As creative professionals, the ability to pivot, both in business and creatively, can be a life-changing experience. I might be at that stage now and I've no clue as to where this will will lead to.
I've been stuck in a creative rut for a while now. For the time-being at least, landscapes have taken a back seat to the more lucrative side of my business. I'm not complaining; I'm very grateful that I can earn a living photographing homes, and I do enjoy the process, but it just isn't very creatively enriching. Also — and quite possibly more importantly — I am concerned about the longevity of interior photography market, at least for private houses anyway. Camera phones are getting extremely good at creating decent HDR images, and they're only going to get better. Eventually, mid-range interior photography gigs will be a thing of the past and entry-level work will only suit someone who needs a portfolio and is willing to work for free. I have to ask myself: where do I want to be? Should I go all in to high-end interior work, even though I just can't seem to land those gigs yet, or should I pivot?
I'm now at the point where I'm about to pivot. Videography has been in the back of my mind since I started my business two years ago but I've put it on the long finger due to other commitments, until now. I have the opportunity to make a couple of short promo videos for two businesses that I work with, so I'm taking the bull by the horns. It's daunting, a little bit scary, but it has reinvigorated me.
While one of the videos is just a simple landing page video for a letting agency, the other is a bit more interesting. I'm in the process of creating photography workshops in South Africa with a few friends of mine who are involved in the wildlife industry. My workshop will be one of a number of experiences on a private reserve, the others being conservation and yoga experiences. The people running the yoga experience are also friends of mine so they've elicited my help to generate content for them. So, here I am in South Africa, scouting more locations for my workshop while making a low-budget promotional video and taking photos for my friends' business. Guess how much I'm getting paid? Ha. Yes, nothing. In fact I'm losing money.
I'm now pivoting so hard that I nearly popped my hip out. It might have been the yoga, sure, but I've dove off the deep end and now I'm just about getting my bearings. I've a cheap fluid-head, a Canon 6D and a 6D MKII for video work — I know, but I'm on a shoestring, here — and a Zoom H1n recorder. As well as all the cheap gear, I've got a sack full of determination and I'm spending time with friends. So life could be a lot worse. I'm apprehensive about the future, but I'm doing something positive for me and my business. If it all goes up in smoke, I'm sure I'll live to tell the tale. Hell, I've already messed up by forgetting to press the record button on the audio recorder during an hour long presentation. Lesson learned.
My point is to go out and just launch yourself at what you want. The industry is constantly changing, but now it's changing faster than ever. Yes, I could have started video work a lot earlier, but I'm here now and that's the only thing thing I need to focus on.
Have any of our readers needed to pivot in their business? We would love to hear from you in the comments below.