Wrapping up four years of watching sunrise
The truth is, after 1,432 consecutive sunrises I’m not ready to be done sunrising. It is also true that I can no longer justify the time, energy, and cost of continuing Year of the Sunrise as it presently stands.
For four years I’ve chased the sunrise for myself. Now, after hearing so many stories of what these sunrises mean to others, it’s time to do it for the people, for you.
But I’m going to need a little help for this to continue. Many of you know I’ve fallen behind in getting prints and products out the door, and something has to give.
For just 33¢ per day, you can support BugsyLand™, a membership model to justify the time, financial cost, and opportunity loss of my creative world. Beyond YOTS, this supports my involvement with Plaidurday, Fresh Coast Film Festival, and more. This includes Monthly ($10 USD), Yearly ($100 USD), and Lifetime ($1,000 USD) membership options.
Why, what’s changed?
Since YOTS began in 2019 the project has changed in many ways.
- Through all of 2019, it was rare that I made a social media post other than the monthly release of photos. Now, I make an effort to post to Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok daily. Social media would be the first thing to go.
- For nearly two years now, I have committed to taking video each day in addition to still photos
- I now manage a gallery of 2019 photos which requires regular upkeep, restocking, and staffing
Life has also changed.
- In the midst of a pandemic, my rent increased 61%
- While my expenses increased, my income decreased. In part due to my sunrise efforts taking time and energy away from UPSCo, the effects of COVID have also taken a financial hit with my business
Chasing sunrise is expensive
- Hard drives are full
- Servers need to be migrated
- iCloud space is maxed out
- Web services such as image storage, newsletter management, ecommerce management, have all increased in cost
- Blew through another pair of boots, rain pants, rain jacket, gloves, tripod, and gimbal in 2021 alone
- I live in fear that my decade old camera and 20-year-old camera lens could give out on me any day
Let’s talk about time, energy, & commitment
An inspired sunrise is easily an hour of time, if not more. Followed by 1-2 hours of social media management, journaling, and photo editing, an inspired morning can easily be a 3-4 hour commitment.
But it is the management requirements of this project which has grown exponentially. An inspired week of sunrising is the equivalent of a half-time job. Add in the management of photo editing, prints, products, web development, project requests, correspondence, all without a single day off and YOTS has quickly ballooned beyond the hourly equivalent of a full-time job, minus the income to match.
Leaning into sunrise further is exactly what I want. I haven’t had a day where I’ve been burned out from working on YOTS. The trouble is, I still have rent and bills to pay, debts that are owed, and employees I love to take care of the best I can.
For all of this to continue, I need to justify the financial costs and opportunity loss of the daily commitment.
Immediate Project Plans
- Edit a backlog of 20,000+ photos
- Launch a newsletter and rollout a schedule to publish 2020 and 2021 photos
- Catch up on photo prints
- Send out thank you notes and pay acknowledgements to what’s gotten me here so far
Future Project Plans
- Publish a book
- Launch SunriseTV
- Open a brick & mortar Sunrise Gallery
- Continue releasing Watch More Sunrises gear
- Build Sunrise Library
- Write more sunrise musings
- And of course there are countless web updates here, such as building a dark theme, building a search feature, including additional data, showcasing more outtakes, etc.
BugsyLand™ is a new membership model for all things Bugsy. This goes well beyond Year of the Sunrise to support community efforts, 906 Day, Plaidurday, Fresh Coast Film Festival, encouraging others to watch more sunrises and the list continues. Think of it like Patreon, where many artists, podcasters, etc. are moving to a membership model to sustain their content.
The goal, is to continue to inspire more moments like this, this, this, this, this, and more. And if you read the comments here, I would love to inspire more of this in the world while setting out to accomplish and document something that’s never been done.
What do you say? Let’s create more, together.
Not ready to commit? I understand. Considering subscribing to my weekly YOTS newsletter.
BugsyLand™ Membership Perks
- 10% discount off all Upper Peninsula Supply Co. purchases
- 20% discount off all Year of the Sunrise purchases
- Discount on Fresh Coast Film Festival passes
- Downloadable mobile and desktop backgrounds
- First dibs and discount on any future YOTS book
- Access to exclusive content including sunrise outtakes
- And much more to come
Most importantly, your membership allows me to continue putting sunrise content into the world.
Financial Goals of BugsyLand™ Membership
- Cover increased expenses of web servers, etc.
- Get back on health insurance for ease of mind
- Cover my rent, which would be a significant offset for costs at UPSCo.
- Justify more sunrise travel
- Financial independence of UPSCo., where the shop can hire a full-time manager
I’m not ready to be done sunrising, and as more stories and inspiration come in from you, my motivation continues to grow. But as things stand, my time needs to be accounted for, as my landlords do not take sunrise photos as payment.
Let’s keep creating, together.