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.
We’ve just released our 2019 Day Planners and Wall calendars! There are four to choose from in each category – The Time of the Late Unpleasantness – the American Civil War, The Great Smoky Mountains, Caribbean Daydreams and Southernesque.
See them now in our on-line shop – JaiGieEse PhotoArt.
Each of these day planners and/or wall calendars contains original photo images – you won’t find these anywhere else. On each calendar page, you’ll find a brief blurb describing that month’s signature image. There’s also a space on each calendar page for notes, and in the back of each calendar / day planner, there’s a section for saving personal information, including emergency phone numbers, service provider phone numbers, family and friends phone numbers and your personal contact information.
Of course, all the images contained in our calendars and day planners are also available as custom prints, in a selection of several sizes and printed on a choice of five finishes from Red River papers. You’ll find all of them in one easy-to-access place – our Daybook and Calendars Images collection page.
Our selection of Note Cards and Christmas cards are very much still available. You can get information on JaiGieEse PhotoArt’s card collection on our Specialties page. See something you like? Order them HERE.
We’re adding new images and products all the time, so you might want to subscribe to our newsletter – the Mill Creek Monitor – by accessing the subscription link at the bottom right of each page in my on-line shop. Do that, and you’ll be among the first to know of new product additions.
After a month of searching through our image archives and carefully selecting a new batch of images to add to our on-line collection, adding descriptions and keywords where needed, and carefully uploading these new selections to our shop, the new collection is now available for viewing. You’ll find these fifty new images all over our shop’s home page – jaigieesephotoart.com – and you can also find them quickly by clicking on the “Fresh” button in the tool-bar at the top of every page. In assembling this collection, we chose 25 images from our older work, images we captured early on in our digital photographic odyssey and another 25 from our newest work – images captured with newer and more capable hardware.
/JaiGieEse PhotoArt now offers free shipping on nearly all of its products, including prints, note card sets and holiday card sets. However, there are two product lines that still require a shipping charge. These are our custom wall calendars and day books.
Most of our products are created in-house and shipped from our hilltop location on the edge of the Pearl River swamp, but our wall calendars and day books are produced by and shipped by outside printers. In this case, only, the printer will require a small fee for shipping of the product.
Calendars, Day Planners, Note Cards and Christmas Cards Still Available.
Don’t forget to have a look at our selection of custom note cards – four different sets. Our Christmas card sets are still available, as well, and will be all year long, as they are not dated. For a limited time, you can still get yourself a copy of our 2018 wall calendars and day-books. Of course, we’ll release the new 2019 editions later in the year.
You’ll wanna begin with our brand new 2018 Southernesque Wall Calendar. This attractive calendar is a truly unique way to keep up with your day-to-day business. The 2018 Southernesque Wall Calendar features signature images for each month, images you won’t find anywhere else, plus a monthly calendar page for making daily notations, a dedicated “Notes” section on the right side of each page, and on every page, you’ll find a brief blurb describing that month’s signature image. AND, it’s only $10.00. To order the Southernesque Wall Calendar, click on over to http://www.magcloud.com/browse/issue/1361472?__r=342175.
Y’say you need something to keep with you, a day planner, of sorts? Well, we’ve TWO daybooks to choose from. There’s the 2018 Southernesque Daybook – the companion piece to the Southernesque Wall Calendar. In this daybook, you’ll find still more unique images and plenty of space in which to keep track of your daily business, your family schedule, and more. Order this daybook for just $14.99 at http://www.blurb.com/b/8245326-2018-southernesque-daybook.
Want a different look? Try our 2018 Caribbean Daydreams Daybook! Take yourself on a lazy journey aboard a cruise liner and discover the pleasures of a care-free world of color and enjoyment. Dig your bare feet into the warm sands of a beach on a tropical isle. Stroll down a street lined with festively-colored shops, each brimming with exotic goods. Relax under an umbrella fashioned from palm fronds near a sea-side cabana. Stretch out on a chaise lounge alongside a top-deck ship’s pool. Savor the moment as a sunset turns the sea to stunning, sparkling gold. Enjoy a lingering excursion on a slow boat down a tropical river, winding through a dense rain forest. All these are the stuff of Caribbean Daydreams.
