There’s been a lot of prior thought put into this post, about what to say, how to say it, what’s the most PC way to say it, etc. But I work best on the fly and I can’t say I’ve ever really been PC so here goes nothing.

Something you should know about yours truly if you already didn’t:

This is not my full time job and never has been. I’m currently finishing up my BFA at The University of Georgia in Graphic Design. It has been a long and winding road to get to where I am now, and the fact that the end is in sight is both exciting and terrifying at the same time. If you’ve never attended art school you should know that while it may sound fun in comparison to something like business or education, I can attest that it can be very emotionally draining.

By the time I got to college I knew that photography was my true passion, I wanted to make a career out of it and knew that that meant making a lot of sacrifices. So, I’ve taken every opportunity made available to me and then some to work with other photographers. I travel to Atlanta most weekends to shoot either for myself or for others, and I’ve shot everything from weddings and portraits to boudoir and commercial architecture. I’ve logged a lot of hours behind the camera and schlepping equipment around. I’ve always justified this hard work because I hoped that some day it would pay off and get me somewhere where I could do what I love as a career. I have to say that the experiences I’ve gained have been invaluable, I know a little bit about everything AND a lot about a few things, and I’ve made tons of great contacts all over the country. It’s truly been a great ride.

But with the year coming to a close it’s that time where we assess where we are and how far we’ve come, so I’m inevitably forced to ask myself, after five years of give give give, am I any better off? Of course the answer is yes, I am better off, but am I where I want to be? Not even close. Lately I’ve felt very out of control of my destiny and out of control of my artwork, and it’s no one’s fault but my own. My style is not improving because I’m not challenging myself. It’s always easier to do nothing than to fix the problem, so for the past few years I’ve been hiding, scared to take the next step toward improving myself, because what if it doesn’t work? What if I fail?

As I said, I’ve felt this way for some time, and it has felt like it’s coming to a head even more lately. I was at a breaking point last night and I awoke this morning to find a link to this blog post and this accompanying video on my computer. I have no idea why I found this because this blog post is over a year old, but lo and behold it’s superawesome famous Atlanta photographer Zac Arias discussing just what I’m going through. If you’re struggling with making the jump toward anything you should watch this film. I felt like someone was trying to tell me something, something along the lines of get off your ass and do something about it. So here I am, posting this.

I came to college with one goal: do a gallery show of my photography. It’s the one thing I set out to do and it’s the one thing that hasn’t been done. I don’t even think I care about the gallery show anymore, I just want to feel like I did something or made some type of move toward my goal. I want to allow myself to play a  little bit, to experiment, and to have fun. I know that I do not feel comfortable doing these things with clients who are paying me to take their pictures, I prefer to stay safe when it’s on someone else’s dime.

So, I’m opening this up to anyone who is willing, free sessions over the next 6-9 months, with just a few strings attached:

-I’m looking for people who are willing to give me complete creative freedom, this includes posing, wardrobe, location, props, etc.

-You do not have to look like a model in any way and you do not have to have prior experience

-This offer does not apply to shoots with commercial application (ie: no weddings, no engagement shoots, we’re trying to get creative here people!)

-I would definitely love to work with musical acts, so if you’re out there let me know!

-After the shoot you’ll get a disc of 5-10 completely Photoshopped images of my choosing, along with rights to print

-You must be willing to sign a full model release and be at least 18 years of age.

Okay I know that was a lot to digest, and I thank you if you’ve continued reading this far. This is something that I’m very excited about and I hope that some of you out there are too! I appreciate all of you listening to me blab and for potentially volunteering to help me out!

If you want to know more abut my personal reasons for pursuing this project, watch the video below:

Reclaimed: A New Project From Suburbanite Photography