Tuesday, September 7, 2010

No Where to Go But Public

I've been rolling it around in my head for a while...

I'd like to start taking photographs at parties for my friends for a small fee. I'd love to make enough for it to be more than just a favor from one friend to another, and instead be something that makes me believe my time is really valuable to someone outside of my family. I really enjoy it. But if I want to truly build my business, I need to recognize the role that the internet can play in making it a success.

The thing is, I can't see any way around doing this without making one of two changes:
1) changing the name of my photography to "Gretchen MyLastName Photography" and unlinking it from my WhoPutMeInChargeOfThesePeople??? blog, or
2) just coming clean on my blog about who I am and what my last name is.

I don't really like either option.

I started my photography blog, TexanMamaPhotography, on the same platform as this blog. If you go to my user profile, the two blogs are linked together. And, I've learned by experience that if you think, "Oh, my mother/sister/pastor won't find my blog!" you're probably already too late. They've probably already read it.

So, I could simply use the same name and blog on a different platform, or link the blog to a different email address, right? Well, try googling "Texan Mama" and.... well, the results are good and bad. Good, in that, I have lots of google results that are pretty unique to my name. Bad, in that, if my intent is to use the name "Texan Mama Photography" and NOT have it linked to my blog here, well, that's not really a viable option.

I guess another option is to use my maiden name. Which is not the greatest name. Hard to pronounce and doesn't exactly roll off the tongue. The upside would be, I could share my stuff with the world at large without being connected via google searches to this blog.

So, of course, I will probably have to make a new Flickr account. Make a new photography blog. Link all that stuff to my personal Facebook page instead of my "blogging" facebook page. OH THE TANGLED WEB I WEAVE...

I'm almost getting a headache just thinking about it.

Another option is to chuck the whole idea of making money at photography. Because I mean, really? Could I really do that? I think my idea is a good one, taking photos for people at their events and charging significantly less than a professional photographer, so that they can enjoy their event but still have a photo remembrance of the day. But how many other people already do that? Can I realistically build a business with 5 kids at home, two not even school-aged yet, and a husband who works weekends?

If I give up before I start, I know I will feel defeated. I'll wonder "What if..." forever. Then again, I might save myself from years of spending time behind a lens instead of spending time with my kids.

The internet is one of those places where you can get totally lost among the masses, yet you can also get plucked out of obscurity and rocket into popularity. Just ask12-year-old Greyson Michael Chance, who was invited to the Ellen DeGeneres Show after his middle school talent show performance. So just because I put my photos out there, it doesn't mean anyone I know will ever see them. Then again, it doesn't mean I'm safe from them NOT seeing them either...

I'm hesitant to say it, but I think that the easier way to go is to just come out of the closet about my blog to people I know. That will mean I'll have to go back through my archives and delete some posts. I will have to edit what I say and censor myself from time to time. No more posts about people who irk me, at least those who I can put a name to and who can put a name to me. No more posts about my virginity (see, now I'm probably going to have to go back and delete THIS post too.)

Texan Mama


OHmommy said...

I have a photography blog for "clients" and it's www.paulineLASTNAME.com (Using my real last name w/no links to my blog).

But. I'm having the same struggle as you are now because I have this children's book that's going to print in a week and I have no idea what name to use. My madien name that's on my blog? My real name? Or a combination? Ahhhhh!!!

Jennifer said...

Keep it real girl. Go public.

Those who matter won't mind, and those that mind don't matter. Didn't someone famous say that?

McVal said...

Trust me. If they want to know your real name, they're going to find it. Go real!

Kirby said...

Yup I'm with Jennifer on this one! If they dont like ya, then they can pay alot more somehwere else, you dont need them!

misssrobin said...

I am not going to tell you what to decide. That's just not me.

You know your life. You have to live with whatever consequences there may be.

I will suggest one thing. Listen to your heart. Weigh all the options, try to forecast the fallout, and then trust yourself.

When you listen to your heart, anything is possible.

Rachael said...

That can be a difficult choice. My blog has always been public, but I do find that I have to censor certain things. Sometimes I wish I didn't. But maybe it's better this way because it does keep some of the negativity off there.

Gigi said...

No one can make this choice but you sweetie.

That being said - if it were me I'd keep them separate, but that's because I blog completely anonymously. I haven't told anyone I know about it and don't plan to - this is for me. But you need to weigh out all the options and decide what is best for you.

But no matter what you decide - please don't give up before you start! I think you are talented and this is a wonderful idea and I would love to this work out for you!

Oh, and Jennifer, that quote was Dr. Seuss. I LOVE that quote.

mama hall said...

I would hire you no matter what your biz name is, and then I would know your real last name because I'd be writing you a check, and then I would know who you REALLY are when unread your blog. Go public. You have nothing to hide.