This 2018 Caribbean Daydreams Daybook can be yours for just $14.99. Order at http://www.blurb.com/b/8246849-2018-caribbean-daydreams-daybook
One more thing. The holidays will soon be here. Get ahead of the curve by looking at JaiGieEse PhotoArt’s just-released custom Christmas cards! There are eight cards in all, four landscape (horizontal) and four portrait (vertical). These cards come in boxes of eight, with envelopes. Our standard configuration is two cards of each design for a total of eight, but if you wanna mix and match, just let us know. When you order, you’ll find a notes box on your shopping cart page. Just include your specifications there, and we’ll have your cards on the way soonest. AND, if you want a custom card, featuring an image of your choice – say, a family picture – just place your order, leave your instructions in that box we just mentioned, and then email us – firstname.lastname@example.org – a good, clean high-resolution image, and we’ll take care of the rest.
We’ll also print a custom message on the inside of these Christmas cards at no extra charge. Boxes of eight cards, with envelopes, are $16.00. Order’em at https://jaigieesephotoart.com/collections/note-cards/products/christmas-card-sets.
Don’t forget our other note cards sets – Southernesque, Of Nature, Caribbean Daydreams & Great Smoky Mountains. Boxes of 10 are $20.00. See’em at https://jaigieesephotoart.com/collections/note-cards.
That’s all for now, folks. Of course, we will remind you that all of these daybooks and calendars will make very nice, inexpensive Christmas gifts. You can order’em online and avoid the crowds. And that’s a hint, y’know?
JaiGieEse PhotoArt has launched a brand new product line. Specifically, 5”x7” note cards, horizontal or vertical format, with envelopes. They’re all-occasion – blank inside.
Printed inside messages add $2.00 to an order of ten cards and $4.00 to order of twenty. When you get to the check-out page, you’ll see a button which will open a note form. Enter your printed message there.
Standard configurations are: set of five images, two each, ten cards total, or five images, four each, twenty cards total. Each card set includes a sub-set of five images in landscape (horizontal) format or five images in portrait (vertical) format.
Cost is $20 for ten cards, w/envelopes or $40 for twenty cards, w/envelopes. If you do a bit of research, you’ll find that this a very good price for a set of truly unique note cards.
We’ve put together four sets – Great Smoky Mountains, Caribbean Daydreams, Southernesque and Of Nature.
But, hey, if you have an itch to build a set of your own making – go right ahead. Browse our portfolio and pick out your own images. Keep in mind the basic package set-ups – five landscape images, two each for a set of ten cards, w/envelopes, or four each for a set of twenty cards, also w/envelopes. Same set-up for portrait images.
Now, you can stick with those basic packages, substituting your own choice of images. OR, you can pick one image and order ten or twenty cards, all with that one image. Pick two images and order a set of five and five or a set of ten and ten. Or build a set of ten of one image and five each of two others. Or ten images, two each, for twenty cards.
Use your imagination. Build a mixed set of landscape and portrait cards. When you’re ready to order, go to our collections page, click on. “Note Cards,” select the set you want, choose your format, specify with or without printed message, and quantity, and then proceed to the checkout page. Access the button – the same button for adding messages to be printed – which will open a note form. Add there your image choices and set configurations.
Given enough demand, we’ll be adding new card sets from time to time, and if there’s demand enough, we’ll add note cards in other sizes. And, y’know, should we come up with other new specialty product ideas, you find those at https://jaigieesephotoart.com/pages/specialties. Y’might consider subscribing to our newsletter – sign up form at the bottom of each page. That way, you be among the first to know of new product offerings.
To order, go to jaigieesephotoart.com and click on “Collections” in the page-top tool bar, select “Note Cards” from the drop-down list and choose your set.
And have I mentioned that these custom-ptinted and very unique note card sets will make excellent gifts?
