We haven’t done a blog post for a while, so I thought it was time to put something up on here. Also testing the phone app out at the same time.
This week I have been way outside my comfort zone, doing some product photography for a local gin company. It’s been a bit of a learning curve for me, trying to get the look we want without getting reflections in the glass bottles. I am getting there, but still not happy, so the challenge will continue into next week.
Meanwhile, I am trying to drum up more business for the pet photography side of things, trying to get people to spend money on luxury items is not easy in January.
Well things are beginning to slow down now as we get to the last few days before the big event.
The final few framing jobs just need to be finished off (and collected by the customers!), and then we can relax … and go for a pre-Christmas beer.
2018 has been a busy year, with things changing slightly as we try to stay ahead of an ever changing market place. What with people worried about their finances and how the “BREXIT” effect will impact them, trying to tempt them to spend money on a luxury item is never going to be easy. Add to that a few problems with a naughty intervertebral disc and … let’s just say it has been difficult at times.
That said, we have had some wonderful customers through our doors this year, and we are already looking forward to shooting a lot more pets in 2019. The calendar is already open, so don’t be shy about making a booking!
This year we have been looking at ways to make the mundane, paperworky (that’s my new word of the month) things easier. We have have started using FramR software for pricing the framing work, and Studio Ninja software to streamline the photography side of things. We have some minor things to iron out in both of these to fit the way we work, but we are getting there.
And so to next year ..
As with this year, the business will be moving more away from the original “Tom Horsley Photography” ideas, and much more down the “Shooting The Dog” road.
We pride ourselves on our pet portraits, we love doing them, and want to produce the best results we can for our customers.
So, next year should see some more changes to the shop; with less random “stuff” on the shelves, and more things related to the pet photography service on display. Print sales from the shop have pretty much dried up, so we’ll be moving all the landscape print sales to the web site only, and free up some more space in the shop.
Other than that, unless I come up with a cunning plan or win the lottery, we’ll continue to provide, what we hope is, quality service with everything we do, at a reasonable price (while still be able to eat occasionally!).
Thank you to everyone who has supported us this year, and we look forward to seeing you all again in the New Year.
Oh, and for those of you who have had you pet photographed with us before there might well be a very special offer for a follow-up shoot next year. I’m sure some details will be being published soon.
As usual another month has flown by, and we are heading towards Autumn, and, I hate to say it, as a retailer I need to start thinking about Christmas!! Sorry for the use of the “C” word.
Anyway, August was busy with more shop renovations, mostly inside the main part of the shop, although we did the kitchen area up a bit too.
We laid a new base in the shop windows, which has greatly improved the look of the window displays.
And we then moved a few things about in the shop and built a new display stand for the “Brillant Bygones” bits and pieces.
Still got some things to do as and when finances and the refurbishment enthusiasm lasts!
We have also been doing a bit of housekeeping on the website, and opened up an ETSY shop: Brilliant Bygones
If that wasn’t enough, we went to a dog show, where Fidget picked up another rosette:
… and he has mostly been doing this sort of thing:
… and we’ve been playing with lots of his friends, old and new.
Now that September is here we plan to run off for a quick camping trip in North Devon, and to chill out for that rush starts for that thing I mentioned at the top of the post, but I won’t mention it again this month.
So, it’s August; which must mean I should be keeping you all updated on whatever has been happening in July. So here goes.
Let’s start with a top secret photo shoot I did back in June, it was for a July birthday so I can tell you about it now. It was a very hot day and we headed to the grounds of Dartington Hall to photograph the lovely Rubi and Luci. Conditions were challenging – very bright light (dimming to very little light in the trees), shiny coats, wet dogs (due to an unplanned dip in the river), and sun burnt photographer!
Most of July has been spent continuing with the re-vamp of the shop, mostly the shop front this month, but also some other bits and bobs out the back of the shop. Really pleased with how the shop front is looking now, just need to save up some pennies to get the main sign changed.
Hasn’t all been hard graft though, we’ve had time for a bit of messing about in the studio.
And hot summer weather wouldn’t been complete with out some beach trips and a bit of practice with the “in the water” gear.
Despite having mostly boring blue skies (well from a photography point of view, and that of the poor plants on my patio!), there was a fantastic sky over Brixham Harbour the other morning.
So the next step in the shop re-vamp is to sort out the window displays, the material I have lining the window areas has been there about ten years now, and has faded really badly, and is a real pain to keep clean. So I think that is next week’s job.
Blimey, July already; the country is full of world cup fever, and Wimbledon fever, and in the middle of a heat wave – what on earth is going on?
Meanwhile, I haven’t written anything on my blog since May, so I had better get a move on and tell you all about what we’ve been up to.
Firstly, Fidget and I went on a short camping trip to Cornwall. We had a wonderful spot on the cliffs above Tintagel, a bit breezy but the view was awesome. Normally our May camping trips tend to be rather wet affairs, but we had wall-to-wall sunshine this year.
It was a bit of a shame to come home, but we had lots of exciting things we had to do when we got back. The revamp of the studio and shop needed to be done, and after much procrastinating we got on with it. The little studio area was changed around to give us more room, the back office got knocked about, and now Tom can work on the computer without having to move every time someone wants a coffee or to wash their hands; even the shop area got a bit of a change around.
We even got some pictures up on the wall in the studio, and even as we speak the front of the shop is now getting a going over as well – we’ll report back on this once it is complete.
Fidget kindly helped me try out the new studio layout, and some rather lovely new backdrops, by offering his services as a model.
He has also been busy making new friends, and helping me practice some “in the water” photography – which had some bizarre psychedelic results due to having a strange combination of filters on the camera – we won’t do that again (not accidentally anyway)!
Now it’s back to the excitement of sanding, and painting, and constantly being told “You’ve missed a bit” by well meaning passers-by, as we finish off the new improved shop frontage.
By the time you read this, I suspect England may well have been knocked out of the world cup, and the last Brit (even though he is South African) will have been beaten in straight sets – but we can live in hope, weird things are happening so maybe it’s our year.
You get the feeling that summer is just around the corner here in Brixham, we have blue skies (occasionally) and we have even had a few days of sunshine (and heat) – I was even wearing shorts the other day, so it must have been hot.
Fidget and I have been out enjoying ourselves, and generally messing about; the lighter evenings mean we don’t have to rush about after work to get home before dark, and we can take our time and have lots of games and a bit of silliness before heading home for our dinner.
The sea is definitely not warm enough for me to venture in with the camera yet, so you will have to wait a bit longer for those shots. We have, however, booked ourselves in for a small break under canvas in Cornwall next month, so if you have plans for the middle of May that require dry, sunny days then you might want to reschedule, as we always choose the wettest week in May to go away camping!
We currently have an on going project photographing a litter of Cockerpoo puppies, which is great fun; and to be honest more puppy cuddling happens than photography. But at the end of my last blog I promised you puppies, so here we go.
Puppy promise fulfilled.
Next time: Who knows? But there might be more puppies, and some exciting new product information.