Over two years ago I found myself at a crossroads in my life. I had just quit my job after being almost 8 years on 24 call of some sort or another. It got to the point where I cringed and flinched every time a phone would ring.
I was working on some other projects that hadn’t come to fruition and I needed a job. So I took one at Don’s Photo for a couple of reasons. I have always loved photography, I always liked going into Don’s Photo, and I needed some time away from being in a high stress environment all of the time.
I didn’t think I would stay long but something changed. When I would leave work at 6 p.m., I had no stress in my life. I left work behind. I enjoyed my colleagues, I enjoyed work. Life was good.
In January I was having a discussion with the manager on ways to better use the web to drive in-store sales. He asked for a memo. I sent him a 7000 word missive on what I thought we could do better. He forwarded that to the owner and there was some discussions on me doing some writing for the store. Personally I think the discussions revolved around how to ensure I never sent a 7000 word memo to them again.
I still deal with customers but the goal is to find a way that I can write for the company blog and social media. Most of my time is spent on the blog. Since I took it over, I have posted over 200 times in 2015. Many are product announcements and are pretty basic but I have created some long form articles as well that I am pretty proud of. As a family based business, it is fun to be given the freedom to compete with companies like B&H Photo or Adorama online. I love being the underdog.
The bad part of it? I had to go on Facebook again. I refuse all friend requests but it does allow me to manage the Don’s Photo page. They also have a Pinterest board that I umm, do whatever it is that you do to a Pinterest page (right now it is building theme based pages around products and tutorials).
The biggest obstacle in writing it is that while I am can write, compared to everyone else, I am the worst photographer both technically and artistically. It has given me a chance to emulate one of my heroes in Steven Johnson and that is research and write about what I don’t know about so that you can learn it without having to do through what I had to do.
In the future there will be a podcast and a YouTube channel but for now I have a large bucket list of articles to write. That will take some time to work through.
The one unexpected part of being at Don’s Photo is that there are quite a few of our customers that have strong political views. Also, there are quite a few of you who have strong political views that escape by taking photos. It’s amazing how many of us can have concurrent conversations about poll numbers and aperture settings at the same time.
Not everyone is a fan. The other day this women comes in and is asking some questions about something. She asks my name and I tell her. Her eyes narrow and says, “You don’t know that blowhard named Jordon who writes in the paper. I can’t stand him.”
I just looked back and said, “You aren’t alone, he drives me crazy some days too.”.
I still have some city building and affordable housing projects on the go but for now, being a writer and camera nerd is paying the bills.