Monday, July 25, 2011

Time to play catch-up

Well as many of you know I am now living in Michigan and on top of that I have been slacking on my blog but time to change that now that I am now doing my art & photography full-time.  A lot has happened since my last post and move and all for the good.  I will get all of you caught up as I get regular at posting on my blog but today, wow, today I have been doing the fast food wifi thing all day.  Why, well I shot a kids 100 yard dash, 5k and 10k all on Saturday morning at Atwood Park.  So why didn't I load the photos this weekend, well we headed to camp immediately following the race where wifi is a fancy word for good luck.  So with plenty of bugs and no signal I am now sitting in Wendy's uploading photos at a rate of 150 per hour onto the Backprint race page where I host my race photos for sale.  I went to McDonald's first but there I could only load 55 photos an hour so I packed up after the trial batch and headed to Wendy's.  After today I am determined to find out which fast food chain or coffee shop has the fastest wifi.  If you know of any please let me know because one can only eat so much fast food, see why health care is so expensive and wonder how hard it is really to get a job when you have places like this to work.  At this point I am about 350 photos deep into uploading with 300 more to go.  I am going to miss Italian night at the campground but the wife is going to make me a special plate and put it to the side for me.  So the lesson of this is work from home if you can and if you work from home get the fastest connection you can because time is money in any field but especially to a photographer or artist.  For those of you that would like to see where my race photos can be purchased go to backprint/ or, I forget and can't get in to check.  Also, I have officially launched my website for both my photography and art as well, this one I know, so go check it out and keep checking back because I am making time for my blog from this point forward.

Friday, October 22, 2010

On Order

Well I have finally accumulated enough pennies in my savings account to order the Nikon D7000 DSLR camera that hit the stores on October 17th.  However, every store is sold out and every online store is on backorder.  It appears as though Nikon has released the camera with lens kit first, which I already have lenses.  So I ordered the body only at a discount since one can buy the 18-105 lens it comes with in the kit cheaper as a seperate piece, doesn't make much sense.  Since the body only will be released a couple weeks later than the kit I am looking at an early November delivery date, worth the wait.  It could be worse, Amazon has noted that they have 1,000's of customers on backorder and I have found a site that has 12 on order with a 2 week delivery date to them but I am number 3 on the preorder list.  To top it off, Abt electronics took $25 off of the price since the item is not in stock, great company to work with.

Furthermore, I was able to save another $30 off of the extended warranty to cover the camera from everything ranging from dropping it in a lake to smashing it somehow.  Such insurance for 3 years would cost anywhere from $249 at Bestbuy to $300 else where but square trade has a great reputation and price for coverage that is equal to their competitors.  By looking for a discount at I was able to get a coupon code saving me 30% off of the insurance cost bringing the total to $179 to fully cover a $1,199 camera with yearly cleanings as well.  However, if you were to buy the insurance through the retailer you bought the product from you cannot get the discount.  It was cheaper to bypass the retailer and go directly to the source, the insurance company in this case.  Square Trade pays a commission to stores to sell their products, by buying directly from them that savings is passed down to the consumer.

I'm sure it's obvious by now that I am quite happy with all of the money I saved by spending a little time researching the interenet.  So all together I saved $50 off of the lens, $25 off of the camera and $30 off of the insurance bringing my total savings to $105 plus what I didn't spend in taxes, $101.43 since I did pay taxes on the insurance policy.  At the end of the day I saved $206.43 and even got a bonus with the lens I bought on ebay since the seller included 3 filters that would've cost me $149 for the polarized filter alone if I was to buy it new.  Since they are used filters I looked up what they were going for online and came up with a figure of $115 for all 3, truly a nice bonus for a grand total savings of $321.43.

So now one can understand why I get a lot of requests from friends and family to research everything from flights to figurines for them.  Some would call this being a researchaholic but I attribute it to the fact that I am just cheap and want to rest assured I got the best product for my money at the best price.

I hope everyone learned a little from this since much can be taken from the above text.  First, save your money, it is better to pay cash than to use credit.  Although, I did use my Airtran credit card to get air mile points since I know I have the cash in hand to pay it off when I get the bill.  Second, patience pays off, if I would've been spontaneous and ordered through Amazon like everyone else I would've spent $25 more and been waiting for the camera longer.  Third, do your research, with all of the cameras, lenses and coverages out there one could easily get lost, frustrated and get taken advantage of so do your due dilligence and don't be afraid to ask for a discount.  Last but not least, do not have buyers remorse, you've worked hard and deserve whatever it is you're buying so click BUY and enjoy the fruits of your labor now that the thrill of the hunt has passed.

This is a photo of the Nikon D7000, isn't she a beauty......

Friday, October 1, 2010

Transition into Fall and beyond

Today is October 1st, I can't believe it but more so because I turn another year older this month, 34.  It's amazing how we mature, some faster than others but time eventually matures us all.  This year has been a big year of maturing on many levels for me ranging from my spiritual walk to my artistic ventures.  At the end of the month I will face one of my biggest artistic challenges to date, the Sarasota Chalk Festival where I will one of the many artists creating art with chalk in front of many spectators over 2 days.  I will put a link below for those of you who are interested but it has grown into an amazing event if you have never made it out to see it. 

