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Keeping it Fresh

Just as last year about this time I decided to change out my entire inventory, I'm trying to think of ways to keep Out & About Photography fresh in the new year. Changing the blog header is easy--changing the way I do business, not so much.

Working on my website is a good start. Jonathan helped me re-design it a bit, mostly just color changes, however, now I need to be more consistent about having what I'm currently selling on the site. I'm working on that. One thing we discovered is that there was a downloadable feature which made me freak out just a bit. Perhaps that's why I don't get much feedback--people were downloading what they liked? NO MORE! Turned off! When Jen gave Lisa some coasters using one of my photographs posted on facebook, I discovered first hand how easy it can be done. Precisely why I NEVER post pictures on this blog, facebook, or flickr that I think are good enough to sell. What you see is the documentary stuff, unlike what I actually sell. After nearly five years I have a slight, and I mean slight, notion of what folks might want. Wall art. I take no offense whatsoever when they decide to buy something from me that will look "nice" over their couch. Bring it on!!!

So, there's still work to be done on the site which I'll work on more thoroughly after Jonathan and Alissa depart tomorrow. Actually, they are tailgating as I type. Dan drove over from Boca Raton and Mike came down from Tallahassee to cheer on the Seminoles together. They all met while attending FSU nearly nine years ago. My how time flies and all that. Bruce is working from home, while I did laundry.

Yesterday we made a second trip to Florida Mall. Remember how packed I said it was? Here's what it looked like in the food court area:
Crazy huh? The economy is bad? These folks don't know that. Alissa needed to exchange a purse she bought as well as get a new phone. The sad news is that during their fun outing to Universal, her phone was drenched from one of the rides. Even after an overnight stay in a bed of rice the water ruined the insides of her former phone. As I type we are waiting on the FedEx truck to deliver her new white iPhone. Please hurry up!

Afterwards we drove down to the Church Street Exchange building to take a look at the space Dana wants me to occupy for a gallery. Still pondering that.
Walking just across the street I wanted to show Jonathan our new arena which is pretty spectacular. During construction I frequently sent him photos of the work in progress. In case you're wondering, Jonathan is a sports nut--loves them all. The Orlando Magic  began playing in 1989, the year Jonathan was 6. My goodness that's hard to imagine. Bruce and I, courtesy of his then employer, went to the very first exhibition game against the Detroit Pistons, who I believe were the reigning NBA champs. David is convinced that my ticket stub could bring in some cash. No trip to the area would be complete without a look-see in the store.
The crowd shot above, as well as this one of Jonathan are two of my better attempts at phoneography.  He is holding a new hat which, of course, was on sale. That's my boy!

Because Angela had her arrival time wrong when she called for an airport pick up, we were just getting back into the car downtown. They decided to take a cab rather than wait for me to go home and change cars. This allowed us to head over for our final mission of the day--seeing the peacocks. The first street only one was in sight, puzzling me, but not for long. As we rounded the corner, it looked like the food court at Florida Mall. Gobs and gobs of peacocks! When we talked to a couple of little girls that were climbing a big tree in their front yard, they claimed there were 50 of them. I swear it looked like more!

Coming home I grabbed my Panasonic to try and get some Christmas lights, instead a FANTASTIC sunset began and I'm letting you in on it!
Superb! Plus, I knew it meant excellent weather for the game this evening. The old red sky at night.....

I fixed two dinners, one vegetarian, one not. That new grill pan is also superb--the pork chop I fixed for Jonathan was picture perfect! They went out to meet Mike and Dan following dinner, I, on the other hand, took out all the Christmas garbage for today's pick up, heading to bed soon thereafter. We're having our first little cold snap and those covers felt good!

Speaking of night shots, I may have mentioned Bruce went to Lake Eola with me while I set up the tripod for another attempt at the fountain, skyline, etc. Arriving before sunset is the key. The tripod is a must because some of the exposures were 40 seconds long. I'm feeling pretty happy with this:
Still not perfect but getting closer. Perhaps in the 2012 I can work harder on understanding how the camera works?

I showed you the little bundle of Liberty fabrics which did them no justice. These prints are so charming...
I'm not sure what form they'll take;  another project for the new year.

Finally, earlier today Bruce closed out the books for 2011. Down. The worst in the last few years. That said, if not for the rain out at Winter Park, more than likely that would not have been the case. I mourned at the time and I'm mourning a little again. That show accounted for 20% (I think that's right) in 2010. Sad. Don't feel bad for me though, I'm still doing good, just hoping I can do better in 2012! I'm open to suggestions..

Incredibly grateful,
Gail
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