Monthly Archives: November 2010
It all began by accident! I bought my first digital camera in 2004 purely to take product photos of the handmade cards and gifts that I was making and selling through my website, I had no intention of becoming a photographer or making money through my photos, but somehow, it happened!!
I like taking macro photos (closeups) of flowers etc but I don’t really do much post-processing. I like my photos to look real rather than to have an arty/textured look. Editing wise I’ll go into photoshop and do a basic crop, give the colors a boost and maybe take out any unwanted items – Such as a phone line wire or a branch that got in the way!
Other photographers, travel, color, or just seeing a scene and thinking aha!
Nope – One day though!!Where can people buy your work?
Etsy – For Prints (International)
Folksy – For Prints (UK Based)
Zazzle – For Cards, Home Decor and Gift Items including keychains, mugs, mousepads and more.
Through Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, by joining Etsy groups and by participating in the Etsy and Folksy forums. No one tells you that it’s 90% promotion, 10% creating that makes a business successful – I’m still working on getting that percentage right!
I probably have too many goals! Short term it would be to have greeting cards for sale in my Etsy store.
Long term I want to have a wholesale side of Emele Photography, suppling small gift shops with my prints and cards, plus to have a stand at one of the big UK trade fairs such as Spring Fair or Top Drawer.
Just go for it! Do your research but don’t be put off by how “big and scary” a step it might be… We all have to start somewhere and learn from our mistakes along the way.
Back in June when I was at my local college fun day with a stall, I remembered filling in a form to enter a competition for the chance to win something to do with toiletry products. 5 months later, I got a call from EllaPure telling me I had won a facial!
This vase was made as a Christmas gift for the customers Mum. She gave me the wording she wanted to be engraved and trailed around the vase, and I think it has turned out quite nice. The overall finish is definitely organic and natural. I love the subtle effects of the surface decoration, it reminds me of a snowy mountain.
There was a continuous flow of people through the doors all day, with over 100 people entering between 10am – 11am. I was surprised to see so many customers so early, they must have been queuing to come in.
I sold a wide range of items including my very first ceramic hearts bunting – can you spot it hanging in the photo below? The lady who bought it said she was going to hang it across her fireplace for Christmas, but would probably end up keeping it up all year round.
I enjoyed getting feedback from customers, asking them if the items they were buying were for gifts or for themselves, where they would display it or what they would do with it. It’s a nice way of gaining research and there are often some surprising answers!
As well as chatting to customers and making a pleasing amount of sales I met some lovely people, saw lots of familiar friendly faces and had a good time social networking! The ceramics tutor from my old college was there, I managed to collect quite a bit of useful information about future events & exhibitions from other stall holders and passers-by, and I gained a few commissions. My leaflets were wiped out by the end of the day!
I did manage to sneak away to a couple of stalls near to mine to buy some Christmas presents (more on these soon!)
Thank you to Maria of Creative Bumble Bee for purchasing 10 of my ceramic buttons for her latest project. Maria will be making some new felted shawls and will be embellishing them with my ceramic buttons which I think will look fab. I’ll have some pictures to show you soon, which shouldn’t be too long if the speed of how quickly Maria works has got anything to do with it
However, I am always trying out new techniques and have recently learnt wet felting and crochet and have lino cutting and polymer clay on my ‘to-do’ list! I tend to have mad moments where I decide to learn something new, and go absolutely crazy on that particular technique! Over the years I have learnt to wait until the crazy time has passed because like it or not, I always view my new hobbies through rose-tinted glasses and find that at a later date perhaps I was just overcome with excitement rather than professional detachment! Only when I am calm again do I start to incorporate my new skills into the pieces I make!
Inspiration can come from anywhere! Sometimes it’s a book, a colour, or a photograph I’ve taken, but more often than not it starts with a patterned or textured paper or piece of material. I start to think mmm… I could just do that! or that! or that! And before you know it you’ve got twenty ideas not just one! The two most important things I have learnt that have helped me to work with my inspiration are:
1. always scribble ideas down – because you may just have had a fabulous idea – but it just wasn’t right for now and you never know if you’ll have that idea again, and
2. don’t get too carried away! Once I am totally excited by an idea, and also totally convinced it is a good one, I create a style sheet to ensure I don’t forget anything or get taken too far from my original thoughts. I tend to give the style sheet a name, include some pictures that sum up my original idea, and specify the colours, shapes and textures I want to use. This is how I created my ‘Midnight Garden’ Collection.
I have an online shop www.madebylolly.folksy.com