In addition to this I will be meeting with a potential client to showcase and capture her beautiful custom carpenrty work.  I have an amazing feeling about this for many reasons from helping another artist share their one of a kind creations to the doors this would open for me by adding this to my portfolio of work performed.  So say a little prayer that this job works out and that I create exactly what she has in mind for her work and that it allows opportunities that weren't possible before in this field of photography. 

I apologize for the time lapse, blogs can be like any other task an artist takes on.  Artists are notorious for a variety of artist blocks in all fields but it's how our minds work.  I wouldn't change the way this mind of mine is wired for anything because without it I would not be who I am today so you just have to smile and learn to love me for the way mind is designed.  Until the next time I look forward to continuing to open doors and fuel my artistic fire as I prepare to get the new Nikon D7000 by the end of the month, take care and enjoy all the beauty Fall brings with it & even some pumpkin pie.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Selling my photography via the internet

It's amazing all of the options out there for an artist to market him/herself over the internet.  I have been weighing many options and experimenting with all of the free trial periods on the do it yourself web design sites.  However, the one area they all fall short on is e-commerce, the ability to select a photo of mine that you like and purchase it via the internet.  I was looking into having a webpage created for me with the shopping cart option but the only drawback is that I would've been responsible for all of the print jobs and shipping.  I was hesitant on going with a site that used such services as snapfish and shutterfly for printing because they aren't considered professional quality print jobs.  CVS and Walgreen prints are great for the family to pass around at get togethers but to actually hang it in your house or frame it for the office is a different story. 

So after much research and some help from friends that are in the same situation I am ready to try Smug Mug for a year.  I know, why would they create that name because it's not very catchy and kind of rubs me the wrong way.  However, they have a great website for photographers who want to sell their work while staying out of the financial and printing end of things.  This allows me to focus on the artistic side of things rather than the business aspect of it all.  They have researched many printing companies and have selected one that creates a high quality image and more importantly they package the photos with care so they are received without any creases or bent corners. 

For those of you who are interested in this site for your own work or to just see what they are all about I am pasting a link to their site below.  I will create my webpage via their site once I get my new camera, the D7000 if you want to look it up.  I will be sure to let everyone know when I launch my page because you will be able to buy my artistic work or photos from past races that you participated in.  If you want to buy anything now just let me know because in the mean time I have a friend who works for a photography studio that produces amazing prints that I can have done within a few days for local pick up or shipping.  I appreciate all of the support whether it is just reading my blog or buying some of my work because it is all helping me reach my first goal of buying new gear and ultimately making a professional name for myself so thank you.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Walking with blinders on

In preparation for the transition into a more aggressive attempt to market myself I sold most of my entry level Nikon photography gear.  All of the photos you see me posting now were taken with a Nikon D60, this is considered an entry level low end DSLR camera.  It is true that the camera doesn't make the person but unfortunately in the world of photography in order to make money you need to sell yourself.  Just as you would do for any other job you want to look your best but in this case you want to shoot the best.  Cameras have come a long ways and I am currently waiting for Nikon to release the latest in technology in mid October.  The model I am waiting for is the D7000, it is 1 step above the entry level professional grade camera but packs a big punch since it will be incorporating all new technology that surpasses past higher grade gear.

This brings me back to the title, walking with blinders on.  I caught myself numerous times this weekend wishing I had a camera to capture something that caught my eye.  It's going to be a long month without a camera, it would be like taking a paint brush from a painter, the pic from a guitarist or music from a dancer, all tools we use to create art for others to enjoy.

I will be posting photos over the next month though, all of which are from an extensive archive of photos.  Just to give you an idea of how much I love taking photos I will share the shutter count on the camera I just sold, 25,000.  This is how many photos I took in just over a year, luckily the new camera I am looking at has a guaranteed shutter life of 150,000 clicks.  Below I am going to share one of the first photos I took with my first DSLR, confirmation that I was on the road to something amazing.  Thank you for allowing me to share something I truly love, may my photography create feelings within you as well.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Getting over my fears as a Photographer

It's amazing how internal fear can keep one from achieving true success.  I never would've thought I would be the only one standing in the way of my own success as an artist because inside of me I know I am an artist.  One would think hearing that from all of their peers would be evidence enough but until you finally step back and give yourself a gut check one can never escape their own virtual prison.

So today my words express the rebirth of an artist, the artist that once knew he was different from all of the other kids in school through the use of his hands.  It's amazing what hands can create though, not just art but they can create everything from peace to war.  However, my hands were meant to create art and tonight that journey that was once envisioned by a young child without limits is being set into motion once and for all for the world to enjoy but most importantly for me to experience the joy it brings me.

The attached photo I think best expresses this rebirth, please join me on my adventure to living out the dream I started as child but suppressed as an adult who once lived in fear of being an artist.