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Author Topic: Networking and Pricing  (Read 6103 times)

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Microstock Man

  • microstockman.com

« on: April 17, 2013, 22:23 »
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As people start to network up with each other, I have one little fear that I thought I would get others opinions on.

The beauty of selling direct is we set our own prices. The fear of selling direct is that we set our own prices...

Eg: buyer comes to my site, sees a nice isolated apple, thinks 'yep, $20 for large size, thats what I'd pay at iStock, if not more' adds it to cart. Then he notices one of my network partners also has a nice isolated apple. Checks that one out, virtually same image, but it only costs $5 for the large, $1 for small.

Why on earth will he buy my one?

I guess what Im saying is I think we need to look out for eachother, not just ourselves when we choose our pricing, so that we don't go too low. Or there will be a lot of networked partners dropped and hurt feelings etc etc. I know I will be highly reluctant to add a network partner if I see their pricing is way too low.

What do you all think?


Leo Blanchette

« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2013, 03:51 »
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Wow, nobody answered this yet?

This system thrives with a symbiosis mindset. The act of adding someone to your network is one of generosity, because your linking to them. But you know someone is doing the same for you. (Besides the great SEO benefits). Also there is a fairly strong community who will "peer pressure" eachother in not selling out. It works similarly  on turbosquid. There are undercutters, but they don't get far.

I personally think it will be fine.

steheap

  • Author of best selling "Get Started in Stock"

« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2013, 06:14 »
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While I think people will set their own prices, and for a common photo it might cause a buyer to go to the slightly cheaper site, it would be worth sharing what we are starting with to see what we think the appropriate price should be.

I've started with

Bloggee: $3.50
Small: $7.50
Medium: $20
Large (which is generally 4500 pixels): $40

I asked someone who buys stock for various reports and presentations and she thought that was reasonable.

Steve

« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2013, 07:44 »
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...I've started with

Bloggee: $3.50
Small: $7.50
Medium: $20
Large (which is generally 4500 pixels): $40

I asked someone who buys stock for various reports and presentations and she thought that was reasonable.

Steve

With all due respect but this isn't a very representative survey asking ONE person!

If anyone had the means to contact 1000 microstock buyers (preferably located all over the world) - that could lead to a good average response in regards to image pricing...

steheap

  • Author of best selling "Get Started in Stock"

« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2013, 07:58 »
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Quote
With all due respect but this isn't a very representative survey asking ONE person

But - I only know one buyer...

I posted the pricing here to get a view from others - this matches what I use on Pond5 - reading that email from Yay, I think it might be better to reduce the pricing of the Bloggee size to perhaps $1.

Steve

« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2013, 08:17 »
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I dont even have a wordpress account yet but have been reading all your threads as much as poss and am now setting one up (not with go daddy who host my website) and hope to be joining you all within the next month, exciting project Leo.

I only have small microstock ports ranging from 250 to 1500 on varied sites so i dont know how valuable you may think my input is, however, is it not essential everyone prices exactly the same and create consistency throughout the network?  If this is successful in years to come it will deal a serious blow to the agencies, however surely buyers will get sick of searching if prices are up and down through out?   I was wondering what model to price my images on, all the examples I have seen people are charging different prices, some way cheaper than Steve is charging for large.  We have the agencies to undercut us, not each other?

Ollie

« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2013, 08:17 »
0
Quote
With all due respect but this isn't a very representative survey asking ONE person

But - I only know one buyer...

I posted the pricing here to get a view from others - this matches what I use on Pond5 - reading that email from Yay, I think it might be better to reduce the pricing of the Bloggee size to perhaps $1.

Steve

Haha, I don't blame you for only knowing one microstock buyer. Then you know one more than I do...

Pond5 can't be representative to me either because they only have sporadic sales. I'm basing my sales price on the agencies that have consistent sales.

I don't go higher than $20.

« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2013, 08:40 »
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What about search by price range?