Yep. Made me a sale! TWO sales, in fact. It seems that my online store is officially “doin’ bidness,” as they say down here in Deep Dixie. One customer – in Oklahoma – bought a print (McPhearson’s Pier) and a second customer – in Florida – bought four prints (Control Panel in Red and Orange, Cotton Gin Vent, Rusted and Broken and Jellies on Blue).
Both customers appear to be pleased with their purchases, and I am most gratified to have enjoyed a small degree of success, after several years of trying to develop an online business. At long last, I’ve been able to work my system all the way through, and it appears to function as designed. That’s a bonafide load off my mind.
I’ll soon be prepping some new images, collected during a recent journey to Charleston, SC, and you’ll be seeing those at https://jaigieesephotoart.com, along with a few others from my collection. Thing is, once you’ve dipped yer toe into the water and finding the temp of same to be just right, you find yourself in the grips of a craving for MORE! so whatcha need to so is step on over to the JaiGieEse PhotoArt online store and havalook around. You’ll find many images of all different sorts, and you can get any and all of them for your own – as a custom fine-art print – starting at $14 per. Should you need a nifty image for a project or design, just click on any image whose title includes the suffix “LIC,” and you can grab a royalty-free license for same.
Don’t forget that JaiGieEse PhotoArt now offers image restoration – to those who have a cherished heirloom or keepsake photo that needs a little help.
Now’s your chance!! You can become my third customer! It’s just a click away, y’know?
Gotta keep pushing the boundaries, methinks. Gotta stretch out, to reach for the stars. And so, I’ve added something new to my online shop. Or, perhaps more precisely, I’ve decided to add another of my talents to the mix. And that would be – image restoration. I begin with a question. To wit: Have you a precious image, a faded or discolored photo of a loved one? Perhaps an image from your childhood or a photo of an ancestor? Those images may seem beyond saving, but there may be hope. I just might be able to renew that time-worn image.
I do so by employing state-of-the art software and restoration techniques to bring your treasures back to life.
Give me the opportunity, and I’ll repair your torn and cracked photos, brighten them up and restore their lost vitality. Plus, I can even colorize a black-and-white photo to create a true-to-life image of a loved one or friend. Things that were once thought to be lost may again be given new life.
I achieve this by working from a high-resolution scan which give me a high-quality and easily repaired digital file. In this manner, I never alter your originals. If I take on your project, I will, upon completion of the work, send a proof for your approval. Once you’re satisfied, I’ll make a high-quality print – same size as your original. I’ll also provide you with a CD containing your restored image – and if you wish – I’ll create a larger or smaller print or a combination of different sizes, on premium media from Red River Papers.
Restoration costs vary with the amount of work required and the cost of additional prints vary with size. If you wish, you may have the image scanned yourself, or if you’ll ship me your original, I’ll scan it for you.
These new services are available – right now – at https://jaigieesephotoart.com.
Click HERE for submission instructions and pricing information.
Well, now, you’re all aware, no doubt, that I’ve not been too happy with the state of the on-line business I started up a few years ago. And so, you’ll probably not be surprised by my latest move. Which is to say, I’ve erased the board, wiped it clean. Not long ago, I began to study the underpinnings of what was, until a coupla weeks ago, my on-line presence. Which led me to the inescapable conclusion that a very serious reworking was called for. So. I took a deep breath, several of them, in fact, and then I jumped right into the proverbial deep end. But before I go into any further detail, perhaps I ought to let y’all in on just why why this latest effort became necessary.
I began, well, right here, with this WordPress blog, several years ago, hoping that this bit of on-line frivolity might lead some folks to hire me for graphics design work or to purchase prints of my photographic endeavors. But I had to tread lightly, as this is a free blog, and WordPress requests that I not to get too overt in my efforts to generate revenue.
