Online Marketplaces.

One downside to going with template website hosting  companies is sometimes the marketplace in their templates are less than pleasing, and you pay more for the package that allows you to build that marketplace.

I fell into that pit.  I’m not ashamed to admit this mistake.  After I sold my first print in that market I found a few hidden fee’s.  Leaving me with little profit on my sale, despite my “high” prices for that market.

After some research I found a few better marketplaces that I could host outside my web site that took less from my profits.  One was specialized just for photographers, and though it looked promising it only paid out twice a month.  A discomforting fact for me, I enjoy getting the money as the purchases are made, rather than waiting for one of two days to collect in the month.  It makes covering upcoming costs far easier.

The solution came to me by chance.  I was browsing my facebook newsfeed when Blissful Beads – Handmade Jewelry posted a link to her new online store.  I took a look around and talked to her about their services.  I found myself completely pleased with the lack of fee’s, no hidden fee’s easy to use tools for me and easy design / interface for the shopper.

This new marketplace allows me to lower my prices by more than half!  A color 12″x12″ print from my old market would have cost the shopper $51, but in the new market you can pick up a 12″x12″ print (color) for $23 ($35 after shipping), a savings of $28.00.

I’m pretty pleased with the Copious marketplace and its familiar play off yardsellr, a marketplace I used to sell personal items from my home a year back to cover medical bills, a useful tool.

The marketplace I found specific for photographers had a great pricing tool that took a few moments to set up but would save you a lot of time in the future.  Visit Instaproofs and see if it’s for you.  It has a lot of great features for a photographers market if the payment plan doesn’t deter you.

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Google books

As a self taught photographer I read a lot. About photography, business, entrepreneur successes and downfalls.  I research social and marketing trends all in the same day I fullfill my office duties, graphic design jobs, schedule clients and sell my services though lately I’ve had less time for in person sales which are drastically important.  On top of this and other daily routine duties I try and find time to take fine art pictures process and post them at least once a week given the weather permits.

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iBooks has been a great help in my ability to get my reading done without carrying an office with me, newsstand offered a great change in pace for me to keep up with my tech subscriptions.  I also enjoy exploring the free book sections on the app store, sometimes I actually find old favorites or something new and possibly useful to my ventures.  Depicted above in screenshots are some of my classic favorite tales including one book I’m reading that helped with my in person sales and general business socialization.

Recently I aquirred an HP touchpad tablet, for the nerds out there I’m sure you know that

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this was discontinued a mere six weeks after its release in 2010.  If you’re a true nerd you know this doesnt make it useless but a great steal.  Mine is a 32g model that I got for free off a less tech savvy individual. They were bored of WebOS and its long outdated app market; what they failed to realize was the Droid hacks available for WebOS.  Having failed to realize the potential of their item they gave it away thinking it had no monetary value.

After hacking my tablet I was introduced to Play Books the online book market for Google powered phones and tablets.  Previously and still the tablet had / has the kindle app, but when I’m poor I search options.

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There wasn’t much for business in the free section of play books but there were some of my favorites not in the other markets as well as some classics I’ve yet to read.  Why pay Barnes and noble seven dollars for their reprints of classics when I get them free online?  A harmless crime as the authors are all dead now, no royalties to miss out on.

I enjoy the larger screen for reading vs my iPhone, however the free samples you get from play books of books you have to pay for are weak. iBooks offers you a better free sample of a book.

Overall due to newsstand being able to hold my subscriptions my iPhone remains lead in business reading for me but hopefully Droid catches up as I do enjoy the larger screen.  If they fail it wont be skin off my back as I still plan on getting an iPad.

*Post made on HP Tablet*

Updating the Equipment.

When I sat down in the office today I dove right into research after reading and working out my reply to a very talented graphic / web designer that I want to hire for my next website. If you’re looking for a complete overhaul for your site, I suggest clicking the above link and exploring your options.

After my reply was sent off I was off on a thinking frenzy about glass. I am dissatisfied with my camera bag, it’s long overdue for an update. Perhaps it’s the to-do list waiting for me, or the crazy sunshine getting to my head but I dove right into research.

*Photo stock from google. Not MSP property.*

The camera I’m aiming for is amazing and far out of my price range right now; I have a few options picked out in the Canon Mark series.

Though most the glass I have in mind ranges close to the price of a new camera, the thought occurred to me that I don’t have any pieces that would do a new camera justice.

Another perk to updating your glass before your camera is the new life it will breathe into your photo’s, possibly delaying your need / desire for a new body all together. Allowing you time to save for an even better model!

*Photo borrowed from Lensbaby. EDGE 80 optic.*

I noticed Lensbaby had some new optics out so I started here for their cost friendly solutions. The one that caught my eye first in an advertisement… (in my e-mail… this is how it all started, now it comes to me) was the EDGE 80 optic.

Now for my research which includes a Pinterest board that will be ever expanding, I specified portrait glass. I have a great versatile lens that is good for landscapes but the bread and butter comes from portraits. The advantage to lenses for portraits is they usually aid to great artistic works when used outside the “intended” field. My prime lens (50mm) is my best friend. Someday I would love to upgrade it to a fancier model as I currently own the modest version.

I’m on a real prime kick lately despite my next purchase being a Zoom. The prime I have right now is serving me well, also it’s upgraded model is a third the cost of a new body. The zoom lens that would be greatly beneficial to me is much cheaper despite it’s versatility.

*Photo stock from google.*

I’m excited to get my tax returns so I can start on my new glass venture. I’m going to be listing a lens for sale, and possibly a canon up-close filter. The piece I’ll be letting go is my telephoto 58mm, EF 55-250mm. Great condition.

I hope my board was of use to some of you. Good luck on your own equipment updates and your plans in funding them. I suggest doing research specified towards your fields of interest in photography. What do you shoot the most? I bought for what I wanted to shoot and less for what I could shoot… it’s left me with a lot of thing’s I have no real need for and will be letting to go make room for great new toys!