Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Make a calendar? OK it's a date!

I had an interesting email from a friend the other day who wanted to tell me about a company called Calvendo. They produce and sell calendars created by photographers using their own photos. Calvendo were particularly interested in bird photos at that time so since I have thousands of nice photos just languishing on my computer I thought I would have a go.


So far I have produced two calendars, the cover of one of them is shown above.

Like so many photographers I would dearly like to have an outlet for my work. It is one thing amassing a collection of beautiful shots, but quite another to share them with other people and enjoy their delight in your work. This is what someone called "oxygen for artists". Without feedback and appreciation like this the artist can become stale and demotivated. Oxygen from outside is needed to breathe life back into your passion. That is partly why I write this Blog, have a website www.johncrabb.co.uk  and a Facebook page www.facebook.com/johncrabbwildlifeimages

The Calvendo interface is really slick and easy to use, their web address is www.calvendo.co.uk if you want to have a look. 

You first upload thirteen photos, one for the cover and one for each month of the year. Then you choose a calendar format and allocate photos to each page - their capable interface makes sure that you do this correctly. The calendar above was produced to A4 format and is specifically for the UK market. You could choose a French or German version if you wanted, as long as you know enough to provide text in those languages! I am thinking of having a go at a French one - bit scared though!

Selecting photos for each calendar was really the difficult bit for me. Here are some flying Swans from my archive which I included in this calendar.


 And here what I consider to be a beautiful shot of a Great Egret.



 And below is Miss May, a Bittern for that month!



I could show you all the months of course, but perhaps just one more on this Blog. It's a Short Eared Owl for March.


I had often wanted to do a calendar and actually did make one a few years ago! I only paid to have 25 printed and even then I was sweating about selling them all before the advent of January killed the market. So publishing a calendar is normally a big risk. Who wants a bedroom full of unsold and unsellable out-of-date calendars to dispose of?

That is the beauty of the Calvendo approach. Firstly, they only print calendars when they receive an order and, secondly, the calendar that you create this year can be reused in subsequent years because they simply change the dates information that goes with the photos. 

You can set a price for your own creation and a table immediately tells you the amount you will receive for each calendar sold. My only beef with the pricing is that the minimum price you are allowed to set looks quite expensive to me. Anyway, it is all completely free to you and does not cost a penny.

I do not know if I will sell any, but Calvendo do their best to maximise your chances. Once you have submitted your creation they give it a good hard looking at and offer advice on any changes that might be needed to maximise its impact. They arrange for it to be allocated an ISBN number and then list it on various websites - here is my listing on Book Depository http://www.bookdepository.com/Beauty-Birds-Flight-2016-John-Crabb/9781325107803   Amazon listing is in the pipeline.

So what about my second calendar I hear you asking?

That one is called "Garden Birds in Flight" and here is the cover photo.



You might notice that I have chosen to go for the "international" square format for this one. I have no idea if it will make any difference. Here is just one more shot from that creation



Here is the Book Depository listing for this one http://www.bookdepository.com/Garden-Birds-Flight-2016-John-Crabb/9781325107544

Here is a link to both calendars on the Calvendo site http://www.calvendo.co.uk/galerie/?s=John+Crabb&lang=2&cat=0&type=0&kdgrp=0&format=0

So, I obviously do not yet know how well it is all going to work out, but I have my fingers crossed. Certainly Calvendo have provided all the mechanics and the support that were needed to get these projects off the ground (get it?). All I had to do was provide the photos - simples. It has been a very satisfying process and I already have ideas for two more projects.

Please do visit my website at www.johncrabb.co.uk   and perhaps follow and "like" my Facebook page at  www.facebook.com/johncrabbwildlifeimages

Oh! and you may even like to buy a calendar, it would mean a lot to me!