Howdy, y'all! This is Omari. The big point here is this:
Doppler Photo is a self-sustaining business, and it has expenses.
I made the decision a long time ago that if Doppler Photo were going to be sustainable for me, it had to be self-sustaining. I don't make a penny off of it — every single dollar and cent is re-invested in the business — and what I add is 100% of my heart and soul. So what does it cost? Here are some of the main expenses:
- Hosting fees (a few hundred dollars per year)
- Event admission fees (dozens to hundreds of dollars per year)
- Equipment repairs (occasionally a few hundred dollars all at once)
- Food (trail mix and Subway) and drink (Gatorade and water) to keep me going at all-day events. Doppler Photo is a really small business, and I act like it.
- Also, I put probably 10 hours of work into every single post that I publish. Some less, some a lot more.
And the support to keep this going (financially), and to keep me going (emotionally) comes from:
- Reshares and words of support from people who appreciate what I do (this means so much to me)
- Long-term support from my amazing patrons on Patreon
- One-off tips from people who enjoyed my work (paypal.me/dopplerfto)
- Sales of prints and image downloads (contact me)
- Photography, writing, and design jobs that I take here and there (contact me)
If I get burned out, I can't write. Period. I do my best to publish the quality of work that you deserve to read, every single month. But I have to protect my mental health. So when I can't write, I don't write, and the blog doesn't get updated. And then, knowing that I couldn't stick to the schedule also brings me down. It's motivation, but it's also a vicious cycle.
Beyond that, if the business runs out of money, then I can't pay for hosting, and the blog goes away. Period. I decided that this business needed to be sustainable, and it will live or die by that. We've made it 13 years so far, and things are in a pretty good state for now, but I always get a little antsy whenever I see the account balance drop month after month after month.
The sense that people appreciate the work I do helps to keep me afloat. And the money that people invest into the business keeps it afloat as well.
If you see something (you like), Say Something
The easiest way to help is to just say something. Leave a comment and tell me what you enjoyed about a piece, or a photo. Tell a friend who might want to see the work that I do. Those things really keep me going.
Let's be clear: I make zero money off of subs. But knowing that more people will see my work gets me in the right mindset to do a great job, even if a post ends up well past the 10-hour mark. I want the time and energy that I invest to have meaning, and subscriptions help me to feel that meaning.
A few dollars here and there will easily cover trail mix or Gatorade for a track meet. I'm not much of a coffee person, but I still rely on a set of basic staples that keep me going, physically.
Long Term Support
My patrons are the ones who've kept me going when things got really tough. They're the ones who've helped me to pause and figure out another way when I've thought about throwing in the towel. When I feel like someone is invested in me, I can't let them down.
To my patrons, former and current: There's no way I can ever express enough gratitude for you helping me to make it this far, but the least I can do is to keep moving forward. Thank you all so much. I hope I'm still making you proud.