2020 09 27
Gonna take a few minutes to post something before I go to church. It is the 30th anniversary-celebration homecoming of Friendship Baptist Church. It should be a nice service today, as it usually is. I always learn something when I go. The people are very friendly. And Jesus is the Man, he was indeed a God among men. I could go on and on about Jesus and religion, but this isn’t something I want to tackle at this time, if ever.
I have been working pretty hard lately. I do have room for improvement though, and I know I need to be better. I have been doing my job of-course. I’m glad I have it. But that isn’t where my heart is.
I’ve been trying to take pictures fairly regularly of things that interest me in some way. Obviously I have an interest in architectural photography as is evidenced by my attempt to a real estate photography business. I also am interested in landscape photography, and landscape is everywhere. So I have been going out looking for interesting landscapes around me, and shooting them. And landscape and architecture are naturally compatible, and often intersect in my expeditions.
My expeditions at this point are pretty limited. I have made a point to wake up Saturdays the same time I wake up on weekdays, which is 4:30am. And this gives me plenty of time to get to a location before sunrise to get the sweet blue- and golden-hour shots. This system is good for me at this time. I generally am able to shoot a great deal of shots, many more than I can process in the following week. But it is better to have too much than not enough, which has always been one of my life’s philosophies. I have a lot of philosophies. If you were to look at me you would probably think I don’t think much about anything, let alone have philosophies, but I digress.
The thing I need to improve upon is dedicating myself more during the week to photo processing the shots from the Saturday shoots. There are so many interesting things that can be done. I already know a lot, but when it comes to art and science, photography is both, there are infinite possibilities. I love that.
I am posting a few shots I played with yesterday. This group is various looks and channel separations from the same image. A fun technique to me. I envision using this in a Warhol Esque collage. Maybe later today I’ll put that together. Scratch that, later today I WILL put it together.
Here is another vanilla landscape I put on the insta and Facebook.
2020 09 20
It’s been a while. School has started back up, and I’m driving the bus again. It’s not my favorite thing, but it’s not bad.
The worst part of the job from my perspective is the heat. It gets really hot on a giant rolling steel tube without air conditioning in the middle of summer here in central Georgia. And the humidity, don’t get me started. Of course dealing with kids can be a challenge at times, but it can also be kinda nice. There are days though when I would like to just crawl back in bed, but I’ve never had a job where I didn’t think that on occasion.
I do really enjoy working in the elements, most of the time. Even when it is way too hot and humid I appreciate getting back indoors that much more. And there are of course days where the weather couldn’t be more perfect, and I do love those days. And even though working with kids can be rough at times. Most of the kids are great most of the time. Observing them can be as good as watching TV or looking at memes. And every day is a little bit different, which I like.
Sadly the real estate business isn’t going anywhere. Since school started I have stopped trying to get any business. The bus driver job takes more time than it did last year with the new procedures that were implemented due to the co-vid 19 pandemic. Naturally if something falls in my lap I will jump at the opportunity. But I’m not planning on sending out any more marketing emails anytime soon.
So far my bus seems to have mostly dodged the worst of the pandemic. The administration hasn’t been reporting cases or potential cases on our busses. But I don’t think my bus has been hit very hard. I’ve had a couple students who disappear for a while, read 2 weeks, and then come back. We will see how it goes. I’ve been blessed so far myself, thank God.
I’ve been commuting to work in the mornings on my bike when it isn’t raining. I am really enjoying doing this. It is good exercise. It gets the blood flowing. I feel better in every way. I wonder how long I can keep this up until it starts getting cold. I imagine I can adapt to the cooler weather. We will see how it goes.
I have been taking pictures. I’m thinking about a project, but won’t say any more about that here. Even though no one reads this mess. But I’ve been trying to get out and shoot when I can. Here are a few landscape photos from recent endeavors.
2020 07 13
I’ve been trying to do some marketing of my Carterpix real estate photography business at long last. And I have to say it is a bit frustrating. I am not really sure what I’m doing. I don’t have the money to hire someone to help do this. And I don’t really have any experience with marketing. I suppose the concept is fairly straightforward. Get your product in front of potential clients. But there are more facets than that to consider.
One thing I’m struggling with is pricing. I don’t want to leave money on the table, but I am worried I may be overpricing my services. I’m also struggling with whether or not to have two photographic packages for realtors to choose from. Is this confusing? I did this to add a more economical option that is less fancy/has less work involved. But I am thinking that maybe I should drop this option and just go with the all inclusive photo service. I’m not sure I even want to put out work that I’m not happy with even if the client doesn’t care that it isn’t top quality. And while the cheaper option is good, it is not top quality.
It is still early in my marketing efforts. I’ve had a few people respond to my emails and a few of them asked for a price list, which I take as a good sign. I am slowly trying to make a list of realtors in my area using the internet as my primary reference source. No telling how accurate the information I am able to find is. I know for a fact that some of the info out there is outdated, and no longer accurate. But that is all I have going for me at this point. So I will continue with this approach.
I also updated my portrait today to better reflect my current appearance. I am pleased with how it came out. It’s hard taking pictures of yourself.
