During the last several weeks I've been out of commission after having hip replacement surgery in February. For a good portion of that time my mobility was, well, non-existent. Except for my trips to physical therapy appointments there was little else I could do other than watch movies and surf the internet. So it goes without saying that I spent a lot of time on the web.
During that time a few things became clear to me. I came to the conclusion that my days working for a newspaper are numbered. The industry as a whole is falling apart, I work for an afternoon paper, which are nearly extinct, and corporate policies dictate that when profit margins don't meet double digit expectations, content producers - not managers - lose their jobs. I've worked hard to increase my personal value by taking on writing duties and producing multimedia projects to boost my story-telling skills. I leaned when the last round of job cuts came along, my boss tossed my name in the ring. His boss, recognizing all that I do for our newspaper, overrode that decision. So, my extra efforts saved my job, but for how long, really? I will be prepared for the inevitability that next time, I won't be so lucky.
In light of the previous revelation the next thing that became clear to me is that I really need to work on my footprint on the world wide web. I purchased a flash-based website template and put together a website PickChad.com
that was functional, but nothing special. The purpose was to get my name out there with the hopes of landing the occasional freelance job. I had some assignments roll in, but I learned that other people in my area were getting jobs that I was never considered for. Problem is, editors couldn't find me, and if they can't find me they can't at least consider hiring me. This blog has helped seriously in that regard, but only for those searching me by name. It became time for a new plan.
I have begun work on a new website that will be a total solution that comprises the main site, the ability to search and purchase images from my entire archive and the blog all rolled into one comprehensive package. Though the site is not yet live, it's home will be RyanVisuals.com
So, now the quest is to prepare myself for the transition from staff photographer to independent contractor, offering services producing still photographs, audio slideshows and video productions for both editorial and commercial clients. I look forward to and embrace these new challenges.
One other thing that became clear is that I can't wait to get back to shooting, because I just can't handle sitting around.
More to come ...