« Reply #8 on: April 18, 2013, 08:41 »
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I am selling direct because i dont want agencies telling me what to do. I want to set my prices where i want. Obviously, i will set them competitively or i wont be selling anything. I am in the networking thing for the seo. If i can help a fellow contributor along the way, i am ok with that. By networking, i also stand a chance of losing a sale, because if a buyer is presented with three choices for an image, they might use one because they don't have time to go surfing. If they are presented with 20 choices, of which only 3 are mine, there's a good chance i will lose the sale.


It's called fair competition. I deal with it every day with the other millions of microstockers.




I think this is a non-issue. I am going to set my prices competitively. If they are pennies or a dollar lower than someone elses, sorry. If I am not making any sales, I will lower them until I do. Making 100% of a sale affords me a little wiggle room on prices. :-)

« Reply #9 on: April 18, 2013, 08:49 »
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What about search by price range?


I am interested in this project because of the SEO advantages, for everyone who is networked together, not just myself. People helping people get traffic to their sites. Period. I am an independent, and am not interested in being tied to other folks any other way than how it is set up now.

« Reply #10 on: April 18, 2013, 08:59 »
+2

Most of my files are unique to me, I don't have any isolated fruit, so I'm not too concerned about losing a sale to a lower priced site that I'm networked to. I do believe that once this is up and running, the advantages of being connected to other sites will far outweigh the rare lost sale to one of your SymbioFriends.

If you do find that someone has a lot of similar images at a lower price, don't network with them.


farbled

« Reply #11 on: April 18, 2013, 09:26 »
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Most of my files are unique to me, I don't have any isolated fruit, so I'm not too concerned about losing a sale to a lower priced site that I'm networked to. I do believe that once this is up and running, the advantages of being connected to other sites will far outweigh the rare lost sale to one of your SymbioFriends.

If you do find that someone has a lot of similar images at a lower price, don't network with them.

I'm in the same boat. Most of my stuff is hard to find. My issue will be finding suitable sites to link to that have things in common. People will set their own prices and the marketplace will determine succes while the networks (because I think there will be many  once this goes public) will filter out who fits best.

I can see the "official" Symbiostock network, but once one or two people get bumped or sell something different like music or whatever, we'll see many networks come up. My 2 cents...

« Reply #12 on: April 18, 2013, 10:46 »
+2
Pricing should be set by the photographer, and the subject of the image.

Your prices can be different per image.  Your generic "Tomato on white" could be set low, while your "bear dancing with elephant on the top of building" can be set higher....

Glenn

« Reply #13 on: April 18, 2013, 11:14 »
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.... while your "bear dancing with elephant on the top of building" can be set higher....



That theme is so overdone.

« Reply #14 on: April 18, 2013, 11:17 »
0
.... while your "bear dancing with elephant on the top of building" can be set higher....



That theme is so overdone.


 :)

Leo Blanchette

« Reply #15 on: April 18, 2013, 12:30 »
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I dont even have a wordpress account yet but have been reading all your threads as much as poss and am now setting one up (not with go daddy who host my website) and hope to be joining you all within the next month, exciting pr

Ollie
awesome! But not godaddy!

« Reply #16 on: April 18, 2013, 13:13 »
+1
It's not only the prices that vary it's the terms of our license agreements, too. For a buyer used to the consistency of one agency this will be confusing and possibly less attractive. The fact that every SY site requires its own registration and has its own cart/checkout adds to the problem.

But who of us wants to give up the freedom and flexibility SY provides us in selling our stuff? - Definitely not I.

I think that SY might not be the perfect place to sell "apples on white". The main/unique advantage SY has is IMHO the networking/SEO features. For those hard to find "bear dancing with elephant on the top of building" niche-type of images this might prove to be perfect.

In any case, I am not going to enter any kind of price war with my networking buddies. Most of us are looking to partner with sites that complement our stuff rather than compete, anyway.

farbled

« Reply #17 on: April 18, 2013, 13:22 »
+1
It's not only the prices that vary it's the terms of our license agreements, too. For a buyer used to the consistency of one agency this will be confusing and possibly less attractive. The fact that every SY site requires its own registration and has its own cart/checkout adds to the problem.