2020 07 02
Well June was a rather bleak month. And frankly I’d rather forget most of it. There are a few notable positives that came out of June however. I got my FAA certificate to be a drone pilot, specifically I got the actual laminated card making it official. I think I posted about passing the test previously, but until I got that card it didn’t feel quite official. I got my website in a place that makes me reasonably happy. I finally started actively marketing my business at the very end of June. I’ve also been riding my new bicycle pretty regularly. I am happy to report that none of my family have contracted the Coronavirus as of this point and time, and I pray it stays that way.
2020 05 22 Progress
I’ve been falling down on my blogging lately. So I am posting a bit of a progress report, with how I have been using my time lately. Worth noting that we, the collective we, are still in a bit of a lockdown. Many official restrictions have been lifted, but many voluntary restrictions are still being respected by many. This a very complicated issue that brings many factors into consideration and can’t be easily explained. I will spend a few minutes on the current situation as I see it.
Many states including my own home state of Georgia have significantly relaxed the restrictions previously in place to protect against a rampant spread of the Covid-19 virus. Many businesses are reopening. The only businesses in Georgia that I think are legally not permitted to reopen are bars and clubs. In Georgia bars and clubs are easy political targets due to the large contingent of teetotalers and religious reactionaries, but that is a subject unto itself. And I don’t really want to write a huge editorial here. Time will tell if the decisions made were the correct ones. And I don’t want to get into politics too much on this blog.
Despite the relaxation of legal restrictions on businesses most public officials and people with half a brain are still recommending using caution in how individuals behave and interact with each other. It is pretty clear that while the number of cases seems to be somewhat under control, the possibility of a spike in cases and consequent deaths is a distinct possibility that remains. The nation as a whole has had some time to prepare for this plague. Production of protective devices like facemasks and sanitizer has increased, as well as medical devices like ventilators. Work on treatments have been implemented fully, and are hopefully going to bear fruit soon. We are at a precipice. Things could either get better or worse, and at this time I am trying to err on the side of caution.
Enough with the editorial on current affairs. And a little bit about how I’ve been spending my time while self isolating. Of course I have my parents’ health to consider, so I am trying to be extra careful as they are both elderly and have underlying conditions that are known to be problematic in conjunction with the coronavirus. I try not to go out too much, and be safe when I do. And my full-time job has not yet reconviend and will not until it may possibly when the new school year starts.
So I have been working on my other business endeavor, my real estate photography business Carterpix. Progress is slow, but steady. I am trying to do things in a good and correct way. There is a lot I am trying to learn. And a lot that needs to be done. It is more difficult for me to write about this aspect of my life than editorializing about current events. Current events are a fairly set narrative. Starting a business is an ever changing endeavor where every decision has consequences, and you want to make the best decisions to maximize potential. And I am very nervous about the next several steps that I deem need to be made.
At the moment I am researching CRM/database tools. I believe that it would be wise to find a good package that specializes in Customer Resource Management for small businesses as opposed to using the google or apple spreadsheets, which would be the free option. I figure if I am going to put a lot of time and effort into building a list of clients/potential clients I should only have to do it once and be able to manage and curate it from that point on. I am pretty sure this is a good move. I want to create a list of potential clients in my area to market my services to, and think this is a necessary tool. I just need to find a good one.
I am feeling more and more confident in my ability to deliver exceptional products. I have been doing a lot of practicing with my time lately. I have been practicing taking photos using different techniques and lighting. And I have been practicing different editing techniques as well. I am feeling more comfortable and confident, and am working on developing my own style.
I have been reading and studying some of the masters of the craft and learning from them. And then adapting their techniques to meet my own style and work flow. I don’t intend on going into much detail here. All that matters, in my opinion, is that I know what I’m talking about.
I am just finishing a book about marketing of photography and have learned some good lessons there. I really need to read more books about business and the photo business before I get too involved in more novels at this point. As much as I love to read a good novel, the smart move at this point would be to increase my knowledge of business and how it applies to my craft. This sort of reading used to be very boring to me, but as it now has some applied usage that is relevant it is far more interesting, granted it is no Hemmingway.
I have been reworking my website www.carterpix.com to hopefully improve upon it at every update. This reworking has also been good practice for editing of pictures and refining workflows. I have reworked many of the photos on the web site, remastered so to speak. I am trying to replace all the .png files with .jpg files. The .png files are a good bit larger and don’t really, in my opinion, bring much extra to the equation. And even though many people have high speed internet that can download both large .png and small .jpg files just as quickly, there are some who do not have that capability and I want to make my site accessible to everyone. I still have some work to do on this front, but I’m getting closer and closer to it being something I’m ready to promote.
I got my new bike, and I really like it alot. Unfortunately I am not as young and thin as I once was. I am working on building up my stamina a bit at a time. And sadly my hands start to go numb after riding for a while. When I lean on the handlebars it causes my hands to start tingling. Apparently this is a not uncommon problem called biker palsy. The blood seems to be restricted causing this unpleasant sensation. I just got a new pair of gloves yesterday that I hope will help alleviate this problem. They are bike riding gloves that have gel in the palm areas to cushion the pressure against the handle bars. I am cautiously optimistic it will be of some help. But I doubt it will be the cure all.
I’m going to go for a bike ride now. Then, I will then mow the yard. And I plan on doing some drone practice shots later, hopefully ones that I can use to put on the web site for marketing my drone service.
I am still waiting for the official FAA certificate to come in the mail. I got a temporary certificate, but it lacks the official license number needed to register my drone and apply to waivers.
Not going to post any pictures today. I’ll try to update more in the near future.