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Personal Photography Projects Can Change Your Business

Intro by Skip Cohen

I was painfully laughing at the news the other night as they talked about being in the “second wave” of the pandemic. Seriously, somebody tells me when we got out of the first wave!

Regardless, it’s obvious the challenges aren’t going away any time soon. This post out of Bob Coates’ archives of his blog, points out one of the greatest opportunities the pandemic has created for all of us – time to expand our skills.

While Bob is recognized as an accomplished artist, writer, educator and is active in so many different aspects of the industry, he NEVER stops experimenting and expanding his skills. He’s a perpetual student of technology, and in the process has captured and created stunning images and staked his claim into the world of fine art.

It’s fine to be frustrated with the limitations the pandemic has put on your business, but don’t let it slow you down on growing your skillset! And remember, growth only occurs outside your comfort zone!

By Bob Coates

My buddy, Kevin Ames an editor of Photofocus, mentioned that many photographers have trouble monetizing their photography, especially when working on personal projects and asked that I share a few success stories. I did some research and found that this was the way I have built my business over the years.

Here’s one of the stories on how I accomplished this. My personal projects are centered around learning a skill I was/am trying to acquire. I then leveraged the image I’d created by selling, promoting the new skill — entering in image competition or garnering press. I hope you find this idea helpful.

Once upon a time in a town near Atlanta …
I was on a visit to Atlanta to visit with my friends Ashley and Liz. In their neighborhood was a favorite restaurant of theirs called Manchester Arms. It was an overcast drizzly, dreary day. As I was entering the restaurant I noticed it had a kind of European pub flavor and I thought it would make a good subject for a new art technique I wanted to master. Despite the drizzle, I ran outside to grab a few frames from a couple different angles. For this particular use, the soft, overcast lighting worked well.



Here are the before and after images to show the results of my post-processing.

Manchester Arms restaurant in the rain – Before image

Finished art processed in Adobe Photoshop with textures, Blend Modes and masks.

Interested in more information about Bob’s quest into a personal project that helps him grow – check out this story more in-depth on his original blog post.