Hello, my name is Will Malone. I'm a photographer and artist.
One could say I took my sweet time to declare a "title" or "label". Almost a decade of daily work to be exact.
Growing up, I was pretty much afraid of everything: trying new foods, swimming (I lived in Hawaii, so that was a fun problem), girls, talking to girls, people, talking to people, being wrong, being told I'm wrong, etc. You name it, I was probably afraid of it. The only thing I wasn't afraid of was sitting in a dark room watching TV or playing video games.
Eventually, fear manifested into my personality, turning me into a pretty negative dude. I needed to downgrade others' accomplishments in order to distract from the absence of my own. So I became your run-of-the-mill, miserable, internet loud mouth, link sharer that thinks I'm going to fix the world around me by complaining or making sure everyone knows my opinion. All I was doing it for was to feed my ego, and because there's some sort of chemical reaction that goes on in the brain that feels good every time I vented about something on the internet.
Meanwhile, I worked in various jobs in the photo industry to try and find enjoyment in working in photography while simultaneously avoiding my greatest fear: being exposed in the real world and going out and doing this photography thing on my own.
Ironically, being a photographer has been my dream (or at least a part of my dream) for essentially 9 years. I always knew it the back of my head that it's what I needed to be doing, but putting myself out there like that also happened to be my greatest fear. Why? Because becoming successful was 100% up to me.
During this time of avoiding the inevitable, I worked with and was mentored by some incredible people. (You know who you are) I began to understand business (I still have a lot of understanding to do now that I'm going to be navigating this on my own), or at least, common sense. I don't look back at the past few years with regret, despite how difficult it was, this time was essential for me to learn the things I know now.
Slowly, I started breaking apart what failure actually meant to me. I remember, on Christmas Day 2017 I started asking myself these questions:
What happens when you run out of money?
Well, I don't have a ton of money to begin with, but I don't have kids or debt. If my account has to go down to zero at any point, I suppose now would be the time. I'm not afraid to work, so I've always just done what I had to do. I suppose if it's getting close to zero, I'll always do what I have to do to keep it from zero.
What if someone tells you that you suck?
This one doesn't hurt me like it used to. Partially, because I know that I don't totally suck, and I work hard every single day to become better. This one really used to get me and scare me back into my cave, but somewhere along the line, I lost my fear of being told I stink at something.
What if you discover you can't make a living in photography because too many people are photographers?
This was a tough one for me because the world is telling us that photography is over because everyone has a camera. I agree, it has changed a hell of a lot, but that just means that photographers have to change with it. Also, just because you have a camera and can take photos, doesn't mean you can also run a business. I'm a believer in the abundance of the marketplace, there's room for just about everyone. If someone can make a living being a pet photographer, than yeah, there's room for me.
Slowly, I realized that failure doesn't really exist. If failure doesn't really exist, what am I afraid of?
If you're looking for the abridged bio about who I am, here ya go:
Hey, my name is Will Malone and I grew up in Hawaii where I got into photography. I started doing a "365 Project" where I took a photo every day for a year. I'm on my sixth one, and for one of them I shot a video every day for a year. (You can check out my stuff on Instagram @willmalone) I started really enjoying shooting portraits, so now I shoot weddings, engagements, etc. I'm really also getting into architectural photography. When I'm not doing photography stuff for a living, I'm doing weird photography art projects with film and double exposure photography. I'm obsessed with documenting things. My wife, Anna, and I live in Chattanooga, TN with our miniature dachshund, Kevin.
I restarted my blog because I discovered that I need a place where I can post the context for stuff I make, and not only that but I need yet another place to document my progress in my business and just life in general. We are planning a road trip across America at the end of the year, so having a blog will be pretty nice for that as well.
I don't have an enormous following online, but the following I have is a quality one. I'm grateful for everyone who has stuck with me throughout the past few years and continued giving me encouragement along the way. I'll take nice conversations and messages over massive amounts of likes and follows any day of the week.