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If At First You Don't Succeed, Try Seven More Times...

I think this is the seventh attempt at writing this post. To be honest I quit counting. I just wanted to write a simple post explaining why I changed my business name from Tim Skipper Photography to Vision Studios. It should be a simple explanation, but it hasn't been. Then again the decision to this took right at two years so I should not be surprised explaining it in a simple post would not be easy.

Here is the thing, I've always wanted to be an artist. Ever since I sat and copied the cover of Marvel Comics Tarzan #1 I've wanted to be an artist. For years I focused on drawing, thought maybe I would be a comic book artist and draw fun books like Spider-Man and Batman. Then I discovered photography in my teens and was fascinated with the idea of taking pictures that would appear in magazines such as National Geographic. Sadly in the seventies and eighties, there was no internet, YouTube, or social media to express and show off that work. I could only submit work by mail and then sit and wait for the eventual rejection letter. Plus life was moving forward, I met a woman, married, had two sons, started a career, ended a career, bought a business, sold the business, started another career and hated it, so started another business, then another one after that. Made lots of money, loss even more money. Life happened.

Along the way one of those businesses was Tim Skipper Photography. It was great because I love photography and I got to do some really cool stuff. Photographed two album covers for Christain artist Phillips, Craig, and Dean as well as Nicole C. Mullen. Photographed the band Rush of Fools, got to meet a Florida State Senator and photographed him, talked him into putting on his old college football jersey, said the magazine wouldn't print it, they did. Watched and photographed a surgeon do a hip replacement surgery, those pictures ended up on the Today Show. Got to photograph employees at a fire hose manufacturing plant, learned how they make firehoses. Got to go to Nashville to photograph a man with his new Ferrari for the Official Ferrari Magazine out of London. Got to ride in the Ferrari which was even cooler. Traveled all over the southeast from Orlando to Nashville and places in between taking pictures. Should have been everything I wanted, but it wasn't.

I didn't understand why until I really got to reading my favorite Bible parable about the talents. In the story, the ruler gives three servants talents according to their ability. One gets five, another two, and the third one. If you are familiar with the story you know the one with five made them into ten, the one with two made them into four, but the last servant just hid his one and did nothing with it. The ruler of course was furious, called the servant lazy and kicked him out of the palace. I have read and written about that story dozens of times, always focused on the one who did nothing as a warning that you have to use what gifts you have.

It wasn't until November of this year (if your reading this in the future that would be 2018) that another part of the story became real to me. The servants with five and the two talents had to develop all the talents they had to reach their goals. Not just one, not their favorite, or the easiest, but all. The servant with five could not make ten unless he used all five, likewise, the servant with two could not make four unless he used the two he had. When I saw this in the story I finally realized what I was missing in my photographic work, my other talents.

Remember I started out by drawing, but once I started creating pictures with a camera I stopped drawing. I also had started writing, even wrote a book. It's a good book, poorly edited, but a good book just the same. You should get a copy, I think you will like it. Anyway, because I was so focused on getting photo assignments I wasn't writing anymore either. Then my pastor thought I would be a good teacher. Didn't want to teach, didn't want to stand in front of people, but it turns out he was right, I'm a really good teacher. The thing is no one but the people at my church knew it. Oh and those businesses I started, they are growing. Turns out I'm pretty good at starting a business and finding unique items that people like to buy.

So what was I supposed to do? Tim Skipper Photography as a business was a little bit of a nail on the head kind of name. Very specific. Didn't make much sense to put up drawings, or things I've written, talk about teaching, or even my other businesses on a site dedicated to photography. I could have started separate websites, but let's be honest, I'm not going to work two, three, or four websites. Nowhere in those list of abilities was tech savvy.  So for two years, I thought about it. Prayed about it. And thought some more. Got to the point I wasn't even really working on photography much because I was frustrated with everything as a whole.

Then the other day I remembered that when I started Tim Skipper Photography I almost called the business Vision Studios. I didn't because someone told me I should market my name so that's what I did. Unfortunately, a guy in the UK owned my name dot com (who knew there would be so many Tim Skippers in the world) so I added Photography to the end of my name. Now I had a business name and a really long email address, but only a fraction of who and what I am. I wanted a single site that could be an outlet for what I do, all that I do. So without much thought, I jumped into action and rebranded my business from Tim Skipper Photography to Vision Studios. Had to add the word creative to the domain name because visionstudios.com was taken but not a major problem.

This only left me with how to explain what it is I do. Well, I'm an artist. First and foremost I'm an artist. The art may be created by a photograph, an illustration, or a written word, but I'm an artist. Obviously, I'm a photographer. I still have clients, still take assignments, still love taking pictures. I'm also a writer (starting work on a new book now), and I enjoy building businesses. So Vision Studios will be the place you can learn about and take part in all of that. A one-stop shop for a creative outlet so to speak.

At Vision Studios you will find my photos, my drawings (there is just a few but it will grow), my current project "The Basics of Life" a documentary series on farmers, ranchers, and cowboys, and when its all done links to my book and speaking opportunities. There will be galleries for purchasing limited edition prints and of course information about booking me for photo assignments. To some, it will seem like I'm too unfocused and going in too many directions. That is ok, I'm probably not the person for them anyway. To others hopefully you, I will be the fit you are looking for. Either way, the journey will be an exciting one to take.

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