Kansas City Zoo Photo Club Meeting Minutes
April 19, 2004

Bill Pasek called the meeting to order around 7 p.m.  The club met for the first time in the conference room of the Deramus Building!

 Tonight we welcomed lots of guests and new members – Ron and Monica Johnson, Avery, Wylie, Richard McAllister, and the Reverend Patrick Curry.  Bill welcomed the guests and invited them to attend a few meetings to see if they are interested in joining the club.  Some of them are here because they saw our photo kiosk in the Deramus lobby!

 Jim Rendina explained that he and Bill had gotten out finally two or three weeks ago to complete a swap of the old photos with new ones for the kiosk.  We will probably go with what we have for now; we even have an up-to-date picture of the baby rhino.

 Jim said we need to vote as a club on what to do next on the kiosk.  Do we want to do reptile shots, since we are having the reptile exhibit here for the summer?  We should probably do a facelift on the mats, too.  It was suggested that we do half reptiles and half lorikeets, since there also will be lorikeet feeding this summer.  What photography options will exist at the reptile exhibit?  If the reptiles are behind glass, that might not be good for taking pictures.  Sarah O’Bryan said she didn’t know too much about the exhibit yet.

 Jim suggested we form a committee to get together and decide what to do with the kiosk.  Carla Farris and Linda Hanley volunteered.

 Sarah explained that the reptile exhibit will open to the public May 29.  Dan asked if the rule still held that only a couple of people at a time could take pictures of the animals.  Sarah confirmed this and said that only two or three people would be able to go in ahead of time before the exhibit opens.

 At the next meeting, we will have a drawing similar to the one we did at the last meeting to shoot the rhino, only this one will be for the reptile exhibit.  If the opportunity also arises to photograph the lorikeets, Sarah can call and let us know.

 A behind-the-scenes walk-through of the zoo was discussed.  Sarah said she has no Saturday or Sunday free to do a behind-the-scenes photo tour right now.  She’s currently booked, so she would like to hold off on this until the next meeting.  The club agreed. 

Sarah passed around a list of animals that the zoo could use photos of.  These are for the zoo’s Adopt a Wild Child program.  If you want to get some shots of these animals to donate, that would be great!  Sarah prefers digital images at 300 dpi.  This has proved to be the cheapest way to get 4x6 images.  She can use vertical or horizontal shots.  Sarah was asked if she needed full body shots or just head shots.  She said it didn’t really matter, as long as it is a good shot of the animal.  If you can’t get her digital images, she can scan them, but she prefers digital.

 Steve Brewer was asked for an update on our Web site.  Steve said he lost a hard drive recently and got behind, so he hasn’t got the individual gallery pages all updated yet.  He will get them updated soon.

 If you have images to display on the Web site, get them to him or Jim.  They prefer that the pictures be in 640x480 format; 72 dpi is best, because while these will look good online, they won’t print well.  This discourages theft of your images.

 Peggy Lawrey talked about our photo wall in Deja Zoo.  She said she is determined to keep the wall full.  We had said in the past that we wouldn’t want any person to have more than two pictures up at a time, but Peggy said that some people have more than two, because she wants to keep the wall full and others haven’t turned in pictures to hang.

 If you sell a picture, especially if it is one hanging on the wall, please e-mail and tell Peggy so she can replace it with another picture.

 The rack for unframed photos is down to about a half-dozen prints.  Steve said he was in Deja Zoo recently, and the wall looks good.

 Gary Gingrich noted that our information on the wall says we will take checks or cash, but he had a check bounce.  He suggested that we may want to think about specifying cash only in the future, especially if anyone else has had a check bounce.

 Wayne Hickox stated that he would like to thank Sarah O’Bryan for the cooperation and assistance she has given the club.  The group agreed and thanked Sarah via a round of applause.

 Marie Bohndorf moderated this week’s Tech Talk.  The talk was on pricing your photos to sell.

 Marie started it off by explaining that she usually uses a price of $50 for her 8x10 or 8x12 shots matted and framed to 11x14.  For her 11x14s matted and framed to 16x20, she uses a price of $75.  That seems to be what people are willing to pay, in her experience.

 Mostly she frames with a black metal frame.  Terry Fretz says he tries to use a neutral color, as that is supposed to be more marketable.  Wayne pointed out that he doesn’t always use a neutral color.  For example, he uses a brown suede mat with his shot of the lilac-breasted roller, and that seems to sell well.  Linda Hanley stated that brown could almost be considered a neutral color; it goes well with many things.

 What about selling matted-only versus matted and framed pictures?  Steve said framing increases the cost and is kind of a matter of opinion in terms of what looks best with the picture.  Because everyone has different tastes, he opts to mat his only – he shrink-wraps his prints with corrugated cardboard behind them, rather than framing them.

 Linda said she buys cellophane bags for her prints from Light Impressions.

 Marie clarified that if she is selling matted-only prints, she usually prices them at $25 to $30, or roughly half what the framed ones cost. 

Gary stated that all the images he has sold have been framed but without a mat.  He uses Kodak glossy paper, which is supposed to be guaranteed archival quality for 50 years.  He leaves a one-inch white border in an 8x10 frame and sells the print for $25.  He’s sold about a dozen of these in the last year.

 You also can cover the matted picture with a piece of glass the size of the mat and secure it with clips.  This sells well, it supports the picture, and it can be used or replaced with a typical frame once the buyer gets the work home.  This is a really inexpensive approach.

 Wayne said that you also can order frames relatively cheaply.  You can get a 16x20 sectional frame that you assemble for about $15 or less.  Then you add a piece of glass and foam core behind.

 No one said that they priced their work based on cost, but you do need to consider cost, of course.  Marie said a fellow that used to be in the camera club who sold quite a bit of his work told the club to price its work at three times whatever cost you put into it.

