This past summer I got the chance to meet Robert Natke and Jaimé Torres of Chicago’s UrbanWorks architecture firm when we went to scout a project down at U of C. That shoot is on hold until the Spring or Summer, but I did get the opportunity to photograph one of their residential developments a few weeks ago with Patricia Natke, the firm’s founder. We had a great time shooting their designs, and Patricia was a pleasure to work with. Since the weather has been terrible we focused on the interiors, and I’ll return in the Spring to shoot the outside. While, I think the exterior might of given them a little more opportunity to be creative, the interiors were quite nice as well.
Last year when I stepped out on my own I had an assistant, a camera, a graphic designer and a following of clients within the first week of business. It is only recently, though that I’ve hired an accountant. I have to advise everyone else out there considering starting their own business… DON’T PUT OFF TILL TOMORROW WHAT YOU CAN PAY SOMEONE ELSE TO DO TODAY! Ahh. I can finally sleep at night, now that I am my own, cozy, little US corporation. An S Corp to be exact. That means I get to add “Inc” to my business name and maybe one day own a corporate jet and hold junkets in the Bahamas. And if you thought it would take a miracle worker to set me on the straight and narrows of being fiscally considerate, you’re not far off. Enter Martin Kamenski, Rockstar CPA. Martin specializes in dealing with musicians, artists and other flakey creatives who are more likely to balance a banana on their nose than balance their checkbook. Rather than just taking things over, though, Martin is instructing as we go along. The intent is that I’ll be able to maintain everything on my own once the systems are in place and I have a thorough understanding of them. It’s pretty much the same approach Naz is taking to my website.
I always feel really comfortable on set, directing assistants, stylists and pulling images together. With Martin’s help, I might soon be just as calm when opening the books.
Another quick trip up to Minneapolis recently, and another couple projects. These were a day a piece, and though we worked over the weekend, the shoots were enjoyable, the company was good and the design made my work all too easy. Special thanks to Patsy for doin all the drivin!
I’ve spent this week retouching the 40 or so images we shot last week in Michigan. I’ll be spending the bullk of this coming week shooting some tabletop in my small basement studio. And at some point I really need to prepare the lecture I’ll be giving this Wednesday at my Alma Mater, SAIC AND frame the print that I’m donating to the CAF for their charity auction.
Fortunately, being swamped is smack dab in the middle of my comfort zone.