Last week was my last week with my previous day job.
Today is day one of my new job: Photographer, Blogger and Entrepreneur.
Over the last year I have been thinking a lot of where I want to go and what I want to do with my life. Between running the blog, taking on photo assignments, developing products like the bokeh masters kit, being a software lead in Texas Instruments I had to show an ID so my kids and wife will let me enter my house.
I also felt that I could not keep doing all my tasks at the same level of execution that I would like in the long run.
So a decision had to be made what has to go out.
It was not an easy decision. Photography and the DIYP blog is obviously where my passion is. And this was a main motivator to my decision.
Over the last year, I was getting a very strong feedback from the DIYP community about posts, the Flickr pool and the bokeh masters kit. This was major factor #2. Factor 2, obviously would not be there without you readers whom I could not thank enough.
So, starting from today, I am letting my past as a software engineer and project manager behind me and I will be focusing entirely on a new/old career.
I have set a few goals for the next year, at the end of which I am going to review them and see if I made the right decision.
Goal #1: Make the DIYP Blog better, bigger and more involved with the community. DIYP today is a great place to hang out. There are many, many great posts and tutorials, a [mostly] lively Flickr discussion board and image pool. And great conversations going on in the comments. There are weeks, however, with only one post and sometimes even not that.
Over the next year, I am going to invest a lot in the blog, making more posts and upping the quality. Some will be long step by step, tutorials, some will be quick tips, and hopefully many of those will come from the community.
While stats may not be the best way to measure the success of this target, they provide some good intell on the direction and power of the blog. So I would like stats to double at the end of the year.
Goal #2: Grow my photography career. I've been working as a paid photographer for about two years now. I've been doing mostly children, and maternity sessions, as well as some assignments for the business market. However, I was lacking focus. While I am still not sure which of the two directions is the one for me, or if I can do them both in parallel, I plan to invent a major part of my time photographing (and marketing, networking, editing, and proofing).
So don't be surprised if you see an occasional post about the business of photography as I see it.
Goal #3: Continue to create photography products. Building and marketing the Bokeh Masters Kit is the thing that enabled me to make this move financially. The strong response from the community has actually kept lots of sleeping hours from my family as we packed and shipped the kits. With the overwhelming response I realized that there is a market for products in the spirit of DIY. There are a few products in the queue, and hopefully you'll see a few launches on the blog as the year progresses.
As I said before, one of the strong pushes I got to make this move is the support the DIYP community is providing. If you'd like to help pushing this blog forward there are many ways to do so:
Spread the word: help us reach a wider audience by following DIYP on twitter and twitting about new items, sharing us on facebook. If you used one of the tutorials to make a great picture, mention the tutorial link in the captions. And generally tell your friends about us.
Get involved: I learned that many, many wonderful and talented photographers are reading DIYP. I stand small when seeing the knowledge they bring to the Flickr group or when answering questions raised in comments. The best way to get involved is to take part in those discussions. Ask questions in the pool when you are facing a difficulty. Answer and give feedback is you are more experienced.
Write for DIYP. I am always on the look for tips, ideas and tutorials. If you made something cool and want to share it with the community, drop me a note and we get things going. If you build something cool and blogged it, share it on the comments or on the Flickr threads. If you see something cool on the web, share it via twitter, Flickr or the comments, so we can inform the rest of the community.
Lastly, at the risk of sounding too sentimental, thanks you all for reading, participating and making this possible.
Heading to a great year, please join the ride,