Looking back at my archive of images today, I am reminded of the of an old Film Exchange building. Oklahoma City’s Film Row district features several such buildings that have found new life. The one I am thinking of, though, is no more. That location is now a small corner in a brand new park across from a shiny, new convention center. The times were changing. The building simply had to go.
I am of two minds on the loss of the historic building. On one hand, the heavy hand of progress has plowed down far too many of the characterful, salvageable structures in this relatively young city. On the other, “the old ways” do need to give way lest we grow stagnant. If anything, I suppose I wish that we held strongly to the middle ground. Progress and history are not mutually exclusive. Nor should they be.
Many things have changed in the last couple of years. It is hard to enumerate or even categorize the swath of changes ranging from personal to worldwide events. Frankly, I’m tired of thinking about it all even while most of it is a part of daily life. There’s the rub. If we ignore the changes around us and are not changing our priorities, we will fail. Holding course in the storm when you no longer have a clear view of the once familiar, now dangerous shoals is a bad idea.
Two years ago, my humble photography business had regular clients. I could count on a certain number of events to make sure I broke even. As a part-time professional, it was all going well if a bit slow at times. It paid the business bills and that has always been the goal. My day job and my family take precedent. Clicking the shutter is icing on the cake.
Needless to say, things have changed dramatically. I find myself, almost daily, asking if I should close the doors on my humble photography business. The constant clients I did have still aren’t back to normal and, if I had to guess, won’t be for another year at best. If it isn’t about health policies, it is about a changing economic environment in which event photography and headshots have become unnecessary luxuries.
It is now less about if I should close the doors and more about how can I avoid the doors closing themselves. I have some ideas. The question is who will be changing course with me?