But who of us wants to give up the freedom and flexibility SY provides us in selling our stuff? - Definitely not I.

I think that SY might not be the perfect place to sell "apples on white". The main/unique advantage SY has is IMHO the networking/SEO features. For those hard to find "bear dancing with elephant on the top of building" niche-type of images this might prove to be perfect.

In any case, I am not going to enter any kind of price war with my networking buddies. Most of us are looking to partner with sites that complement our stuff rather than compete, anyway.

Well said. I'm really hopeful this turns into something big. I am so tired of relying on agencies that put us last.

« Reply #18 on: April 18, 2013, 13:54 »
0
It's not only the prices that vary it's the terms of our license agreements, too. For a buyer used to the consistency of one agency this will be confusing and possibly less attractive. The fact that every SY site requires its own registration and has its own cart/checkout adds to the problem.

But who of us wants to give up the freedom and flexibility SY provides us in selling our stuff? - Definitely not I.

I think that SY might not be the perfect place to sell "apples on white". The main/unique advantage SY has is IMHO the networking/SEO features. For those hard to find "bear dancing with elephant on the top of building" niche-type of images this might prove to be perfect.

In any case, I am not going to enter any kind of price war with my networking buddies. Most of us are looking to partner with sites that complement our stuff rather than compete, anyway.

Agree. We are uploading our usual stock, though not all of it, but don't really expect a lot of sales from it.

It's going to be the niche subjects that aren't available all over the net that bring in the sales, and it's common sense to charge more than $1 for those.

Leo Blanchette

« Reply #19 on: April 18, 2013, 15:10 »
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Not so. People will be buying anything they want on your site. You will also be finding lots of people who don't know what stock images are. People buy from my main selling (old) website the same as the other image sites.

Also I'll try to work on a recognition system which doesn't require logins, or perhaps one login that works among all sites, so do not worry about that.

« Reply #20 on: April 18, 2013, 15:18 »
0
It's not only the prices that vary it's the terms of our license agreements, too. For a buyer used to the consistency of one agency this will be confusing and possibly less attractive. The fact that every SY site requires its own registration and has its own cart/checkout adds to the problem.

But who of us wants to give up the freedom and flexibility SY provides us in selling our stuff? - Definitely not I.

I think that SY might not be the perfect place to sell "apples on white". The main/unique advantage SY has is IMHO the networking/SEO features. For those hard to find "bear dancing with elephant on the top of building" niche-type of images this might prove to be perfect.

In any case, I am not going to enter any kind of price war with my networking buddies. Most of us are looking to partner with sites that complement our stuff rather than compete, anyway.

exactly -- as I said earlier i'm not expecting many customers who buy hundreds of images from the agencies.  these folks aren't going to spend time on a site with a few thousand images.  instead I expect most sales to be from more specific searches that google sends my way.  that's also why I want discussions of license, etc kept in the bkgd.  when we buy a book or music, we don't have to face pages of legal boilerplate telling us about copyright

« Reply #21 on: April 18, 2013, 16:18 »
0
Not so. People will be buying anything they want on your site. You will also be finding lots of people who don't know what stock images are. People buy from my main selling (old) website the same as the other image sites.

Also I'll try to work on a recognition system which doesn't require logins, or perhaps one login that works among all sites, so do not worry about that.

Sounds good to me, Leo.


It's not only the prices that vary it's the terms of our license agreements, too. For a buyer used to the consistency of one agency this will be confusing and possibly less attractive. The fact that every SY site requires its own registration and has its own cart/checkout adds to the problem.

But who of us wants to give up the freedom and flexibility SY provides us in selling our stuff? - Definitely not I.

I think that SY might not be the perfect place to sell "apples on white". The main/unique advantage SY has is IMHO the networking/SEO features. For those hard to find "bear dancing with elephant on the top of building" niche-type of images this might prove to be perfect.

