Monday, August 24, 2009

Doing Festival Prep

I've been a busy bee. I'm doing all kinds of photo work getting ready for the Fall Festival (I see they're now calling it the Fall Artisans Festival. Very classy.) in Pinetop-Lakeside September 25-27. It's a month away, true, but I only have until August 30th to prepare. I'm leaving for Alaska August 31st and want to have everything done before I go. It looks like we'll be leaving there on our 6 day journey home a little earlier than originally thought. That's a good thing. Though I'd love to hang out in Alaska as long as possible, it will be good to get home with more time before the festival. We'll appreciate that time to recover from the 4000 mile drive, to settle in and gear up.

I've spent a lot of time just trying to get organized. I had to spend hours just getting a handle on what all we had printed, matted, and framed, and what we still needed. Most of my organizational efforts came about because I was drowning in confusion. The Fisherman has so many good photos. Our first festivals were last fall and it was kind of crazy. The Fisherman was in Alaska and I was down here trying to figure out what photos to have printed, which ones to frame, which ones to just mat. He takes thousands of photos every summer so it's a lot of work just culling down to the best ones. I printed and matted a bunch of photos and what didn't get framed went in the matted bins. We ended up with a disorganized representation of his best stuff. We had photos that were framed but not in the matted-only bins, photos in the bins but not framed, notecards of photos not represented anywhere else, great framed photos but no notecards, framed photos in one size but not represented anywhere else. So I've been trying to get better organized, representing everything well but especially the photos that seem to be his most popular. I like to have a lot of notecards because not everyone can afford a larger print. They can pop a notecard into a frame and have a nice, albeit small, photo for their wall.

I've also been trying to get us "coded." To take an initial inventory of what we had in what size and frame status, I wrote descriptions for each photo. When I went back later to put together a print order, I found my descriptions lacking and ended up in a big ball of confusion again. So while I'm matting and bagging photos, I've begun adding a small sticker on the back that tells the specific photo number. This will help enormously when people want to order a different size or different matting. By writing the number on the sales ticket we'll also be able to know exactly which photos sold. Last year was an exciting, crazy, disorganized mess. We went on memory and general descriptions to know what all sold. (We did pretty well at remembering, too. But a year later, only a few sales stand out.) This year promises to be smoother in the areas of sales and record keeping.

I also found out how to Print Screen which is a HUGE blessing in that I now have a notebook with pages of photo thumbnails and their numbers. There are still a few stragglers that were printed from a different list of photos but most of everything is in the notebook now. Right now I'm using it to do the coding and stickering. It's a tremendous help; I don't have to sit at the computer and try to find which file, which subfile, which photo. That would be overwhelming and I can tell you right now, it would NOT get done for this festival. So, yea for the notebook!

As well as all this organizational work, I've been cutting mats, matting the photos, making notecards (by affixing a 4x6 photo to an embossed 5x7 notecard), labeling everything with the business info. It would be really helpful if the photo lab would cut the photos to 5 x 7 instead of 5 x 6&7/8 and 8x12 instead of 7 & 7/16 x 11 7/8. In our mat cutting, we only allow for 1/8 inch overlap on each side. I've been having a heck of a time matting these short photos. It's driving me nuts and I can't understand why they did it. The clock is ticking way too fast this last week and I seem to be in slow motion, not getting accomplished anywhere near my ambitious daily To Do estimates. least we will be getting back sooner than The Fisherman previously planned. If there's anything left, we can do it then. (I would still like to go through all the tent paraphernalia and all our miscellaneous on-site supplies before I head north. We'll see.

It's late...and I had intended to be in bed an hour ago. For some reason I've fallen back into what has become an undesirable habit - that of going to bed late and getting up late. Ever since my turn-around trip to Phx last week, I've been really tired and all off schedule. Tonight was going to be a serious attempt to swing back around to getting up early by getting to bed early and trying to get caught up on sleep.

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