There’s an old saying – all things must pass. And so it is with my WordPress blog.
I began this missive many years ago, as a means of promoting my photographic efforts. This blog was my first try at venturing into the wide world of the internet, and for some time, this blog was my sole on-line voice.
Not long after I started this blog, I signed on with an on-line stock photo agency. This agency had pioneered what became known as “micro- stock,” meaning one could license a contributor’s image for less than a dollar per. This would, so the agency’s creators claimed, open the doors to a massive new audience of people who needed images for anything from school projects to newsletters, and who’d been unable to afford the higher-priced product offered by the major stock agencies. And the low prices meant that a given contributor’s product would sell LOTS and LOTS, therefore adding up to real money in fairly short order.
I gave it a try, but it didn’t take long to realize that, in order to get ahead in the micro-stock game, one has to upload THOUSANDS of images and work steadily at doing so, constantly uploading more and more new images. What was advertised as a way for up-and-coming photographers to get a start, quickly became just another sort of full-time, low-paying job. And then the founders of the agency sold it to one of the major stock companies, promising its contributors that the agency would not change. Of course, it quickly did. So I bailed.
Next up, I signed on with a company that offered what was referred to as “Print on Demand.” All I needed to do was to upload a selection of my images onto a special page provided by this company. The company gave me a way to display my work, and I could set my prices for same, and they’d handle the printing of orders, and would even frame and matt them, and they’d do all the shipping and billing. All I had to do, it seemed, was to wait for the money to roll in. It seemed to be bullet-proof.
But, of course, it wasn’t that easy. I discovered that the company’s proprietary search engine was weighted to favor the contributors who who’d already started to move a fair amount pf product. No sales yet? You’d be lucky if your images appeared any earlier than the 12th or 13th page of search results. Obviously, this is a galactic catch-22. You can’t sell if you’re not seen and you won’t be seen unless you sell.
While spending some time on contributor forums, I discovered that many others were aware of this finagle, and were also not happy with the situation. So I bailed.
I took my offerings to other print-on-demand services. One, a service which some people I highly respected had recommended, started out well, but less than six months after I started, they without warning, eliminated sales of prints and turned into just another contributor-fed stock agency. I’d heard that song already, to I stepped on over to another print-on-demand service, which set me up with a nice website, one which allowed for a moderate level of customization.
As before, the company would handle the printing, framing, billing and shipping of my product, and I could specify how much profit they’d add to the bottom line. The search engine was better than was that first one I’d encountered, but not by much, and I was less than pleased with my ability to make my site look, feel and work the way I wanted. Still, this agency was the best one I’d come across, so I gave it a coupla years.
All the while, I soldiered on with this blog, which is sorta decent looking and easy to customize, but I’m not allowed to directly sell anything here, so it hasn’t been all I’ve needed.
At long last, after wading through all those other approaches, I determined that the best way to meet my goals was to take the bull by the horns and do everything myself. I began by purchasing a very nice and fairly expensive wide-format inkjet printer, and a modest stock of premium quality paper, so that I can produce my own prints. I added a postal scale and opened an account with Uncle Sam’s Pack Mule Service.
After some considerable research, I came across a firm which specializes in on-line commerce – or ecommerce, as they prefer to call it. You’ve likely seen many websites on-line that are a part of this particular system. They gave me a basic website design, which I could alter to my heart’s content, and they notify me when orders come in, plus they handle collecting payment and sending same to me. Next thing I did was to visit Danica Patrick’s sponsor and get myself a distinct website address.
And so, just like that, JaiGieEse PhotoArt was born.
In case you’re wondering about that company name, it goes like this. I’d operated a free-lance graphics design business many years ago, and I began with I name I’d thought to be kinda snappy. – GraF/X Design – but one night, I decided to Google that name so as to see whether I was making a splash. What I found was dozens of hits – on other businesses. Seems lots of other folks had the same or similar idea as had I.
So I changed the business name to – jondesign. Seemed to be unique, but after a while, I discovered a few other businesses using the same or similar names. Among them was a fellow who apparently writes some kind of software, and I quickly discovered that he’d locked up all possible permutations of “jondesign,” so far as website addresses are concerned.
It was time for try number three at finding a name for my business. Did quite a lot of head-scratching and after a false start or three, I settled on “JaiGieEse Imagery/Design.” That one has yet to yet to be copied. Time passed, and I elected to de-emphasize graphics design work and concentrate on my photography – so “Imagery/Design” became “PhotoArt.”
Now, the first part of my logo is a sort of phonetic play on my initials. You pronounce my company name as if you were just saying my initials – to wit, “JGS PhotoArt.”)
So. Had me a way to manufacture a product and a sure-fire company name and a decent website host and I was in business, I began with a very basic – read “free” – website theme, and it’s been fine – for a starting point.
But I decided I need to put forth a business image that will more effectively display my work, be easier to navigate and so on. So I’ve reached into the shallow depths of my wallet and plucked from therein the monies needed to purchase a professionally designed theme. I’ve spent the last coupla months customizing same and now, the new and a lot nicer JaiGieEse PhotoArt Shop is on-line and open for business.
Thing is, the new site design incorporates a blog right into the main page, and therefore, I no longer have need to spend time maintaining this separate blog site. And so, this blog page will cease to exist in the near future – like, probably not more than a month from now, so’s I don’t leave anyone wondering where the hell I’ve gone.
Whatcha do now is click on over to JaiGieEse PhotoArt and explore the all-new shop. You’ll find the new blog down there near the bottom of the home page,
My thanks to all those who’ve stopped by this blog over the years, and to WordPress for allowing me to put this thing on-line.
Happy Trails!! See ya at JaiGieEse PhotoArt.