Well it's been a busy time, Pachesham Equestrian Centre is virtually my second home as I seem to be there at least once a week. It's not always the most profitable as some of the midweek events are very small with the same people attending each time, but it is close to home which reduces travelling expenses and Linda and Rosanna who run the office are very friendly, thus while I can, I will continue to cover their events.
The only fly in the ointment since my last posting has been a two day event I was called on the do at relatively short notice. It was a move outside my normal field of equestrian events to 5-a- side football. It was a massive event with 6 pitches being played simultaneously and matches starting every 5 minutes continuously throughout the day. On Saturday there were 3 of us, Sophie and I taking shots and Carrie a new person being dropped in the deep end running the computer. Carrie had never used Lightroom before, but had downloaded a trial version and looked at it. She did very well loading images. Sophie did her usual and produced a nice set of images. On Sunday John joined us so that the photographers only had 2 pitches to cover instead of 3. Unfortunately despite our best efforts and over 8000 images, the people were not interested in the photos. As we left on Sunday I was considerably down, subsequent orders meant that I recovered the losses but I'm not sure whether £32.36 for 21 hours work is a good hourly rate, how does that compare to the minimum wage? Unfortunately the minimum wage does not apply to business owners, only their staff.
Fortunately most jobs are not like that, some are good and some are bad, a lot depends upon the weather, what rider wants to hang around and look at photos when they've been out competing getting cold and possibly very wet? They know that they've got the get their mount home, turn it out feed it, muck out the stable all before they can get a hot shower and into dry clothing.
On Carrie's second job I let her take all the shots, it was dressage at Pachesham, Carrie is a rider and thus knows what she as a rider will buy, with me operating the computer and running off prints we did very well. Another event where I ran the computers was over at Warlingham. This was again a fairly short notice booking, the event was actually sponsored by a rival, who could not attend for the entire day. Despite running the printer from a table placed under a tree, we again did very well and we are back there later this month. As I said earlier I ran the printer, this time with Sophie, Carrie and John taking shots.
The other event of note was Wimbledon Village Fair Horse Show. Since there is no power or shelter we are limited to merely taking shots and giving out cards for online orders. I do not normally like operating this way as the income is much lower, but this event seems to buck the trend and indeed orders are very good.
Not too much happened in the last 2 weeks of April just a few small dressage events, one was my local riding club Claygate and Esher RC who just did an afternoon competition and another was a very laid back competition at Langshot Equestrian Centre. I say laid back but this should not be confused with bad, rather they are very helpful to new and young riders giving them every encouragement. Finally there was a dressage and showjumping event over at Pachesham Equestrian Centre. For this last event I had another new guy with me James, since it was midweek I had intended to do it alone as virtually all my people are at school or college, however I had hurt my back the day before and decided that somebody else carrying the printer would be very useful. It was a small event but we covered it and by so doing helped the tack shop by bringing people to their door and earned a few pounds
May proved to be a very busy month, The early bank holiday despite my back trouble I covered Pachesham's early show, this was quite busy with three rings in action most of the day, fortunately they were linked and thus I could walk through from one to the other. 2 days later I was back again with James covering another small dressage and showjumping event and then on Saturday I was there yet again, this last one was a pure showjumping event for juniors and was extremely busy. Sunday it was back to Thorney Island with Rogate and District Riding Club for showjumping, despite my best efforts I was on my own for that, it proved worthwhile as people stayed long after the event to come and look at pictures. the next Sunday it was back to Pachesham again, this time it was adults, a lot quieter, but nice. Lands Ends Equestrian Centre was our venue for the Spring Bank Holiday weekend, the Saturday with just James and the Sunday with both James and Craig. They were both very good days and we have already been booked for 2016 (we had already got the autumn show). In addition I was able to help Sparsholt Agricultural College, they had offered me their 4 day show but Lands End having already booked me took precedence. I was however able ot find them somebody to cover a second ring on Sunday. I have known Sophie as a rider for some years and knew that she was also a photographer, but I have never used her. She covered Sparsholt for me and the client was very happy. The images are also selling very well thus i am happy as well. The final weekend James and I were at Pachesham yet again on the Saturday for dressage and a farm in Shipley West Sussex for the Crawley and Horsham Pony Club Junior Show. Sundays weather was appalling, I don't think it stopped raining for more than an hour the entire time we were there and with high winds driving the rain into one's face it was very uncomfortable.
Not much to report this time well not long since my last post, but here it is.
Good Friday and Easter Sunday I was working, the first at Langshot Equestrian Centre for their monthly clear round, this lasted most of the day rather than just the evening as they normally do. Sunday I was at Gasston Stables, this is a new venue for me. I was told that since it was entries on the day it might be very small, well it wasn't large but there were enough people to make it worth my time. The image above is from Gasston Stables, it's certainly proved a hit on Facebook having been shared numerous times.
On these two jobs I had a new guy with me Craig. he proved to be very good, teaching me the shortcuts in Lightroom.
I did not have a job this weekend which proved to be very fortunate, I had the car serviced on Thursday and on Friday it broke down, this is not good, I am hoping that I will hear about it tomorrow, I'm hoping that it was the fault of the garage, but of course even if it is, they are unlikely to admit fault.
Gosh, it's been far too long since my last post. so what has happened? Well I have lost one of my staff permanently, he needed more work that I could give him, I've lost albeit temporarily, most of my other staff due to exams, but I've found a couple of new ones, one of whom is particularly good.
Job wise I've been working hard getting in new jobs, I confess that I have lost one, but since I've been working with them for 2 years they had now stopped buying pictures, thus the loss is not too great. I have picked up a few really big jobs (well big for me), which is nice. I am now working down at Sparsholt Agricultural College quite a bit which is nice. It is a long way, but the facilities are good, and everybody is really friendly.
A new year has started and I'm busy phoning around getting in as much work as I can. I've got 6 jobs in this week, two of which are two day jobs.
Back to what has happened since the last posting over 13 weeks ago, well there have been a few weeks with nothing on, but mostly I am pleased to say we have been busy. Unfortunately not every job has been profitable, two spring to mind, the first we got to the venue and I found that I had left all the cables behind, thus although we had the computers we could not set them up. We took photos and i put them on line but nothing sold. Fortunately the job was relatively close to home thus the mileage was low. The second job was a major failing, we traveled 127 miles, took 1200+ great shots, but not many people saw them on the day thus sales were down, so low in fact that despite post event sales I am significantly out of pocket, We are back there twice this month, we will have to change things significantly to avoid the same again.
With exams taking precedence for many of the crew I am about to start staff hunting again.