Below is the write up I did for the last assignment on Assignment Houston. I'm a little scared that such a big part of my life is going away. I don't deal well with change. But it is definitely time. And change doesn't have to be a bad thing.
A personal note: I wanted to add a few words here about the closing of Assignment Houston. Nothing can last forever and I hoped that I would just instinctively know when the time was right. No one thing, event or person precipitated this. I have no doubt I will miss it greatly, but it just feels like the time should be now.
I have been approached before about what happens to this group after I am ready to step down. I have to be completely honest and say that I'm going to be selfish and keep it to myself. I have worked very hard on Assignment Houston and it has become a part of who I am and part of my reputation. I will be happy to promote any assignment group that people would like to start and I look forward to participating in such creative endeavors, but the Assignment Houston name and Flickr group (and domain name) is staying with me. Plus if I decide to come back one day and start it back up, I would like everything the way I left it. Yes, as I said selfish, but as truthful as I can be.
Things have changed a lot since I started Assignment Houston, especially in the online photo sharing space. Flickr, once the only game in town for social photographers, has to share the space with Facebook, 500px and Instagram just to name a few. I have been involved in some kind of photography management since June 2005 with the start of the Houston Photobloggers website. That is a long time to be "running" something. I debated with myself for weeks about walking away completely from any group management and taking a break, but in the end I still believe in Flickr and especially their group workings so I started a new general Houston group: Viewfinder Houston.
I felt like I still wanted a space to have discussions, share announcements and to see people's Houston photographs, even if I wasn't the one sending them running around to get them. There are a lot of active Houston photographers on Flickr, but they are not necessarily in Assignment Houston. I am hoping they will participate in this new group. It has a one photograph a day limit so I am also hopeful that people will a.) share their best work be it film, digital or mobile and b.) return to the group to see others best work and participate in the discussions. Please join us and invite your Houston friends.
I have said time and time again that sharing my photography online with groups like this one have changed my life. When I started going out to take photos for my photoblog in 2004 I was painfully shy and had social anxiety. Having to go to something simple like a photography meet-up would send me into near hysterics. I am still very shy and anxious socially, but I have learned to talk to people and walk into situations that I would never have dreamed possible before stepping into the online photo world. Thank you for helping to shape the person I am today over the last six years (seven if you are a Houston Photoblogger from the early days). Houston is a great place and I am proud to have been able to share its beauty through photographs and to get to know some of its great photography community. Cheers.