“Where are you going to put all of the pictures?” my dad asked me when I procured his assistance in photographing a show for the Penn Jersey Horse Show Association at Changewater Stables. “Well, I usually post them on my blog at The Freiday Sketchbook,” I replied… and then thought about it. While I love my blogspot.com account for its free and easy to use interface, it is not ideal for displaying (or selling) a large number of works. I added, “But I will work on creating a legit website to display and sell everything.”
I had always imagined that I would have my tech-savvy brother assist me with creating an official website, yet after doing a little bit of research on what types of sites and price ranges would best suit my needs, I chose a host, a domain name, and find myself learning as I go. There truly is an astounding amount of stuff to figure out, and it is both exasperating and exhilarating to design your own web page. In fact, this is probably the closest thing to real life sorcery. All sorcery aside, there is a lot of work involved in the process- layout, design, plugins, and uploads are just the start of it.
I also learned a lot from photographing the show with my dad. A lot of my photos were subpar. I found that the best photos had a much larger aperture setting then all of the rest, even with the lower shutter speed. As large animals, horses need a greater depth of field in order for the camera to be able to focus on them. This is different then how I have been approaching previous shows, and could explain why I never had quite the look I was going for- I was so focused on freezing the action that I didn’t really think about the overall clarity of my images. This flaw was highlighted by me trying to shoot at a much lower ISO than usual- I was trying out the 200 and 320 ISO range in an attempt to achieve less grainy results. I do love the quality and feel of the low ISO shots- to me, they seem to have a dreamy, soft yet sharp character. The issue with shooting at a lower ISO is a lack of sensitivity to light, and it was an overcast day at the show. Even when my images were sharp, they were often a touch too dark, as seen in this post’s featured photo.
It was a long day on our feet, and a full work week’s worth of hours was spent on sorting and editing all of the photos. Extra batteries were helpful, and extra memory space for my camera would have been great. This workflow is making me think about how I want to approach my business model, and to other photographers out there, I suggest looking at online forums and other peoples’ websites for ideas. The latter is where I went to when I was asked to sell a CD of photos for the first time, and wasn’t sure on the best way to price it. I also was able to obtain a reference page of shipping prices for products from Simply Color Lab, and to create my first invoice for a large order. I spent a ton of effort for not much financial return, but I went into this understanding that the photos may not be able to be put online as fast as I wanted, and that this is an investment into a future free from having to work for anyone but myself and the community which I love most- the equine industry.
In my next post, I will be going a little further detail into about the digital workflow process and highlighting what went well and what I will be changing in the future. Until next time!