My wonderful, talented photographer friends:
I'm stuck. There, I said it. Let me explain...
When I started this company almost three years ago, it was so tiny. Truly nothing but a little idea with a little bit of hope behind it. It grew. It grew SO much, in such a short time! I poured so many hours and so much love into making it grow that it really became something I was proud of.
Last October, almost a year ago now, my world was shattered when I lost my mother. It was sudden, and unexpected, and so, so hard. A month later I lost my grandmother. Also sudden, and unexpected.
For a while, I threw myself back into this work, and it really helped get me through the worst of that shock. But as time has gone on, and life has gone on, that spark of passion has started to be replaced with exhaustion. And disappointment---mostly in myself.
Because I want to be doing so much more with this than I am.
I homeschool my three daughters, and they are my world. And lately I've been working on new projects, new ideas that excite me. All good things. But all that leaves me so little creative energy to nurture this business. And I hate social media, I really do. Can I just admit that? I don't want to play the popularity game. I don't want to "do maintenance" on lists of people and likes and retweets and whatever else I'm supposed to care about. I don't want to do it. It's all so.....fake.
But I also don't want this thing I built to fall away into nothing. I really don't. It still means so much to me. So I've been thinking about this problem for the last several months, trying to understand what this thing really means to me,
and it always comes back.... to YOU.
Silky Presets was never meant to be a faceless company. I never wanted it to be JUST a company. I want, I have always wanted, it to be a COMMUNITY. A place to learn. Interacting with you guys has been by FAR the highlight of this work, it's what has kept me going all this time. I love seeing what you create. It makes my heart happy in ways you can't imagine.
So I'm coming to you humbly asking, what can WE do, to make this better?
Sure, I've got a few more ideas for things to release this fall (some pretty cool stuff actually!) but what I really want is to breathe some LIFE into this idea of a community. I want to hear your ideas!!! Some things I've tossed around in my head:
* Blog submissions -- I can't pay for articles but I can sure as heck give store credit! I'd love to feature you and your work and your ideas here! I want this blog to be a place where inspiration happens.
* Editing videos -- Realistically, my life just doesn't allow me to make these right now, but again, I'd happily give store credit if you wanted to submit them!
* Contests -- How about a contest where we play with the names of the presets? A picture of popcorn edited with Popcorn? Or what other kinds of contests would get you excited? What kinds of prizes? I am game for anything!
* Forums -- We have the VIP group, but again I've been shamefully bad about keeping up with that-- what if I added forums to this site where you could all talk to each other, help each other out? Would you use something like that?
* Editing Classes -- I've been doing some Lightroom mentoring through GoToMeeting and I've gotten pretty comfortable with it. Would you be interested in live classes, showing how to get awesome results with the tools? If so, what would you like to learn most?
* Better emails -- What kind of stuff do you actually want to read? I'm pretty sure it's more than just announcements of sales. Featured products? Featured artists? A collection of cool links to stuff that makes me go wow???
* Revive the VIP Group -- This, I would love to do. Maybe we can just hang out and get to know each other? Share work? Get drunk? Photoshop ridiculous things into each other's photos? I miss you guys.
And lastly, I'm definitely considering hiring someone to take over my social media accounts. Or maybe just to poke me with a cattle prod every now and then to make me post something. Does that sound like fun to you? I mean the social media stuff, not the cattle prod, you sadist! :P
Okay, I'm not going to drag this out any longer. I'm posting it. I really look forward to hearing your ideas. I want to hear what Silky Presets means to you, and how it can be made MORE AWESOME.