An email I got on my blog contact form, and my response. I thought it might be useful info for someone else, so I thought I’d share. Names redacted.
” I’m also a toy photographer. I’ve been taking pics of toys for years but, I just started doing it professionally last year when I purchased my 1st DSLR camera. I’m reaching out to you because I’m seeking advice on how to put myself in a position to get noticed more? As of right now, I’ve been using Instagram as my main platform. Is there any other things I can do? My goal is to get noticed by companies like  so I can do marketing photos. Also, if you have the time, could you possibly take a look at some of my photos and offer any tips for improvement? Thanks in advance for your help.”
I originally published this list on toyphotographers.com June 2017. Almost 2 years later I’ve revisited it to try to learn from my own advice.
The first 2 weeks of April I was traveling with work. The end of that first week through the beginning of the next I had the flu. A week after returning, I got a cold that lasted for 2 weeks. (oh, I am no longer vitamin deficient though!) After all that I was exhausted, with little will to work on anything creative. (I have advanced pretty far in a couple of mobile games though!) And for better or for worse, when I’m not making things, I don’t feel productive, and I beat myself up about it. Normally, I try to find outlets outside of my main toy photography shtick – blogging for example, or youtube videos. But towards the end of my cold I tried to blog and my brain just couldn’t form the right words.
Today I graduated with my BFA from the University of North Florida. Its a strange feeling to have gotten to this point in my life. I do plan on getting my masters though, so school is not quite over for me.
So what does my future have in store? For the long term, I’m not sure…but as of right now I will continue to work on my art while working here on campus. This summer I will be working as an art teacher at a summer camp in New York for 7 weeks. I’m pretty excited. I’ve never been to New York or worked at a summer camp, so it’s definitely a new experience all around. During my year off from college I will also be visiting and applying to graduate schools, which is most definitely nerve wracking- but I’m assuming it will be well worth it.
This school year has been a growth period. There have been ups and downs, but regardless I had a lot of great opportunities in which my work was shown or published (view the listing here). That’s a total of 11 shows for the school year (9 since January) and 7 publications! I hope the rest of 2013 continues to present just as many opportunities (if not more).
I’ve been researching for a new series. I’ll have images to show very very soon. pinky promise. I also have a couple commissions that I’m super excited about. Stay tuned.
So now it’s your turn- tell me about your experiences in the “real world” outside of academia. Any advice?