December 1, 2021 marks TIA’s 12th year in the business of professional photography.
In many ways, it’s a remarkable accomplishment and watershed. I am very proud of the achievement given that I always thought TIA would be very short-lived. At the same time, reflecting on the last 12 years, if I’m being completely honest (and introspective), TIA is not yet where I had hoped it would be if there was going to be this type of longevity. Mainly, my aspiration has always been that TIA would supply the entirety of my annual income, but I still work for an employer full-time.
It’s not a bad thing when one looks at a professional career related to the arts in 2021. I know of many professional photographers who still have a day job because we’re in a time in which photography exists in an oversaturated market where a customer has a plethora of choices among photographers if the customer doesn’t inevitably decide to take the photos she wants herself.
In fact, my current employer provides benefits which TIA could not if I were to hire an assistant — a move many people have recommended me to do without considering what hiring an assistant actually entails. It will take some more time before I decide to hire if a need should ever arise.
Regardless, I am grateful that I still have this creative outlet to occupy my hours when I’m not working for an employer. Without TIA, I probably would have left Seattle after two or three years, which was the length of time I used to live in one place before moving to another. By March 2022, I would have been a resident of Seattle for 15 years, which I could never have foreseen when I arrived from Washington, D.C. I think delving into professional photography and starting a small business anchored me to the Emerald City. Photography has often been my creative escape from the corporate politics or toxic corporate culture which accompany most of the day-time jobs I’ve had previously. Personally, without that escape, I would probably be a very melancholic individual.
In other words, photography has essentially kept me quite sane and chipper during the most recent years of my life.
The work (photography, to be clear) is hard work, but I love every second of it. I’m still profoundly agitated, weary, and wary of social media platforms. I took extremely long breaks from both Twitter and Flickr this year, only resuming my activity recently. I still see social media as a tool to inform potential customers or viewers of my services. Whether the tool is handy is part of an ongoing debate that’s been taking place for years.
In the grand scheme of things, no regrets to this day with TIA. I am very proud of what I have been able to achieve via photography to date. I’ve made a lot of mistakes (in my processing, my negotiations, and my pricing, etc.), but I have also weathered through all these mishaps and still get hired for assignments every year. As I told my friend Kirk (who has literally commented on approximately 90% of the posts I’ve published in this blog since its inception — thanks, KD), something in the universe is communicating to me that I’m doing something right.
A very warm and sincere thanks for all your continued support, enthusiasm, and interest since 2009.
Below, please enjoy a short video to commemorate the occasion. It’s rather atypical in presentation compared to previous videos, but it’s meant to be humorous and, as always, enjoyable. You might like the music too.
Lastly, all TIA original photographs are now 20% OFF throughout the month of December, including prints and licenses. Visit www.tia-international-photography.com to make your purchase. When prompted, enter your discount code (TIA12)!