Monday, August 30, 2010

Foe ... toes? Photos! I almost forgot what those were!

I would argue that, for people who are trying to make their living as an artist (versus as a business person selling art), the most challenging aspect of business is the marketing. Learning new techniques? No problem! Making things? Check! Taking photos, editing the photos, uploading the photos to Facebook, the blog, and Flickr? Uh ... I ... um ... what are foe-toes?

Saturday I set up a photography area in my studio. This is not the first time I've set up a dedicated photography area (nor the second). I know it's important. I know about diffused light, I know to minimize shadows ... even how to do it (to some degree), I know about full-spectrum light, and I know about the Rule of Thirds. But, when it comes down to it, in the limited amount of time I have to attend to business I'd really just rather be making beads.

Of course, to make more beads I occasionally need to buy new glass. If I want to attend to something called a "business plan", that means I need to occasionally sell something. I am very fortunate to have a couple of retail stores that carry my beads, but as anyone with any investing experience knows, it's good to diversify. So, putting some effort into building online sales is a good idea.

More regular sales = More sustainable purchasing power
More sustainable purchasing power = more potential growth.

Marketing = Good!

Okay. Excellent argument. Yet, why do I still avoid marketing - particularly the photography part of marketing? In the September 2010 issue of Art Jewelry magazine, Marlene Richey wrote her Business Savvy column about "Maker, Manager, Marketer: How to Budget Your Time." As a rule of thumb, she recommended spending 50% of your time making, 25% managing, and 25% marketing. That seemed like a sound ratio to me. My problem is that it seems like when I get to it, I spend way more time than that just with editing the photos, let alone the uploading, etc. I'm not talking about, what I would consider, extensive editing either - a little cropping, a little brightness and contrast adjustment, and save. Maybe I just need an attitude adjustment. Maybe it would go faster then?

All of that is a rather long and round-about introduction to my main point, which is to emphasize the impressiveness of getting my butt in the studio to take some pictures. The motivation was that these focals are a little different than what I have made in the past and was pretty proud of the results. I still need to tweak my setup because the image isn't close enough to get good detail. Nevertheless, I put this collage together so you could see the basic result. Now all I need to do is take some close-up photos, edit the photos, upload to Etsy, measure the bead dimensions, write up a compelling description with the measurements ... but I digress:

Fall Garden lampwork focal bead collage by Julie Bowen

What do you think?

1 comment:

  1. I know the feeling. I have a bin of beads to photograph, and it's starting to get pretty full. It's just so darn tedious to do.

    Your pictures do look very nice though :)