Yes, I have been very busy taking care of many unexpected things. This has been a very bad year for most of us. But, I did manage to get my portfolio site done. Here is the link- https://jbthomasphotography.myportfolio.com/home This is how the site will look mostly. A few small changes will take place as time allows. Please check it out when you have time and thx for reading!😎👍🤘
Tag Archives: Thoughts
A couple of things to spice up your lives today.
Coming from the poor side of existence, I am often very reluctant to pay for anything. Life has a habit of screwing me over, the minute things get caught up. With that in mind, I had to weigh it against the importance of my business situation and common sense eventually won the day.
I will be spending the next few weeks or months, building a portfolio site for my photos and art. While this website will not be a means to sell anything, it is still needed as a digital business card. To keep striving without any real plan of advancement is just folly. Although I am fully aware of just how good most of my photos are and it is clear many people do agree with that assessment, I need to find an venue that displays my photography(and art) in the best possible light.
The next order of business is also about photography. Up until now, I have haphazardly put together this career choice. I will admit that was not a wise thing to do. Sometimes we get so caught up in things that we forget to do some of the most basic things. In regards to photography, I doubly did this. Not only did I fail to create a portfolio site, I failed to create even a blog. I was under the mindset that the images should speak for themselves. That was a wrong frame of mind.
With the Fine Art America website, it completely lacks any real means of telling a photo or piece of artwork’s tale. It also severely lacks in presentation. Don’t even let me get started in the pricing model of the site, I already wrote about that. Thusly, I shall be creating a blog devoted to the subject of photography in the coming months. This blog will be used in conjunction with YouTube videos, that will teach how I create, what I create. So if you have ever been interested in learning more about photography, it will be the place to be.
Lastly, in regards to the pricing of Fine Art America, I have actually raised the prices on prints. Not because I am an ass. But because I believe that I was underpaid for the photo prints I have sold through there. I realize the pricing there is a bit high for some people. But quality is what you are paying for and the site has one of the highest quality ratings for their prints. The old adage, you get what you pay for, is true for most things. If you really want one of my prints from there, buy the print and go bargain shopping for the frame.
However, I have been looking into considering digital downloads. This can greatly decrease the initial cost of a print. No materials are sold to the customer. They merely buy, download, and print it out themselves.
While I would have to go back through my finished photos and make some changes and custom sizes, it is not undoable! It would change the price of a print from $23 for a 8 x 8 to something like $8 for 4 different sized digital print sizes. Of course, these digital items would still only be good for personal use, I.E. home wall art, but that was all that regular prints are good for too. However, before I go digging through 550+ photos for ones to create special digital versions of, I believe asking if anyone would be interested in buying them would be prudent. So, if you are interested, comment with a “Yes” or “I am” or even just liking this post, reposting, retweeting, etc. would be a way of letting me know.
Most photographers I’ve read or spoken with, always say that digital sales is the way to go. I just would like to see some solid proof of that. I was taught don’t believe everything you read, so show me! Geez! I sound like I am from Missouri(the show me state). I can assure you I am not!
Thank you for reading this! If you made it this far, then you made it further than 90% of the people who might read something like this. Congrats! Either you are a true friend, or you find my writing amazing, or you are just bored out of your mind. What ever the case may be…thank you, thank you, thank you! Lastly, if you wish to be notified about the portfolio and photography websites, please do subscribe to my blog. That is the only way I can guarantee that you will get notice. Have an incredible day!😎
A lot of people like to give lip service to the title statement, but how many really follow through and lead a life based upon this very basic premise? Many? Some? Few? In my experience, not many at all. It takes a certain kind of rare life experience to motivate someone into living for the moment, seizing every second, and sucking the marrow out of life. Mayhap, I should explain further…
Approximately 8 years ago my thyroid decided, hey, lets just go off the rails and see how fast we can run. It slipped into overdrive and I lost weight rapidly. When I got bone thin and could barely walk, I finally gave into the idea of seeing a doctor. I was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism. I was given pills and told I must take the pills everyday, thus I needed to find a regular doctor. I did so and he recommended that I have my thyroid ablated(killed with radioactive Iodine) or removed through surgery. I chose the path of ablation, rather than the path of surgery and the risk of vocal cord damage.
