Shots with Randy

Shots with Randy is going to be a photo blog. You may have thought I was already doing a photography blog. Well, I was, but even though most every post had images some of the articles really weren’t about the images. So I decided to change things up a bit and make my blog about the images I am making and have made and the stories behind them, what they say to me, and why I took them. As the blog takes off, I also want to have more audience participation where you ask me questions and we swap ideas and knowledge. Guest posting will also be sought. It may take some time to evolve, but I’m putting it out to the universe. Let’s see where it takes us.

In the last month I have been doing a ton of behind the scenes work on my Website and blog. When I started using the theme before this one I thought it was great. One page, easy to customize and update, and it looked pretty good. The header image is full screen and really shows of my work. And that was one of the things I began to dislike about it.

It was too big for what I wanted.

Evaluation

So I did what everyone ought to do once in a while. A self evaluation.

Several weeks ago it became clear that I wasn’t using this site the way I originally envisioned.

Evaluating my online presence revealed a few things:

  • A social media presence is necessary, but not primary.
  • I would continue using Smugmug for galleries and cloud storage.
  • I would continue offering art images for sale at Fine Art America.
  • More attention needed to be paid to my stock photography at Lightstock.com.
  • My blog needed to be a bigger priority in order to reach people.
  • An email list is essential to growing my following.

This above list is pretty general. It is an outline of things I want to consider as I write and post. It’s a great start, and there are more detailed ideas rolling around in my head and making it on to the whiteboards I have hanging on my studio wall.

Self evaluation is a healthy exercise. It doesn’t matter what you are doing. Every so often, stop and take some time to honestly evaluate where you want to go and whether or not what you are doing will get you there. Course corrections aren’t always needed, but when they are it is far better, and easier, to make a correction sooner rather than later.

Changing things up

I’m going to start by changing the Website a little and making it a lot simpler. At least I think it is. It’s not a huge change…yet. Evaluation is still happening, and more change will probably happen. If I do it right, most people reading this shouldn’t really notice.

Making things better can be subtle. Drastic change can be unsettling. I don’t want to unsettle anyone.

Here’s a rundown of what you might see:

  • Some pages will be taken down, and some just updated. (Seems drastic, but it really isn’t.)
  • Some blog post, older ones, will be deleted. Some will be updated. (Why keep dated stuff around.)
  • The focus will shift from a general photography site to a photography blog. (Talk about a subtle change.)
  • Some new things may be created. I don’t know what those will be yet. (Throwing in a little mystery.)

Photo Blog Emphasis

As stated at the beginning, Shots with Randy will be a place for me to tell the stories behind my images, what they say to me, and why I took them. It will also be a place to be heard from you so that we can all help one another be better at making images, telling the stories, and adding value.

I want to field questions and have discussions. Call it an online camera club, if you will.

Blogs work best when there is interaction. So interact away. Otherwise, what’s the point?

There are some details to work out, but I would like to keep it simple and informal. Obviously, I hope that this blog will get more eyes on my images. But why can’t that be done in a way that we all have fun, learn from each other and teach one another. Maybe it will inspire someone to take steps to put their work online at someplace like Smugmug, Lightstock, Fine Art America, or another photography site. Perhaps someone will start there own blog and help others in some way.

Me? I want to make images, but if no one sees them, again, what’s the point.

To Do List

One of the ways I can evaluate if what I’m doing here is doing anything good, bad, or otherwise, is to hear from you. Here are some things you can do to help.



About the image

The image at the top is a Blue Heron which visits our backyard on a regular basis. See more of the of this heron and my wildlife images in the Heron Gallery.

Technical info:
CAMERA Canon EOS 60D
LENS EF-S55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS II
ISO 400
FOCAL LENGTH 214.0 mm
APERTURE f/5.6
EXPOSURE TIME 1/500