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Happy Birthday to… Me Inc!

In the unforgiveably long period of time since the last posting I’ve been a little busy. The #1 excuse is that I got married. And taking 3 weeks out of self-employment takes a lot of preparing for and recovering from. It’s a heck of a way to make a living and given another recent development I guess there can be little doubt I’m at least making a living – on May 7th Ewan Nicholson Photography Inc. turned the ripe old age of 10. Something The Google suggests only happens to 1 in 3 businesses.

A decade in business: I’ve been a photographer longer than I was an engineer. I look a lot more like my dad than I did in 2002. There are days now when I practically even feel like I know what I’m doing. Most importantly, I’m probably more excited about my photography (and now videography too) than at any time in my life. Making a career of your passion, conventional wisdom has it, is a good way to end up with neither. Fortunately I took my advice from Goethe: Whatever you can do, or believe you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.

I’m excited now to look forward as the opportunities ahead seem pretty much limitless. 10 years ago I was shooting film on a 35mm camera, cursing the dog hairs in the darkroom and was resolutely uninterested in the ugliness of video. Luckily Canon soon brought out the 1DS, sparking a digital revolution that has transformed every aspect of my professional life. Funny to think the humble 1DS cost only a little less than the Hasselblad H4D40 I just bought. Three years ago I was about to pick up a video camera for the first time – to shoot Denny Morrison racing a large slice of bread. And then with the arrival of the 5D Mk2 my world truly changed. Suddenly cinematic-looking video was a possibility for me and I’m surprised by how enthusiastically and successfully I’ve embraced it. Just as digital had democratised still photography, finally the arrival of large sensor HD video cameras made it possible to create distinctly unugly video with minimal fuss.

Whatever happens in the next ten years, I’m pretty sure most of it won’t be business as usual. I bore a bit too easily for that…
Video’s already at least a third of my business and seems likely to just keep growing. Next exciting horizon: getting the new quad heli airborne and fully functional. Like so many of my “business” decisions I’m following my gut & passion wherever they lead me. It’s a key part of my business planning & professional development process here at ENP Inc.
The Hasselblad seems certain to make a huge impact on my still photography – the file quality is so amazing and the look of the longer focal length lenses is so different to 35mm that I’m falling in love with portraiture all over again. For the first time in my career I’m embarking on a major personal project which hopefully will result in an exhibition some time in 2013. Perhaps as soon as Exposure in February.
Lastly, should probably be firstly but what the heck, I’m waking up to the fact I’m running a business and need to be planning a bit beyond the next shoot or ski trip. My portfolio work with Heather Morton in 2010 was the catalyst for a comprehensive overhaul of what ENP Inc. is all about and now in 2012 I’m marketing my work way more heavily than ever before. Still working on fully making peace with my inner Don Draper but since the alternative is starvation or, perish the thought, life in a cubicle I’m getting religion in a hurry. That silly T-shirt up there is all part of the masterplan too: I’ve used “I shoot people. Happily.” in promotional material in the past and thanks to an insomnia-driven bout of late night creativity last week have established ishootpeoplehappily.com as the URL that links to this blog. Think I’m going to have a lot of fun with this bit of branding. Thank you to the wonderful Bryan McCloskey for being at the computer at one in the morning for design advice!

So, that’s the story. Still working hard on being an overnight sensation. Maybe another 10 years will be all it’ll take. Bring it on…