Let me recap for a moment:
1. Little Pea turns 1, I have an emotional crisis about my place in the world and what to do with myself when being Mommy isn't quite so all encompassing.
2. I ask friends for suggestions on a book to read (because books solve everything, didn't you know?)
3. My new reading list includes Seth Godin's "Linchpin". I hate it, then I love it.
4. As I'm hating/loving "Linchpin", Pioneer Woman plugs a free photography webinar that I figure I'll just "check in on for a few minutes."
5. 3 days and a page full of notes later, I've absorbed and clung to every word that Penny De Los Santos shared.
6. During a simple Facebook session, I'm hit by another bolt of lightning because of a friend's very simple Mother's Day post.
7. I vow to find my gift, give it freely to the world, and do it with intention.
That's this week so far in a nutshell, don't you think?
So what do I do with all that? That's where my big announcement comes in:
After a lot of thought, I have decided to actively pursue becoming a freelance/stock photographer. At least initially, I am going to focus specifically on food photography.
This is something that has been in the back of my mind since last fall but I keep putting it off until "someday when I'm better, someday when I know what I'm doing." I've decided I know enough to try. I have so much more to learn, so much more polishing I need to do. But I'm a perfectionist and if I let it that phase could go on for the rest of my life. If left to me to decide, I'd never be good enough.
I got back from Cancun, gave myself a couple days to hug up my peanuts, and sucked up the courage to finally apply to some stock photo sites. You have to upload images ready to sell so Handyman Tim played my photo assistant and helped me arrange a strawberry scone image I wanted to take specifically for my application. He helped me practice using a reflector for the first time to get my lighting just perfect. I spent more time obsessing over this picture of this one scone than of anything I've ever shot for this blog.
And you know what? This image was my first to be accepted by a stock agency! Over the course of the weekend, I took a few more photos so I had 4 to submit in total. 2 were accepted, 2 denied. The ones denied were given really helpful feedback so I can learn and fix what I need to improve.
The rush of excitement at successfully getting two images accepted gave me the courage to go through my photo library and find a few more to submit. As of writing this post I've had 10 images accepted altogether! Compared to those in the field already with hundreds or thousands of images in their portfolio, me and my 10 images are small peanuts. I'm totally ok with that for now. My focus is still on being with my girls but I see this as an opportunity to take what I'm already doing at home and turn it into something potentially profitable someday down the line.
And shock of all shockers: I am beyond proud to share with you that within my first 2 weeks of having images on the stock site, I sold my very first picture! Somebody somewhere felt that my lemons in a tart pan image was good enough to use. I earned a whopping 35 cents for it but I couldn't be more pleased or motivated to keep trying.
Look what happens when you send your self-doubt packing and actually go for something!
So what does this mean for you?
A lot more recipe posts! Yay! When I asked what you wanted to see more of around here, I was really listening. The majority of you said you love the recipes. Up until now, I've only shared foods that are Handyman Tim approved. I'm going to relax that rule and start doing a lot more experimentation.
What doesn't this mean for you?
This is not going to turn into a professional photo blog. I look at Peanut Blossom as part of my gift. It is the thing that I love to do and I want you to enjoy reading it. I know most of you have a very surface interest in photography (if any interest at all). So while you may (hopefully) see the quality of my images improving over the next few months, I promise not to bore you with the technical behind the scenes stuff. Well, maybe just once in a while.
Where do we go from here?
I'm going to be actively looking for crafts and recipes I think will have images that would sell well on stock sites but also have fantastic stories and content for you. I think it is going to be the perfect balance and will keep me plenty motivated. I have some great plans for livening things up here and getting you more actively involved. I'll be sharing those ideas as I get them organized.
Thanks for sticking with me this far. I know this was heavier than usual and today was likely the longest post ever! Next week is a return to better than normal. I have a few fun catch-up posts to share from early May and then you'll start to see more purposeful content in the coming weeks.
Thanks for being part of my inspiration and for all the supportive and encouraging comments you've left me this week! It's really meant the world to me.