Photo of Custom dining table by Phil Garcia

What to do in a Slow Economy?

Its obvious by now that the economy has taken the biggest down hill slide since the “Great Depression”. The Dow going from the 12,000 highs to 7,000’s today, mortgage money only lent to people actually qualified, and job seekers actually having to compete for jobs rather than be competed for!

But those of us who will survive, will have done some basic things to do so, and the most important in my opinion is believing that we can.

Survive. It may take dipping into the retirement account and letting the debt level rise, but also it will require some rethinking of how we operate.

There is an old expression to the effect that catastrophe and opportunity are dependent on viewpoint. If I had a lot of cash, I would certainly see the stock prices today as a GLORIOUS opportunity! (I don’t)

But what are the opportunities offered us by the current conditions?

Resources are less expensive. Qualified labor is more available. Change in operating basis is easier.

The first two are fairly self evident, the last for me the most intriguing. As business is slower, I have the time to examine how I work and tinker with it. I have purchased a new camera that delivers 22 megapixel raw images that open into glorious 60 megabyte finished image!

And on the line of the now firmly in place digital paradigm, I am experimenting with new software for processing images, and new ways of delivering them.

One newly maturing technology is High Dynamic Range images, where several exposures in a range from dark to light are combined into one image that contains much more detail in both the shadows and highlights than previously possible. I have now added this to my workflow and in some cases is a marked improvement in what I am able to deliver in a final image.

The other bit of technology I am playing with is the “cloud” concept. Collaborative digital connections over the web. I have recently signed up with “” for collaboration and delivery of my images to you. It allows images to be commented on such as during a retouching process, and uploaded in full resolution for download from a single page when finalized. One of the biggest advantages to this is that when I deliver my work in non-tangible form, I do not need to charge you sales tax, a 7-8% instant discount for you and a lessening of paperwork for me!

Inline with this new toy, I am offering a Rotten Economy Package for certain services.  If you mention this blog, and will take delivery of images via, I will shoot a kitchen or a bath, one main angle and two supplementary views, not requiring a reset of lights, for the package price of $350. No disk, and I’ll even email the invoice and save a little bit of paper. And to sweeten the deal even more, (and since gas prices are down again) I’ll even forgo any travel time or mileage charges if  the job is in my normal  areas, Napa valley to say Auburn, and Lodi to …..whatever is up that way!

Sweet huh? Tell your friends!

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