Thursday, April 30, 2009

New Model - Rebecca

Here's Rebecca. Kind of an odd shoot - we only had an hour, and hadn't met before, and I was trying some oddball lighting. Like this - this is more of that bare bulb stuff I've been playing with, but with her sitting and with me at a high angle. The shadow she's casting is pretty interesting.

That's what got me started wondering if this might not be a bad approach for the summer - move to something a bit closer to a test shoot model - if I have some gal who looks like she's probably pretty, but she has crappy snapshots and I'd normally do a pre-meet I can just meet her at the coffee place down the street and if she seems OK we can pop back here for a quickie mini shoot - get her some starter pictures and me some shots, and I can do maybe one or two "safe" setups I know will work and then experiment the rest of the time. I often do 20-30 minute portrait sessions with totally inexperienced gals so it should produce nice results more often than not, and if I bring her back for a second, full shoot the comfort level will be that much higher.

Makes sense on paper, anyway... and I like it better than doing a pre-meet with somebody stunning and not getting any picture that day and having to drag them back.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Little Updates

I just counted and I've uploaded 9 new model sets (so not including Yosemite pictures or whatever). Traditionally I've done 30-35 per year so calling this a third of the way through the year it's a bit low but in the ballpark. If I go to once a week updating that will probably be OK - I still have 5-6 shoots in the can, and if I do a couple of shoots here and there I can stretch that out a bit before and it should work out. So I think I'm going to try for regular Friday updates for a while - plan canceled in case of colic, basically, but we'll see. So far she's a very good baby and actually lets us sleep now and again. *fingers crossed*

I'm definitely hoping to be up and running this summer because between traveling models and bored college students with no summer job there's a really nice mix of new models, both with and without experience (either of which has its advantages - first timers usually work for images, and anyway they're often kind of shy/cute in a way the experienced models aren't always).

On the flip side eBay is usually terrible in the summer, so if I want one last good push of listing stuff now's the time. It's been hard to do it at good times so I've just set up the scheduler to list a couple of items every day starting Monday. We'll see how it goes. It was really awful around Feb-March but I wasn't really doing "best practices" - it seems to work better if you list in a really consistent way and don't skip days or have tons of pictures and then a few and then tons again. Just be very consistent and you'll get people checking in regularly and it all seems to work better.

And finally my to do list in no real order looks something like
  • Pick up large format photography again
  • More light painting
  • More natural light
  • More two model shoots
  • I have a little wish list of ethnicities or body types or looks I haven't shot in a while
  • I want to do more fire work.
  • I have some other motion related stuff I've been meaning to revisit

Friday, April 24, 2009

New Pictures: Finch

So here's a shoot I did with Finch in March.

I actually did an outdoor shoot today. I don't plan on shooting a whole lot until we have a bit of a routine going here and I've caught up on, oh, laundry and suchlike, but that does mean I can be a bit more aggressive in terms of my editing schedule since I'm less concerned about totally running out of material and having nothing coming in. So I'll see if I can get a shoot up in a week or so - but no promises.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

So far so good

Hard to believe that last post was almost a week ago. Things are going well. I'm not saying I'm sleeping as much as I'd like, and I've been really trying to get those last few things done in the old house (and only have a couple of days left to do them in before open house stuff) so I'm really worn out, but things could be a heck of a lot worse.

I should probably start listing on eBay again on Monday but might slip that out another week. I'll see if I can get another model set up around Friday but we'll see. I also am probably going to fit in shoots as possible - one thing I'm considering is basically doing some shorter length shoots with beginning models where I would usually do a pre-meet. It might make it easier to fit in some college students who have extra time (summer jobs are going to be hard to get) without committing to a full shoot. Since setup/teardown is pretty minimal in the new place that might work out for everybody, and if some of them are great I can always bring them back for a longer shoot.

I'm still doing alternative process prints to order but you probably shouldn't be in a huge rush. I'll try to scatter a few warnings around the website about that. If you want one quick check out the ones on eBay (the store part's still up, I'm just not listing auction items).

Monday, April 13, 2009

My new project

(cute baby picture removed)

I know I've been kind of vague on the reason for the quick move, why all this remodeling had to be done now, the stocking up on shoots... well, there she is. And that's pretty much how we all feel around the house right now. ZZZzzzz.....

Sunday, April 12, 2009

New Model: Janette

Here's Janette! And happy Easter!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

New York Models! Scam Warning!

Some dumbass on craigslist has posted an ad saying I'm going to be in New York and am hiring. I'm not sure if it's a picture collector or somebody who's actually up to something bad but be careful about this. Luckily one model was smart enough to write to me directly instead of going through the craigslist email and we got it figured out... (she's lovely too)

They literally posted it when I was in the hospital too. (I was there for a good reason which I'll explain in a day or two, but still, I haven't exactly been online.)

Feel free to flag their post, although they could easily repost another one so I have a warning on the main page pointing to this post and I'll leave it up a few days.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Great Mike Rowe Talk

I was surprised but happy to hear that Mike Rowe did a TED speech. I'm a big fan of Mike Rowe and TED does a great job getting interesting talks up and sure enough it's a great talk.




While you're there, you might want to check out this talk as well. Arthur Benjamin does a great act - he's a professor at Harvey Mudd College where I went to school but does this stuff as a sideline.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Heads Up

So the plan is to release the next set on Friday, plus or minus a day (yes, that's her). I'm still playing with this idea of introducing new pictures cheap but quickly ramping the price up and I'm going to do another test. I'll upload the set, post it to twitter and the feeds (see the orange icons on the right). Over the course of the day I'll tweak the price upwards a couple of times until it hits the usual introductory rate - the same as I start items for on eBay, which lets people who keep a good eye on the site avoid having to screw around with eBay to get the best price. Then it's just like normal - I'll link it in from the main page, blog it, etc. etc. and a couple of days later raise the price to the regular rate.

I'm not committing to this as a long term strategy, but initial indications are that people think it's fun and everybody likes a deal. My hands are a bit tied in terms of pricing because you never want to lower prices on a collectable item (not if you want people to keep collecting it hoping it will appreciate) but I don't see anybody getting too irritated with new material starting for less and then ramping up quickly. It's basically like a tried and true photographer pricing model which is tiered pricing. (If anybody doesn't know - you do limited editions where say 1-5 sell at one price, then 6-10 at a higher price, etc. etc. In theory it lets pricing take care of itself and more popular items end up costing more, but if you have a bunch of pictures to track it's a giant pain in the ass.) I'm just doing it on a time basis instead of screwing around with print counts.

Update: Saturday's looking a lot more likely than today.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

More Sara Mann

So this is kind of fun - almost exactly a year ago I mentioned that I'm a fan of Sara Mann who is a talented singer/songwriter and being a guy and all I also appreciate that she's absurdly cute. She'd just brought out her new CD, which you should buy, but basically things went back to normal - she'd do the occasional LA gig and I haven't really been down there much and that's that.

Well, she just got a new job - she's singing backup for Miley Cyrus, who is apparently running around promoting a new movie. So she was on Leno the other day, and tonight's the country music awards, and then Regis on Tuesday, and then Good Morning America on Wednesday... I'm not sure how many of those I'll watch but it was fun to record Leno and when Miley was doing her thing to be able to say "I know who that is! No, the cute one in the back!"

Friday, April 03, 2009

Holga Mods

For those who know what a Holga is - the Holga Mods site is apparently back in business. The owner was in a bad accident and I know a lot of us were starting to get concerned about if he/it were ever coming back...
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