03 December 2011

The Clicker

This is perhaps the most silly and amusing thing I have for the camera; a remote shutter release. I got it today and let me tell you, nothing has amused me so much in a distressingly long time. I walked around my house trying to gauge how far away I can be to have it work and laughed like a fool every time it worked.
It's Christmas come early for the cam anyway, as I finally got my first tripod. Gasp! Horror! I too, am not sure how long I survived without one, but we'll see how I take to it. I have a general aversion to any kind of 'cheating' but I guess the tripod is generally viewed as morally upright. Unlike photoshop.
Off I go to take some night shots from far away from my camera!

17 November 2011

Looking Forward

Ooh, you three followers will be excited for this. I've booked a show in Catonsville, MD that is a one day super special spectacular show on September 9th 2012. Yeah, get stoked! I will likely do a couple in the spring, but none make me as excited as this and the others don't make me book it so far in advance. So, mark you calendars!

30 October 2011

Confessions of a Crafter

If this whole wild ass plan continues to be a mild success, I will instead write a book about all of the funny and strange things people have said to me.  In a mere 32 hours of crafting, I have encountered some strange stuff. 
It's interesting just to watch people.  Most, it seems are afraid to commit to getting in the tent, as if that will oblige them to buy something or worse, interact with me.  I have two boxes of pictures on the end of the tables facing out.  I've seen people stand three feet away from the box, and lean far over to flip through the pictures.  I laugh and fret over their non commitment.  I would rather have someone look legitimately and not buy something then miss something they might want by trying to avoid comitting to the tent.
And many people do what I have serially done in the past.  They give a careful, almost excruciatingly thorough look through all of the pictures.  They pull some out and point and show it to their companions.  They have a genial and hopeful interaction with me, and then leave without buying anything.  I shouldn't be disappointed by this, but I am. 
Mostly people ask me if I've taken all of the pictures.  I think I will start to answer with 'Nope, googled it.' instead of the boring 'yes.'
I am learning a lot through the patrons as well.  Many ask for local interest, though I'm not sure exactly what they mean.  Nor am I sure they know what they mean.  I do have some stuff from the general area, but mostly they are of England.  I can understand the want of local interest, but it's not like the pictures I do have are completely uninteresting. 
Some are even mistaken for local places
Them:  'Is this (this local place)?'
Me:  'It's whereever you want it to be.'
At least two people, whom I don't know, insisted that I make Christmas cards,  I mean how could I not have Christmas cards?!  The other photographer here does.  Don't I think that people want Christmas cards?  All of this is kind of true.  But making cards is expensive and I am just starting out.  One lady did not intend to give me a beginners break.

I loved it when people would come into the tent who had cameras around their necks that are far fancier and more expensive than mine.  But no one has challenged me in technical photo things.  One woman who was entitled to criticize because she had taken a class once, told me one picture was not crisp enough for her.  I informed her that she didn't have to buy it. 

One person asked me if I had pictures of chocolate.  Another, pictures of Peru.  I don't of coures, and I still didn't have a picture of the town I was in.  I just can't win. 

My favorite interaction has been when a woman pointed out to her husband that a particular picture was taken in Italy. 
Me:  'You should go there if you can, it's beautiful.'
Lady:  'Oh, you've been there?'
Me:  'Um...Yes.'
Lady:  'Do you....take pictures?'
Me:  'Yes.'  (looks around) 'Um, these pictures, actually.'
Lady:  'Oh!'

I should get a name tag, I guess. 

17 October 2011

Wind Contingency

Show two was a windy one.  Windy may be an understatement.  At one point, my neighbors tent blew over, my other neightbors crafts all blew off the table, and I was constantly re-velcroing my sides down.  It was driving me literally insane.  Every gust filled me (and all of the other crafters) with major anxiety. 
My wise advisers for the day took down the sides for me, which was a major improvement.  I resisted the urge to grab the tent everytime the wind blew and the rest of the day passed without major incident.  That, plus all of my neighboring crafters left by early afternoon.  This was sad and potentially helpful, as the good people were forced to stop in on the way to the kids stuff.  Or, they were forced to walk by without looking. 
Either way.  The weather was much improved on Sunday, and though sales were low, I had a good laugh with my returning neighbors and met some interesting people.  Made a couple of sales, and a couple of contacts that may bring some future opportunities.  Time will always tell. 

I have no other events scheduled for the rest of the year, but I am open to something small and short if anyone has a suggestion.  I am not up to those Christmas craft show extravaganzas.  Yet. 

03 October 2011

2nd Day

I can safely say that I learned a lot during my first show.  My tent isn't 100% waterproof, cardboard boxes absorb water, four 40lb cinderblocks will hold down the tent, and people seem to want local interest pictures.  No lesson was more important than this wild ass plan can be executed.  It will take practice, experience, and luck to be a success, but it is possible.  And although for a while yesterday I sat in my corner, freezing to death, wishing I had been anywhere else, it was fun.  I sold a few things, mostly to one person and a relative, but it still counts.  Someone I didn't know before not only special ordered a picture, but will hang it in their home and enjoy it.  What an honor!  That's really the whole point.

