Panorama: Balance rock after early spring thunderstorm, Arches National Park, Utah, USA
Times are difficult and challenging, I guess many are in the same boat. Our live is set to become very turbulent very soon with some major events happening in our lives.
Let me share the biggest news first - we are expecting another baby which is due within the next 2-4 weeks. We are very happy and exicted about it but also very scared after our somehow very difficult times we had with our first baby Daniel. As some of you know, he was born with Downs Syndrome, too early and had to spent almost 4 weeks in intensive care at the start. He is doing very fine today and makes our days brighter and happy, every single day and so far we are happy with his development too.
So if you don't hear from me all it sudden you know that I'm gone for a short "baby break".
The other news is big too - we are just rolling out a major update for my main website www.HickerPhoto.com.
Over 4 years I have worked together with professional programmers to develop my own website software from scratch. That is a big deal, it has taken a lot of my time developing ideas and to communicate with the programmers so they can put it into code. We were supposed to be ready 2 years ago but unfortunately I never got the hours from the programmers I needed. On the other side it was a major cost factor too which slowed us down a lot.
The reason why I'm so excited about is easy, HickerPhoto our main income today. As a independent freelance photographer I have to sell most of my photos by myself. That includes direct image licensing to publishers, selling fine art photo prints and so on. HickerPhoto.com was one of the most visited photo site of any individually photographer till about a year ago. But I also new that our software behind the website had some issues which needed to be fixed soon. As mentioned, unfortunately it took much longer for our new software to come in place, which did cost us about 50-70% of our total web traffic = income = food.
Another reason is that I was holding back most of my new images of the last 2-3 years, I kept them all back till I have the website running on the new software. That was probably one of the toughest things to do not to publish my new pictures. Now we exchanging the software in the background and very soon I can start showing you my new photos, a new fine art photo series, free wallpapers and I will be able to replace all the very old, very bad looking thumbnails. They all will be replaced we newly developed and hires photos. of course I have to compress them but the all over image quality is much better - in short I have finally the tools to show you lots of new and great photography.
Please join me, I love Google+ and I will remain very active but our lives are really on HickerPhoto.com, it is more then just a website for us, it is our live and something we worked on uncountable hours. Our long term plan is to provide you with excellent photography mixed with some travel stories and some travel information which hopefully will help others to have a better trip!
So here we go - I will talk some more about all this in the next few days, if you interested just follow this blog AND join me on HickerPhoto.com and watch the site grow with new pictures every day!
Very exciting times but also scary doing all this right at the edge of birth, if we would loose more traffic (which happens a lot with major upgrades) it would get tight if we loose that stream of image sales (licensing) and fine art photo prints (canvas wraps).
Ahhh, right...the Ad's... well, in very short: because of having a lot of traffic (even that it is down right now short term) we also have to maintain a lot of servers to serve the website to you. This is a very expensive part which needs to be paid for every month. The ad's a re helping us to pay for it. They are a important part today for us to be able to be "online". I know they take a bit apart from the all over beauty of the website BUT the pictures are the same, I can offer you a better way to look at my pictures and it is simply supporting us by covering parts of the ongoing costs. Honestly, I don't even think they are bad at all - I think it is providing additional information. They are normally very targeted and often helpful to find a flight, a tour operator or any other travel and photographer related "things".
So, please come and check out HickerPhoto.com, here I will show you my new pictures and great photo galleries. By simply visiting my website you already support us, because of the Ad's and it does not cost you a cent! It helps us to continue to share my images with you, offer free wallpapers, free images for your private blog, sharing information and so much more we do on HickerPhoto.com.
Thanks for listening today - as said in the headline, lots is going on right now, it is very turbulent, exciting and scary at the same time.
Thanks for supporting me and my family, by reading this blog, looking at my pictures...and if you liked it please give me a +1 on google, a like on facebook or twitter about it - it all supports me and my family! We are NOT a rich cooperation, we are a small company, ran by my wife and myself and sometimes, when we can afford it, we are always happy to hire someone to help us.
That's why I think the Ad's are not bad at all - they pay for parts of it!
Although you can already see the upgraded HickerPhoto.com, we are still working on parts right now, please let me know when you run into a problem or if you don't like anything. I will update you with more exciting stuff over the next few days! Tanks for listening!