Thursday, April 27, 2006

Summer

I now have three full propane tanks for the grill. It's going to be a great summer!

Monday, April 24, 2006

Small Updates

I put a 16x20 of Calico up for bid on eBay to start things off. Usual deal, started it at a penny. I'll keep listing 16x20s as long as the prices don't get too embarrassing because it does attract a lot of new traffic. Recent ones have gone from around $60 to over $100 - in most cases quite a deal since a print that large doesn't appeal to everybody and the auction format tends to reflect that in its pricing. I'll list at least some 8x10s of her and Roux starting around mid-week when they arrive from the lab. I'm on "L" on the Model A-Z but I don't think anybody will care much if I slip a few newer pictures in the lineup.

I have some potentially wonderful shoots scheduled over the next two weeks but it's always hard to predict how many of these things will work out as planned.

I intend to not shoot much past the first week of May for personal reasons (might do one or two if something too good to miss happens) but I'll pick up again in June. With luck I'll do quite a bit of outdoor work - June's usually a bit cold in this area but it's usually not that wet (rains once most years). This year, however, I'm not too confident of that!

Update: Apparently there was some kind of freak accident at my hosting company, Lunarpages, and one floor of their building lost power. They have backup systems (they were the only hosting company in LA that survived the big power outages in September) but since it was just the one floor they didn't cut in, oops. So my site, including eBay images, was up and down for a good part of today. It sounds like there might be some additional downtime this evening as they finish some repairs (I think right now the server's running off of a really long extension cord). On their forums everybody's furious which I think is wonderful - apparently they're all so spoiled that even an hour or two of downtime is a shock. At my old hosting company if it was under a few hours everybody was just kind of used to it.

Still, it's like a restuarant, "You're only as good as your last meal." Customers have shockingly short memories and one bad day is all it takes sometimes. It's good for all of us who have a business to remember that.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

New Model: Roux

I just finished adding a set from the second of the two redheads I mentioned the other day, Roux.

Friday, April 21, 2006

New Model: Calico

I just uploaded two new sets - both with Calico. One's outdoors and one's in the studio.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Updates

I shot this week with two redheads.

Really, saying anything past that seems surpurfluous but that's never stopped me before so I'll also mention that I have a number of potentially very cool shoots scheduled over the next couple of weeks. Hopefully they'll all happen as planned - one's already a reschedule.

I'm not sure yet exactly how long it will take to edit things, but basically I'll be editing whenever I have a spare moment and there should be new pictures showing up fairly regularly for a while.

I've been sending out copies of Simplicity near and far (as far as Germany) but still have some copies in stock so pick one up while it lasts.

The straight razor learning curve continues... I'm to the point where I can get through an entire shave but not without nicks. Some day!

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Simplicity in stock!

After handling pre-orders I have some copies left so I'm officially declaring Simplicty to be in-stock and I stuck a copy in my eBay store. To order it direct or get more information go to my books page.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Models A to Z

A side note first... the 16x20 of Sarah is ending shortly and the bidding's just starting for real. It's always a bit weird the first few days - it will get bid up to $10 a quarter at a time and kind of sit there. All the real action always happens at the end, but it's nice going into it with a few bids and bidders instead of just starting it at $10 in the first place.

Anyway, I'm going to start a "Models A to Z" thing. I'll list "3ish" pictures of each model, in more-or-less alphabetical order, starting with Audrey and ending with Yuli. Everything will be from inventory and I might not even have 3 pictures of some models (usually means the rest sold and I haven't reordered). It's kind of fun and a good way to make sure I list some pictures from models that I don't always list. I'll probably finish that process before rebuilding the store, so for the foreseeable future what you see is what you get. (I think this will take around a month!)

Monday, April 03, 2006

eBay stuff

I'm in the middle of really looking at how eBay works - gathering data, reading books, etc. It's already an important source of sales and particularly new customers (my regulars tend to just buy direct after a while) but there's always room for improvement. I'm also streamlining the "back end" - basically my whole workflow to get prints, store them, list them, package and mail them. The idea is to be able to scale that end of the business up without driving myself crazy or dropping my level of service. After all, every minute I spend needlessly trying to find a print because I wasn't organized means one less minute taking pictures of beautiful woman - which would you rather be doing?

Don't be shocked if you see me trying a lot of stuff out. You've seen this already with the 16x20s I've been listing as "featured items". I've also started to realize that some days of the week I get twice the traffic of other days, but I want to wait a couple of weeks and see how consistent it is before really trying to take advantage of it. (It may mean listing extra pictures Thursday and Friday during lunch PST or late afternoon EST because people are goofing off at work and checking out eBay). If you're a seller and want to get similar data check out Sellathon - it's quite useful.

