At this point

the truth is – the photo business – rather than the business of taking photos – is taking up most of my time.  Since this is something that I’ve worked towards for many years, it’s a good thing.  But from the point of view of having anything remotely new to put in the blog, it’s not so great.

For example, I thought that the Christmas rush would end and leave me to stroll around; but it hasn’t exactly ended.  Maybe it’s going out with a bang.  There are still small orders arriving – almost each day – and there are questions about what prints to buy, or what will go with what, or do I have any pictures of so-and-so; or can I get this print in some size that I don’t have listed.

In other words, whereas the blog used to generate the most e-mail, now it’s the store itself.

And as I say – that’s my fault for spending so much time trying to make it interesting.  For example, I wanted to have a customer wishlist, where they could collect prints and eventually decide to buy one or two of them.  And yesterday I came across a plugin that gives me a start at that.  So I’ll be spending some time working on that today, along with re-sending one small print that was apparently delivered and left to soak in the rain.

Always a toss-up about signature required.  I almost always require a signature… (oh, you see now this is exactly what you don’t want to read in a photoblog)…

And then there are a few inquiries about whether I could use an intern which I have to turn down because – c’mon – honestly.  What would they do?  Help me package prints?

Of course, if I wanted to turn down the flame on store activity – that’s a no-brainer.  Just raise prices by about 20%.  Since I’m using the expensive Epson F paper for everything now, I actually did raise prices on the larger prints (the ones that would be on their largest $12/sheet paper); but that doesn’t seem to have effected orders.

Anyway – I’m about to sit down and write out a todo list, and if you looked at it, you’d find that it is all business related.  I do remember reading once that when you turn the photo hobby into a business, you can expect the business side of things to take up 70% of your time.   Right now, make that 90% – but I’m sure it will die down once the new year starts.

What else?  Oh yeah.  I made/ordered 20 cards with Night Storm on the front from MyPublisher.  The idea is to offer to send them along with orders that are gifts.  They’re supposed to arrive today, so I’m curious about that.  For the fun of it, I compared prices for printing cards myself on the Red River stock, compared to MyPublisher – and it’s really about the same if you include the labor / time involved in printing them (depending on how much I pay myself for my labor).

I keep my eyes peeled for the 5D II to make a real appearance with a firmware fix.  No great rush since who knows if I’ll have time to use it.

I didn’t forget about the tutorial thing with students that I mentioned a few months ago – but that will have to be when things slow down.

And I’m dying to send my 40D in to Lifepixel.  I miss my infrared experiments.  If I get too antsy (is that the word?) I may send it in before I even buy a regular dslr.

Well – that’s all for now.  I guess that if you just want to see new pictures, or some creative blog entries – check back in a few weeks…


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My name is Dave Beckerman. I am a fine art photographer working in New York City.

3 thoughts on “At this point”

  1. I think a lot of amateur photographers think about going pro, but the truth is more mundane than many people imagine. Same for most jobs, I suppose.

    In NYC a chunk the women I know want learn to become yoga instructors, or dog trainers. But I know people in both professions and the life isn’t what the amateurs think it is. Dog trainers have hours from 7am through 8pm (for training w/ owners when they’re home), and there’s lots of note-taking and paperwork. If you think you’re just going to have a great time with doggies, you’d be surprised at how much training and time is is actually spent with people. And the two yoga instructors I know are barely surviving, and both have 2nd jobs — there’s a glut in the industry.

    I handled the 5DII the other day. Really no different in feel from the 5D, the only real visible difference is the 3″ screen. Not impressed, but not unimpressed. The 50D is now under $1100, which is probably Canon’s bargain machine for pros. But again, not impressed/unimpressed.

    I handled Sony’s A900 at B&H last week. REALLY IMPRESSIVE. Great feel, handling, gigantic film-era viewfinder, built-in IS, mucho megapixels, surprisingly easy to figure out. Yeah, it’s comparatively noisy above 1600 but from what I’ve read at 100 it’s output is like shooting medium format digital. And for a street shooter it would be nice to have IS in a wide angle or a fast lens, huh Dave? 🙂

  2. When adding features like Wishlist to the store keep in mind “analytics” side – I think it would be quite useful to see what images end up there and try to get any trends. It is mundane, but profitable…

  3. Good idea. Didn’t even think of that. Just responding to a couple of user requests for something like this since there are more and more photos on the site.

    But I can query the db and see what photos are on the lists.

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