Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Back To School

I swear summer vacation gets shorter every year! When I was a kid summer vacation started at Memorial Day and lasted until after Labor Day. I really liked that back then and I would still like it today. I love the relaxed, lazy days of summer vacation and I am so not ready for homework, early mornings, early suppers and scheduled days. But whether I'm ready or not, school starts bright and early Monday morning. Island Girl will be starting her high school adventure and the Youngest Island Boy starts first grade. Both of them are excited but neither one really wants to start so soon.

As for the Oldest Island Boy, I've spent a LOT of time praying and thinking about what to do for him and I've decided to continue homeschooling him. I received so much good information from ya'll a few months ago when I posted about the problems he's had and I've spent a lot of time this summer gathering research and finding new ideas and techniques for teaching him and I feel extremely optimistic that this is the year we'll have a breakthrough. We start Monday morning as well. He's really happy about staying home. We talked about it for a long time and I believe that if we can get the reading down this school year he'll be ready for 4th grade in public school next year.
Pray for us - we're gonna need it!

I was a little productive during vacation and I finally managed to get all of the Island King's stock photographs organized and into an online photo gallery. This was a huge project that has taken most of the summer. My next task is to really market his photos. Until recently the majority of his clients wanted virtual tours for their properties with a few still photos thrown in, but as the real estate market has declined so has our business. The phone isn't ringing nearly as often as it was (or as it needs to be) so we're looking for different areas to market his work. We've contacted Getty and several other photo publishing houses and they seem interested in his work but who knows if they'll actually buy anything from us. They've only got thousands of photographers with thousands of photos to choose from so it feels a little like playing the lottery. But they have to use somebody's stuff so we'll see what happens. I did find one photo house, CornerHouse, that seem really interested in his work. They cater to paint companies, banks and lifestyle magazines and they love the interior photos we've shown them. The problem is that those are interior photos and we have to have a release signed by the homeowner for each photo. When he's hired to do the shoots he does, the realtor pays him and there have never been any releases signed. So now I have to go back and find hundreds of homeowners and have them sign releases for us to sell photos of their kitchens or bathrooms or whatever CornerHouse wants to buy. And CornerHouse won't even consider the photos without the releases so it's not like they'll pick the ones they want and then I can just get releases signed on those photos. It's a daunting task but I was shocked at how much CornerHouse pays per photo use. It's definitely worth the time I'll put into it but it's still a major pain.
And the big question is "Will people sign a release?" The photos are non-specific as to location or homeowner so their privacy is preserved but the Island King seems to think people will want to be paid for the release. I think they'll be delighted that the room they spent an ungodly amount of money decorating might be used in a marketing campaign. Cross your fingers that I'm right on this one. Go wander around his gallery if you have a minute. He's really got some cool photos.

So that's enough rambling for today. I'm off to put together lesson plans for the Oldest and organize our school room (which also serves as the dining room LOL)and then maybe a nice nap LOL
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