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.

Thank you for all the inspiration you've already given me. I'm going to try to pay it back. 

Liberty, Silky Presets





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10 comments

  1. Amanda Hutchings

    Liberty, I am so sorry about everything that has gone on for you. I realize this comment is a little late considering when you made this post. However, I still wanted to reply. I LOVE this site, ALL your work, the VIP group on facebook & keeping up with your beautiful work! I think you have a lot of great ideas and I would love to be able to help in any way that I can. I can relate to the homeschool thing. We decided to start homeschooling our daughter this year, she’s 10 years old and in the 5th grade. I love it so far and I love the peace of mind it gives me knowing that I have a hand in her education and the way she is learning; however it can be exhausting. I also have a 2 year old who definitely keeps us on our toes. Anyway, I guess my point is, I have let things I enjoyed and loved doing kind of slip away simply because I get so overwhelmed taking care of my family and making sure their needs are met that I just kind of forget about my own. Don’t lose yourself and let what you love doing slip away. You have to make time for yourself as well. <3 Again, I enjoy this site and all your beautiful presets. I own a few different ones, but none of them compare to yours! Probably 95% of my presets are from Silky. :) Keep em’ coming love! <3

  2. Mark

    Hey! Thank you for the very honest post! My heart goes out to you with everything you’ve dealt with recently in your personal life. And being a business owner, I know FIRSTHAND how hard it is to stay inspired when you have a million different hats to wear, especially if one of those hats is “parent”! Before I comment on your blog post, I want to say something:

    You are priced perfectly. And you need to own that. I have invested THOUSANDS of dollars into setting up my business. If I spend money, it’s on something that I value and that will pay me back as my business continues to grow. As photographers, we are running two different shows: business and photography. The business stuff is its own entity. And you can spend a lifetime perfecting it. But you need to remember what you are selling: IMAGERY!!! You need to have beautiful images if you’re going to be a photographer. So whatever a photographer needs to accomplish that, they need to do it. And while one should NOT rely on a preset to make or break an image (I’ve seen people put presets on images where it simply doesn’t “fix” it), it can help your imagery TREMENDOUSLY.

    Considering that unlike other well known preset companies, Liberty makes her presets available INDIVIDUALLY for purchase…and we are seriously talking about the same price as a cup of coffee at Starbucks for a single preset…you really have no reason to not buy her work at full price. Again, I said HER work. She has done work for YOU so that you can click a mouse once in many cases and then spend lovely time with your family, instead of being a slave to your editing trying to figure out how to get that look you want unassisted. AND once you pay the $4 for a preset, you have it for LIFE. It’s no different than dropping 2K on a full frame camera or 1K on a new lens. It’s an investment in your business that will pay for itself. And if you can’t afford $4 you probably are not managing your money well. Let’s be honest.

    No, I have not been prompted by Silky Presets to say ANY of this. It just gets under my skin when we, as artists want to be valued so desperately by society, and yet don’t want to support other artists. Don’t get me wrong…discount codes are great and I use them if I can find them. But pouting that everything isn’t free is utterly ridiculous. Sal Cincotta just released a preset collection for $150. So price is always relative.

    Bottom line: as a business owner, you have to invest in yourself. And you get what you pay for. Period. You can find free presets everywhere and many of them are crap. Before Silky Presets, I found some cheap ones on Etsy. They did AWFUL things to skin tones and I had to throw them away. So I have very gladly purchased much of the Silky Preset store because it’s a reliable brand that I believe in.

    (Exhales)

    Ok…now that that is settled.

    Liberty, I think that ALL of those ideas are great ideas. People always love community, so a forum where people can post about many different topics is always a winner in my book. I think that editing videos are always an AWEOSME idea. I am CONSTANTLY searching YouTube for tutorials on how to navigate around editing hurdles. So you could do an editing video on a basic skill, but talk about the presets and brushes to promote them…and maybe offer a SMALL discount for anybody who might be new to your company. But honestly, the presets speak for themselves.

    I found your company through YouTube where a guy was editing with your presets and gave a discount code. Now I am a customer for life. So you can do that yourself, but get a wider range of people in by titling the video “how to use brushes in LR” as opposed to “here’s our newest preset collection”.

    I also know there are people out there that you can hire to manage your social media. Your work as a photographer is STUNNING. If more people knew about it and saw the beauty you put out, they would go crazy! But they have to know about you.

    I’m sure you’ll get other comments. That’s my opinion. And please know that I genuinely appreciate you and the company that you’ve built. Keep going!

    Mark

  3. LISA HONEYCUTT

    I love this company .. i would say create a facebook page where people can post their images and list what silky preset they used to show off .let your presets show them selves off .. i say this because i live on fb and for me thats the easliet way besides email to stay on top of things but it will show off what your presets can do .. you could even do themed show and tells or contest .. even small guides to help those who may be struggling but afraid to ask …

  4. Christine

    Thank you for being honest, Liberty. Damn it, I hate social media too! But its also how I found you, so there’s definitely something great about it. A double edged sword this is. Personally, I dont think I’ve read any of your blogs. I didnt even care to look for one. I dont always read your emails… (sorry)… and I probably should have, ‘cause I didn’t know you had editing videos. This would have helped when I purchased a preset to try. Now I will be honest… I didnt like it. But not to blame you… I have no idea what I am doing. I downloaded it, think I lost it… then followed your instruction.. tested it out… didn’t like the outcome and just continued on with my old ways. If there is anything I could ask for is some help! I feel like buying a preset is like buying a wedding dress online. How do I know its the right fit? I refrain from purchasing more because I don’t know which is the right one to choose for my needs. And unfortunately I can not buy all. I believe a forum would help.

  5. Lindsay

    Firstly, congratulations on the success of your business so far, something you should feel proud of.

    I live in the UK and am a novice when it comes to photo editing. I have Lightroom and Photoshop and would love to see more videos on how to use them in to make improvements.

    A forum would be great I enjoy seeing before/after shoots and would be good to know the steps people took to get to the finished article.

    Admittedly, I am yet to purchase your presets. I’ve accessed many free presets from a range of sources, and still getting used to them. But whilst I have a little collection, I adore some of your presets, maybe once I become more confident with Lightroom/photoshop and if there were deals/offers on I might look into purchasing a set.

    Best wishes
    Lindsay

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