Thursday, November 5, 2009

Finding My Photography a Home

Well, it's not even really photography. I mean, some of it is--I have a whole set of the alphabet created from photographs of cemetery headstones that I'm working on this week--but most of my printwork consists of handwork pieces scanned at super-high resolution and cropped and color-corrected in my usual photography workflow.

What do you call that? Mixed media? Still life? No idea.

Anyway, with my vintage buttons alphabet I've had several download options available on my pumpkinbear etsy shop for a while now, but for a while now I've also been looking for some good print-on-demand options. My printer has good color and tone, and I'm reasonably happy about using it to print stuff for myself, and especially using it hard to print on freezer paper and fabric and whatever (knowing that if I do eventually break it from making it print on something weird, I'll get to buy myself a new one, yay), but I'm not confident enough in the durability or stability of its work to print so much as a greeting card for a friend with it, much less an art print or something to sell. At two different craft fairs this year, the same woman wanted to buy some prints I'd made for the girls and just had on display, and I was all, ""

I also don't particularly desire, anyway, to make or buy prints of my work and then sell them--my overall goals in life as well as crafting are to sell stuff and get rid of stuff, not buy stuff and then keep it on hand hoping to sell it later on.

So, yeah. Print-on-demand.

I decided (finally) to try out ImageKind, because I lurve their main company, CafePress--it's another overall goal of mine to someday woo my overworked graphic designer husband into putting some of his cooler free-time sketches on CafePress, but strangely enough, he balks at being stretched too thin.

After much futzing and fiddling, I got a profile (I'm Pumpkinbear there, of course), and a gallery of my vintage button alphabet:

I mostly imagine it being used for its high-quality printing process on greeting cards and notecards and postcards, but I have to admit that it is pretty fun to play around with all the high-priced matting and framing possibilities, and then get a preview of the fanciness that can be had for just a couple hundred dollars:

High-falutin', huh? And I'm quite happy to have this checked off of my to-do list, because now that I have a place to put them, I get to start on some other pieces that I've been wanting to start on...

Don't you love how completion of a to-do list leads to another to-do list?


melanie said...

Hi, Julie!

I think you take marvelous pictures! And while I know a lot of that has to do with the photographer and not the camera - a good camera is a good start! What camera do you use? Thanks!


julie said...

No, a good camera is super-important, too! I mean, not like a crazy-good camera, but a camera at least designed for serious amateurs.

I use an old school Canon Digital Rebel. There have been several more recent versions of the Rebel, but I think the original rocks--the only thing I've ever wished I could upgrade is the maximum film speed, which goes up to 1600 on the original Rebel (but 3200 is the best). I use the out-of-the-box lens it came with, but last Christmas Matt bought me a telephoto lens that I don't use often, but I LOVE it when I do.

In my opinion, the two most important things in a good camera are shutter delay and SLR. You absolutely don't want any kind of shutter delay when you press the button to take your photo, even one of a fraction of a second, because that's all it takes for a kid to blink or someone to move and ruin your shot. It's the most frustrating thing. And if you want complete control over what's in your picture, you want an SLR, which means that when you look through your viewfinder, you're looking through your actual lens, not a little window above your lens.

I also couldn't work at all without a photo editing software program--I use Adobe Lightroom. It does the easy stuff like cropping and color correction, but if you want to get serious with a photo, it's got all the tools you need for that, too.

There. Rant over.

melanie said...

That was not a rant at all! It was some seriously good info. Thank you!