2018 in Review
It's not quite the end of the year yet, but I can see 2019 without a telescope, if you get my meaning (and as Neil Gaiman might say) and I'll be glad to get there intact.
Personally, it's been a very crazy year. Going back to November 2017, I lost my father, and then in March 2018, my marriage ended. Since then, I've grieved both losses, but I've come to terms with both, too.
Things are very good. I'm in a new relationship, I've lost 40lbs since the start of the year, and I'm happy to meet 2019 with my life in good shape.
In terms of photography, it's also been an interesting year. I inherited a lot of older Sony gear from my dad, and built out my A-mount lens collection with a lot of inexpensive Minolta glass that can be picked up for very reasonable prices. I added a Sony A99i to the collection so I have a full-frame camera to go with my Canon 5D Classic.
I added a few Fujifilm cameras and lenses this year as well, though I'm currently attempting to sell my X-T2 and X00T since I upgraded from both of those cameras in the latter half of 2018. I'm also trying to sell my Canon 5D, since I have the A99i for full-frame work, and to be honest, the Fujfilm X-H1 is better than either of those older full frame DSLRs.
I have added a Fujifilm X-E2s (which is the X-E2 with a firmware upgrade and a little S on the badge), an X-T20 (for travel, though my partner Mariely is using it as her entry-level non-phone camera), and an X-PRO1 (which I got for a steal, and will review later this month).
So, what have I been doing with all this gear?
I billed about twice as much freelance work in 2018 compared to 2017, and I'm hoping I can double it again in 2019. It's not much: probably not even a taxable amount (yet) but it's about building the portfolio and getting a wide range of experience right now.
Currently, I'm taking photographs to support a local medical spa, along with web design and digital marketing work for that company, which is a great experience and has forced me to face up to my inexperience with flash for lighting and to start taking it (especially fill flash) much more seriously.
Maybe the most unexpectedly impactful purchases I made this year was a Gary Fong Lightsphere, and it might be the most versatile lighting modifier I've ever used. This is a game-changer for portraits and headshots, and I'm looking forward to getting more use from it in 2019.
Things that didn't go so well include my attempt to sell art prints via this site and Facebook. I haven't quite cracked that aspect of the business yet, and I think I'm far from being alone. There's a reason people shoot weddings and corporate events; that's what people actually want and need. The world of commercial art photography is big and intimidating, and I still have a lot of research and work to do there.
I hope your 2018 has been fantastic. If not, I hope it's been at least interesting and potentially life-changing for the better, like my year has turned out.
Below, a selection of some of my favorite photos from professional shoots in 2018.
If you'd like to book a shoot, or hire me to come along and randomly take photos at your event, let me know!
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