the leaf hunt

As autumn gives way to winter, my ketubah business tends to slow down, and I find more time to spend working in the studio. Autumn is a important time for me: to collect things to photograph, to search for new ideas and inspiration. My son joined me on my “leaf hunts” this year, and our harvest was plentiful. We went for walks through our local parks, watching the leaves turn color and exploring the trails. We came back with our pockets and knapsacks stuffed with leaves, sticks, and acorns. My prep tables are new overflowing with new things to photograph.

some of the results of our leaf hunts

But so far, I haven’t done anything with them. The economy crisis has loomed large, and instead of creating new art, I’ve been spending this time thinking about my art career. Reflecting on both my creative goals, and my fiscal responsibilities as a father. I’ve been trying to channel some of my creative energy in to new marketing efforts, to find new ways to make this odd-ball career I have chosen a little less unpredictable. Although at times I want to panic about what is happening, I keep reminding myself that now is the time to invest, in myself and my career. Now is the time to strengthen my business, so that when the economy finally, slowly crawls out of its slump, I’ll be ready. So instead of working in the studio, I’ve been at my desk. I’ve started to build a list of potential buyers, and slowly been reaching out to them. I’ve created a new marketing kit for my photography. And I’ve come up with some new ways to market my ketubahs that I am pretty excited about. But even in the midst of all this marketing, I have even found some time to create new art.

a snapshot from Lightroom of my new photographs

While outlining the next issue of my newsletter, I rediscovered a large backlog of photographs I had taken throughout the year, but had neglected to do anything with. So I have spent this week week in my digital darkroom, going through each photograph, separating the wheat from the chaff, and creating a new collection of work to show. It’s been an unexpected burst of creativity in the midst of a lot of business planning, and have given me some new artistic energy. Maybe soon I’ll finish my business planning, and can finally tackle that huge mound of leaves and acorns my son and I collected.


how wonderful to spend “leaf hunting” time with your son – it’s the quality of the time we spend that really matters, isn’t it? Your photographs have continued to uplift and inspire me throughout these past few years and while we are all struggling with the uncertainty of our economic and artistic futures, it’s empowering to read that once all the planning is done, there’ll be time to play in that “mound of leaves”! BTW, I’ve been collecting acorns for a few years now, too, have several jars of them…I wish they would stay green all the time and not dry out and loose their tops. Take care.

Your post has helped me to move a bit slower and breathe a bit deeper. The last couple of months I have been a chicken . . . either Chicken Little or a recently beheaded chicken running amok. Now is a great time to rethink and regroup.

I can relate to what you are feeling Dan. I wonder how different male artists feel about this than female artists. In any case, like you, I choose to invest in myself during these times and even take some additional chances at opportunity. Thanks for putting your thoughts out there.

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