 Marie said she used to work in a photo shop, and she learned there that you should never put the print against the glass or it will stick – you need a mat.

 What kind of paper should you use?  If you want crispness, you should use glossy paper.  Steve said he likes to use a mat finish with portraits – it hides wrinkles and flaws better.  Marie passed around an example of three different types of finish – glossy, satin, and mat.

 Jim said that no mat and no frame are really common in the art shows now.

 It was asked whether most people are using home printing or lab services.  Micky Norton said he has heard that Kodak rates its paper’s quality using a lot less light than would be typical – so it may only last one-third as long as stated.  Linda said she has heard that anything printed on less than an Epson 2200 printer won’t last long, so it’s best to use lab services otherwise.  Unfortunately, these lab services won’t be in business long, as the cost is too prohibitive.

 Wayne said he thought it was hard to make much money selling prints if you consider all the costs in gas, film, equipment, and so on.  He just hopes to sell a few pictures.  He said his 16x20 prints have about $40 of cost in them.  He gets his prints made in Colorado and buys frames from a company in Connecticut. 

Bill thanked Marie and everyone for a good Tech Talk.

 Barbara Chase passed out updated member lists.  Please check to see if your name is on the list and the information is right.  If not, let her know.

 Bill asked if anyone had anything to Buy-Sell-Trade.  Dan said he traded in his camera and sold all of his darkroom equipment already.  A new member (Note:  I believe this was Patrick Curry) has a couple of medium-format Yashica cameras for sale, and Steve has a Mamiya 645 and lens.

 The club took a break at about 7:50 p.m.  At 8 p.m., the group reconvened.  Barbara and Marie explained about a letter they received from Friends of the Kaw asking if the club wanted to rent a table for the Lewis and Clark weekend.  The club discussed this.  The fee would be $250 for a 10x10 booth for all ten days, from June 25 to July 4, and $400 for a booth just on the weekends.  We would have to have someone there all the time the booth was open.  The group decided not to take advantage of this opportunity.

 Bill said that Libby has been too busy with work to cover the Treasurer’s duties.  Terry agreed to take these duties over.

 Dan Paulsen was asked about the planned trip to the Tallgrass Prairie.  It is south of here, near Emporia and about 16 miles from Strong City.  It takes about 2.5 hours to get there from 119th and Metcalf.  Dan has planned to go there on the 22nd of May, which is the weekend before Memorial Day.  It does not cost to get in but there is a bus ride out into the prairie that costs about $2.  There is also an afternoon hayride for two hours around sunset on a flatbed truck for $12 a person.  If we went as a group, we might be able to negotiate for more time.  There is an interesting town south of Strong City called Cottonwood Falls.  It has an all-brick main street.  If people want to stay overnight, they can stay in Emporia; it is about 20 minutes from the prairie.  The group was asked for a show of hands as to how many were interested; a number of members expressed an interest.  We would need to car pool.  Call Dan if you are interested.  We could meet at the Great Mall in Olathe to car pool.  He will contact everyone about where to meet at around 7 a.m. that morning.

 Wayne said he went out to Ernie Miller Nature Park on Friday to see how it was.  He said there are very few wildflowers up yet, just some sweet Williams mainly.

 Sarah said that there will be a place for the photo club on the zoo’s Web site soon.  They are changing one of the tabs from “Children’s Clubs” to “Clubs” in general, and a link to our Web site will be on that tab.  Hopefully this will happen by next month.

 Jim asked about whether there would be club meetings on the same night as Starlight shows this summer.  If so, we could park in the Rhino lot and just tell the zoo staff that we are here for the camera club.  Sarah said the Starlight shows do not occur on Monday nights, so we should be okay anyway.  But let Sarah know if you have a problem.

 Gary told the group that if anyone is interested in selling images on the Web, there is a new Web site called photogateway.com that is looking for photographers who want to sell their images.  You retain rights to your images and set the dollar amount for commercial versus noncommercial use.  They do all the work to support the searches, and they get a commission – 35% of the sale.  Gary has had images up there for a week and has had people preview them but no sales yet.  On the 20th of every month, they cut checks to those who have sold work.  They have a good search engine.  You enter keywords for your images.  The images are of good quality.  They want high-resolution images; they then offer the images in three different resolutions.  They take only .JPGs.  They have a wide variety of images.  Each photographer has to have at least three images, and you can have an unlimited number.  They display 18 images to a page.  This afternoon there were 610 pages of images so far.  The site launched at the end of February, so it is relatively new.  Clients download from the Internet to purchase.  Thumbnails have your copyright on them.

 Michelle Riley is working on the speaker for next month.

 Jim will get name tags for our three new members by next month.

 The meeting concluded with our show-and-tell program by members.  Carla showed a CD of images.  She received a first prize at the Great Plains Nature Center for her picture of an eagle from Squaw Creek.  Congratulations, Carla!

 The images included some of the new baby rhino taken by Carla and also by Peggy.  The baby rhino is now on exhibit, hopefully on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.  The mother has calmed down some, and the baby is jumping around like a puppy.  Carla’s other shots were all taken at the zoo and included flamingos, dingo, camels, elephants, birds, kangaroos, and the red panda.

 Linda showed some slides from Kearney, Nebraska of sandhill cranes.  These were taken about three weeks ago.  She took them with a 400mm on a digital camera, which is the equivalent of roughly 600mm on film.  Some of these were wide-angle shots of the Platte River.

 Tracy Goodrich shared some slides of a trip to Canyonlands in Utah and some from the zoo.

 The meeting adjourned around 8:45 p.m.  The next meeting is May 17 at 7 p.m.

                             -- Tracy Goodrich