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Distinct Perception Photography

Archive for September, 2016

Physical Prints

I have slowly and surely become an advocate for having physical copies of images; whether that be prints, books, canvasses or any other medium (my personal flavour of the month being acrylic prints). I think nowadays they are something that everyone should have, especially in this digital era where everything is so easily consumed.

I will admit, for as long as I can remember I have always wanted my images as digital files and I was happy to keep them in that way. Easy to share. Easy to view. Great for just picking up a file and seeing how it could be enhanced and changed. Then, a couple years ago I watched a documentary called ‘In no great hurry‘ which changed my outlook on how I wanted to keep my photos. Continue reading “Physical Prints” »

Opening a Patreon?

I have been thinking recently how to get more work out, or more importantly, having work seen by more people. One of the options I was looking at was Patreon.

For models, cosplayers, prop makers and the like I can see the enticement for people wanting to pay into it and it has become more and more popular as of late with content creators but what would I, as a photographer, produce for it?

I have been looking at other photographer Patreons (Is that the plural??) and they all seem to follow a similar pattern.

$1 – Thank you, give me your money

$5 – View my diary

$10 – Get a postcard

$20 – Get a bigger postcard

$50 – Get at large print

To me though, this doesn’t seem to be lot of money for what is being offered, especially for prints. Not that money is the be all and end all of everything. If I have created something that I would want selling as a print do the low cost tiers devalue that work (or any other work that is released outside Patreon) or because they are monthly it makes up for it in the long run?

If you have a lot of patrons on your Patreon, you could end up spending so much time printing and sending that the creative aspect gets lost? I do see regular complaints that the logistical side of sending out rewards can be very time consuming.

So do you just do digital images? Offer one off payments for prints? Or do you end up having Tier 3 and above Patreons choosing a print project for the month.

As for extra content, showing the behind the scenes view of the life of a photographer could be interesting to some but would it help get more work? How about tutorials, build logs and post production techniques? Would people pay for those from a photographer on a monthly basis?

Would I? I don’t think I would.

I think in the long run, it would just be as beneficial to keep posting the same content to this blog as I would post to Patreon. Having wallpapers on the site to give away, doing limited edition print runs, behind the scenes write ups and the pie in the sky ideas I have for video content.

I would be interested in hearing people’s views in the comments below.

Sexhibition 2016 Roundup

Here is my full round up for Sexhibition 2016 and some of the random preparation that I did before hand. I think its good to document just how much went into it planning for it especially when I come round to do it again at some point.

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Preparation

Prep started about a year before, just after the first Sexhibition. I wanted to do something the year after but not as a press photographer. For the plans in my head to work I needed an area that could showcase some the work I do as well as have an elegant set to offer some shoots in. Conversations were had with the people close to me and the consensus was ‘What the hell are you waiting for? Do it!’.

After confirming with the organisers at Sexhibition that I could have a space, sending of deposits then fun part of planning, sketching could take place. Off to my favourite image collecting place in the world – Pinterest. I spent a good couple weeks refining my mood boards into something that was matching the idea in my head. Lots of searching with Opulence , Bedroom, Black, Gold  as keywords and then bringing images together. Then it was onto sketching those ideas so I could get help in sourcing the pieces I needed. Here is a little insight to how I refine my own ideas

imageFrom left to right  – Main Idea, Backup Idea, Change due to area change and then the final set at Sexhibition. Most of the furniture was exceptionally cheap (the chaise being an eBay bargain at £35). Most of the cost for the weekend was printing, travel and the hotel.

The weekend itself

Beth and I headed off around 8 am from my home in Nottingham and we got to the Victoria Warehouse in Manchester around 10:15. The staff on the front desk were awesome and got us sorted and pointed to our stand really quickly. It took around an hour to get all the gear into the venue (with some help from the construction guys). 2 hours later the set was complete and I didn’t get as flustered as I thought. Yeah, stuff went wrong….. ‘Oh there is 11 meters of paper on that roll.. Oh crap, there isn’t.’ We worked though all the issues though, finding interesting workarounds and the set and stand looked amazing.

Friday night seemed like it was mainly people in various industries walking around so the networking was amazing. A theme that persisted through the weekend. I was happy to meet like minded creatives and start planning some seriously fantastic things. The shoots coming up with Professor Scribblicious and Bea Noir are going to be a challenge but amazing!

More networking on Saturday and my focus shifted. It should have been in that mindset from the beginning, however, learning in the spur of the moment is good fun too. From that point a lot of weight shifted and things became more natural for me. Don’t get me wrong, I have no problem in talking with anyone, but self promotion is still something I am working on. There is always room to grow and I felt like I did throughout the weekend.

In between all that I did get to shoot with amazing people, some of whom are friends and some of the guests at Sexhibition. The quick mini shoot with Wyte Phantom & Ava Castle was a lot of fun too. Sunday was much of the same throughout the day with more networking, having a quick look at a catwalk show and seeing one of the performances. It wasn’t quite as busy upstairs where we were which afforded the luxury of being able to escape once or twice.

Packing up at the end of the day was interesting and tough. Lots of heavy lifting when you are tired is even more tiring and then getting mentally prepared for the drive back. It was all done safely & quickly and we were back in Nottingham in record time.

In my mind the whole weekend was a complete and utter success. Did I sell as much as I wanted to? Nope, but I got more from it than I expected so that is even better.

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Printing Books With Saal Digital

I love printing my photographs out. The front room of my home is covered in them. I also have 4, A1 prints hanging around plus another dozen or so images ready to be framed and hung.

Something I have wanted to do for a while is to be able books of prints so started to investigate different suppliers. For the longest while I used Blurb. They were good however didn’t have many options for different styles of books. Recently I found Saal Digital and manage to get a sample of one of their books.

For the test I used the Saal Digital design software they offer. Usually I would design everything in inDesign and then send it on but as part of the offer I had to use the software. On first glance the software is easy to use and would give most people the options they would need to create a book (or any of the other products they offer).

It took a while to get to grips with their layering system but in the end, for an 8 or so page spread took me a couple of hours to get the book looking how I wanted to.

Delivery was reasonably priced and honestly was delivered quite quickly. Took around 10 days for me to receive it.

Quality wise the book is excellent. It feels a lot more sturdy then other books I have gotten in the past from printers. It would definitely stand up to being used a presentation piece. The pages all lie flat so the test images I put in that spanned both pages look fantastic.

The only issue I found is one image is slightly grainy. One image in the book for this test isn’t a problem but could be one in the future. The image file is one I have used to create 11×14 prints so shouldn’t have been a problem and didn’t really show any issues during the creation phase. This would have been something I picked up during a proof usually and could be just a file corruption issue from my side.

All in all I would use Saal again. There are a couple of projects in the pipeline that I really want to try with them and see what I can do though I will be definitely using the inDesign plugin rather than the software.

Saal can be found here : Link