Thursday, April 25, 2013

Etsy Shop

Well I've made some decisions about the Etsy shop.... no more dinking around in there and making my prices so low in the hopes that I will make the sales. It may sound a bit silly, but I have actually been losing money on the shop ever since I started it (if you factor in my time, which I haven't been). Between listing fees, the cost of getting prints done, the "bonus" card I include as my freebie, I essentially come out a few pennies ahead.... add in the time I spend editing photos, listing, promoting, etc etc and I am massively in the black. I knew it would be going in, but I had gambled on getting people interested in the shop and making slow price adjustments from there. No such luck. In fact, most of my sales have come from when I offer a BOGO deal or a nice percentage off from my already embarassingly low pricing. Some people just want a "great deal" but don't bother to look at the costs involved in these things.... and I am tired of catering to that kind of mentality....

Sigh. Lots of people "favoriting" my items, but not the kind of sales I had originally hoped for.

So here's what changed. I spent a few hours this morning bringing my prices up. So what if it loses me a sale or two, I'd rather have sales that are worth my time and money than trying to get some sales in.

No more BOGO deals.... they just aren't worth it. I have multiple print listings that offer a price break, but no more giving away free prints as an enticement.

I also need to spend some time once my laptop comes back today or tomorrow (lets hope its working as the graphics card may be!!!!! Thankfully, the guy I have looking at it says it will be no problem to transfer all of my files onto my external drive, so at least I won't lose all my photography) But I digress... regardless of the state of the laptop, there are some pictures that will no longer be available in the shop.... though I will probably put a few of them on this site because I really am proud of my work, even if it hasn't sold.

As it stands, I have 101 current listings in the shop, which really is too many. Not many people are going to want to scroll though all of that, and I have new items that I would rather list. So stock will be rotated... and some of it will not be made available again because it just isn't worth it for this forum. After the move I will look at the options of craft fairs/markets, etc for my Bluecreek Creations line (which will be going into full gear after the move)... maybe I will sell photography there as well, I don't know. Regardless, I need to find a way to highlight the best of the best and, if it doesn't sell or bring interest (even if I love it) then its off the market.

I can always re-evaluate in six months time and see if I even want to continue with the photography on Etsy.... at this moment, I think the photography shop is on its way out in order to make room for my focus on the crafting side, which is my real love anyway.

So what do YOU guys think about that? A bit much? A seemingly good plan? Let me know......

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Freedom Festival Parade 2012

I hadn't posted this earlier because its a bit negative in tone, but decided I really didn't want to sugar coat my experiences of the day, so I have left it as it was....

Fourth of July.... early a.m.

The DJ down the street was asking people to dance the Funky Chicken in the street, and would toss shout-outs to the group of marathon runners as they streamed past. We were stationed at the head of the parade route, watching a street juggler performing off to one side of us, but the kid was so nervous that he kept dropping things and having to run after them.  Kids were running in the street, tossing a football back and forth to help keep boredom at bay.

After the balloons had soared away we had made our way to the parade route to secure a spot... a spot that, at first, had us at the front of the line.  As the pre-parade started, I began snapping pictures of the various characters as they went by. After a few minutes of this, a late-coming family decided to set up their blankets behind us and then demanded that we sit down as we were blocking their view.  Pretty rude, I thought, as we complied, sitting down on the bare pavement. After all, we'd been there for over an hour already and I made sure to set ourselves up in an area where no one else was sitting. Well that lasted about fifteen minutes and then I had to stand up and move behind the family (who happily took our spots) as my back began hurting. Bare pavement for your seat and a bad back certainly do not go together, besides, I was tired of the mother's bad attitude and on-going muttered comments that the front line should be saved for little children, not full-grown adults.

We stood there through all of the pre-parade, and for part of the official parade before another family showed up with big chairs, shoving us further back, as they were joining a group who had already parked themselves off to our left. I admit that I hadn't had much sleep the night before so I was getting pretty irritated by this time.   These late arrivals settled in with no regard as to leaving space for anyone else. The teenagers that had saved their spot were even more annoying as they were loud and obnoxious, yelling comments at anything and everything that passed, be it part of the parade or someone walking along the route, looking for a place to sit; several of those comments were a bit crude and definitely not very kind.

We stuck it out for another fifteen minutes or so before we decided we'd watched enough (sadly, the pre-parade was far more interesting than the parade actual)..... but I admit we also left partially because my back was really not happy, and where we were crammed to by that point left us with no wiggle room for me to move around, but mainly because I couldn't stand another minute of the rudeness around me without snapping at someone (as I said, I really had no sleep the night before, so by this point I was very tired and cranky). I do, however, believe that people should be polite and respectful to one another, and we certainly weren't seeing that on this day.

So I packed up my camera and we wove our way around people, blankets, coolers and the like, crossed between parade floats and walked back to the car.

I did wind up with a few good shots from the parade though...

The "Sons of Helaman" Road Warriors.... I got a big kick out of their patch....
If the Beloved got his way he'd paint his car like this...

Everyone loves the Chic-Fil-A cow!

"Defying Gravity".... these boys were on a big trampoline being pulled down the street and were bouncing so high that they were able to touch the street lights

Navajo dancers....

The force was certainly with this guy

Detail on an old military Jeep

Showing off some wicked high kicks.... I am sure she must have been exhausted by the end of the parade.

Ready for her close-up....

These two guys were amazing....I just wish I could have gotten a shot without the horse butting in!

I fell in love with this puppet....

Just look at that craggy old face!

Boys of the Revolution

What are you looking at?

Candids from the Color Festival 2013

For those interested in what the Festival of Colors is, its an Indian celebration of Holi, which celebrates the transition of winter to spring, and apparently the Sri Sri Radha Krishna Temple in Spanish Fork holds the largest celebration in the Western Hemisphere every year. Attendees can buy bags of colored talcum powder which are thrown in the air every two hours, covering everyone in the powder's bright colors.

Here's a video of the celebration from 2011 if anyone is further interested:

My favorite teenager and her friends attended this year's festival held last weekend. I had no idea what this thing was, or that it was even going on, but I happened to have my camera with me when Kat and her friends arrived home after the festivities, which began an impromptu photo shoot.