Hello? Is This Thing On?!

hanssie-photographer-belizeDo people even read blogs anymore? I’m pretty sure the answer is no, and I’ve been neglecting this blog for the last 3+ years, so the real question is: do people even read *this* blog anymore?

I guess the answer really doesn’t matter, since when I converted this blog from photography to the place I processed my emotions after the divorce, it was never written for anyone but myself. And as I dust this old friend/therapist off, I find myself rusty, the words clogged inside me, trying to find a path to flow from through my fingertips.

Writing and I were on a break. Well, we weren’t on a break per se, I was still writing daily, but I was writing as a profession. Therefore, the writing was no longer for me. It was for an audience. This July, I went into the corporate world, stopped writing altogether and now, it’s time to pick up the pen and put it to paper (figuratively, that is. Who writes with pen and paper anymore??!)

I’m starting 2017 with a goal to write daily. My words may show up here, they may not. I just know that I feel the need…the need for speed (wait, that’s not it)…I feel the need to create. I’m not sure what I want to create yet, how I want to create it, and with what medium with which I will create. This time, I don’t have a photography business to promote, a divorce to process through or ridiculous online dating adventures to regale. I don’t have a focus and the only goal is to make something and allow my creativity freedom to, well, create.

So let creativity abound, wherever it shall take me.

P.S. I’m reading Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic, in which she talks about and celebrates the creative process. It’s a wonderful read for all creatives.

9 thoughts on “Hello? Is This Thing On?!

  1. Hanssie, how is it that we’re always seeming to go through life together, same emotions – same desire to write/blog? We had our divorce blog at the same time, here we are starting up again after a 3 year absence literally days apart. Love you, soul sister 🙂

  2. It’s really strange how the universe works, Hanssie. I bought a Fuji X-T2 a week ago. I got interested in Fuji when you wrote about switching to the X-T1 on SLR Lounge. After reading lots about it, I felt like the next release of the camera would be what I wanted and it was. After playing around with it for a week, I need to figure out how I’m going to do post-processing. Ideally, the Fuji camera profiles in the current version of Lightroom will yield the same results as the in-camera jpeg engine, so I can shoot raw and choose a film simulation later.

    But I’m on Lightroom 5 because I’m not a fan of Adobe’s subscription model and there’s nothing in 6 compelling me to upgrade…until I bought this Fuji. So before I pulled the trigger on Lightroom so I can access those Fuji camera profiles, I figured I’d head over to SLR Lounge to see if Hanssie had written any subsequent articles on her Fuji experience, particularly with post-processing. No new articles because Hanssie doesn’t work there anymore, apparently (no photo on the staff & contributors page). So I looked you up on LinkedIn and see that you did leave. Then, I went back to SLR Lounge to look through your old articles and I saw the one from the first time you used the 16-55mm and saw your website at the bottom and that’s how I ended up here…the day after you did a mic check.

    So, yeah, people do still read *this* blog. The universe sent me here to tell you. And even if they don’t read it, you know better than to write for someone else. It’s no different than photography…you shoot for yourself, not someone else. And with this blog, you write for yourself. People who feel it, will feel it. You don’t need hundreds or thousands of readers. And if you had built that kind of following, you would have also built quite an obligation along the way to deliver content regularly. Just write when you feel about what you feel. People will find it.

    1. You, my friend, have made my day. Seriously. This was exactly what I needed to hear and you delivered it quite eloquently. I thank you for your timing and your words.

      As for your question, I’m so happy you picked up a Fuji! I’m so in love with the color output of my X-T1…and it has cut my editing for portraits to almost NOTHING (I shoot 100% jpeg). I literally deliver portrait sessions in a few hours on the same day – very little, if any, color correction is needed. I am on Adobe CC only because I was on LR 3 before! Not sure if any of that will help you; but if you shoot mainly portraits, that X-T2 is going to be super awesome for you!

      I also ended up picking up a Sony a6300 for low light situations and times I need something faster, also for video. Come back and update me on your Fuji experience. I’ll be eyeing the X-T2 at WPPI for sure!

      1. Glad I could help. I started a blog a few months ago and tried to write to an audience and stick to a schedule and it never really felt organic. And it didn’t work…probably because I wasn’t blogging for myself. Now, I just post whenever I have something I feel like posting. I generally write very little and just post photo stories. I’d previously put serious effort into posts that got no views. One day, I posted a photo story on me babysitting my cousin’s puppy for a couple of days and that post exploded. I was just posting a few funny images of this puppy bullying my pitbull because it was interesting to me and people responded to that post unlike any post I’d actually put effort into.

        I’m challenging myself going forward to publish one photo story per week. It will force me to get out and shoot regularly. Within the context of the “blog for yourself” mantra, I do feel like I should be posting weekly. I look at what Jared Polin does every single week with RAWTalk and what Tony and Chelsea do every single week with with their show and I want to do something similar. I watch those shows every single week because I really enjoy them. If they can put in all the work required to deliver shows of that quality week after week, I can certainly get out and make some images on a weekly basis that will provide a few minutes of weekly escape for people who view my blog. A friend of mine told me she lost an hour going through my blog one day. That was the highest compliment anyone could have given me.

        I plan for this Fuji to help me generate that weekly blog post. What you shared about shooting jpeg-only was definitely helpful. I’d been going back and forth in my head about whether I should do that or shoot raw and apply the camera profile in post. I really like the idea of shooting to not post-process. I bought this Fuji specifically because I want to slow down my process of making images. This is my camera for fun…”smelling the roses” type fun…so I’ll have the luxury of being methodical about creating images. I already shoot clean rather than shooting to edit, so there’s really no reason for me to not just shoot jpeg and be done with it. And I think that’s what I will do.

        I bought the 18mm pancake because 28mm is my favorite prime. The Fuji package is so much smaller than my 5D3 / Sigma 28mm combo, it’s ridiculous. This 18mm pancake along with the dials on top of the Fuji are why I bought into this system. I expect the majority of my images to come from this lens. I also bought the 16-55mm since 24-70 is my favorite zoom range and I needed a second body to cover that range for when I shoot events. The 5D3 and the white elephant will still handle the 70-200 range. I’ve always felt like 24-85 would be the perfect general purpose lens and 24-84 is what Fuji delivered with the 16-55mm lens and I love it. I don’t know how much I’ll be using that lens because I bought Fuji to “go small,” but I love that they have a lens that covers my ideal zoom range.

        I’ll let you know when I’ve shot some stuff with the Fuji worth looking at. If you ever get a chance to talk to their reps, tell them to stop crippling the menu customization. My Menu and the Quick Menu are basically useless because of how precious few menu items are available to put in them. I’m seriously scratching my head on that one. They give you custom menus and allow you to put nothing useful in them.

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