rondon

Our plans to decorate tourism properties throughout the South Pacific with my photographs have born early fruit, with our first order to supply large photographic prints for a luxury wilderness lodge in Papua New Guinea.

The lodge – Rondon Ridge – is the flagship property of  Trans Niugini Tours – Papua New Guinea’s largest tour operator. We are looking at providing similar prints to each of their seven properties.

Two, 3 metre x 3 metre, canvas prints have been hung in the venue’s public space (above), and 16 large, framed prints will decorate each of the venue’s new rooms.

Each of the prints, which are featured in my coffee table book Tribal PNG,  has been signed and registered for authenticity as part of a 25 print limited edition (http://www.kirklandphotos.com/portfolio/14-destination-asia).

We are currently working with the operator to build an on-line platform so their guests can order the prints and have them waiting by the time they return home.

Our intention is to work with just one property or operator in each of the South Pacific countries I photograph to provide an exclusive collection of limited edition, fine art prints featuring the destination’s culture.

 

Nadia, our framer, holding up one of our resort prints.

Nadia, our framer, holding up one of our resort prints.

I usually use the lull of January to embark on at least one personal creative project to begin the year, drawing from the images I’ve accumulated earlier.

Last year it was my Tribal PNG coffee table book and the series of fine art prints for the associated exhibition. This month, in keeping with my priority to develop three new passive income streams,  I’ve spent time conceiving a new souvenir book template which we’ll now apply to several destinations I’ve photographed.

Papua New Guinea being one of my strongest libraries, is the first cab off the rank.

The new, hard cover book will be larger than our earlier souvenir publications – more prestigious in design I’d like to think, created in a square format with single, stronger images on each page, illustrated maps to show where each photograph has been captured and extended captions to tell the story.  As we did last year, we’ll print a full mock-up of the book through Momento and I’ll use it to secure orders before printing at least 3,000 copies off-shore (hard not to when it’s one third the cost of printing it here). We’re working through stock options at the moment, expecting to add a few “bells and whistles” to the cover (embossing, gold foiling, maybe even spot celo-glaze to the pictures) to lift the design before it heads for  the presses). Distribution, again, is likely to be our biggest challenge, though we’ll approach it differently this year and look to secure business partners in each of the countries to build a solid souvenir range.

Here’s a quick snapshot of the first book in the series. Using the same template, the other two books (different destinations) should role off the production line over the next six months.

Otherwise, back to work in a week, with eight assignments ready to go.  Looking forward to heading off again.

New souvenir book series heading for the presses

New souvenir book series heading for the presses

I’m on holiday until the end of the month and I don’t normally post non-photography subjects on my blog but a friend sent me this some time ago and I wanted to share it.

What a superb delivery and such a moving validation of the power and joy of visual art (even if it did come via Doctor Who).

Can such emotion be achieved through photography?

Absolutely.

Click here to feel the joy of art

Click here to feel the joy of art

At the start of last year, I set my trajectory to becoming a fine art photographer by 2024 .

Since then, amid my usual workload, I’ve made some inroads having published a fine art coffee table book, mounted two photographic exhibitions and seen my work hung permanently as featured art in an overseas resort.

But the process has revealed the evolution I’m seeking is likely to be slow – at least while the majority of my time is spent earning a living (the lament of many a creative person I’m sure).

So, as 2014 comes to an end,  I’ve decided to take a detour in the year ahead and concentrate on developing three passive income streams which will allow me to travel with more time to pursue my interests as a photographer and a writer. To do this, I’m looking to add value to the photographs I capture – not just to create an immediate return but to create an on-going return that will require less involvement on my part after, say, five years.

Here, as I did about this time last year  (Ten Year Plan), is me using the dawn of a new year to review and focus my ambitions.

1. Building a Commercial Photo Library

In 2015, I will create a new commercial vehicle to sell photographs – mine and the work of other photographers. The entity will be separate to the work I do for tourism authorities or the images I supply to international photo libraries which represent me. It will begin with the building of a dedicated photo library on one destination (possibly Vanuatu) which I have already photographed – the images I have captured becoming the foundations of a much broader commercial library.

The on-line library (Mock-up entrance page below) will be fully automated to supply high resolution images and retrieve payment, offering immediate access to thousands of photos and limited edition prints captured of the destination at highly competitive prices.

I’d envisage it will take two years to build the library (the time required to caption and meta tag all the images being the most daunting prospect as I’m the only person who can do it). We’ll launch it in six months and I’ll add to it through at least two dedicated assignments before 2017 to broaden the range and lift the number of images to a viable commercial level, by which time the library will be established in the marketplace and we will have refined the model enough to apply a similar template to other countries.

Concept entrance page for new On-Line Photo LIbrary

Concept entrance page for new On-Line Photo LIbrary

2. Publishing more Books

The second passive income initiative will focus on ramping up the activities of my publishing company, Frontier Publications.
In my bid to meet my assignment commitments last year, I took my eye off our publishing ventures, adding just one book in 2014 to the 13 books we’ve published to date. In the new year, we will conceive a new style of souvenir book to sell in the destinations I have photographed. At the same time,we will seek publishing partners for several other books I’m planning that will require international distribution.

3. Packaging Photographs and Stories for the media as a travel photographer.

The third passive income venture on the cards will see me working on syndicating a travel feature for magazines and newspapers – maybe six features a year – which will combine photographs I’ve captured and a travelogue I’ll write with lessons on photography tailored to a specific destination ( ie best places to photograph, right time of day, tips etc). While it’s unlikely to be lucrative initially (I left travel writing more than two decades ago because there was no money in it), I’ll look towards syndicating the features and attracting sponsors. The endeavour will see me feeding my commercial libraries, broadening my contacts and elevating my international profile to create new opportunities. Most Importantly, it will see a slower – hopefully, a more considered – pace introduced to my journey which will allow for a return to the pleasure I derive from traveling widely, photographing subjects I enjoy and writing about the things that capture my interest.

And what measure of success I hear you ask?  Well, by the end of 2015, I will have launched the prototype of my commercial photo library on an overseas destination, I will have published two new books and I will have conceived the editorial package for syndication and approached several media outlets to get it off the ground.

…. That, on top of my assignments (eight already commissioned), should see me pretty busy in 2015 and back on track in 2016 with more time to spend on realising the goal I’ve set to become a fine art photographer specialising in traditional culture.

To end, I’m reminded of this quote I read recently::

“Don’t let anything stand in the way of you claiming and manifesting the life that you choose rather than the life you have by default.”

…..Indeed.

Hoping your festive period is this much fun.

Hoping your festive period is this much fun.

Our working year ends tomorrow and with 13 assignments completed in 2014, including two ocean cruises, I’m looking forward to spending some time at home (where travel photographers tend to go for their holidays in case you’re curious).

It’s been a big year. Apart from the assignments – most of which have been overseas – we’ve mounted two photographic exhibitions (one in Australia, the other abroad) – and published a fine-art photography book on Papua New Guinea to draw attention to the vulnerability  and value of traditional cultures. Two other books are in the making (13 published to date), we’ve begun producing Limited Edition prints for resort properties and we’ve entered a strategic relationship with an international photo library which will represent my work in the northern hemisphere.

And, with eight assignments already commissioned in 2015, I’m happy to say it’s looking like more of the same.

To all who have visited this Blog, thank you for the compliment of your attention. I’ve enjoyed showing my photographs and writing for you and I hope you’ve gained some insight into the often uncertain, largely challenging but hugely rewarding world of a travel photographer.

I look forward to sharing more of my images and stories with you in 2015.