That led me to sign up with a coupla print-on-demand websites. Seemed like a no-brainer at the time. These folks would allow me to upload high resolution jpegs of my images, and they’d give me a page on which to display same. I’d set my profit levels, and they’d handle printing, packaging and shipping of my product, and payments for same. All I had to do was to provide the images and then sit back and watch as the orders rolled in. Trouble is, they didn’t, those orders. After a lengthy time passed with no sales, I conducted a bit of research, which led me to an uncomfortable truth. Seems these outfits, the both of them, each use their own proprietary search engines. And those engines are weighted to favor contributing artists who’ve sold a fair amount of product. It was, in fact, a galactic Catch 22. You can’t sell unless your products are seen by prospective buyers, and you won’t be seen unless you sell.
Short of buying several dozen of my own image prints, or convincing my family ands friends to do so, in order to raise my level of sales enough for those search engines to notice me, I wasn’t gonna see any appreciable success with these folks. And that reality prompted me to move my effort to another website host, one with some similar features, but with at least one very significant difference. As before, I’d need to upload high-resolution jpegs of my imagery, and again, this company would handle printing, payment, packaging and shipping. But in this case, there was no in-house search engine. My website, my on-line shop, was set up so as to be independent. It was designed to use the standard on-line search engines – Google, Bing, et al. There were some improvements with this new site, but also some drawbacks. Promotion was left up to me. I’d set a profit level, as before, to which they’d add a fee. The cost of mounting – matting and framing of images – all went to the company. This had the tendency for my imagery to be a deal more expensive than I’d prefer. And they offered templates which I’d have to use to build my site, and there was only a limited ability for customization. I wasn’t allowed access to the HTML coding for the site, so I was unable to tweak it as I would’ve liked,
So, I set off again to find a better way to do business. My journey led me to a company called Shopify. Here, again, I was provided with a set of templates, but this time, I’ve full access to the coding for same, so I’m able to tweak the site, add features and so on. But the best part is that I can produce my own product. Those other web hosts? They required me to pick from a handful of pro labs, who’d print my work – which is why I had to upload high-res images. With Shopify, I can print my own work, which means I only have to upload low-resolution, watermarked images for display. Besides saving me a tremendous amount of time – and internet bandwidth – this has allowed me to significantly lower my prices without affecting the quality of my product. Bought a nice new high-end inkjet printer for that purpose. I have to handle my own packaging and shipping, but I’ve found some very good ways to do this last bit at low cost and with little effort. The other business needs? Payments, and so on? Shopify has provided me with an excellent and effortless means of dealing with payments. And on top of that, I’ve been able to establish sales channels with Pinterest and Facebook, so in addition to my primary website, you can view my offerings and purchase them from either of these two places.
So here we go …. again. You’ll find my new on-line shop at the same address as before – http://www.jaigieesephotoart – and to get to the other places, on Facebook, look for my business page – Fragments of a Fractured Mind – https://www.facebook.com/JaiGieEsePhotoArt/?fref=ts – and on Pinterest – look for my business account – https://www.pinterest.com/jaigieese/.
Oh, and for those of you who’ve been on my mailing list – I’ve started up a newsletter. It’s called the Mill Creek Monitor, and if you were on the mailing list, you’ve already received the first issue of the Monitor. If you weren’t already on the list, you can subscribe – for free – on my primary shop. Look down near the lower right corner of each page for a place to enter your email address and subscribe to the Mill Creek Monitor.
Hope you’ll have a look at these new efforts. Hope you’ll like whatcha see – mebbe ’nuff to actually BUY something, y’know?
Sometimes you have to let go of an idea. One thought I’ve clung to for some years now is that I could attract a audience – a BUYING audience – in my beloved home town – Columbia, MS. Hoping to bring this idea to fruition, I exhibited at a very fine local gallery for two years, or thereabouts. During that time, I exhibited differing sets of prints from my collection of imagery. I sold exactly four prints – all at once – to a lady from a western state, who was in town to visit friends. This was almost a year ago. To the locals, I’ve sold – nothing.
So. Last August, I decided to try a new tack. I closed my gallery exhibit and then, in November, I began to show my work at another shop in Columbia. This new exhibit included a few of my prints and a calendar I’ve created, one featuring images from Columbia and Marion County. I’ve sold a few calendars, but not enough of them to cover my production costs. Prints? I’ve sold none. Not a one. That exhibit closed this week.
