Snow Days

January 12:
– Workflow
– Exposure Triangle
– Packaging
– Calculating a return on investment
– Creating a budget

So, welcome back to my blog! Thursday and Friday Kathy and I didn’t feel like driving was safe the last two days. Today, I came into the office a bit late due to a doctor’s appointment. Once I came in, Kathy and I spent a little time talking about what I will do for my business, then around 2:00 we went out to a house in Sylvania to shoot. It was a newly built house, and very nice. Kathy taught me about the exposure triangle during this and more about lighting. For example, what lighting can do when you place it differently.

More on the business side of things, I need to create a budget. This is difficult, because there are these pesky little things called start-up costs. I need to spend the money on listing different kinds of scarves before I can actually sell them. I mean I have to make a scarf to show people, it has to say “hey, look how amazing my product is. Give me your money and it will be yours and you will live happily ever after, the end.” This is easier said than done. I will inevitably spend time and money on a scarf that just plain won’t sell well. This is sad and very frustrating, but a fact I am learning about small businesses.

Also, a workflow is necessary. I think I have decided that this will be my work flow: make a sample product, list it, along with the other varieties of that product, sell it, and make the product (if it is different than the sample). This is more efficient than buying lots of of yarn, spending hours on creating it, and it doesn’t sell. Then what? I spent a ridiculous amount of money on yarn and now no return. However, I may change this later, if things seem to progress. The beauty about owning a small business is that you can customize your workflow and day-to-day activities. 

We discussed what calculating return on an investment is, and how it applies to me. It’s mostly just subtraction. For example, I sell a scarf for $30. I  bought the yarn for $14, the shipping is $5, and I include a $1 piece of tissue paper in each package. So 30 – 14 – 5 – 1 = 10. For every scarf I make then, I receive $10. Given the amount of time I put into making each scarf, is this worth it? See my second post for more detail on this!

Also, while we are on this topic, packaging? How will I package my products? I don’t want to just throw them into a USPS box and ship it, do it? Shouldn’t I have opening a box from my shop be a fun task that really makes my product stand out? I think I will wrap the gift in tissue paper. I’m not entirely sure yet because I haven’t actually sold anything..

Now, an exposure triangle is built of three things: aperture, shutter speed, and level of sensitivity to available light (ISO). Aperture is that tiny little hole in the camera lens that decides how much light is accepted into the photo. It does this by varying the size of the hole. A larger aperture allows LESS light into the photo than a smaller one. This is confusing, I know. I had to verify that fact with Kathy precisely three times before posting this.

Shutter speed is a concept I discussed before. Click here to go to my mini photography lesson on shutter speed!

Lastly, ISO. ISO is how sensitive your camera is to the available light. So, if I have a higher ISO, the more light I can take from each situation. However, if the ISO is too high, the image can appear grainy. This is because the camera is trying to put more data into a picture, The digital camera does this by adding pixels. Once you add too many pixels, the photo appears grainy. If the ISO is too low, the photo can be dark, but also, it limits how sensitive your camera is to light. So on a bright, snowy day, we have to decrease the ISO, or everything will be white and washed out.

Together, these three elements can create either a really good photo or a really bad one. I don’t completely understand these three things yet, but Kathy and I are going to work on them much more in the upcoming days. I’m so excited to learn more!

 

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