I'm also changing my descriptions to make them more clear and in some ways less specific (my lab changed papers and rather than change auctions to mention which specific paper it's on I'm just saying it's professional grade archival paper and hoping if anybody really, really cares if it's Kodak or Fuji they'll ask. They're both teriffic papers, incidentally.)

Partially for strategic reasons and partially to streamline some of the changes I'm making I've started ending store items early and listing them as auction items. I'm not going to add new items to the store, and at some point I'll probably start ending massive quantities of pictures without moving them into auctions. This will eventually put me into a kind of "start position" where I don't have to change every @#$@#$ store item to update it - at some point it's actually easier to end everything and list from scratch than to revise that many existing items. There's also no rhyme or reason to what's up there now (whatever seemed like a good idea at the time minus whatever's sold) and I want to try to maintain it as a more representative sampling of my work (maybe 3 shots per model as a starting point).

Anyway, I know some of you reading this are photographers who also sell on eBay or would like to, and some of you are customers who might like a heads up so I'll post an update on this now and again.

Update: I had some time today so I made a bunch of changes including ending all color items in the store - some got moved to auctions though. The whole thing's been reorganized on my end - nice rows of 3 ring binders depending on where the picture is (auction, store, not listed) and within that alphabetized by model name. The "store" ones are looking kind of sad, but they'll fill back up in time.

Book Pre-Orders

The fine folks at Lulu have told me that they have printed up some copies of my new book, Simplicity, and they're zipping my way as fast as... well, media mail 4th class actually. But they'll get here eventually so I've decided to open things up for pre-orders. To pre-order in the US just go to my books page and use the shopping cart system. You'll pay with PayPal or if you don't have an account I think it will let you just enter a credit card directly. (I don't get your credit card info in any case).

I expect that these will be in-hand in a week or two but no guarantees - especially if I underestimated how many copies I need and have to order some more (doesn't seem likely!). As your reward for pre-ordering I'll include an 8x10 print. I get to choose which one - it will be probably be something quirky that I thought might sell on eBay but didn't!

Note that other than the blog and the books page I'm not doing anything on the rest of the site to show the new book even exists so this is intended as a kind of cool thing for people who read this (or who get lucky and check out the books page). I'll splash around some information on the rest of the site when I have copies in-hand.

I also went ahead and enabled orders on Lulu. There are pros and cons - they charge more for shipping unless you spend some amount and you too can use the free last class media mail. But you can pick up my older book at the same time and qualify, yay. The old book is even a little cheaper on Lulu (because it's not signed and you have to wait for them to print a copy - prices weren't really standardized on the old book - the new one will be the same price everywhere). So the scenario where this makes sense if if a) you want to buy through a company and not direct and/or b) you want both books and are willing to save a couple of bucks and don't care about the signature.

Once I have handled the pre-orders and have copies left over I'll put some on eBay - and post here when I do that of course.

Simplicity will also show up on Amazon eventually, but again as a marketplace item so no free shipping. I'll post the pros-and cons on that when the time comes but frankly it's more in the hope somebody will stumble over it and so reviews will have somebody to link to that's better known than Lulu (and usually these guys have a deal so they get a small kickback). Readers of this blog will be better served using one of the other options.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Big Print

I have a really nice 16x20 of Sarah up on eBay - the same one I have up in my office. I started it at a penny, no reserve which is always nervous-making. Go check it out!

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Razorblogging

A little FAQ since I mentioned my attempts to shave with a straight razor.

Q: Why?
A: Lots of reasons but primarily it just bugs the heck of me not to know how.

Q: What kind?
A: It's actually a weird modern Japanese one with changeable blades so I don't have to learn to sharpen one at the same time, and it's a cheaper way to get started and see if I like it. If I get to the point where I actually go through a 10-pack of blades I'll consider getting a more traditional one.

Q: Where did you get it?
A: http://www.classicshaving.com/Home.html

Q: Do you use a badger brush and shaving soap and stuff like that?
A: I already was. Works way better than shaving cream even with a regular razor.

Q: How's it going?
A: I can shave everything above the jawline with maybe one or two really minor nicks. Everything's falling apart around the neck - I just need to go slower and get the angles right.

Q: Do you recommend it?
A: If you were motivated enough to actually do something like this you wouldn't be asking that question.

Q: Isn't this blog about shooting beautiful naked women?
A: People keep complaining I don't reveal anything about me. If you just want model updates learn to use the model update only RSS feed.
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