Deciding on the lay out almost drove me crazy, and I imagine that it will look different (hopefully better) with every show.  It was really handy to buy some potted mums from a nearby vendor and use them to decorate the tent.
Sadly, I don't have many local interest pictures, and not many that envoke the feelings of fall.  Though, this weekend was beyond that.  I should have just put out pictures of snow covered mountains and icicles.  The cold weather made for a poor turn out for the whole festival.  Which is a shame, but I at least made back my rental fees.

I was really thrilled that it didn't blow away.  Our dry run nearly ended in disaster when I learned that I could tie myself to the tent, jump off a cliff and ride it safely down.  This made us extremely nervous, of course, but I found some more robust weights that seemed to work pretty well.  I didn't take flight and nothing broke.  Oh, except for the two frameless frames I dropped.  It's interesting to hear a little crash and see all of the crafters do a spin in their tent to see if it was their stuff. 

If you missed out this weekend, don't dismay.  In two weeks I'll be at the Myersville Trolley Festival.  Learn more at http://www.myersvilletrolleyfestival.com/.

Many, many thanks to my peeps who stopped by to offer moral support.  I truly appreciate it!

01 October 2011

New Sign

Here's a close up of the fancy new sign.  I am undecided on it, but after months of thinking on it, I didn't come up with anything better. 
The guy that made it looks like Aragorn, and that makes me want to buy a lot of signs.  Though, this will be the only one. 

1st Day!

Although there is nothing more sad than a street full of wet and closed up crafters tents, today was fun. It started way too early, but with the help of Mom, we set things up and they came together quite nicely. I think. Within the first hour I had my first and only sale, and it was exciting! Shortly after that it clouded over went to less than 50 degrees and rained off and on for the rest of the day. So, altogether, not a great success, but it was still good times.  Mostly because nothing blew away, broke, or got terribly wet.  I met some cool people who do other normal crafting stuff like making soap and sewing and gluing things together.  I'm not sure that anyone had a succesful day, mostly because very few people came.  Tomorrow is supposed to be dry but cold, so...fingers crossed!

27 September 2011

This Weekend!

Believe it or not (that's mostly for me), my first show is coming right up this weekend!  Clear your calendars, wash the car, shut the windows, stack the chairs, get to the ATM, restart the computer, assemble that furniture and head on over to the Mt. Airy Fall Festival.  Here are some key FAQ's:

When?  October 1-2
What time?  9-5 on Saturday and 10-5 on Sunday
Where? downtown Mt. Airy, Maryland, right on Main Street
Who?  You!  (or me, or Under the Same Sun, depending on the context)

Be there!

18 September 2011

I think I need a bigger car

As the things are coming together, they are piling up.  It's got me slightly worried, especially as the tent folds up to be about as small as telephone pole.  Dry run to set everything up will be later this week, then I'll know for sure if I need to rent a tractor-trailer to sell a few photos. 

17 September 2011

Actual Signage

The final pieces are slowly coming together as I am counting down to the 1st of October.  I finally found some reasonable priced acrylic signs.  Those are some sweet signs you might say. 

13 September 2011

How you say? Show!

I am really happy and really nervous to tell you dear reader(s?) that my official first show is booked and ready to go.  It is a two day fall festival held in Mt. Airy, Maryland on October 1-2.  
I emailed them to confirm and was told that "If your check has been cashed you are in the show."  Well, I headed on over to the ole bank account and there it was! I have since had further confirmation and now it's time to get nervous!  Or, get excited!  Or, recruit someone to help me!

Details are in the 'Upcoming Events' page to the left, but really all you need to know is: Mt. Airy + October 1 + kicking photographs = happy times. 

27 August 2011

Thoughts on Signage

One or none of you may have noticed that I changed the banner on the UTSS blog. What do you think? I need to have a sign made of some sort, and I was thinking, since I went with the sun-esque name, it should included a picture of the sun. Or, something like that. This is on a pic I took just the other day on the way to work. Sometimes it's worth driving at 0530. But not often.
Anyway, I want it to look professional and I'm sure the sign maker will do a better job of it, but this is a sign prototype, one might say. Let me know.

26 August 2011

The Weirdest Part of this Picture

...is that I bought fabric.  From a fabric store.  I'm thinking it will be a one-off until this fabric wears out.  Or, until I try to cut it into lenghts and make the most not-straight cut ever known to humankind.  Anyway, I got a couple of tables, because 10x10 is really a lot of real estate, and some fabric to cover them.  Here are a couple of experiments on layout until next week when I can set the whole deal up and see what's what.  So, if you care...


