Journal: Reflections on Year 2008
2008-12-23, Reflections on Year 2008
First, let's dispel any fears or rumours: We're okay!
We're not dead. We're not splitting up (sorry for those perennially asking if Dee is now single). I haven't been called up by the reserves for overseas duty. We haven't been shut down by the government. We haven't been kidnapped by aliens. We haven't entered Witness Protection. We haven't been bought out by a Korean private equity partnership. Most importantly: we're not giving up on our website.
We have slowed down.In fact. here's the breakdown:
We started posting photos in late November, 2003. Our posting frequency has gone down every year.
The biggest reason is originality.If I've already got a photo set of Dee wearing an outfit in one place, there's less reason to take and post more photos of her in that same outfit. If we've got photos of Dee spread eagle on the bed with the vibrator, why take more?
Most adult web sites just take the same outfit or vibrator and shoot a different model. We don't do that.
Life is a second factor.We started moving in 2006, and the time involved took away from fetish travel. I thought that once we've moved to Texas and got our kids into college, we'd have copious free time to indulge in fetish photography.
Yes, the kids are away at college. Except that they come home for weekends. And holidays. And our new house doesn't have a private office like I used to have. So I have less opportunity to shoot and edit than I used to.
To top it off, I've been shooting more vanilla photos, especially the Space Shuttle (I made four trips to see three launches within a 12 month period).
Finally, although Dee and I are much better off than most, the economy and the stock market have taken their toll on us emotionally. These days it's scarier to watch CNBC than the Chill Horror Movie channel.
The third reason is quality.When we started taking "dirty pictures" in January 2000, we used a point and shoot camera to take snapshots. In the last 5 years I've invested tens of thousands of dollars in better cameras, lighting equipment, travel to exotic locations, and many hours in improving my technical skills as a photographer. I've met and learned from great photographers like Ian Rath, David Lawrence, Lochai and Steven Speliotis.
Eight years ago I was documenting my wife showing her tits in the car or having nipple clamps on her as then unpierced nipples. The goal was to get lots of photos of new, fun and adventurous activities.
Today I'm trying to create a great image. It can take weeks or months to fabricate a new toy, and more hours setting up and photographing it. For example, the bed at the right took me 3 months, $5,000, and I had to drive it 1,400 miles to the new house. But it makes a great photo.
So now my focus is often on producing a single image, rather than a collection. I hope the result is better individual images even as I produce fewer gallery sets. Those really good images tend to get posted to my DeviantArt gallery first. I've even gotten two Daily Deviations this year.
GovernmentA fourth factor has been increased government harrassment of adult web sites. Since the record keeping rules were strengthed in 2006, I've been pickier about which images get published and which stay in my private folder. Ironically it's actually harder to be a "free web site" than a pay site. Pay sites know who is viewing their content. We require people to enter their birthdate (and we do the math to make sure they're age matches their birthdate). But we can't publish truly hardcore photos, even if they are artistic.
We've spent more on lawyers just trying to obey the law than we've spent on bandwidth the last three years. That's real money we have to spend just to run a free web site. Not just free: totally non-commercial. We may link to people we like or stores we buy from, but no one pays us for placement. That's one thing that's going to stay the same next year, too.
Many sites have just closed entirely. We're staying open as a matter of principle.
Don't complain to me...call your congressman or senator. It's their law.
So What Ahead for 2009?We've already made our big photographic purchase for next year: a 2008 Toy Hauler!
This fifth wheel toy hauler (and Ford SuperDuty truck) got its shakedown cruise last October when we drove it out to Phoenix for an APEX meeting. We bought it to cruise the western states shooting outdoor bondage photos.
We hope to have some truly scenic bondage photos next year.
But we don't expect to increase the quantity of photos...just the quality.
My biggest distracton next year will be my novel. That's right, I'm writing a social science fiction novel. I'm author or co-author of four technical books, but writing fiction will be difficult for me. It won't even have (much) fetish in it. Just ideas. Feel free to bug me and ask me how many pages I've written so far.
In summary, we're going to have a busy year in 2009, and we're going to keep going to fetish events (look for us at ShibariCon 2009). We're going to keep putting up photos, but we're not going to be weekly any more.
Have a happy Saturnalia and a cash-flow positive New Year!
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