Fire Photos Fan my Flames

Burning Man

Whew! It’s hot in here. I’ve slaved over a hot computer for two days to sort out my website. I’ve finally got organised enough to put some of my work up for sale. Building a website, for a photographer who is not a geek, has been a labour of titanic proportions. I thought starting off with just one set of postcards, already in stock, would be a good way to start. I tried to think through the steps needed to get this up and running. Add the pictures and relevant text, set up Paypal, follow the instructions on my site to make payment possible. It seems simple when put like that, but crikey, what a job! I’d far rather be behind the camera. But nowadays, no-one else is going to sell your stuff for you. I tried agencies, but they really don’t do a good job for most artists, as competition is massive and they tend to concentrate on the photographers that are already selling. That seems a bit short-sighted to me, as they risk losing their best earners and won’t have replacements if they don’t back newcomers.

Still, now I’ve chosen to do it myself, I’m less worried about agencies and their foibles and more worried about my brain going into meltdown figuring out how to make my website work! The heat is now on. Smouldering fire images adorn my site along with a payment method. Hooray!!!

Now I’ve learned how to do it, I’m going through my site, picking out the best images and they too will soon be on sale. I know how well they look from past prints I’ve had in exhibitions and given as gifts. I’m happy with the top quality printing service I’ve found producing Fuji acid free, guaranteed prints, so that’s as close as I can get to ensuring my customers will also be happy with my work.

Now all I need to do is cool down, get on with it,  and somehow let the world know I’m here. Wish me luck!

You could help, actually. If you have time to look through my photos, you could let me know which are your favourites. Which might you buy? Just follow the link to my site, caffimages.co.uk (link below) and leave me a message, either on here or via my site’s contact page. Thanks!

Spiral

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Normal service resumed, almost!

Well, it looks as if I may fianlly be able to get down to business. A result from all those tests means I can now sort out treatment and hopefully be more consistent than I have been for years. I’m updating my website with new photos, barraging the agenices with new shots and even trying my hand at writing stories. I’m left wondering, though, wether agencies have a place for the serious photographer any more. They seems to change their minds more often than their underwear about what they want, but fail to inform their stock of photographers. So time is wasted taking shots that will never see the light of day. Despite patience that has lasted three years with a fledgling agency, they still do not communicate adequately, take months putting new images up and leave you with a sense of dissatisfaction. So I’m going to spend time entering competitions and promoting my own stuff more. Better still, I’m taking solace from my garden. Growing more food, more flowers and feeding the birds should give me plenty of photo opportunities and plenty of satisfation. Plants respond well to being treated well, reward you with food and blooms and seem to love showing off for the camera!

Tulip Tarda

A Day at Rock Cemetary

Rock Cemetary, Nottingham

Hello again. It’s been a while. Illness still plaguing me, but I’ll spare you the boring details. I did manage a little photography trip out recently, though. I was looking for suitable shots for one of my agencies, arcangel-images.com. They supply a lot of work to book publishers of fiction, and a lot of that is horror, romance, thriller etc. So I went off to a fantastical cemetary in Nottingham called Rock Cemetary, which is literally carved into the rock. Goodness knows how hard it is to bury someone there! The effect is strange. You move around different levels of ground, surrounded at times with mini-rock faces fronted by tombstones and statues. Anyway, I got some good shots in the bag, was leaving after watching some workmen on the site moving a gravestone, and was approaching the exit when I spotted their work truck. Had it faced into the cemetary, (so the headstones and statues would have been in shot) instead of being parked facing away from it, I’d have had a shot to amuse. The sign in their truck said ‘when using this vehicle do not drop the body’. I’m sorry but I howled laughing. It lifted my spirits enough for the drive home after what had been quite a sombre afternoon.

And What of Agents?

I wonder about agencies. Having spent the last couple of years building up my work with them, but having no sales I have to wonder. Are they redundant now? Has the market place changed so dramatically that they are no longer much use to photographers? They do some strange things. I had a ‘heads up’ from one them earlier in the week. Shows coming up in Europe where they exhibit, selling primarily to the card/poster/calendar market. The email said they had guidlines to send out for those interested parties who might want to get their work sold. They would dispense information on what they are looking for in receipt of requests from their artists. One deadline was extended until yesterday. I duly wrote requesting the guidlines, within an hour of receiving this email. The deadline was yesterday. I’ve still heard nothing. I’ve sent off new work to both of my agencies on Monday of this week. It’s now Friday. Nothing. Now, I’m aware they are busy. But do they actually want to sell new work, or are most of us there to provide padding for their favoured few top artists?

It’s the same in the publishing world. It would seem agencies are less and less important in the grand scheme of things. Time was, they sold your work for you, negotiated contracts, and the writer wrote. All change! Now you must be skilled enough to write (or photograph or both) AND find buyers AND negotiate fees and keep the books. Eat? Pah! No time for that! It’s a pity that agencies raise hopes, really. They LOVE your work when you submit to them at the start, woo you with a contract then promptly forget their promises about communication, fair treatment etc.

So I’m slowly getting the message that I will have to try and market my own work as well as spend lots of time finding and taking new shots, processing and refining them. Agressive marketing doesn’t come easy when you have an artistic brain. But have a go I will. It seems to be the only option left.

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