7 Years & Counting!

That’s right. I am now into my 8th year of writing online. Last Saturday marked my 7th anniversary of what started out as a simple way of sharing an amazing semester abroad with my family and friends and has since become the Photoshop & Photography Blog Community that we have today!

It’s been a labor of love, especially over the past 3 years or so that I’ve been focusing almost solely on digital imagery, and I’ve been blessed to develop some great friendships along the way. One such friendship, which I mentioned a few weeks back, has been with Rob Jones of Towner Jones Photography. Rob and I share a similar philosophy for our work and I am always inspired and encouraged when I meet other like-minded Photoshop & Photography enthusiasts. In case you missed that post, the guiding principle for me is something along the lines of “pay it forward.” When I learn new things about Photoshop, I love to pass it along. If I see something and wonder how it was done, I am driven to figure it out both for the challenge of it and so I can then show others what I’ve learned.

I’ve been fortunate enough to develop relationships with some notable figures in the larger digital imaging community and have been blessed to receive some notariety myself. It is all a bit surreal for me because I see myself more as a just a guy who loves photography and needs an outlet for it. If my only readers were my mom and a couple of friends – like it was back in the day – I’d be happy, so I keep having to pinch myself that I get to do this everyday and share my thoughts and work with so many of you. (If only I were able to do it full-time!)

Because I never want to let any attention because of the blog go to my head, I do my best to share the spotlight (for lack of a better term) with my readers through projects and contests and other regular series so that others have some opportunities to reach a wider audience just as I’ve had over the last few years. Again, always trying to pay it forward and build community rather than toot my own horn.

There have been a lot of changes since I first began this endeavor, especially in the last year, and there will be more to come. Some of my series have fizzled out – due to lack of traction, time/development constraints, or they were just bad ideas – and others have risen higher than I had ever thought they would. Instead of taking a more nostalgic tack, which would be very tempting and easy to do, I thought that this milestone would serve as an excellent opportunity to look forward so we might do some brainstorming together to see where we might go from here.

First off, I want to lay out a few goals that I’d like to work towards with the blog, in no particular order:

  • I’d like to continue to build this site as a place where creative people can share their work, inspire each other, and find unique opportunities to participate in creative projects.
  • I’d like this site to be a resource where others can come for help and feedback so they can grow as image makers.
  • I’d like this site to be an outlet for my own work with an openness for comments and critiques so I, too, can continue to develop my craft.
  • I’d like to have an ongoing dialogue with my readers (through the comments or otherwise) ┬ánot only so I can have a clearer sense of who they are, what they do, and why they come back, but more so we can all learn from each other and push each other to be better.
  • And, if I’m being totally open and honest here, I’d like to see the blog grow in terms of being a source of income so that I can move closer to my dream of doing photography and Photoshop training full-time so that my passion might become my profession.

Next comes the more tricky part: How? Here is where I would like to solicit your input and ideas for how to turn the goals into realities. Maybe there’s something you’d like to see by way of a project/series/contest or other program here on the site. Maybe you have ideas about how to improve on what’s been started already. Here’s a few things to get the ball rolling (again, in no particular order):

  • The Points of View Photo Project has been quite successful, in my opinion, and those who participate are constantly telling me how much they enjoy the new challenge each time around. I will certainly be continuing the project as long as I have original source images to share. I’m always open to reader-submitted source images, so if you’d like to see how others might interpret one of your shots please send it in to pov@jasondmoore.com.
  • Workflow Fridays has fallen off somewhat, mainly due to how tough it’s been this summer to coordinate it. I’d like to see it continue because I think it’s a great way to get a glimpse into the process of someone else so we can pick up tips and tricks we might be able to incorporate into our own work. If you’d like to contribute, please send me an email and I’d be glad to review it for posting.
  • Photo Reviews have been a fun way for me to flex my creative muscles and share my thoughts and opinions so others might improve in their work. I’d like to see this continue as well but I just need people to send me their shots. If you’d like your photo reviewed, email me at reviews@jasondmoore.com.
  • Ask Jason is along the same lines and is off to a good start with yesterday’s post. If you have questions, send ’em along to askjason@jasondmoore.com.
  • Photoshop Tutorial Videos have been really fun for me to do in the past and it’s been such a crazy year that I haven’t been able to get back to it. There’s a new contest over at NAPP that I’m going to talk about more down the line that will hopefully get me back into it.
  • Contests have been going quite well lately, especially with the BIG Photo Contest last month, and they are a great way to highlight some excellent photography. I’ve been approached by a few people with some really unique prizes that you will hopefully be seeing in the coming months.
  • Sponsors have been a great support for both the contests and this blog as a whole. I’ve been blessed to receive donations of prizes for the contests as well as monetary donations to help keep this blog going in one form or another. And I am so thankful for those of you who have done that! I’d like to invite all of you to consider either donating via the PayPal button in the sidebar or sponsoring the site or one of the ongoing projects. Find out more by visiting the Become a Sponsor page or by emailing me at sponsors@jasondmoore.com.
  • Jason D. Moore Prints are available for purchase through my Zenfolio Store – powered by Mpix. I am adding new shots as often as I can so you can have a fine art print and support the site at the same time. Check out the store for Jason D. Moore Prints.
  • The Jason D. Moore Photography Apparel Store has recently opened as well. You can pick up your very own shirts, mugs, stickers, tote bags and more to show your support of the blog as well as the larger community it represents. And I’m adding new items all the time. If you do buy something from the store, be sure to send me a picture of you wearing it so I can post it here.
  • Photowalks have been a tremendous source of inspiration for me as well as a great way to meet my fellow photographers. I’m planning on holding more in the future, for sure.
  • Photoshop & Photography Workshops have been something I’ve done in the past on a smaller scale and something I’ve been toying with doing again.
  • Supporting Causes is a good way to increase your visibility, yes, but more importantly it’s just the right thing to do. There are a couple of things in progress that will be announced in the coming weeks that I think you would all be able to join me in supporting.
  • Others? What are your thoughts on all of this? What else can you think of? No matter how far-fetched, off-the-wall, outlandish, mundane, basic, ambitious, or just plain good your ideas might be, I want to hear them! So please leave a comment below and let me know what you think.

I really want to make this site more than just another photoblog and I want to make sure that everyone from the hobbyist to the professional feels welcome and able to be a part of it. So please, give me your input and help this community grow!

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