Originally posted on 7/4/13
Last week I announced on my Facebook pages that I’m closing up Tice Photography and heading to San Diego. Most of you know how much I love what I do. Photography is something that I absolutely love. As much as I love photography, it is the people that keep me coming back for more. I’ve made so many friends over the past 10+ years and seen so many incredible things. It has been a real blessing working with each person, something I have never taken for granted.
So why close up shop? Why walk away from it all? Well, it all started last fall.
One of my best friends asked me a simple question. “How long do you want to do photography?”
Interesting question. 1 year from now? Absolutely. 5 years? Sure. 10 years….. I was 42 last fall, 10 years away would put me at 52. Hmmm (and then the wheels started turning) Right now 3/4 of my clients are high school seniors. They are a blast to work with and keep me young. At 52 I would be mathematically old enough to be their grandpa! At what point do I go from being “fun and creative photographer that people want to work with” to “that creepy old guy with a camera???”
Keep that train of thought on hold for just a moment.
Before photography I worked in corporate America, working my way through the ranks of the music industry. In the 17 years in the industry I had many bosses, only 2 of which I would consider people worth working with again. Earlier this year I got a call from one of them (Bob), the man that God used in an incredible way (unbenounced to him at the time) to impact the makeup of our family. I worked at Compass Productions, our division was sold and each team member was handed an envelope with a check inside as a thank you gift. At the time Natasha and I were on the fence about whether to adopt again, looking for a sign from above. I told Natasha that God would have to drop $25,000 in our lap before I would consider adopting again. I walked back to my office, opened the envelope and the amount on the check (after taxes were taken out) was….$25,000. God dropped it right in our lap. 1 year later we came home from China with Jack.
Fast forward to this winter. Bob called. He was starting up a new company called Cardiff Skate. (Don’t bother putting it into Google just yet. Site will launch sometime this fall.) Cool new skate, goes on over your casual or athletic shoes, 2 sizes fit everyone from kids up through mens size 13, sleek, cool, new….and he was looking for someone to head up sales. But, the final product could take 6 months to perfect, 12 months, 18 months? Hard to say what the timeline would look like.
Cool opportunity…maybe. There was no job offer at that point, only an awesome former boss putting out feelers. The only thing I could do was continue business as usual. Class of 2014 ambassadors were recruited. New assistant was hired. Website was redesigned and launched. New products were being designed. Moved ahead as though nothing would happen. Afterall, start-up companies fail all the time.
In March we had a nice thaw. Spring seemed just around the corner.
In April the Minnesota winter held on a little longer. More snow. No worries, we’re Minnesotans and we’re tough.
May. May of 2013. In early may we got MORE snow. The most upbeat people I know looked like they were about to come unglued. Flowers were coming through the soil, reaching for the warmth of the sun only to have the Minnesota winter crush their hopes and dreams. Grrrr
Not long after that Bob called again. This time things were sounding more serious. A key retailer had been presented with the skate and they gave it the green light. Final design was complete and nearing production. Company had funding in place. All the pieces were coming together.
Now the zinger. Working for Cardiff Skate would require moving to San Diego, Cardiff By The Sea to be exact. Office is 2 blocks off the ocean.
** Downside **
- Move away from family & friends
- Close up Tice Photography
- Move to a city where the cost of living is considerably higher
- Work with Bob again
- Be part of the launch of something really cool (I always said I would never go back to being just an account manager)
- Learn a new industry which could open doors for the future
- NO MORE MINNESOTA WINTERS! (I don’t do well with the lack of sunlight in the winter)
- Bike year round
- Awesome adventure
I’ve had friends say “start-up companies are risky.” Well, staying with the status quo can be just as risky. There are no guarantees that the hobbyist photographers won’t just take over completely. EVERYONE with a Nikon DSLR believes they are a photographer. Photography isn’t really art after all, it is something created by a machine, anyone can do it. (no I’m not serious, but that attitude is everywhere)
Others have said “you’re such a talented photographer, how can you walk away from that?” “Minnesota has lost it’s sparkle.” I will absolutely miss what I do. I’m getting out while I still enjoy photography, vs. total burnout like many photographers I know. And, I will continue to use my camera. I’m not putting it away. I’ll just create things for my own enjoyment.
I will wrap up my sessions by 7/31/13. In early August I will head west. Hopefully 2-3 weeks later the family will move. Right now we’re getting the house ready to sell and should be on the market by 7/20.
For any clients that I’m currently working with, some order may need to be taken care of remotely. No worries though, I have a plan for that. We won’t miss a beat.
For past clients/friends, I will be reaching out very soon. Digital files will be made available for purchase.
More details to come very soon.