I dunno. Mebbe it’s my work. Perhaps I’m not communicating to good effect. But then, I DID sell a set of prints to the lady from out west. So, it could be that I’m just not communicating LOCALLY. Or mebbe the folks here in my hometown and county aren’t interested in purchasing quality art at professional prices. Not photographic art, at least.
So I’m thinking that it’s time to get my work in front of some new eyes. And actually, even THAT is not a new effort. I created a website a little over a year ago – http://www.jaigieesephotoart.com – in an attempt to extend my reach. Haven’t had any luck there, either. Yet.
Now, I am told that I am possessed of a stubborn streak. I do tend to vigorously defend myself if I feel I’ve been wronged, often to a fault. I’ll expend the same energies for other people and other causes if I feel that these are deserving of my support. And I do NOT like to give up, to yield what I see as a valid point. Or points. When I was a kid. my brother sometimes opined that I’d argue with a fence post. Which I will, mind you, IF I think the thing is worth the trouble.
So here we go again. About a month ago, I began to post low-resolution images from my portfolio to my own Facebook page and to a page I manage – “Fragments of a Fractured Mind” – and to, as of this writing, five different Facebook artist and photography groups. And I’m looking at a few other groups, as well. I’ll not list them here just now, but if you’re REALLY interested in where you may find these posts, well, then, drop me an email at email@example.com, and I’ll send you a list.
I’m posting, roughly, an image a day, and it seems to be getting somewhere. I have gathered a nice set of likes and comments and some little praise. One hopes that someone out there will be captivated enough by my work to actually BUY some of it. Will this work? We will see, won’t we?
The song plays on.
Some parts of this great nation are bracing for intense winter storms, some of these even now dumping loads of snow upon already ice-laden towns and cities, and other strong storms are set to make their appearance just as millions of people get on the road over the hill and through the woods to grandmas’s house. It’s Thanksgiving!
That also means that folks all over the country are about to embark on the annual Black Friday frenzy – massing into brick-and-mortar retailers and onto myriad websites in hopes of finding a great deal on goodies for one’s own self and for loved ones. We’re already seeing news reports of people camping out in front of “Big Box” retailers, hoping to get their expectant hands on dirt-cheap items, most marked “Supply Limited.”
Hey! There is, you know, a way to get a nice gift for anyone on your list, or perhaps that just-right something to brighten up your home or your office for the holidays without sleeping on a sidewalk or rasslin’ with sometimes unruly crowds -AND – there’s no worry about finding something you like, only to find that it’s out of stock. All one needs to do is click on over to JaiGieEse PhotoArt (See the link above on the right end of the toolbar) and once there, have a look at our selection of fine art photography. There’s a lot to see at JaiGieEse PhotoArt and we’re about to add even more to our collection. And we don’t have limited anything.
See something you like? Just click on the handy “Buy” buttons and you’ll find a selection of print sizes and papers – glossy, matte, metallic, canvas, and so on. You can buy the print and have it shipped to the destination of your choice and then frame and matte it yourself – OR – you can choose from a nice selection of mounting styles, mattes and frames, and have a ready-to-hang print on your doorstep soon. (You choose your shipping options.)
You can even use our on-line wizards to create custom greeting cards – your choice of style, image and message, nicely printed and shipped with envelopes.
And soon, we’ll begin to unveil a selection of photo books – very nice books, hard-bound and professionally printed books, the kind you’ll love to share with family and friends.
And, y’know, you can get all of this without having to camp out on a sidewalk in the cold, rain and snow! If you’re in the Columbia, MS, area, you can get yerself some instant gratification by stopping in at the Artwistic Revolution Gallery, on Second Street in downtown Columbia, to see a small selection of my work, as well as some fantastic offerings by other area artists.
Come on in to JaiGieEse PhotoArt!
And please do have a happy and blessed Thanksgiving and a very Merry Christmas, y’all!