2019 has been full of trials in my business and personal life. This year I found a lot clarity about what I really want out of all of it. I took about six months to realize what that was. Some might think of this as a setback, but really the last have of this year has been more productive than ever leading me closer to my 2020 goal.
I am grateful for that clarity now rather than a few years down the line. This year’s clarity has led me to embark on my own gallery exhibit. The exhibit featured a year long project called Small Town. Since I live in a small town, this project was dear to my heart! This project felt so much like me! I was in a state of productive flow for a long time that I hadn’t experienced in two years working with couples and families. It made me realize that maybe wedding photography and certain family photography are not for me and that’s OK.
The thing I love doing the most still hasn’t changed. I love telling stories through my photographs. No matter what my subject is, that is my goal with creating photographs. I feel the best way I can do that is by providing photographs for people who need help with them, mainly entrepreneurs.
This past year, I led the Rising Tide Society Tuesdays Together Sacramento chapter. Although I didn’t achieve all that I wanted as leader, the position taught me a lot. I love helping other entrepreneurs, which is why my business is pivoting in 2020. I realize that we all need a little help and I have a gift for telling stories through photographs. Why not help other entrepreneurs do that and save them a little time, because we all need a little more time as business owners!
In 2020 I am opening up a styled stock photography store, personal branding sessions for social media content and more fine art to help spread the word about things I care about. So stay tuned and join my email list for in-depth articles on photography, business, freebies, writing, my role in Rising Tide Society Sacramento Chapter and personal stories of home.
I find Thanksgiving week the most interesting in American holidays. Why? Well, we are supposed to eat, be merry and give thanks to the things and people we have, then the next day we go out at 3am, wait in line to get into a store and rip each other a part for a TV. Then the following day we encourage everyone to be civil again and think about the lives we affect by buying local, from small businesses, from our friends and family. It’s totally bizarre to me.
The whole point of my small town series is to shed light on being local all the time. I believe that buying local, staying within your community, helps the town as a whole. Your supporting a small business, someone’s livelihood and the sales tax money goes to improving the place you live in. You should be thinking about this all the time, not just one a day a week out the entire year.
In every town I visited I made sure that I bought something at one of the stores. In Amador City I bought 1920’s photographs of South Lake Tahoe, in Plymouth I bought cheese at a deli and at Sutter Creek I spent some time in a coffee shop enjoying tea and a pastry. I wanted to make that I wasn’t just taking pictures of this town, but enjoying what they have to offer too. Supporting them in the best way I know how.
So help someone out this year and the next! Buy gifts from your friend for other friends. Buy something that’s not from a big box store, something unique and memorable! Make a small business happy more than one day! Really think about where you’re buying from. In fact if I am your friend and you need some art head on over to my store for some small town prints. Or buy someone a portrait session for their family (seriously what could be a better gift than one that lasts a lifetime?) This is your chance to really make a difference in someone’s life!
This past Friday, November 15th, was my birthday and my opening for my Small Town series! It was an amazing night filled with family and friends that I haven't seen in such a long time! There was laughter, drinks and amazing support for my first ever exhibit. So I just want to take this time to thank everyone that came out! All of my family, friends and supporters I am so thankful for. I would not be where I am today without you! I truly appreciate it!
If you missed the opening and would still like to see the exhibit it'll be on display until January 16, 2020. It's located at the Gallery at 48 Natoma Street in Folsom, California. You can visit anytime Monday through Friday 9am - 5pm or on the second Saturday of December from 9am - 1pm. If you stop by let me know what you think of it!
If you follow my Instagram or Facebook you probably saw me post about the street photography meet up I hosted. I held it in honor of my first gallery exhibition for my small town street photography series coming up on November 15th. I wanted to connect with other like minded photographers and get to know people who follow me on social media more personally. It was also an opportunity for me to use a lens I love, but never get to use during sessions, my Lensbaby.
I had so much fun just being creative again without the pressures of client work. It's a must for any photographer to do their own work and fill up their creative cup. I hope to host another one soon. So if you're not keeping up with me on Facebook or Instagram fine me at kellyhowellphoto.
Join me at my first gallery exhibition "Small Towns" on November 15th from 6pm - 8pm at The Gallery at 48 Natoma in Folsom, California.
Below are my favorites from the meetup that I took.