting a photography business, and Dane himself and his websites are all about helping photographers build up a successful business. you should check him out! I wish you were closer so we could talk photography in person!

Follow me on twitter!

About Me

My photo
Tia Nicole Photography has launched this summer after many practice photo sessions and the encouragement of some dear friends and family ("Life Through Tia's Lens" was a recommendation of my good friend, Kristin, who has been an avid supporter the whole way through!). This blog has documented the process from the beginning and also dates back to some older rantings during grad school and football seasons. Feel free to get to know me and my work. I like to focus primarily on natural shots, true emotions and beautiful landscapes. I also absolutely adore kids and pets so you will find a good bit of my work in these areas. Feel free to contact me anytime! I love blog comments!

My pup, Rylynn!

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