Sunday, May 9

A NEW Place for EVERYTHING Hoof Pix®!

This will be my last blog post using Blogger. I redesigned my website using Word Press so from this point on go here to find Everything Hoof Pix®.

Friday, April 23

So… You want to be a Professional Equine Photographer? Got TIME?

       I’ve lost count of the number of times I have been asked about my profession over the years, mostly by teenage girls who ride or just have a passion for horses and like taking pictures. It does seem like a perfect occupation doesn’t it?… being immersed in the horse world, taking beautiful pictures, traveling, and getting paid for it!!

     Sorry if I'm about to burst some bubbles... but it’s TIME to set the record straight….
       Yes, photographing horses in/out of competition is fun for the above reasons and many more. However, to be a successful equine photographer as with any business, the element of TIME plays a major factor.
       TIME  spent away from home photographing events (at which I’d much rather be competing);  TIME spent sitting in front of a computer organizing, culling, naming, processing thousands (not exaggerating here) of images and (hopefully) filling orders;  TIME spent bookkeeping (this IS a business you know); TIME spent coming up with new marketing ideas to stay a few steps ahead of the competition (which thanks to the digital age, has become fierce); TIME (if you have any left) trying to stay current with the technology;  
Last but certainly not least…
     .... way too much TIME spent dealing with a growing number of customers** who are either unaware of Copyright Laws or ignore them, and have no respect for me, my images and all of the TIME I have put into taking their pictures, by illegally copying them from my website and using them without permission, in most cases, without photo credit, on the web (primarily Facebook and other social networking sites).  
     (note to any English teachers reading this… I am aware that the above paragraph is a run-on sentence, but having to even address this threat to my business overrides my obsessiveness for good grammar.)
      Yesterday I discovered yet another Facebook “Page” for eventers… “Area 1 Eventers” and thought I would become a fan because I am also a competitor in Area 1. So I joined. Then of course, had to take a peek at the photos posted there by other fans.  No surprise … my images and those of several other professional photographers, fill the album. We can tell the ones illegally copied because they still have our watermarks running across the images… things like “this image reproduced without permission” …  H-E-L-L-O!  seems pretty clear to me. 
       I spent 3 HOURS scouring that one Facebook photo album for stolen images... TIME for which I do not get a single penny.
       A huge misconception with this business is that we price our merchandise based on what it costs us for the materials. How many times have I heard “$10 for a 4x6?!?  I can get one at Wal-Mart for 39 cents!”  What these people don’t realize is what they are really paying for is our TIME.  
       As a result of this hit on our bottom-lines, myself and several pro photogs in the northeast have joined forces to police ciber-space for stolen images.  As to what we do about it is still experimental.  Some write letters, including an invoice demanding payment, some send out a warning and refuse to post future images until the stolen ones are removed. What I find to be very annoying sad, is that the response from some of the perpetrators (or their parents) has been nasty.  “I WAS going to purchase a print (4x6), but now I will no longer do business with you”.  Well, I’m not getting any money from you anyway, so what’s the difference?
         Now do you still want to be a Professional Equine Photographer?  If you have the photographic and digital skills (there is a difference), knowledge of the horse world, desire, work ethic, fortitude, not to mention TIME, but most importantly  are independently wealthy... be my guest.

      ** I am being very general here and do not intend to label all of my customers as thieves.  On the contrary, I have a wonderful base of loyal customers who have purchased their photos from me for years and never (to my knowledge) use them without contacting me first for which I am a truly grateful!

Wednesday, April 7

End of the Season or Beginning of the Season-SALE!

     Call it what you want, but for Hoof Pix®, the new shooting season is about to begin (with UNH horse trials) and that means time to clean house ...  the virtual house that is.
       I wish I could keep proofs of all past years on the website, but I have to pay for storage space. Thus, I will be taking down the 2008 proofs just before shooting UNH, April 30.  Even though the 2008 proofs will not be viewable on-line, they (and all past years) are archived and can be ordered from me directly, just call or send an e-mail / Facebook message.
       Place an order for prints etc. from my website for $60 or more (not including ME sales tax), use the PROMO CODE "sale-2010" at checkout and get 20% deducted from your order.  It doesn't matter which year, either 2008 or 2009 or both, mix & match, just keep in mind that the sale ends Apr. 30!  Oh yes... and SHIPPING IS FREE!

 "WHAT A DEAL" says Yin!!!!
She is LEAPING and DANCING for JOY!!!
       "This is the puuurrrr-fect opportunity to get those prints / digital files you've been wanting all year!"