I’ve been away from my camera too long. It’s time for me to come back.
I’ve been thinking a lot on what I want to do with my life since I turned 30. Sort of felt like I’ve been drifting. I’ve always enjoyed photography, mostly as a hobby, but in recent years I’ve put it on the back burner to attend to other things. Also in recent years, I’ve become increasingly aware that I’m unhappy with where I am in life. Without boring you with a long drawn out post, I’ve basically asked myself the question every high school guidance counselor asks around the time you’re filling out college apps: “If you were a millionaire and never had to work again, what would you do?” I think more than likely, I’d spend a lot of time with camera in hand, traveling around to new and exciting locations and taking pictures of them. So I’ve set myself a new goal: Become a professional artist. I know it won’t be easy, but nothing worthwhile ever is.
I don’t have a detailed step-by-step itinerary to achieving this goal, but I’m working on it and have some general ideas of what I steps need to follow:
- Rebuild my portfolio. As I said, I’ve been away from my camera for a while, so I want to get some new work ready to display.
- Networking. This will be a tough one for me, but if I want to get anywhere beyond having a few jpegs online, I need to connect with other artists.
- Show my work. Again, more than just online. I want to get some prints in shows, enter juried exhibitions, that sort of thing.
- Market myself. Once people know about me and my work is out in the open, I need to convince the right people to pay me for it.
Ideally, after I work on that a while, I’d like to be able to quit my job to work on photography full-time. I realize this isn’t a quick task, so I’m not expecting to get where I want to be in just a few weeks or months. However, maybe in five years? I think that’s probably a reasonable expectation to hope for.
Anyway, to begin with, I’ve updated my portfolio at www.robertllynch.com to create something of a professional-looking fresh start. I’ve only uploaded a few dozen of my best works from pre-2015 and planning on updating with new works as I have them ready. For older works, feel free to check out my photography gallery here, I keep a more comprehensive back catalog of old work on DA than I do on my portfolio.
Shoot plans for this year:
- Planning to visit Clifton Gorge once it gets green again
- Looking for some more abandoned places to explore and shoot
- Mentally preparing a trip to Hocking Hills this fall
So anyway, this weekend was my first big shooting spree since I've started back seriously on my photography work. Friday I took a few pictures in downtown Dayton after work, and Saturday I spent the whole day with my camera. I took a nice long drive to Lima to engage in my first major foray into urban exploration at the Lima Tuberculosis Hospital, a site that's been abandoned since before I was born. I read somewhere that it's supposed to be haunted by the ghosts of patients who died inside, but when I was there I got less of a "haunted" vibe and more of a "place where teenagers go to smoke weed" vibe. On the way there, I made a few roadside stops at some obviously abandoned farm houses to snap a few pics, and on the way back, I stopped in one of the small towns I lived in as a kid and got some pics around the school I attended in 1st grade and the park I played tee-ball in around the same time.
Here are a few of my better pics from the weekend, check out my gallery for the rest: