Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Surgery Day...

Today was the day for Denise's laser eye surgery. We headed down toward Los Angeles and TLC's Laser Eye Center around 0900 for her 1300 appointment. We made really great time getting down there missing most of the morning traffic. We stopped off to grab some eye drops and have some lunch at this really nice Tuscan place just down the street for the surgical center. When we arrived they did the typical paper work, took us into a room to go over some of the details (money) and then took us down stairs to the surgery suite.

From there they performed some verification measurements to load into the computer, prepped Denise for surgery and then got her in the surgery room. It all went pretty darn quickly. I did take some pictures during surgery (as much as I could watch) and some throughout the morning. You can find them here!

I was a bit worried when they walked Denise out of the surgery room because she was crying and I thought maybe something was wrong. She was emotional because she could already see. The doctor had asked her to look around the room and at the clock and she was able to actually see what time it was. Immediately after the surgery she was able to see about 20/60 on the eye chart and the doctor said that was pretty impressive and most folks couldn't read that well immediately after.

Because her prescription and correction was so large it took over a minute to do the correction on each eye and as a result her recovery is going to be much longer. As it stands right now she has to wear these very attractive skying goggles to keep anything from touching her eyes and she can not rub her eyes for three months.

The amazing part is her eye sight is pretty darn good right now. She is able to read things on the computer screen and the back of boxes which she could only do before with her glasses or if she got the item about two inches from her face.

On another interesting note - we had a huge wind/dust storm at home. The worst possible thing right now is dust and crud in the air and that is what we have right now. Hopefully things will be better tomorrow but it was horrible today. There were times when I was driving home that I had to turn on the hazzards and slow down because I could no longer see the road or any of the cars behind or ahead of me. That isn't comfortable on a normal day - but when we are worried about getting dirt and dust in Denise's eyes it's even worse. Fortuantely she slept nearly the entire 2 1/2 hours home or at least with her eyes closed.

Sunday, March 25, 2007


Well we had the appointment on Friday and it went well. She is a candidate for the surgery and we have it scheduled for Tuesday afternoon. So hopefully everything will go well and she will have good vision as a result of it. They did a battery of tests and measurements on her eyes and vision, I am not sure what all they did but it took about an hour to go through everything. I did ask the person performing the tests what her uncorrected vision was and he said it was 20/1000. That is amazing... So my mom is coming down tomorrow (monday) and will watch the kids on Tuesday and take Denise down to her followup appointment on Wednesday. Hopefully everything will go well!

Oh I FINALLY finished cleaning up the garage and moved set the studio up. The shot about was a test shot with the roll of black seamless paper we bought on Friday. Other than there really isn't a lot of room I think it will work well. The problem is going to be with the distances - you really need space to shoot things right. I had to really adjust the lights to keep the background from being lit. Oh well - will have to work on that one!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Quick update...

Well - for a quick update just all the sites have accepted the shoot from Denise and I also good some good review from folks. I even received this comment from the Lucky Oliver "bouncer team"
Duane, that's a great photoshoot! Very cool haircut and makeup, makes all the difference!
I still have yet to get them on iStock - but their approval process and upload limits really slow things down.

Tomorrow is the day of Denise's Laser appointment evaluation. So we will find out what they can do, when they can do it, and how much it is going to cost. Hopefully everything goes well and we get a good vibe from the entire thing. Anne has offered to watch Devin and Desirae after soon and we will take the little terror down with us (hopefully she will refrain from the terror part of her personality).

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Gothic photo shoot

We decided to do a photo shoot tonight with a different twist. The idea of doing a gothic shoot came up - well it is something we have been talking about for a while - so after a quick trip to buy some new "unique" makeup we setup the LRS to make a go of it. It was a bit weird getting into the mood but we really started hitting a grove and I think we got some amazing images out of it. I am going to do the stock processing a bit later (maybe tonight) but this was one of my 5 star images that just jumped off the screen at me. And as is typical it is one of my tight crop shots - I didn't back up but I just really love frame filling images!

Moving up...

I know I am behind hopefully I will have something of substance to post later. But for now I have just beat my all time monthly earnings on iStock. It isn't a lot but things are moving up rather nicely. This is also the 2nd payout that I have made with iStock so including the one from ShutterStock that is $332.92 between my two main sites. Now this is what I have in my pocket not what is pending. It is just really nice to see things starting to move. I mean I have a long way to go to quit my day job (so to speak) but this is really helping. So far my projections for the rest of Mar is that I should hit somewhere around $90 for the month. I still have a bunch of images in the queue so there is a chance that the number might go higher - and if thing stay consistent then maybe April will be a solid $100+ month. This has taken a bit longer than I would have hoped - but I am just about at my 2nd goal of reaching minimum payout every month.

OBTW - I have FINALLY started to catch one of my buddies on iStock. He has 15 images and he had creamed me on sales for quite a while. For a long while I was only able to maintain a separation of about 60 downloads - but today I have reached an all time low of 21 - so I just might catch him - but I bought before the 400 mark. But its fun to watch either way!

Monday, March 12, 2007

Odd weekend...

Well, we had really great plans for this weekend. I had to be close in case I was called and Denise wanted to use the trailer so we headed to our close full-hookup spot for a bit of camping and relaxation... At least that was the plan... For some reason both Devin and Desirae were going crazy complaining, arguing, and just being as frustrating as humanly possible. We arrived kind of late so that put a few extra stresses on everything. The next day as we were exploring the kids weren't happy for anything and that didn't stop until late on Saturday - which then was pretty good. I did make some photos on Saturday when the sun was setting (the picture above). The best part, as we were coming home Desirae blew chunks in the truck. I guess it could have been worse because Denise DIDN'T use my new photo jacket/vest to clean it up. When we got home and I was unhooking the trailer the tongue jack stripped out - which means I couldn't get the truck disconnected from the trailer... No problem, just a hour drive into town to get to the parts place before they closed and then a leisurely drive back... You gotta be kidding me... Anyway I took today off so I could fix the darn thing (which was easier than I thought it would be) and then I just did sprinklers, tree, dirt, more sprinklers, utility trailer, and took a nap... Maybe two... We need another weekend to relax from our weekend...

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

More haircuts...

Desirae has been wanting to have her hair cut so Denise asked Anne if she would do it today. So we have another haircut in the house! It wasn't too drastic and looks very nice. Desirae was really happy to get her haircut and it was great that Anne was able to do it over at the house.

FYI - the inspection at work is going okay - at least for us. I have heard there are problems but we haven't heard too many details. If everything goes well then life will be good. If the base fails - it is going to be very very very bad for the next couple of months.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Best Day Ever...

Well the new batch of images is helping out. I had my best day ever on ShutterStock with a total of 15 downloads. Not a lot of money - but it was nice to sell the most I have ever in one day. Earning wise I still am doing MUCH better on iStock - but in all the numbers on all the sites are going up. So things are moving in the right direction! The funny thing is one of the images that sold twice was just an out of focus image that I blurred, then ran through some filters, and then posted. It was an abstract and people actually bought it. For trivia sakes - it was one of the images from Denise and Devin in the park - that were out of focus. You can see from the capture on the right that it was a mix of images that sold today - some new some old - but still a good day.

Opps - I posed too soon... We're now at 16...

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Planting a tree...

Denise has been waiting to plant a tree in the spot where the palm tree once lived. So today we dug up the spot and got everything ready to plant the newly purchased Fruitless Mulberry tree. It is supposed to grow pretty good and provide a lot of shade. That will be nice to have some of that around here! Anyway we are both pretty tired and i can't really think of too much to write.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

More pictures...

It is hard to believe it has only been a white since the Rinder/Deal seminar. If seems like it has been a LONG time ago - but I am sure my regular work week had a lot to do with that (been another one of those weeks!). The photo here was one that Steve took of me on the white set while we were setting up waiting for the models to arrive. It was one of those stand "here" and let's see how the lights look. So this was the set with the guitar girls series. Anyway I have been a process fiend the last couple of days (and today) just about finishing all of my images. I still have to completely finish and then make all the CDs for all the models. I really hope once my new images hit the search engines that my sells get a nice (consistent) spike. So far my numbers are doing better and iStock is really starting to churn out for me. Still small numbers but growing steadily. I also am getting some ground on a couple of the other sites I am using - one of them (FeaturePics) I was beginning to think I should just drop - but I have had movement on that site as well - actually just had another sell while I am writing this!

Thursday, March 01, 2007


You know, if this pesky day job wasn't in the way I would be able to get more WORK done! Anyway I got home really late today but I did manage to work some more on Tiffini's pictures. I selected 17 that I think will be good for stock and run them through the processing mill to get them ready for uploading. As I type I am uploading the series and I hope to finish the process with at least one of my sites. I am happy with the series and it will be interesting to see how the reviewers process them. This is a larger batch then I would normally submit all at once but I think I will go ahead and mass the button.

Denise called today and made her evaluation appointment to get her eyes done for the Friday 23 Mar. This darn inspection at work makes it nearly impossible to do it any sooner. So this will be the day we found out if they can do it, how much it will cost, and when they can do it. It is really going to be cool for her to not have to wear glasses and contacts!

OBTW - whoever is still keeping track - I still like new hair cut!!!