Friday, September 07, 2007

State of the Calendar Address....

I have a confession to make. I really don't like making calendars. I'm always proud of them when I'm done, but the process of making them I find slow, tedious, and not very fun. For days on end, I'm having to pick among photos, and I always feel a little bit bad when I set one aside and say, "No, not that one." Because someone, somewhere, would be disappointed with that decision. It's kind of a depressing process.

In the end, however, it's worth it. That first time the calendar arrives in the mail, and I open that box flipping through every page and thinking, "Wow! That so friggin' cool!"

It's worth it, but I don't find the process of creating them very fun or interesting. I tend to dread it every year. After a couple of days, I find myself doing other things. Working on the code base for AQ a bit. (Major progress on that Next Big Update, I might add!) But I continue working on the calendar as well since it won't get done otherwise, and I'd rather not have it hanging over my head. However, because of my dislike for the task, they aren't coming together as fast as they could. That's my fault, and I apologize, but they will get done!

Yesterday, I spent much of the afternoon making final decisions about what photos I'd use for two calendars. When I finished, I looked through the 'serious' photos and thought, "Wow! This is the best calendar yet!" The silly calendar--I'm not sure I'd call it the best, but it'll likely make you smile every time you look at it. =)

As a final check, I tried to make sure I didn't overuse a certain type of photo, nor have the calendar dominated by a single photographer, nor have a certain part of the country with the overwhelming number of photos. Spread things out a bit and add variety. Variety across photographers, variety across the subject matter, and variety from around the country.

Ultimately, I chose four sunset pictures, each of them quite different of the others, and all of them amazing. Those were the toughest to pick from, because there were a LOT of really phenomenal sunset photos to choose from. I worried that even using four in the calendar might be a bit overkill, but wow! What photos!

And it hit me--did I have enough sunset photos to actually make a calendar with JUST sunset photos? The 2008 Atlas Quest letterboxing calendar--the Sunset Edition?

I flipped through every submission with a sunset, counting them, and deciding if I could turn them into a calendar of their own. Yes, I think that would work. I pulled the four sunset photos I used in the original calendar and put them in with the "sunset edition," then replaced the four with equally wonderful photos that did not use sunsets. (I didn't have a whole lot of sunset photos to spare for the main calendar anymore.)

About a half hour ago, I finally finished picking the final photos I want to use in THREE calendars! The "regular" AQ calendar, the "sunset edition," and the "silly edition." I have enlisted Wassamattu_u's help for the silly edition to make sure it is sufficiently silly. =)

I have quotes picked out for some of the photos, but others I still need to find something for. I usually try to pick quotes that have something to do with the photo, but given the sunset edition uses 12 different sunsets (plus a 13th for the cover!), I'll be hard pressed to find 12 unique quotes about sunsets. I plan to give them nice, thoughtful quotes, but they can be about pretty much anything which makes finding quotes a heck of a lot easier for me. For very high resolution photos that can fill up the entire page, I may not even include a quote at all!

So at this point, I've finished picking photos and sorting them into months. I could still change my mind about them as I find more quotes that go better with other photos, but I have a solid base to work from now for three different calendars. I hope you all buy a lot of them, though, because I'll be giving away a heck of a lot more calendars that I originally intended to all the people who's photos I've used! I'm kind of scared to count exactly how many calendars I need to give away. =) The last couple of years, I've more-or-less broke even on them, where the markup in each calendar ended up covering the cost of the calendars I gave away for free.

So that is the state of the calendar address. The photos are chosen.


Anonymous said...

You could not have a better silliness consultant than wassa.


Steve, Christa, Emily, Meghan, Charles & Elizabeth said...

Wait, does this mean I not only have to BUY three calendars, but find somewhere to put them!!??

dbltall said...

How about
"At the rising of the sun, hope:
At its setting, peace."

I think that is the English for
Sole orto Spes decedente Pax,
which I may have gotten wrong - college was a long time ago.

David Baril Jr. said...

when do we get to see which pictures you choose?

Anonymous said...

Ryan, Do you notify the "winners" or do we find out when we purchase the calendar?


Anonymous said...

Cool- I like options! I'll buy two calendars to help you break even. Can't wait to see the silly one.