A couple of years later, after several doctors and finding funding and a failed first attempt to kill it, we finally succeeded. I remember to this day the day it died. You see, when an organ dies like this, it is accompanied by a very strong feeling. It’s a feeling you are not likely going to get in many other ways. It is worse than fear or terror and even loneliness. It is worse, than despair, sadness, and even agony. I call this feeling DOOM. Funny, but that is exactly what the doctor called it when he asked me how I felt when it died. Doom is beyond normal feelings. It is life without hope. It is agony, fear, despair, and hopelessness all wrapped in one. Truthfully, that does not even begin to describe it and therein lies the rub. It has to be experienced to be understood.
This is the kind of rare life experience that motivates people to seize the day. It is a rare circumstance that forces you to realize your mortality and just how limited your days on this planet can be. Without having this kind of experience, it really does not seem as important to live the moment.
I used to procrastinate quite regularly, as I am sure a lot of people do. But since that feeling, I try to do at least one constructive thing everyday. I am not talking about doing the dishes or feeding the cat. I am speaking of creating something. A new photo, a photo trip, writing something, creating a song or at least a melody. I do this everyday. No exceptions! Even if my wife is home, I do this when she sleeps. Of course, every waking moment, when I feel well, I spend with her. Since my thyroid was ablated, I have had a lot of health issues, but I always strive to spend time with my wife and create.
You see one other thing happens when you wake up and realize your time is limited. You also find out what is really important in life. Not surprisingly, you discover that money and material possessions have no value in the big scheme of things. They cannot be taken with you into any imaginable afterlife. It is those intangible things that be come alive for you and worthy of spending your time on. The memories, the emotions, the dreams that can be taken with you.
To drive home this point, I am going to share a couple of photos of what is now the reality of where I live, and then I am going to share some photos of what once was. Understand, the beauty I share with you could not have been possible, if I would not have seized the day!
In the above photo is a fence around a school playground. Now you might not consider this much of a difference unless you knew that this is around the entire playground. Thus, it appears in the background of every photo I have taken there since. IMHO, it just ruins the peaceful ambience that once existed there. You will see it when you view the photos from before the fence was installed.
In this photo you can see what remains of a woodland tunnel. Nothing! It has been completely decimated as they make room for a new road coming through here. It the next set of photos you will see what this woodland tunnel looked like and what the play ground without the fence looked like.
(Click on each pic to see full sized)
I sure you can see how many amazing photos would have been lost had I wasted time. I grabbed them while I could and shared them with everyone. By seizing the day, you not only add to your life, you add to everyone’s life. Now I have here a small gallery of photos, that may never be duplicated and have encapsulated the memory of this small spot of earth, for all time. Not bad for doing nothing but living a life to the fullest!
Speaking of seizing the day, I must go seize this day. I hope this post has shown you the true value of living every moment. Take care and have an amazing day!
Which shall it be?
I have spent the last few months contemplating exactly where I wanted to go with my life. Many people would argue that being talented in many different areas is a blessing. I would have a hard time disagreeing with such an argument, however, many speak to the merits of focusing on one thing and I can see the logic in that aswell. In the end, one must take into consideration all things relevant to a subject before making a true decision. One cannot just decide this is the path, without knowing every path.
Let us examine those paths that have been taken and their results.
Music- I have created 3 digital CDs with songs dating back to 2002 through last year. I have gained over a 1000 followers on various sites. I have had many compliments on my vocals and have even collaborated with other artists. However, sales in this area have never been huge and in general, I realize that at my age I am not marketable for large record labels. TBH, I am not even remotely healthy enough presently, to do a live show at this time. However, it should be noted, that while this may have been probably my least successful of the career paths I have tried, it is the one I love the most and have a natural talent for. When I speak of natural talent, I am referring to vocal abilities, not my music composition skills. Let’s move on to the next path I tried.
Writing- I have been writing longer than any of the other paths by far. I always excelled in English classes and in fact, even in advanced English and Creative Writing, bringing home an “A” was no big deal. For many years, due to having kids, I stuck to writing short pieces of writing. Ones I could quickly set aside such as poetry, prose, and short stories. Then after being diagnosed with Hyper-Thyriodism I woke up and realized I needed to get started onto bigger things. I began writing novels. Eventually, I wrote 3 novels and at one point I had 25k followers on Twitter with several thousand followers on blogs. I must confess that I used a “secret” technique to gain those followers, but writing skills were really what allowed me to continually gain followers. However, the true success of book sales seemed to allude me. I desired to know why, and found after a few very blunt and drastic actions, that I fewer followers and more collectors of followers than I expected. This was frustrating because I knew if people would just read the books, they would become true fans. Not having the resources needed to continue down this path of no support, I found myself moving down my next path.
