Thursday, May 5, 2011

Its my life...

I've finally come to a pivotal moment in my life. The fork in the road, if you will.
This summer, I'm jumping off the deep end. Instead of playing it safe and getting a job at Best Buy or Radio Shack, I am going to make photography and thevisualCollective my full time gig.

It's a daunting task. Sure, I'm a college student, but I have expenses like everyone else. Bills gotta get paid somehow. Only problem is, I'm not really sure how that's going to happen. I find that supremely exciting. I feel like everything I've done in the last few years has lead me to this moment. I knew it would come eventually, but I didn't know when, or how crazy it would be.

Established photographers everywhere are sending out the same message: Take risks. Just do it. Jump off the deep end and see if you've got what it takes. All you've got to lose is money and some time...

My chosen path for this leap of faith is through the project I started a few months ago called thevisualCollective. We have made some really big changes in the last two weeks and I'm optimistic that this project can go from being a single road trip to being a business I can run for the rest of my life.

What have we done so far?
Done two awesome trips to Death Valley and Zion
Formed a Limited Liability Company (LLC)
Launched a $10/month membership program with awesome benefits
Started a fundraising campaign through IndieGoGo to fund a few specific purchases

What's up next?
Forming relationships with local businesses and organizations
Workshops and educational trips
Building our membership base
Creating a line of awesome merchandise and prizes
Launching the "Member Missions" program - essentially a series of contests.

Long term
Multiple trips each month
High-end location workshops

How you can help:
Long story short, in order to make this work, I need your help.
The business has some pretty daunting expenses up front. Our goal is to get the big ones out of the way with membership fees and donations.
Anyone, anywhere can be a member of thevisualCollective. By becoming a member, you get access to a bunch of fun content that nobody else does. Most importantly - the Member Missions. We're going to have a wide variety of contests (called Missions) and prizes. Anyone who is a member can enter. We plan on having multiple Missions open at any given time.

IndieGoGo is much like KickStarter. It is a crowdsourcing website, allowing organizations and individuals to ask for money and receive it from people all over the world. Most organizations (thevisualCollective included) have a series of "perks" as incentive to donate.
Our goal is to raise $5,000 to fund the purchase of a van/trailer and staff uniforms. 20% of anything we raise above $5,000 will go to non-profit organizations promoting arts education and visual collaboration.
Donations over $200 also provide a way to give back to your favorite non-profit or charity. When you donate $200 or more, thevisualCollective will use all of its social media power to promote a non-profit or charity of your choice! Facebook, Twitter, and Blog posts. Video interviews and Vlog posts. Perhaps a section on our website dedicated to that group/organization.

By giving to thevisualCollective, you're supporting a group of people whose goal is to give back in a big way.

Regular readers here may remember that I am fairly heavily involved in the Help-Portrait event each year. If we can get the funding we require, I plan on using thevisualCollective as a platform to promote and sponsor all future Help-Portrait events in Flagstaff and (eventually) events around the nation.

Links you might like to use:
Donate - through IndieGoGo
Become a member - email us:
Like us - on Facebook
Follow us - on Twitter
Subscribe - on YouTube

Questions? Comments? Concerns?
Let me know, in the comment box below!