In any case, I am not going to enter any kind of price war with my networking buddies. Most of us are looking to partner with sites that complement our stuff rather than compete, anyway.

exactly -- as I said earlier i'm not expecting many customers who buy hundreds of images from the agencies.  these folks aren't going to spend time on a site with a few thousand images.  instead I expect most sales to be from more specific searches that google sends my way.  that's also why I want discussions of license, etc kept in the bkgd.  when we buy a book or music, we don't have to face pages of legal boilerplate telling us about copyright

Good point. But if estimates are right and really 85% of images on the internet are used illegally (as YAY just claimed to justify their newest clawback on contributor royalty percentage) then some 'education" might help, don't you think?

« Reply #22 on: April 18, 2013, 16:47 »
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I always thought it was 86% that were used illegally!   I don't see how anyone could even guess since there's no way to tell by looking whether a picture is legit or not

in any case, I agree education is important but we don't want to scare people away, so having  the license appear later (eg, in the thank you email) isn't going to be a problem.  few people are going to buy  an image in order to use it illegally, so no need to make it harder and scarier for our legitimate, but uneducated users

steve

RacePhoto

« Reply #23 on: April 18, 2013, 21:33 »
0

Most of my files are unique to me, I don't have any isolated fruit, so I'm not too concerned about losing a sale to a lower priced site that I'm networked to. I do believe that once this is up and running, the advantages of being connected to other sites will far outweigh the rare lost sale to one of your SymbioFriends.

If you do find that someone has a lot of similar images at a lower price, don't network with them.

And there's the answer, same as the discussion about image quality and controlling that. If you don't like someones quality, or prices, Don't Link To Them!

Pricing should be set by the photographer, and the subject of the image.

Your prices can be different per image.  Your generic "Tomato on white" could be set low, while your "bear dancing with elephant on the top of building" can be set higher....

Glenn

Also true. Set prices according to quality and content.

I am selling direct because i dont want agencies telling me what to do. I want to set my prices where i want. Obviously, i will set them competitively or i wont be selling anything. I am in the networking thing for the seo. If i can help a fellow contributor along the way, i am ok with that. By networking, i also stand a chance of losing a sale, because if a buyer is presented with three choices for an image, they might use one because they don't have time to go surfing. If they are presented with 20 choices, of which only 3 are mine, there's a good chance i will lose the sale.

It's called fair competition. I deal with it every day with the other millions of microstockers.

I think this is a non-issue. I am going to set my prices competitively. If they are pennies or a dollar lower than someone elses, sorry. If I am not making any sales, I will lower them until I do. Making 100% of a sale affords me a little wiggle room on prices. :-)

The End = We all are independent and although we ,might link to others, we set out own prices.  "It's called fair competition."

Leo Blanchette

« Reply #24 on: April 18, 2013, 21:41 »
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Funny - I have a pretty stark rule not to dictate people's choices.

But what I can do is have a network average price (on each size) on the main site which people can see if you like. Maybe that might  have more negative effects than positive. In any case, personal choice is just that. Thats why the tool was made.

« Reply #25 on: April 18, 2013, 22:55 »
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Funny - I have a pretty stark rule not to dictate people's choices.

But what I can do is have a network average price (on each size) on the main site which people can see if you like. Maybe that might  have more negative effects than positive. In any case, personal choice is just that. Thats why the tool was made.

Hey, more info can't hurt. And I really appreciate that your are not "to dictate people's choices." One day, I hope, this will prove advantageous for SY (and I am talking sales here).

RacePhoto

« Reply #26 on: April 19, 2013, 11:06 »
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When you put it that way, yes good information would be what are other people asking for their material. That way we could stay in line with market norms.

Part I see as potentially self defeating. Someone will have the dumb idea, that lower price means more sales, and start undercutting. The whole problem with Micro today is the "race to the bottom" who can sell for less and pay us the least, and still have good material for buyers.

I've seen it in the industry of manufacturing, we can all see it in many consumer retail outlets. Heck, do you know anyone who doesn't shop price in the Internet for more expensive items? Competition is fierce! Might as well admit, we are included in that world marketplace and the image supply competition. Price isn't the only determination of why someone buys something.

