About StartPhoto (thanks for being here, you’re the best!)

Black and white photograph of a painted mural with the word "Love" in the center.
11-07-2023-5 (Love). © Ron Johnson.

No matter your skill level or how long it’s been since you last picked up a camera (or a pencil or paint brush), YOU are invited to join our community for sharing strategies and practices for (re)discovering a more creative, artful life. The goal here is to get inspired and start creating.

What will you get out of this?

The purpose of this is to help you reignite your creativity and to be happier and more successful in your personal and professional life. You’ll build your art practice with strategies that actually work, you’ll grow as an artist in a community of like-minded people, and learn a lot about photography.

Wait, so this just about photography?

Photography, as a medium, is a primary focus of this thing and will come up a lot. But many of the things we’ll talk about are applicable to your art regardless of whether you prefer a pencil, brush, keyboard, or whatever. Your preferred tool doesn’t matter. Your art making practice is what matters.

Who is behind StartPhoto?

I’m Ron Johnson (LinkedIn). I’ve been making art for more than 25 years, though I haven’t always called myself an artist. I’m particularly interested in experimental, “alternative”, and other non-traditional and/or non-mainstream art making practices. I embrace art as exploration, which will be a recurring theme in StartPhoto.

Learn more about me on the Editor page.

So, is this an ‘educational’ website?

I guess, kind of? There’s going to be a lot of information. I’m going to suggest activities that you can do, or not do, at your discretion (we’re not going to call them ‘assignments’). I’m going to talk about photography and other art media. But mostly, this is about developing strategies to bring art making into your life and becoming a better artist.

Subscribe to the newsletter!

Concurrent with producing this site, I’m also publishing a free newsletter at startphoto.substack.com. At start, the plan is to send you at least one new article per week, with a target of 1,000-1,500 words each. These should be long enough to be useful but still something you can read while you’re waiting for your name to be called at Starbucks or in between meetings. I might iterate on this as we go–I’m not sure yet how long it will take to write a high-quality post, if that length works, or if weekly is the correct cadence. I ask for your patience as we figure this out together.

What I ask of you...

This will be a common refrain in future posts, but I’m hoping you’ll do 3 things as a subscriber to StartPhoto:

  1. Do it. The whole point is that you’ll find value in this thing, with the outcome that you realize a more creative, happier life. Most posts will have a section called ‘Over to You’, where it will (hopefully) connect to your art practice.
  2. Join the conversation. Full-clarity here… it will be easier to continue making this thing if I get signal that people are actually reading and benefiting from it. The best way to see this is through discussion. Even “Good post 👍” will help. To foster positive interactions, I created brief Discussion Guidelines so that we’re all on the same page. Your feedback will help me know if I’m on the right track or if I need to course correct.
  3. If you like it, please share StartPhoto with people you like. At risk of saying “Like and Subscribe”, there’s a fundamental truth that our community will be better with more voices in it. More dialogue…. more interesting counterpoints… more opportunities to learn.

Where to find / How to contact

You can reach me directly at: ron@startphoto.com. Or if you prefer, you’re welcome to provide feedback via the feedback form. Either way is great–I’d love to hear from you.

If we decide it’s valuable, I’m also considering setting up a LinkedIn group, a dedicated Slack, and holding in-person meetups in the future. Let me know if you would like to see this happen.

Your pal,