19 August 2011

In for a Dime

You know, back when I said 'I could do that' I didn't think of all of the logistics of selling photography at craft fairs.  All of the little things like table cloths, money boxes, credit card capabilities, how to hang pictures in a tent, and the like, never occurred to me.  These are the things that are kind of nickle and diming me to death.  I know it's a business, and that means start up costs, and I know that these costs don't compare to a 'proper' business.  But, still.  I didn't expect to buy 12 yards of expensive fabric to cover my tables.  Call me naive.  But, I have learned the wonders of the internet and how things can be done 'cheaply.'  I use that term lightly. 
Either way, I'll be ready.  I've applied for two shows in October (1-2 and 15-16 respectively) and I would assume I will be in them as they are not juried, and I've already paid. 
I did finally get the tent up, and though the pictures are not up yet, it is pretty spectacular.  Well, it's a big white tent.  Despite it's heft, it was fairly simple to put up and I hope that I never have an occasion to do it by myself as I value it as well as my back.  Seeing it up did give me plenty to think about in terms of decoration and set-up. 
We did decide that I should have a sign made.  We even went to a sign making place, but the choices were fairly boggling.  So I'm on the drawing board, thinking of something that might look nice and is affordable. 
I hope soon to be officially posting upcoming shows, and until then, I'll be doing dry runs to see if it will all fit in my car, and how long it really takes to set up.  (6-7 hours?)

16 August 2011

Frameless Frames













Outside of matted photographs, I'll be selling 5x7 prints in 'frameless' frames.  I am a big fan of these and love that it's simple and easy and looks cool.  I've just gotten them assembled, and I'm pretty stoked.  They'll be on sale for $10 each or any 3 for $25.  A bargain!

15 August 2011

Conservation

Check out the new 'Conservation' section to the left and learn about some of the cool materials Under the Same Sun is using to be green.  I hate that to be 'green' feels trite and like somehting companies do to placate the public and make themselves feel better.  I truly think it's important for everyone to do their bit, even if it seems so small and insignificant.  Will photobags made from plants save the world? No.  But at least it's a try. 

11 August 2011

I think the mailman might hate me.

I truly love nothing more than getting stuff in the mail and today was unprecedented.  Tent, and enough material to mat 300 pictures for your future enjoyment all delivered in one day!

07 August 2011

Experiments










 



Displaying these pics at said future craft show is really the most vexing thing I am working on.  Especially hanging frames from an ez-up tent.  But I found this old box, and thought that you would be interested in seeing it.  Though, on second thought, it is not very interesting at all.  But here it is anyway for posterity. 

06 August 2011

Cool Biz Cards?

Somewhere along the line, business cards got cool.  If I do say-so myself, these are the coolest.  Perhaps ever.  In the history of the world.  Or, at least the coolest that I've ever had.  Since the only other ones I've had were a couple I made way back in the day with they byline of "future paramedic and horse-rider extraordinaire!"  Of course, with absolutely no proof or anyone to distribute them to.
Come on down to a future show and pick one up.  There may be one in the works...

05 August 2011

That was...easy?













Narry a week since making my online application I have received my shiny new Sales and Use Tax License.  It was almost too easy. 
Either way, I'm going to carry on blindly with it until someone tells me it's wrong.  Or I'm arrested for tax evasion.
So, I'm one step closer to...continuing to not make money at this!

03 August 2011

Finished Products!

Today I finally got some finished products sorted out.  Now, to find a place to sell them!

Gallery

Check out the gallery in the side bar.  It took me an embarrasingly long time to figure that out.  Enjoy!

02 August 2011

A Good a Time as Any

Requirements for Officiality
1.  Tax ID number (cooking)
2.  pictures (check)
3.  finished products (check)
4.  tent (shopping)
5.  displays (being collected)
6.  tables (ready to be borrowed)
7.  money box (will cardboard do?)
8.  a name (check)
9.  business cards (ordered)
10.  booked craft fair (working on it)
11. receipt book (check)

Things are slowly coming togeher for 'Under the Same Sun' and I am hoping to be tentatively setting up my tent and products by the end of the fall.
Since it's my birthday I figured it's as good a day as ever to mark the official start of this wild-ass plan.  I hope that more than two people will follow this blog and way more than two people will come to craft fairs, wander into my tent and give me the greatest gift they ever could: the desire to display my work in their homes.  What an honor.
So, please visit often, I'll be updating upcoming shows as soon as I find one who will have me.

30 July 2011

Complication

After four calls to four different offices (or the same, who could know?) I decided to take the least complicated tax adivice. One person suggested that I needed to complete five different forms, pay some monies, hire an accountant, a lawyer, and a hair stylist, and in perhaps three or four years I could sell some pictures. The last person I talked to said I could fill out an online form and within a couple of weeks I could sell any picture I take anywhere in Maryland. Result!
So, with that more or less done, I went to research upcoming events. Well, that further complicated things. You may think that starting in August, one could get into shows in October. Well, that is apparently impossible. The show I thought would be a great start wanted the application in by March 1st. March 1st and this show is in mid-October. And is really quite small.
The other show I was thinking of is the same weekend as a training for work, so sadly, that is out too. I'll keep you up to date as soon as I have somewhere and something to show.