Karin Elizabeth | Risky Business
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Kaat never finishes anyth…

By now you’re all thinking, “Kaat never finishes anyth…” and I have to admit that I understand why you’d think that. I do often start something and then either forget about it or just lose interest. The past couple of years, it’s been incredibly difficult for me to a) get inspired and b) find the motivation. And when I do feel like I have something to create, I always have hope that my rediscovered inspiration is longterm, or even definite. And then it never really is. As soon as I start slacking, I lose motivation: “I’m already failing at this. I failed my project’s premise / my goal! It won’t work anymore now.” 

This began when I started my business: I don’t regret it, but everything formerly fun did start to feel like work. But even after re-shifting my focus to stock and fine art, I still feel stuck about 85% of the time. 
 
Part of me wants to be apologetic about it. Although I hardly think this bothers you, I do feel like I’m disappointing as an artist a lot of the time. But then I have to remember that I’m just frustrated at my failure to energize myself. I know the only person truly bothered by all of this is me. I need to reconcile with none other but myself. Putting myself down isn’t the answer; accepting myself is. 
 
I don’t need to do things perfectly in order to be successful. I don’t do deadlines well, so why force them at this time? I’ve learned to accept that I’m an introvert, which makes a lot of areas of photography challenging, but other areas are stronger because of it – so why not celebrate that? I may give up on projects, but I always come back to try again, and again, and again – I guess in my heart I do believe it could be possible to one day be back to how I used to be and I do have more faith in myself than I thought. One day, a project or idea will stick. I will find my way. 
 
Until then, here’s how I’ll try and handle things from here on out: instead of giving up on a stale project altogether, I’ll just change my goals to suit what works for me at that time. This will hopefully set the tone to help me find self-discipline, but a more patient and self-aware kind of self-discipline. 
 
Self 2016 will be my first experiment with that new work ethic. Due to very happy circumstances I started falling behind on my weekly themes and then promptly forgot all about it. Because why? Because growing little human. Yup, I’m pregnant. 
 
Instead of quitting a project I was very excited about initially – and which helped me process a lot of feels – I’m deciding to continue it, but adjust it to my current needs. This means letting go of perfectionism, learning to be more flexible and most importantly to understand that there’s value in everything I do. It doesn’t matter that I produce work on a weekly basis. I am not failing if I can’t do it regularly. I always want to do more – how about I just settle for doing what I can? Because what really matters for myself as an artist, is that I continue to try to produce work in a genuine way while enjoying the process. That’s what I want to hold on to, and I think I can do that. 

News: on site print shop is now live!

In lieu of re-opening my Etsy Fine Art Photography Prints shop, which I shut down last year before going on holiday and then kept closed, I instead had the idea to just continue selling prints on my own site and on my own terms. I like having everything in one place and I’m so happy that WordPress has so many possibilities now in that regard.

It took a while though to figure out what I wanted, and I had to renew K-E.com completely first, anyway – but it’s really not that hard anymore to set up a little web shop! So the past few days I’ve been working really hard to get the print shop ready and it is!

Post 2015.11.13 - Shop

Right now the shop is still a bit small. I’ve listed the bigger-ish prints I currently have in stock, but will expand on my inventory soon. I’ll start with adding the smaller matte prints I also still have in stock, and at some point I’ll expand the 30x20cm prints as well.

I’ll work the same way I did back when I had my shop on Etsy: I’ll sell what I have in stock but am open to custom print orders. (Specific photo or different sizes up to 30x20cm for now). You can always contact me for questions regarding custom order possibilities, or anything else shop related. (Drop me a comment, FB message me or drop me an email). Once you’ve ordered, I’ll keep in touch throughout the process.

What I often found a bit difficult about Etsy (and it became one of the reasons I decided to start fresh on my website) is that while the shop was accessible for so many people, it also drew people who don’t know me from Adam, and at times they assumed the worst about me. It’s important you know that I will always do my best for you in any situation, and that I personally have high standards for quality and want you to have a good shopping experience. If anything is amiss, always feel free to contact me so we can work out a solution, and let’s be respectfully human about it.

I’ve tested the shop before launching it and everything should work. However if there are any issues there, you can also let me know.

I hope you like this new addition to the website, I for sure am delighted with it. Check back on the blog every once in a while for updates on the shop and more. Thanks for your continued support and patience as I sort out more ways to make this site a home for me and my photography.


Finally!

Honestly – nothing beats down the motivation to get a website going than CSS challenges. This website is extremely important to me: I’m trying to (re-)establish myself and my work online with this site as my home base (“my online studio”), and it’s hard to feel inspired to get content up if the framework isn’t doing what you need it to do.

