March has been a good month for me in photography. I started shooting as a hobbyist a year ago. Started getting decent and everyone kept pushing me to take my skills and make something out of it. I took a few months off to focus on moving my family from Japan back to the states. I hadn't touched my camera in awhile and wasn't sure if I was going to get off my butt and get into it again. Then one night I decided to head out and try some astro here in Jacksonville, NC. Milkyway season was upon us and I had yet to get a good Milky Way shot under my belt. That night the sky was clear and there was no moon. Perfect excuse to dust off the Sony A6300 and start shooting again. After that night I came home with a few great photos that you can see in the "Night" section of my website. But this post isn't about those photos. It's about how I re-sparked that passion for photography. After that night I began thinking of new things to shoot and before I knew it I was breathing, living, and thinking of photography 24/7. I then decided that I was going to finally start my "thing".
Enter The Shutter Nerd. It was the first name I can think of because it pretty much describes who I am. Amongst my friends I am a total geek about video games, comics, tech, and pop culture. Also I was lucky to find that the name had not been taken on Instagram, Facebook, and the .com domain was still available! So I changed my name on Instagram from my own personal account to my business one @theshutternerd. I made it a goal to give at least one quality post a day. This forced me to keep shooting. Also, I've probably become a danger while driving on roads because I'm constantly looking around and searching for interesting subjects and locations to shoot. My wife is always yelling at me about this still and I'm working on it :P. If I don't have anything to post that day I've found I had soooo many images from Japan that I had never shared and that were pretty good. I'd dip into those and re-edit and share. Constantly posting, commenting, following, hash tagging like a #boss and interacting with people on social media has started to see my account grow a lot in just a month! I went from a few hundred followers to a few thousand fast and even got invited to do an IG account takeover for @universetoday, a popular space and astronomy news site with an IG account with over 106k followers. Right now the followers have seemed to slow down a lot compared to the beginning of the month, but they are still trickling in daily. I am at 3,828 at the time of this post.
Then I finally decided to buy the domain name and build this website. It's a work in progress but I'm proud of it. I feel legit now! Today, I'm going to work on installing my online store. Not sure how to do it on Square Space but I have one set up on Pixieset so I'll probably just link them together. If anyone reading this has a better way please let me know! Now the next step in my photography goals is to start doing paid gigs. Follows and likes on social media are wonderful but it isn't putting any money into my camera funds. I really need to start shooting people, events, and selling prints so that way I can keep funding my passion which means upgrading gear, running this website, and expanding my education through attending workshops. I'm still a beginner in this game but I don't plan on stopping. This was just one month. I'm excited to see what happens in the next year. If you are following me now please stick around with me on this journey! P.S. Visit my online store and feel free to purchase a print as well! :) - Rey