Photography- Of these 3 paths, photography is the one I have the least serious experience with, but it is at the same time, the one I have made the most money from. How odd that is? I have been an Amateur photographer for about 5 yrs. and a pro photographer for the last couple of years. Yes, that means I have been paid to do shoots and have made money from my photos. But this is the pathway that also the greatest pain in the ass. Models don’t want to work for free, because they think an Instagram feed is a portfolio. The ones who have an actual portfolio expect to be paid enormous sums of money just because they posted some photos to a modeling site. Granted, models are not the only thing you can shoot photos of, but every photographer wants to have a well-rounded portfolio. Fact is, the photos I have made money from are not the ones with models in them. This pathway has given me a few followers on Twitter and made me hate Instagram. The constant following and unfollowing there is just despicable.
So now that we have summed up the paths we have taken and shown briefly the merits, pitfalls and success of each, lets move on to the future. What does my future hold?
Let me give you the easy answer. My future holds for me whatever I desire. You see, I am a firm believer of self-destiny. I believe we decide, moment-to-moment, hour-to-hour, day-to-day, what we are and what we will be. I have already decided that some day I will be famous. I decided that a long time ago. What remains is the how. That is not my concern though. Now, anyone reading this would think I must be crazy, and they might be right in that assessment. However, I should point out that crazy does not equal wrong. In fact, crazy just means, you see things that many cannot see.
After examining all of the evidence of the past paths taken, there is no clear winner guaranteed of giving me fame, money, power, or success. Thus, I have decided there is only one path I can take. The path of no decision.
There is absolutely no reason why I cannot do all. Should I have to settle on one thing just to gain more followers? I think not! I believe being happy with what I am doing is more important. In fact, I believe happiness is, not only the ultimate measure of success, but also the highest goal that everyone should strive for, in their life. What good is a life bound to pain and misery? It is of no worth. Rise above what is bringing you down and seek happiness. Everything else will follow. Sometimes it just takes awhile to catch up.
Having said all that; I can now share with you some of the things I have been working on and future expectations.
I’ve been working on multiple songs and buying some new equipment. Expect some new songs to come out in several months, along with a completed digital CD by Early 2019 at the latest.
I have been plotting the storyline of a new novel and have been working on the final chapter of “The Art Of Creative Photography”. Expect the novel to be released in early 2019. The final chapter within a couple of months.
Now that I have a vehicle of my own, you can certainly expect more photos to be released, as I now have the ability of making “day trips” in and around the Houston, Texas area. There are so many awesome things to shoot in this area that I could certainly spend multiple lives trying to capture it all and wouldn’t be successful. The Houston metropolis area is second only in size to New York City. It is a very “spread-out” city, not to mention Galveston Bay and the ports and Islands there and around the Houston area. I should mention that while there might be the occasional random person in my photos, I won’t be seeking out any more models. My time of working with the few I did, left a bad taste in my mouth. Suffice it to say, there are so many other subjects for photos, that there is no need for me to seek out such ignorant subject matter again. Expect photos being posted at irregular intervals throughout the year, with a photo book to be released, most probably in 2019.
As you may have noticed, I placed all of my major projects for release next year. The reasons for doing this are many. I have a new computer on its way. I have found my MacBook Air just does not have the space for music production. Thus, getting, setting up, and learning to use a Windows 10 computer is needed. This way I can devote the entire computer’s HDD to music creation.
I also have another camera on the way. It is a medium format TLR camera. I want to move more of my photography into the film realm. I have found that I can manipulate the photos well enough to preserve the beauty of film photography and use some digital enhancement to create a hybrid photo that has the best of retro and modern technologies. I’ll have to take some time to learn that new camera.
Lastly, I am anticipating having to hire someone to edit my books or just submitting them to traditional book publishers. Most likely the latter and that will most certainly be a 2019 release.
Of course, there is always the fan to consider. If you tell a fan a creation will released by a certain date and don’t follow through, you lose a certain amount of trust. I don’t want that to ever happen.
Now you know what I know. Do you feel informed? Included? Excited? Well, you should be! Many good things are coming! Not just for me…but also for you! How do I know? I just do!