Windows of Opportunity

Shopkeepers' Stories

Rich Trager travels around the world to take photographs for his business.

Travelling to disrupt an established sense of order

I really like Southeast Asia. On my last trip, I travelled to Bali, India, Nepal, Cambodia. I was also in Singapore for a day. I like the region– it’s chaotic, yet it moves at a slower pace.

The perils of growing without a purpose

America’s collapse will be because of ourselves. The American dream is to get bigger. There’s this rush to get bigger and bigger: go to more art shows, pump in more money, buy a shop. But if I do that, the question is always, “And then what?? And then what??”  – and then you don’t have a life at all!

Happiness is about working hard on something you love

If I had to give you one key to happiness, work hard and love what you do. Too many people want to get from A to B without working hard for it. It’s like you have that corporate job, you’re looking around, and you don’t know what to do… There’s a saying: “Do what you love, and you’ll never have to work a day in your life.”

When you have hit the ground, you can only go up!

I was working in graphic design software till 2001 at the height of the dot com crash.  When they were downsizing, I took it as an opportunity to pursue this interest.

Lean and mean: selling at fairs rather than renting a shop

In this business, I see a lot of people come and go. They think: “If I have a store, then I’ve made it.” But, it costs $4,000 to $5,000 to rent a spot….. in a bad part of town! Then there’s insurance, and you gotta put up with the landlord. I like keeping it lean and mean. Instead of getting bigger and bigger, I have less to lose.

Can you sell a photo of a fish? 

Sometimes people like to come along with me on my photography trips. It’s not just the photography, but the technical aspects of selling it. I can take a beautiful photo of a fish, but how many people are going to hang a photo of a fish on their wall? I’m also thinking of going into licensing, and have a few other projects in mind. You have to be adaptable.

Let’s see the photography!

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