This post is about change and about quitting. And also it's an apology to you. It's also about starting fresh. It's also a full blog post with a lot of text and only one picture, but I'm hoping you'll read it anyway.
Above is one of my all-time favorite moments on camera. It seems to evoke a sense of movement and introspection that is so timely for my life right now, and so I find myself looking at it a lot. When I look through my portfolio it's full of "nice" photos and design projects, but only a handful that really communicate something...or at least communicate the values I want to put out into the world. So over the last two months I was put to the difficult task of figuring out WHY. Why am I unhappy with my work? And why do I feel anxiety when I think about my business? Why am I always so overwhelmed?
Something didn't feel right.
After much consideration, I realized I needed to do two things; 1. simplify my life 2. embrace change and the fear it no-doubt will bring.
Business has been tough lately, to be frank. In this age of social networking I think we all feel the pressure to look successful and busy even when the crickets are chirping in our inboxes. Truthfully, I've been struggling to feel happy for all you guys. By "you guys" I mean the creatives in my field (photographers, designers, artists and small business owners). Don't get me wrong, I WANT to be happy for you, but I've been mostly feeling jealous and frustrated when I see your amazing accomplishments and opportunities streaming across social media (I'll come back to this at the end of my post).
Business is always hard, particularly small business. I've struggled to find clients and I've struggled to charge what I'm worth. I've felt spread very thin over an array of interests that I hold, struggling to improve my skill or excel in any one area. Truth be told, I'd been wallowing in all that rather than trying to fix it (and baking...like...A LOT). I found myself hiding and isolating myself, not wanting to be seen or heard in real life (yes, REAL life, not instagram).
I wasn't sure whether to welcome or run from these new realizations. As I felt the drive to clarify, clean up, and refocus not only my heart but my career, I also felt really afraid. As much as I love dabbling in many different things (photo,design, video, DIY, writing, etc), it makes no sense professionally, for my personality type (that is rubbish at multitasking) to try and maintain. Additionally, I think potential clients are confused as to what exactly I do. Much like I've had to clear out my physical closets this month as I prepare to go overseas...I made the difficult decision to clean out my career closet as well.
Here is what that means.
As of January 2015, I'm dropping the business name JARFLY. I realized that for years I'd been hiding behind the whimsical title "jarfly", which has sentimental significance between my husband and I... but little merit for my current work. In the end, I realized I needed to acquaint people with ME if I was to welcome them as clients...my name being the stepping stone to that transition.
As of June 2015, I will offer ONLY wedding and portrait photography under the business name Jenni Kupelian Photographs. This was a hard thing to wrap my brain around, especially after slaving away through design school. The truth is, I've fallen head over heels for photography...it's my passion. I love every inch of it and it is where my strongest work shines. While I enjoy design, it always seems to fall prey to the other love. So rather than keep pushing something out of pride and a desire to say I'm "using" my degree, I've decided to stop offering custom design services. I will continue to use my design skills to create my new photography brand, as well as photo-cards, album art, and other printed products that my photography clients can purchase as a part of their portrait packages. I will also continue to design off the books in a volunteer capacity here and there.
The JARFLY blog (that you are now reading) will become the blog associated with Jenni Kupelian Photographs, under a new domain name. I love blogging and feel it's an important way for potential clients and fellow creatives to connect with one another, comment on each other's work, and share each other's links. I also view it as a creative journal and place to experiment. I will always blog, but will be limiting the range of topics I cover. I'm excited to launch a YouTube channel associated with my photo work that will feature tips for clients, behind the scenes video and other photographic tutorials as well, and I'm excited to challenge myself to get in front of the camera more so my demographic can get to know me.
Until I launch my new photography brand and website, the JARFLY FB page will be erased and my other social sites re-named. I will most likely NOT be updating this blog, until it's moved to my new domain in the spring. My husband and I are getting ready for 5 weeks in Europe and Iceland...and I'm getting ready for a solo trip to East Africa. We will be sharing our adventures and photography together at The Ragamuffins, our travel blog (if you'd like to join us there).
Making this decision was difficult, and even more odd to try and explain to people. However, the overwhelming response has been positive from close friends and family. I feel like a burden has been lifted, allowing me to truly be happy for my creative peers in their success and to FINALLY actually support others rather than covet their talent. That being said, I feel like I owe my fellow creatives an apology. I'm a tiny spec in a sea of entrepreneurs, and while nobody has been "waiting" for an apology from me, I promise I owe you one anyway. I'm excited to finally support, cheer on and collaborate with you all. I'm excited to see what amazing things you accomplish in 2015. We are all in this together, right?
Damn right we are!
I hope you will follow me to my new domain and blog launching next year. I hope you leave a comment or a virtual high five. And more than anything, THANK YOU for reading this long space of content. I only have a few readers, but I've been really thankful for you. You have no idea how much I appreciate it.
SAVE THE DATES:
NOW | Jenni Kupelian Photographs on Facebook Mid-January 2014 | Follow my 7 week, 11 country adventure at my personal The Ragamuffins travel blog. June 2015 | Jenni Kupelian Photographs launches + new brand identity + officially booking new work September 2015 | Jenni Kupelian YouTube Channel launch + online giveaways
See you in June at Jenni Kupelian Photographs!