Quality beats price for most discerning buyers. People selling cons, crap and junk, will sell on price alone. In my case, the prices I plan on setting for the SY site will be based on the end user value, not my cost, or anyone else's prices. I'm going to be selling less artistic, less creative than most of you. Hopefully functional, simple and useful products.

What I'm getting at is this. Price by size alone, doesn't always apply. Neither does, a market survey of asking prices, when there are different standards, subjects and product creation expenses.

But knowing the competing market and prices is still a good bit of knowledge. More info, I agree.



Hey, more info can't hurt. And I really appreciate that your are not "to dictate people's choices." One day, I hope, this will prove advantageous for SY (and I am talking sales here).

« Reply #27 on: May 17, 2013, 04:57 »
0

I'm in the same boat. Most of my stuff is hard to find. My issue will be finding suitable sites to link to that have things in common.

Doesn't it make more sense to network with people who have images which are different than yours? I shoot a lot of sports, action, and food photography. I rarely shoot People/Lifestyle, or Industrial. I want to network with people who fill niches which I don't have much of, so that searchers are finding a better mix of images between myself and the network.

« Reply #28 on: May 17, 2013, 05:39 »
0
As people start to network up with each other, I have one little fear that I thought I would get others opinions on.

The beauty of selling direct is we set our own prices. The fear of selling direct is that we set our own prices...

Eg: buyer comes to my site, sees a nice isolated apple, thinks 'yep, $20 for large size, thats what I'd pay at iStock, if not more' adds it to cart. Then he notices one of my network partners also has a nice isolated apple. Checks that one out, virtually same image, but it only costs $5 for the large, $1 for small.

Why on earth will he buy my one?

I guess what Im saying is I think we need to look out for eachother, not just ourselves when we choose our pricing, so that we don't go too low. Or there will be a lot of networked partners dropped and hurt feelings etc etc. I know I will be highly reluctant to add a network partner if I see their pricing is way too low.

What do you all think?

This is what they call free market capitalism. The market will sort this out over some time. Participate / influence the system by adjusting your prices, and see how it works out for you...

« Reply #29 on: May 17, 2013, 06:00 »
0
After I enable Paypal I am going for prices higher than on microstock, because I don't want to kill my stock sites, would be silly. And i really don't care about other people prices.
Time will show what should I do next

« Reply #30 on: May 17, 2013, 08:01 »
0

I'm in the same boat. Most of my stuff is hard to find. My issue will be finding suitable sites to link to that have things in common.

Doesn't it make more sense to network with people who have images which are different than yours? I shoot a lot of sports, action, and food photography. I rarely shoot People/Lifestyle, or Industrial. I want to network with people who fill niches which I don't have much of, so that searchers are finding a better mix of images between myself and the network.

This will be one of the interesting finding of the network as it develops.  What images will people buy from SY and what images will people buy from the regular agencies.  My "hunch" is that specialized images such as farbled's minerals might do better then general lifestyle images.

« Reply #31 on: May 17, 2013, 08:16 »
0
I have two price categories for my images: RF premium for images which are not on microstock agencies but on trad agencies and RF microstock for the images which are on microstock.
I have a higher price for panoramic pictures as well

« Reply #32 on: May 17, 2013, 16:58 »
0

I'm in the same boat. Most of my stuff is hard to find. My issue will be finding suitable sites to link to that have things in common.

Doesn't it make more sense to network with people who have images which are different than yours? I shoot a lot of sports, action, and food photography. I rarely shoot People/Lifestyle, or Industrial. I want to network with people who fill niches which I don't have much of, so that searchers are finding a better mix of images between myself and the network.

that was my first thought, but it really only works when people come to your site looking for something you don't have, which isn't going to be the case if traffic is mostly thru search engines.  so if someone doesn't find what they like on your site, they're more likely to find it on a similar site, since they wont be interested in the topics you don't cover.  the aim should be to keep buyers in the network as long as possible

« Reply #33 on: May 17, 2013, 17:26 »
0
Network search is using [keywords], so the connected sites should have some amount of similar images, otherwise the search will just show the blank page after few seconds of waiting

farbled

« Reply #34 on: May 17, 2013, 20:17 »
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I've been thinking and rethinking about who and how to network with my site. There's so many different ways to look at it. Luckily, I can change or add or take away as needed or after seeing what works and what doesn't. Ultimately, if I can find industrial sites or other niche sites (like jewelry or macro perhaps) then that would work for me. Otherwise, I think any quality portfolio would be good to link to.

