Freelancing Once Again / by Ben Matzke

It's been a while since I last put up a post and the ride since has had its ups and downs. Here are the highlights-

Early in 2015, we ran out of money for Duoscreen so that went into hibernation and I found a big boy job with a local Commercial Lighting Manufacturer. Full-Time was nice to have again, but it didn't take long for me to run against resistance when suggesting improvements. I was slowly able to start reforming some things, designed a new product line which started to sell after I left and a number of other rebuilds of existing lines, all the while taking a huge step back from any photography work I did. Things finally came to a head when it became clear that my opinions and initiative meant nothing to the owners so I left to start contracting.

Knowing that I wanted to leave awhile before, I had already been making some connections and within a month had my first client. Over the months I've met with a number of companies and I've done small projects here and there and starting this year, I officially created my company Matzke Concepts LLC. I'm still using this site for all of my work and if you're reading this, you probably noticed the homepage splits between my Product Development Contracting and my Photography side.

As far as Photography goes, I'm slowly starting to get back into things, but I've lost the rhythm I once had. Currently I've got two big things that I need to catch up on: Colorado Ski Trip, and Tekko Anime Con. I'm hoping to do more shows and events this summer, but so far it's looking light since my limited budget won't let me travel much.

I've still been volunteering my ass off for FIRST robotics and the Buggy Alumni Association. I expanded to 3 regionals this year (from my usual 1) for the robotics competition and will be helping out with an off-season event this summer. I passed around cards to the higher-ups I ran into so hopefully something comes from that. In my opinion, the field could be assembled/designed far better and I think I could help that from the volunteer's perspective. For the BAA, I might be officially elected as the president after a few years of nebulous-ness and on top of that I've been invited to join the CMU Alumni Association Board so hopefully I can start making some real changes.

That seems like enough for now. I'm hopefully going to keep this a little more current after major updates, uploads, ect.