Before I get into why I started this blog, a brief bio:
- I am an award-winning photographer and author, specializing in audition, competition, and P.R. headshots for the modeling/talent industry.
- Co-author of Breaking into Commercials: The Complete Guild to Marketing Yourself, Auditioning to Win, and Getting the Job! (written with LA/NY commercial casting director, Terry Berland; foreword by Seinfeld’s Jason Alexander).
- Former staff photographer for the Ann Arbor News.
- Former staff writer for the L.A. View and Performer’s Edge Magazine.
- Photos have won numerous awards for self and clients, including cars, cash, and travel excursions to Can Cun, Cabo San Lucas, Athens (Greece), and Paris (France).
- M.A. in Social Science, B.S. in Sociology, and an Associates degree in Photographic Technology.
- Child/Family worker for K.I.N.D. (Kids in New Directions) mentoring ‘at risk’ school children.
- Produces the “Enchanted Moments” calendar project, which helps raise money for teachers and kids from struggling school systems via DonorsChoose.org and K.I.N.D. — a Michigan-based 503-C.
- Nonfiction proofreader (books, web content, resumes, academic writing, etc.)
In my spare time (lol!), I love to garden, travel, anything horse-related, and spending time with my hubby (Steve) and pets: Taz (short for Tazmanian Devil) and Norman – aka Norman Bates – yes, THAT Norman Bates…lol!
Why I decided to start this blog:
I’ve wanted to lean into a transition from being primarily a photographer who writes to a writer who shoots (if that makes sense). I’ve been writing and publishing for most of my career, but never had a writing ‘habit.’ I am far from prolific. I hope that changes – for me and for people like me — with the start of this blog.
With the Covid-19 shutdowns, many creatives have expanded their careers to include teaching online while ramping up our writing/publishing schedules. I’d love to explore both options fully. I relish the idea of being primarily home-based and living a much more balanced life than in previous years when my career was in full workaholic mode.
So, writing more. Shooting things that don’t talk. It’s challenging to do that social distancing thing while wearing masks – especially when photographing people — in a modest home studio. Then there’s the pre-existing condition thing. No cooties for me, please!
Finally, adding proofreading and (soon) online teaching to my professional offerings. Not sure why I didn’t do this sooner. Proofreading and producing e-courses seems a natural progression for a writer/photographer looking for a way to make a living during a pandemic. Different skill sets. But perfect for someone like me who loves what they do for a living but wants to be sure that — should something Covid-like happen again — I am well-positioned to continue doing work I love without risking anyone’s health.
What to expect:
Those of you familiar with my work know that I am happiest when I can change things up a bit. I bore easily if I stay too long in one place, career-wise. I chose writing and photography because both careers are engaging, fun, and it’s easy to make lateral moves if the industry changes (or a virus hits) or if you need a change, just cuz.
I currently focus on nonfiction content, but as time goes on, who knows? I reserve the right to venture down whatever career path I choose and to take the road less traveled whenever possible. I’m a bit of an introvert but tend to talk too much, even when I write (lol!). I commit to posting new content twice a month. With three blogs, monthly newsletters, and several book projects in the works, twice-monthly posting seems a reasonable goal. Everything I know about the practice and business of writing/publishing and everything I learn along the way, I’ll share with you. I hope you find the blog helpful; that you’ll stick around for the ride – and share your adventures, challenges, and victories as well.
- Check out my journal (see ‘categories’ on the right-hand side of the blog) for a brief trajectory of my career path so far. To learn more about the business of writing and publishing, check out the resources (by category). Zap off an email with questions, comments, or to get an proofreading quote.
Note: Although I run a quick spell-check and proofread personal musings, I trust you’ll realize that I am in comfy/casual mode and not fussing over things as I would with professional writings. I also struggle with wordiness when I’m doing the ‘stream of consciousness thing’ — okay, it’s a pet peeve with editors at the traditional publishing houses I’ve worked with as well. Brevity and I always struggle to reconnect if I let too much time lapse between publishing ventures (LOL!).
This blog is my happy space, so indulge me, okay?
Off to the next thing…
May you find joy and wisdom as you make your way from where you are now to where you want to be.
“Deborah Ouellette is a joy to work with. She proofread the content on my business website and e-course with a keen eye toward locating and reporting inconsistencies, typos, and other grammatical errors. I recommend hiring Deb as that all-important second set of eyes, making sure your content is ready for public consumption.”
Sarah Justice | Brand Specialist & Designer