Thursday, February 17, 2011
When I first launched my photography business it was all about taking action towards living a dream. That dream was to earn a living doing one of the things that I most enjoy which is taking photographs. It's my attempt at "the persuit of happiness.”
The other things that I most enjoy doing are flying and lending my flying ability to volunteer with the CAP doing emergency services work. We have a fleet of aircraft owned by the US Air Force and we use them to find downed aircraft, lost hikers and other missions primarily for the Air Force and Homeland Security. Lately, we have been getting a lot of missions to photograph things like the aftermath of Hurricanes Rita and Katrina, the Gulf Oil Spill and some other things.
Well, the CAP figured out that I’m pretty good with a camera so, first I became part of the Aerial Photography team. At first I was not excited about the idea of giving up a pilot's seat position for a back seat aircrew position. But, that did not turn out to really be the case. Now I am in charge of the whole Aerial Photography Program at my squadron.
In my work on Aerial Photography for CAP I discovered that I really like it. I get to do the two things that I love the most of all at the same time. I appreciate the role that aerial photography played in early aviation and that aviation played in photography. I believe that I am unique as both a photographer and an aviator in my passion and capabilities in both areas.
I like it so much in fact that I am going to focus Bill Mellett Photography on Aerial Photographic Art. I'm going to train my two passions on one unified effort.
I don’t have it all worked out yet but, the change of direction means that from a business point of view, I am going to focus on editorial work and sales of fine art. I plan on doing some personal projects in North Texas to build up my portfolio in this area. Then I am going to try and connect with art directors and publishers to get my work published.
On the fine art side, I will produce an inventory of prints and try to sell them on-line and in person. I might self publish a small number of books and try to sell them at local venues.
The audience that I am targeting on the editorial side will be magazines, visitors bureaus, real estate professionals and anyone else who needs imagery of the areas that I will cover or that they employ me to cover. I would love to see my work on the cover of Texas Highways Magazine, for example. On the fine art side, I imagine my audience to be anyone with a special connection to the areas that I will cover. I can imagine tourists to Dallas appreciating my aerial photographs of the city.
This decision did not come lightly to me. I’ve built up a client and partner base serving a small geographic area that I feel very loyal and imensely gratful to. Without my clients, partners and friends help it would not be possible for me to have the courage to take this next bold step. I’m not going anywhere. I will still be there to service any of my existing base for whatever photographic needs they have and want me to handle it. It would truly be my honor and I’ll continue to punt business back their way when I can. I'll still volunteer my services to local charities.
I’m glad that fractured parts of my life are starting to dovetail together. The next big challenge will be to develop the vision for my work. I have some ideas that I'm exited to get started on but, I’ll leave that for now and save it for another blog post.