One of the best things about self management is that nothing has to be carved in stone thanks to Leo and his wonderful theme. I have no doubt my network settings will change more than my pricing over time. :)

« Reply #35 on: May 17, 2013, 22:57 »
0

I'm in the same boat. Most of my stuff is hard to find. My issue will be finding suitable sites to link to that have things in common.

Doesn't it make more sense to network with people who have images which are different than yours? I shoot a lot of sports, action, and food photography. I rarely shoot People/Lifestyle, or Industrial. I want to network with people who fill niches which I don't have much of, so that searchers are finding a better mix of images between myself and the network.

that was my first thought, but it really only works when people come to your site looking for something you don't have, which isn't going to be the case if traffic is mostly thru search engines.  so if someone doesn't find what they like on your site, they're more likely to find it on a similar site, since they wont be interested in the topics you don't cover.  the aim should be to keep buyers in the network as long as possible

My initial linking has been based on selecting ports with similar themes but a different approach.  I shoot a lot of food but have no people in my portfolio.  I think a good match would be someone who shoots food but has lots of options with people eating, preparing food, etc.  I've selected a couple of sites with food shots from regions outside the US too.  I have a few isolations of food but not many so that would be another complimentary site. 

If someone searches for Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice they get my series of oranges, fresh juice and old-fashioned glass juicer but hopefully would find other options such as a mother and daughter with a contemporary juicer in a kitchen, a marketplace in South America with oranges, isolations of oranges and glasses of juice and so on, giving the buyer a wide range of related images.

Leo Blanchette

« Reply #36 on: May 17, 2013, 23:05 »
0
I shoot a lot of food but have no people in my portfolio.  I think a good match would be someone who shoots food but has lots of options with people eating, preparing food, etc.

Do you actually make the food? I'll take some - even if someone has to take a picture of me eating! I love the food shots the best btw.

« Reply #37 on: May 17, 2013, 23:23 »
0
I shoot a lot of food but have no people in my portfolio.  I think a good match would be someone who shoots food but has lots of options with people eating, preparing food, etc.

Do you actually make the food? I'll take some - even if someone has to take a picture of me eating! I love the food shots the best btw.

 :) Thanks!  We could work out a deal - fly me to Hawaii and I'll cook and take pics of you eating. :)  I didn't bake the bread but that is on my list of things I'd like to tackle.   I started with arranged ingredients but I've been trying to branch out more into prepared foods like the shrimp cocktail and guacamole shots.

« Reply #38 on: May 18, 2013, 01:08 »
0
 
I shoot a lot of food but have no people in my portfolio.  I think a good match would be someone who shoots food but has lots of options with people eating, preparing food, etc.


Do you actually make the food? I'll take some - even if someone has to take a picture of me eating! I love the food shots the best btw.


 :) Thanks!  We could work out a deal - fly me to Hawaii and I'll cook and take pics of you eating. :)  I didn't bake the bread but that is on my list of things I'd like to tackle.   I started with arranged ingredients but I've been trying to branch out more into prepared foods like the shrimp cocktail and guacamole shots.


eventually i'm planning to get my sym site linked to non-photo areas of my other websites, eg my recipe sites:

http://cascoly.hubpages.com/hub/Best-Recipes-from-Around-the-World
and  http://cascoly.com/trav/recipes.asp

if you (or other food photographers) want to add additional links that would be easy to do

« Last Edit: May 18, 2013, 14:49 by cascoly »

« Reply #39 on: May 18, 2013, 05:38 »
0
I make my own bread, can I come out to Hawaii as well please ?


 

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