I come from the old skool HTML website generation of the early 2000’s. We built our sites using tables and frames *cringe* and while we already used WordPress way back then, we built our own layouts around WordPress Codex, with ease. That time is gooooone: it’s all about themes and CSS now, and if you want things the way you want them but don’t understand CSS, you’re stuck with defaults – never a good thing for a creative and perfectionist person.

Luckily, the one thing my HTML background gave me is at least the ability to look at a website’s skeleton and understand its parts, allowing me to slowly but logically dissect its layers and their properties. So while it took me far too many hours, I at least managed to grasp the problem, eventually coming to a solution on my own.

So now it (namely the blog) functions as I want it to. The next step is getting it to look good, put my personality into it, decide on what I want this place to exude. But that will come in time. Now, a well deserved break from computers!

Reforming

Towards the end of 2014, I realized for myself that my priorities as a photographer had changed. I’m still in business, still working, but what I want to accomplish in photography is very different now than it was when I first started. Like musicians and bands constantly trying to challenge themselves by reforming their sound, I’ve come to the conclusion that I as a photographer also need to reshape.

This mostly stems from having a dual role as a photographer the past few years: I do client work, and I’m doing stock photography, which also veers off in two branches: lifestyle stock on the one hand, and conceptual portraiture photography on the other hand. Stock photography, which is based on my fine art photography and independent work, has a bigger role in my life since 2014. That role will only grow bigger.

1. Do what I love

I have to divide my professional time in two now: client shoots and stock photography. Now that my time as a client photographer is limited, I want to specialize and go back to doing what I love to do. I don’t want to take on any kind of photography job, but I want to offer only the photography jobs that I excel at and love to do, such as boudoir. I want to have more focus and be more selective in my business regarding client shoots.

My business website will be redone and will function as a hub with links to anything to do with my photography. It will redirect clients to my Boudoir business website, which is almost finished. It will have an info page for the only sessions I’m still offering apart from boudoir: portraits. It will also have an info page for models.

2. Constantly flowing fine art photography

The second goal is based on the understanding that I tried, but I am not at heart a full-time commercial portraiture photographer. I am too introverted, and I always seek more meaning: I fear becoming too generic and losing my own vision and voice. The moment when I was approached to photograph bicycle parts for an online shop is when it dawned on me: that is not what I want to be doing. I am a working artist and I need to begin to identify as such. I want to focus on what I want to supply (because that makes me happy as a person), and not what others demand. I want to supply what I find valuable.

And on that, I want to be Always Working. I want to always have projects to work on, ongoing ones but also ones with a beginning and an end – and always having new photos available for stock. And if they’re not suitable for stock, I will at least be able to tell my story, to express myself. I need to have an outlet first, and earn money off it second.

This website that you’re on right now served as a blog that constantly failed. It failed, because I stagnate whenever I try to express myself verbally. I now realize I don’t need for you to know me through my words, and vice versa. If you’ve found this place, you’re most likely not here to read about my insecurities, or about my hopes and dreams for the future. You’re here to see who I am as a photographer. That’s always been what Karin Elizabeth – the identity – was all about. The simple love of photography.

So, I’m nixing the idea of being a blogger. I love my life and my lifestyle choices, but I don’t think it warrants a blog. So what I want to do with this website, is just share my work with you guys, and let you get to know me that way. My insecurities, hopes and dreams won’t disappear, but they’ll be expressed differently. The best way I know how, and the only way for me to go from here on out.

I’ve given it some thought. Karin-Elizabeth.com will be a blog about my photography and projects and a place to share photos I’m proud of. I want to hold myself accountable and keep a journal of my processes as I strive to Always Work. It will be a selective but (I love this term) constantly flowing portfolio of ten year-old body of work. It will have a print shop attached to it containing limited edition signed prints; I used to love Etsy, but I want to sell prints on my own terms. And it will offer any information on the licensing of my photos – where to find photos that are available for licensing with agencies and a gallery of photos that are available for licensing with me directly as well as information relevant to licensing.

Karin-Elizabeth.com is where I want people to go when they ask me, “What do you do?”
Karinelizabethfotografie.nl is where I want people to go when they ask me, “I’m interested in having my photo taken by you.”

This is the beginning of a transition: from being a commercial portraiture photographer who dabbled in stock photography and made no time for independent projects… to becoming (or reverting back to being) a perpetually working artist who sells fine art photography and bonus – also specializes in boudoir and takes people’s portraits.

(I am getting my boudoir website ready first. Karinelizabethfotografie.nl is next. Karin-Elizabeth.com is third. But I will start using this site as intended in the meantime.)