2016 Review + 2017 Preview
Snow is falling silently, midnight has long gone and I am sitting on my old, cozy couch writing these lines. A few candles enlighten the room and I feel relaxed and confident. Confidence: the feeling that had been absent from my life for most of the time in 2016. But now it is back, just in time for the year’s end. The uncertainty fades away.
2016: The Rollercoaster
It has been a challenging year. Actually, it has been a hell of a ride. There is nobody to blame for (except me), and most of the time I had superior help to cope with the hurdles. But I took too many wrong decisions and uneducated guesses which almost lead to the collapse of my business and projects. They took strange directions and heavy detours, to say the least.
I quite extensively wrote about all this in my last personal story “Having Faith?!”. I revealed a lot of my inner life as well as then-current struggles and was not sure how this would be perceived. I feel more than blessed that I got tremendous support and motivational reactions from all of you!
But of course, as always, I also received notes that were borderline insults and a few people left the community. You know what? This is perfectly fine! In retrospect this was a helpful process and purification. I am happy for everybody who left. Those are the people I don’t want to deal with anyway. Not in real life, not in cyberspace.
The Turning Point: “Creative Nudes On A Budget”
Having had miscalculated my workload and projects (speak: income), I had to stake everything on one card: the remaining project “Creative Nudes On A Budget”. This project turned out to be more than substantial. It actually became the key element to secure the future of SWP. You know, the making of SWP is not for free. It takes massive time to keep content coming and the site up and running. So “CreaNudes” (working title) had to be the shot that would bring back the money and future cash flow needed to secure SWP’s existence.
“CreaNudes” started out as a small idea 13 months ago but grew in dimension, conceptual aspiration and then – in consequence thereof – in production itself. Boiled down, it accounted for full 6 months of my workload. After concepting and the shootings, it was all about the writing, reshaping, re-writing, questioning the state of affairs, more writing…it felt like an endless effort.
But I did it and I got an ultra-awesome result: the best digital training in form of an eWorkbook that I have done for you so far.
“CreaNudes” was (and is) perceived in phenomenal ways and sales figures are decently wonderful. A big thank you goes out to all of you who supported my latest training and utmost thanks to the few resellers of mine who are helping me to push the boundaries.
Recently, Joe Edelman introduced my book and work to his followership in the US. For me, this is reaching the next level.
The process of making the book almost killed me but it was worth every minute and helped me to change course. Of course, I/SWP are still thankful and in need of all the support we can get. So if you haven’t done it yet, go and grab your copy and awesome bonuses of “Creative Nudes On A Budget” here.
2017: What Is Coming Up?
Australia. My trip to Australia will happen. Some of you might not know: My idea was to tour Australia for three months and to connect with photographers, models, agencies, production companies and so forth in order to produce interviews, documentaries, etc. about their work approach, point of views, business + philosophical takes.
Sadly, I was not able to settle the amount of meetups I was keen for with the folks I wished for, so the trip Down Under will be much shorter. Configuration and conception were changed.
I am looking forward to meet the outstanding photographers I could manage to ally with and I am confident we will create decently superb insights for you. The shorter time frame allows me to divert funds to another project I will talk about shortly in the next paragraph.
“Following The Photographer”. Many of you have asked and I am very avid myself: getting secret insights from our genre’s heavy weights.
I am just finishing up a concept (with help from one of SWP’s authors) which basic idea is to follow along photographers/events/models during a shoot, sit down with the protagonists and talk about various topics. We will create video content, consisting of a mixture of education, inspiration and entertainment.
In order to gather the footage, I will tour the US but also visit my talented European friends. Goal is to cover various styles like bikini, glamour, artistic nude and commercial nude photography.
“Outdoor Challenge”. During this year’s summer months, I produced and shot a video tutorial project called “Outdoor Challenge” (working title). The main idea was to use simple speedlights and the sun in order to create stunning mixed lighting concepts without having the need for expensive gear and fancy settings like HSS, etc.
Featuring Melisa Mendini, we shot Portrait Tease, GlamNudes and Artistic Nudes within a location that offered most diverse looking spots.
I will thoughtfully process and enrich this material for a multi-part video tutorial and hopefully release it in late autumn 2017.
“Extravaganza” – Personal Project. I got the final kick for this endeavor at Lindsay Adler’s Fashion Workshop when she was talking about “aspirational work”. The intent is to setup projects that one follows out of an obsession or seeking new creativity or/and pushing visions. It is not about working in a commercial setup but rather for your own dream goals – you know, as in aiming for the moon and ending up with the stars…
For over two years, I have been carrying around the idea of “Extravaganza” (working title) and I am deeply driven by my awakened B&W photography desire to produce a chef d’oeuvre using square format. I want to pursue sophisticated eroticism in a grayscale extravaganza using very selective styling forms, compositions and settings. It is hard to describe and I am currently in the phase of putting various mood boards together.
I feel that this endeavor will be a key element of my aspirational work over the next couple of years. It will for sure evolve to a commercial outlet (it must be funded somehow…) but yet solely (!) based on my artistic feel and a rigorous following-through of my vision. No compromise here!
I will report more about the progress in a few months.
Ready For The Next Ride!
In the meantime, a lot of snow has accumulated on the windowsill, the moon is peaking through the clouds and illuminates the night – everything shines bright in white. The moonlight with a touch of blue, the candle light with a yellowish hue… – mixed lighting at its best. It is hard to decide which mood to fall for. Although the outdoor thermometer indicates a bitter cold -15 degrees Celsius, I feel a warm optimism emerge inside of me – for the first time in quite a long while.
The snow will melt, the warmth will return and the spring sun will recharge my projects with energy. This means to me that I will yet again surf through another year full of challenges and it will be the next hell of a ride. Cool! I am ready for it!
Thank you for all of your ongoing support!