Let's Build a Photo Studio Together

$500 goal

Campaign created 10 months ago
Straight to the point
I am taking the leap from a nearly 20 year career in IT to pursue my dream of being an artist full-time. I have been slowly pursuing this dream for a few years on the side but I feel the time has come to take that final step and leave my old career behind. At 45, this is a huge life decision for me and I hope you will join me as I embark on this new and fantastic journey.

I realize I was a little too focused on the big picture when I initially created this campaign and my target goal was set a bit too high so I have decided to run it in smaller stages. As each target goal is reached and each stage completed I will provide an update on where we are and what's next on the agenda and adjust the target goal according to the next stage. The money you donate will ultimately be used to supplement the startup and creation of a photo/video studio business.

Stage 1 - In Progress
At this stage I am simply looking to cover the cost of incorporating and obtaining the necessary insurance to secure the business.

Obviously, the sooner these funds reach me the better. I've been struggling to fund my art on the side and I have only been able to do so much. It will take more than I currently have to take it to the next level and your donation will help to shorten the time it would take for me to hit these goals alone. I have so many ideas and ambitions and photography is only the beginning of where I want to take it all.

So, what type of art is it exactly?
Primarily, at this point, I am a photographer, but I am also a videographer and screenwriter. My main focus is portrait photography but I want to focus further on headshots and fashion photography. Additionally, I'd like to use my video and writing skills to create custom 1-minute scenes that actors can use in their demo reels to help them get work. I am two semesters away from receiving my Associate of Arts for Motion Pictures and Television (with a specialization in Screenwriting) from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. I have learned a significant amount about creating a video product and want to put those skills to use to build a business bundling headshots and demo reels that is unique to this area.

I have already purchased a domain and posted a few pages to my website ( http://www.redraven.studio ). Feel free to check out my work. It's not everything, but there are samples in my portfolio if you want to see them. I designed and coded the site myself and it is still under a bit of construction, so it may change daily depending on what new things I decide to do with it.

My backstory (because if you've read this far, why not?)
When I was young, people would often tell me what a great artist and writer I was. It was true, I won't lie, but that was because I worked hard at it every day and I was passionate about it. I dreamed that I would one day have a successful career as an artist and/or a writer.

After high school, however, the fear of being a "starving" artist seemed more and more like it would be the reality. My parents were divorced and although my mother struggled to support me in pursuit of my dreams, money was scarce and coming from a lower middle class background, figuring out how to pay for an art school and living expenses out of state and then thinking about how I was going to support myself (and potentially a family) after graduation just buried my hopes and dreams deeper and deeper inside until I stopped thinking about them. Instead, I pursued my secondary (and more financially stable) passion: computers. Sure, working with computers paid my bills and kept me from being a "starving" artist, but, sadly, I was neither starving, nor an artist. The fear of being poor just led me to focus more and more on moving further and further down that career path. My dream of being an artist seemed almost to not exist anymore. In 2000, at 28, my mother passed away and I gave up on my dream completely.

Years later I happened to hear a memorial replay of a radio interview on NPR with Anthony Minghella where he discussed how he had started his artistic career just a few years older than I was at the time. I was inspired that someone could pursue their art so "late" in life (he had been about 36, I was 32) and thought, "Why not me?"

I was in a better financial position to support my art and writing on the side, but not as a full-time pursuit. So, I began researching art schools and found the Academy of Art University in San Francisco offered online degrees in several different arts. I signed up for a Screenwriting degree (technically a Motion Pictures and Television degree with a specialization in Screenwriting) and soon found myself taking film courses. It had not been my intention to get into film per se, but it was the only way to get my Screenwriting degree.

I quickly discovered that my technical skills mixed perfectly with my artistic skills when it came to film. I diligently pursued my degree over the next several years as best I could while working full-time and, after shooting many short film assignments for school, I eventually decided to return to my love of photography with the intent of taking headshots for actors, shooting short films, and writing screenplays. This has all led me to where I am now.

As I mentioned previously, I am currently two semesters away from finishing my degree. However, my federal financial aid has run out leaving me to have to pay for these last two semesters out of my own pocket. Thus, the need for some help with taking my next step for my business.

A final note
If you happen to know me then you know I have never been one to ask for help. I have struggled my entire life to be as self-sufficient as possible. It has both helped and hindered me along the way. It took me a long time to realize that I needed to find and reach out to people like you who understand what it's like to defer your dreams to the point where they are almost forgotten. Your donation will truly help to make my dreams more of a reality and, perhaps, inspire someone else to reach deep down inside, take out that dusty, old box of forgotten dreams and do the same.

So, if you decide to support me, thank you. I am humbled and truly grateful that you want to be a part of this by helping me and that it means something to you too. I will do everything I can to put your donation to good and efficient use and make this business a success.

If you decide not to support me, however, perhaps you know someone who might. If so, I would appreciate your making the small effort to see that they find this page. Your word of mouth could lead to others who might want to help. And for that I am also grateful.

In any case, thank you for being here and taking the time to consider supporting me. 

Best wishes,
Rick Gates
Red Raven Studio
+ Read More
Remember that even just a minimum donation of $5.00 is a positive step forward. Every little bit helps. Once we get past the basics and the foundation is set then the really interesting stuff like creative photo projects and collaborations can begin.
+ Read More
New reward levels added.
+ Read More
Read a Previous Update

$500 goal

Campaign created 10 months ago
Your share could be bringing in donations. Sign in to track your impact.
We will never post without your permission.
In the future, we'll let you know if your sharing brings in any donations.
We weren't able to connect your Facebook account. Please try again later.
No donations yet. Help launch this campaign and become the first donor.
Use My Email Address
By continuing, you agree with the GoFundMe
terms and privacy policy
There's an issue with this Campaign Organizer's account. Our team has contacted them with the solution! Please ask them to sign in to GoFundMe and check their account. Return to Campaign

Are you ready for the next step?
Even a $5 donation can help!
Donate Now Not now
Connect on Facebook to keep track of how many donations your share brings.
We will never post on Facebook without your permission.