Unpreparedness and being featured on Strobist

As a photographer it is always entertaining to watch the stats of your website but when you see a spike of more than 30k views in less than a week it gets even more entertaining. A few months ago I had a shift in thinking about what and how  and why I photograph. I mean a complete shift in thinking. I will be explaining everything about that in great detail soon. This shift of thinking has given me a very focused vision and approach to photography. As part of this I am shooting a portfolio (not to be confused with re shooting a portfolio but actually shooting it for the first time). Before my little shift in mindset my 'portfolio' was as ambiguous as anyone else's. I had no unified 'look' nor did I have and clear subject matter. This will have changed when my portfolio is launched, but as of now I don't have anything up. 

While prepping for one of my shoots I was looking for a new/different light modifier to play with and so I went to Home Depot and started shopping. I found a white acrylic globe (quite similar to the $643 ProGlobe) for $10. Being the social media addict that I am I tweeted a photo of it on my AlienBees flash and included "@strobist" on the end of my tweet since this is a steal for the money. I would have been shocked if David Hobby would have retweeted the photo. A while later I saw a notification on my phone "@Strobist mentioned you in a tweet." Was this real? It was past my bedtime that night so I had to be misreading it. There was a blog post. I had made it onto Strobist (think: Mecca). I got a second tweet from David that said something along the lines of "andddd incoming." Tweets, emails, and page views started pouring in. All from the little line in the blog post "This one is via Houston based photographer Stephen Hébert." Tweets are nice, and emails are cool, but page views of my (then) portfolio and blog are what (could) get me exposure. In the first week David's post was live I received more than thirty thousand page views from his link alone (these views were split between my portfolio and people finding my blog from the portfolio). I was completely unprepared for this. I realized then the absolute importance of always having your work ready to be thrown out in front of literally tens of thousands of people because it can and does happen. I tweeted to my few hundred twitter followers and found what I put out there rocketed in front of thousands and thousands of people. 

I am thankful that it happened because it helped reinforce a very important lesson: always be prepared. It also taught me a more important lesson: if you and your work don't stand out, you will get passed by. 

After my shift in mindset towards photography I started meeting with photographers. I started talking with people on the phone. Texting. Tweeting. Emailing. If someone would talk to me I would jump on it. I started formulating the ideas that I am implementing. These are big ideas. Very big ideas. If all goes according to plan they have the prospect of establishing my own market in Houston and challenging an entire established segment of the photo industry. My idea is very big and even more complex. Over the next few months I am going to start and systematically explaining the ideas and practices I am and will be using. I have talked about these ideas for almost six months with everyone from other photographers to soccer moms to brand managers at banks. I have refined it and rethought it many times. I have had test shoots to try my concept. I am finally ready to publicly talk about and publish it. Everything is going to change.

 Welcome to the Stephen Hébert experience.