OK here’s the idea I’ve been kicking around. Call me crazy…

OK fine. Lets start here. This is a link to what I was talking about in my last post. Go take a quick look I’ll wait.

OK, if you’re back…

This is the portfolio site I’ve been using to host some of my “better” work from my recent interest in taking “better” photographs (as opposed to simple snapshots I’ve clicked away at for 10 years now).  The link is directly to the Motorcycle folder but all my odds-n-ends are on there if you want to poke around.  To be honest,  while I’ve got a lot of room for improvement  I’m am totally  hooked.   It’s to the point that I’ll soon be fastening a Pelican Case to the tail of my DR650 so I can take the the New Nikon DSLR and assorted lenses  along with me and hopefully  combine riding and photography. What’s on the site at the moment are some of the “lucky shots” and better photographs of mine from past posts and such taken with a fairly simple Olympus point and shoot camera, I’m now in the possession of far superior equipment and I think/hope rapidly improving technique.

So… my goal.

What I’d eventually like to do is make these images available for purchase  through the site as either high quality, un-watermarked prints (framed or otherwise) or they can be printed on all sorts of items from coffee cups to mouse pads to T-shirts etc etc. And actually  the way the site is set up, you can do that now for what are very reasonable prices (and no money to me at all which for now I totally am cool with) but I’m hoping to get MUCH better quality material available after this spring and summers events in Daytona, Riding Into History, “hopefully” Barbers Vintage Days and probably a trip to Deals Gap for the annual 2-stroke rally.   I also will probably be branching out into classic muscle cars with the Turkey Rod Run in April, The Concourse D’elegance in Amelia Island and a few really nice car shows in the North Florida area.  Heck I”m going to try and make the classic Wooden Boat Show in Mt Dora too.  We’ll see.

What I’ll likely end up doing is leaving a business card with a link to the website on it for the owners “if ” I think I’ve got something special that they may want to get a print of…  or not… whatever.  I’ll be there either way taking a photo of their rides so it’s not going to be hurting anyone.  Of course anything on the site will be available to anyone who wants to buy one weather they own it or not.

Other things I’m looking into..

To avoid any copyright problems, for now I will only do it with photographs that I have personally taken.  This is a hobby and I don’t feel like getting sued for copyright infringement due to a misunderstanding.  However, if  I can work something out with permissions,  I would like to set up a template or watermark for each photo on the blog that has appeared on the site that might read something like “Kawasaki KZ900 – Owner John Smith – As seen on Motorcycle Photo Of The Day Feb 30 2013”  or some such headline or logo or watermark.  You (or anyone really)  would then have the option of purchasing, well, whatever, from a high quality framed photograph to a coffee cup.

I’ve been holding off because..I have not promoted this yet because

A) I have to test out ALL the products to see the quality of what actually gets delivered and the quality of the imagery and text.  I simply  will not do this if it looks like crap. and I can’t assure that you’ll get what you’re hoping for.  That means I have to do some testing as to print quality, color ranges etc etc etc.. to make sure that happens in each and every case.

B) I’m trying to sort out a mechanism to do this for past photographs that have been sent to me on behalf of the owners who may want a print of their bike from a particular day.  Copyrights has to be established

C)  A lot of the photographs I actually own and have posted on would need to be cleaned up for better quality printing.

D) Lots other stuff that I’m sure I haven’t thought of yet but my lawyer friend will warn me about.

To be clear.

I do NOT expect to get rich off of this.  A whimsical hopeful fantasy (that will probably never happen) is that the sale of a few t-shirts or coffee mugs might eventually offset a very tiny bit of my travel costs.  But what the heck, I’ll be going to these events either way and taking all these photographs either way.  It can’t hurt to give it a shot.  And no,  I don’t expect to compete with the Killboys  of the world who just flat out own certain market segments.  This all started essentially as a result of some inquiries I’ve gotten over the last year about prints being available…  and me getting a new camera.

So!  If you’re still reading this far, thanks for your patience and I hope t have more on this soon enough.

Thanks and Ride Safe!

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7 comments

  1. I am all for getting paid for what you love. Half of my wallpapers have come from you.

    I also respect that you desire to only take credit and profit from your own work.

    Perhaps, you can put a submission template with an option that would allow others submitting photos to you to grant either copyright ownership or a revocable license to print. If you have a database that links each new picture to the database info from the submitter, photographer (& maybe their contact info), info about the bike, and whether or not you own copyright or a license to sell the image.

    I for one would like tasteful motorcycle related things. I don’t see putting a big glossy photo on the wall, but I would like a T-shirt /or hoodie or two that has a nice simple picture of Cafe scoot on it, and would manage to look out of place at both Sturgis and at a Cafe snob or Rockabilly meet. A big sticker for the back of a laptop would be cool too.

    I bet there is a market for someone to come along with rallys and document the trip nicely too/ do glamour shots of builds. Maybe you can offset some of your equipment by doing a few nice spreads on commission.

    I check your site every day because you have classy taste and like unusual stuff.
    Most of the other bike sites front these big phony biker culture images, and seem to be bragging all the time. You are humble.

    I don’t think you owe your readers anything, and I thank you for sharing your passion. Really I think that is what makes this work. You are only showing what you like. You don’t show things you don’t care about just to keep sponsors or ad revenue flowing. Your tastes are not based on fashion, or what is tied into a TV show at the moment. I love that you have broad tastes that span genres, and even post an outstanding bike or two from genres you don’t usually like.

  2. Great idea Steve, you’re already doing the work, so why not get the reward? Its always nice to do something you enjoy. Who knows it could become more than a part time passion paying for more gadgets.

    1. I’ll give all the credit I can to anyone who has any involvement at all in the photographs I take. At this point what I’ve placed in the “portfolio” are more or less just place holders. They would be too low a resolution to have any large prints made. And in fact Barbers museum is rather finicky about how much camera they’ll let you bring in to the museum. I don’t know if they can restrict what I put out for publication (Yes I’ll look into it today as a matter of fact) but they definitely do NOT encourage pro’s to go in there and use it like a studio. In fact, I would go so far as to sat that they set up the lighting conditions to be as difficult on your camera as is practicable since they discourage flash photography. What they give you is nice light on the eyes but really tough on the “average” sensor. I’m sure that’s deliberate. In fact I only really nailed about 1 in 3 of the pics I took while there.

      1. that may explain why my great photo of an XR750 has a bit of an orange hue. Used a good camera without any interference from staff. never heard that comment before.
        Maybe this year I’ll try and compensate. thanks for the head’s up!

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