Hi everyone... it's been a really long time since I've posted anything over here at the ol' blog, as I'm really not much of a writer. However, every now and then events, ideas, and changes come along that will inspire me to put down a few words from my jumbled mind.
It's time for some real talk. I don't often open up about myself, I tend to be a fairly private and reserved guy most of the time, but sometimes you need to let an idea out to let it grow. Some of you will know that I've been working on this business as a side project to my corporate day job, just like many creative professionals out there. I've had the privilege of working out of my home office for the last 10 years, which has given me the time and freedom to spend on growing my skills as a photographer while still taking care of my work responsibilities. In the next couple of months, I'll be donning the corporate camouflage again like so many do every single day. I'm going to be expected to conform to an office environment, tie back my hair, trim my beard, buy responsible clothes, sit down, shut up, don't make any waves, don't offend anyone, don't play my music loud, don't be myself. To say I am dreading it is to put it incredibly mildly.
While thinking about my upcoming radical change in circumstances, I was reminded of what I had originally envisioned for my photography business when I started it several years ago. It all comes down to the name: Altered Ego Images. My concept when I began was I wanted to take pictures of people like myself, who didn't really fit in with “normal” society, who were a little bit weird, odd, different. Misfits, weirdos, freaks, nerds, artists, performers, creatives, and all of those other people who have to put on a mask every single day in order to fit into the “real” world. My people... the amazing oddballs that make the world interesting, and who come up with all of the best ideas. Those were supposed to be my target audience, the people I really wanted to work with, because I know from experience we all have another side of ourselves that we only let out on special occasions, around special people, if we let them out at all.
So here's what I have in mind. I'm going to refocus my efforts and ideas more in the direction of the Altered Ego concept I came up with when I first started this crazy ride. A lot of my work I've done over the last few years has already been in this direction, but when it came to trying to market and grow the business side of things, I sort of lost track of this and was looking in the wrong direction, thinking there was more money in the realm of traditional portraiture and boudoir, and that the “normal” people were who I need to cater to. I realized that there are tons of amazing photographers already out there doing that, so why would I try to compete with them when my original idea was something completely different anyway?
Starting immediately, we are going to be doing things a little bit differently. Our focus is going to be on helping our clients express their Altered Egos, like I originally envisioned. I want this to be a place where our clients can come and feel comfortable to be completely and totally themselves, and to help them express themselves in photographs in ways they have always wanted to, but maybe didn't know how, or were afraid to show. Bring us your wild, absurd, crazy, scary, sexy, daring, and absolutely out there ideas, and we'll work with you on how to best express them here in a safe, private studio environment. Corporate headshots in your favorite Halloween or Renfaire costume, sexy discreet Mardi Gras-masked boudoir sessions you never thought you could be brave enough to do, dark conceptual sessions where your inner demons come out to play, or just simple portrait shoots where you come as exactly who you are or want to be. We'll work with you to come up with a concept and theme that is uniquely you, and helps you express whatever it is you have inside yourself.
For now, I will be waiving all session fees for shoots, which is normally $150 for a 2-hour shoot. Clients will still need to pay a reservation fee, which will cover hair and makeup and my assistant Danii's costs, which will vary based on the type of session but will generally be $100 for a full shoot. Products and digital images will be purchased separately in a viewing session some time after the shoot, usually a few days to a week to give me time to work on them so I can show you the very best finished work we have created.
A new stage in my creative journey is about to begin, and I find it oddly appropriate that I am turning back to the path I originally envisioned when I started this business. I am taking a personal stand against conformity, with the eventual goal being to break out of the corporate hell I've been stuck in for the last 15 years and do what I truly feel I should have been doing all along.
Oh and by the way... I have no plans to tie back my hair, trim my beard, sitting down or shutting up... I'm too old for that sort of nonsense anyway. I am who I am, and I'm not going to pretend otherwise.
Let your Altered Ego out to play, and we'll create something magical. I hope you'll all join me in my little rebellion.