Cards

No. Cards is not the new word of the month.
The new word is coming later this month.
Cards is a project. A year-end project in the good old SiP tradition you can join in. Cards are the new book exchange.
Easier, simpler and back to the roots.
Acoustic.

What is it all about?

We started a few years back here with a little book exchange. Looking back at your own work, select and curate the best of twelve. Print and then engage. Share with friends and strangers alike. The gift of giving.

A project that was successful and became a tradition. A tradition that became hard to manage. The cost of printing a little booklet, the administrative burden of getting the books ready long for Xmas and then the reshipping.
An awesome idea, yet it drifted away from the original intent.

And this year we go back to basics.
High creative value, low cost and (hopefully) deeper human interaction.
A handwritten card exchange between old and new friends alike.

Tell me more.

Eight easy steps.

  1. First, you decide to join the SiP card exchange by signing up here. The final sign-up date is December 2nd, but the earlier we know who is all in, the easier it is for us to keep you posted (*).
  2. Second, you create your own toy photography card (much easier to manage and print than a whole book). We will be sharing a post on some of the different ways you can make your own creative postcard (local drugstore, RedBubble, Moo, …) and the actual cost, quality and delivery times.
  3. You (the creative photographer) give us your address and the address of a friend or a faraway family member you want to give the gift of receiving a whole set of toy photography cards from all over the world (yes, you can think who you want to give the gift of giving – final deadline is December 2nd).
  4. We raffle this whole exchange up so that there are no more than twelve creative photographers in a group. This means that you don’t have to worry about how many cards you have to send. No more than 23 postcards and guaranteed no less than 11 (full math details below*)
  5. On to December 4th and we send you all the list of your creative cluster photographers and their friend’s address list. By now you are well underway to get your fresh set of cards delivered to your doorstep.
  6. You handwrite your cards and post them in the mail between December 11 and Friday 22nd December, making sure your cards arrive at their final destinations before 2018 kicks off.
  7. You start to receive individual handwritten cards from all over the world and hopefully a bear hug from your friend, colleague or family member you bestowed the gift of getting beautifully hand-signed pieces of art in their mailbox.
  8. Last but not least. You have now a beautiful book of cards from all over the world and you add your card to set. A book of twelve(*) or so awesome images. A tradition reborn.

Not sure if you have the time or the money?

Let us do a quick roleplay for you.
You are really interested in joining this little creative adventure, but you are not sure if you have the time or the money to join.

Time.

You do not always need to shoot a new image. It is a common misunderstanding that everything needs to be new. Have a look at your own archive, there may be some beautiful images that you have not yet used and are perfect for this. Or maybe you have used them. But they are still perfect. As they are timeless. A gift to give. Reflect back on your work, and select one of your best works of 2017 to celebrate the coming of 2018. Or maybe you want to make twelve unique cards. You choose. Yet you do not need a lot of time.

Time Two.

Hey, I do want to shoot a new image. What are my deadlines to get this to the printer? It is hard to tell, your local drugstore may print within the hour, but when we look at the more exclusive card printing boutique like Moo (some of us here on SiP will be using Moo) their cheapest delivery timeline is 6€ in 9 business days for most countries in Europe. So that gives most of us at least two full weeks to get a photoshoot arranged and be in time for sending out the postcards.

Doing the model interviews for the annual SiP postcard exchange is not an easy task …

What does it cost?

Again, if we stick with Moo (which is not a cheap solution, but they do make great products), 25 postcards cost about 21€ (shipping not included), let’s add the 6€ shipping, and you end up with a unit price of 1.2 € per card. You can easily go more DeLuxe or push the price a little further down (but remember it is your artwork you are giving away). Putting “Precious” in an envelop and having it hand-delivered by the postmen around the world adds another 2€.

Total investment: Seventy Three Euro (21€+6€+46€ = 73€)

Is it worth it? We cannot judge, we can only say what is in the package. The gift to give twelve cards from different artists to an unaware friend or faraway relative, share your work with other creatives and receive eleven works of arts from old and new creative friends alike, all handwritten, giving you an exclusive book of cards to cherish for the future.

Why The Additional Friend?

We believe the real connections we make are important. Very important. And so it is more than the artificial flick of a like and the corresponding dopamine kick. It is all about being acoustic. Make the time to make those human connections. Write with a pen. Leave a breadcrumb of happiness. Reach out. And connect.

We hope you join us for this year card exchange.

The SiP Crew

 

(*) Here is the math behind the 23 postcards and the cluster of twelve. If we have a cluster of twelve, you have eleven other creative toy photographers and eleven nominees that will get a card, plus your own nominee = 11+11+1= 23 cards. Let’s say we are with 10, we all need to send 19 cards. Fourteen? Two groups of seven it is. Each sending 13 cards (with 6 people being the mathematical minimum). A great success and we end up with 30 or more? No worries, three groups of ten, so 19 cards each, but no more than 23 cards. We like clusters of twelve, and so if we end up with a round number of 12, 24, 36 on the end of the month, we reserve the right to close the sign up early on the first of December. Just saying, don’t wait until the very last moment as you may end up in the standby queue.

 

Remember

Remember our word of March?
Don’t worry if you forgot.
It was Projects.
Projects tend to have a deadline, and I talked about that one as well, especially since I missed that deadline. Now deadlines are nothing more as a line in the sand, a date to work to. Critical. But not the most important. What is even more important for a project is the actual deliverable.
The finished product.
The creative outcome.
The final image. Continue reading “Remember”

PS. Deadline

When we set the timeline for the project due date at the 31st March, we implicitly introduced the deadline. The deadline finds it origin (*) in the early days of journalism and the printing press, with the guideline marked on the press plate that set the boundaries. The deadline in which everything needed to fit and has further evolved into the daily deadline of the printing press (I feel old, I can’t remember when the last time was I read a real newspaper on this fish and chips packing paper). Deadlines evolved in drop dead dates we all recognize from school or project work.

Working towards a deadline gives a special rush, a kick, simular like a live performance on stage. There is that pressure to deliver. Live TV. On Air. No endless turning around of ideas, finding a better angle or a slightly more interesting storyline. The deadline is … the deadline. Continue reading “PS. Deadline”

Process and Story

The Process

When I read about this month’s Project, I was first excited and ideas started to pop into my head as I was reading Boris’ blog post. Then as I was going through the list of constraints I started to get afraid I couldn’t make it. There were two major obstacles for this project to be a success: a limited number of pictures and an end.

Most of my projects, which I usually simply call challenges or photo series,  have rarely an end. They are ongoing series that I put on hold when I lack ideas until I find some inspiration again. After all, the goal of wandering is not to get to a final destination. Continue reading “Process and Story”

Merry-Go-Round

This month seems to be flashing by, in circles, colorful, great fun, and at a dizzying speed.
No time to focus.
Just like a Tardis.
Or a good old merry-go-round.
No head, no tail, an outer space portal-like experience.
A blur of colors. A childhood passion. Yet before you know the ride is over and you find yourself at the ticket booth buying an extension of the fun or looking for the next ride.

This month.
A month of projects, city trips and toy safari’s alike.
No time for the wicked. Continue reading “Merry-Go-Round”

a Picture and the Story behind it

During today´s commute, I had some time to think about this month´s word: Projects.

I remembered Me2´s introduction quoting the Project Management Institute stating that projects have a definite beginning, a limited duration and an end. And I also remembered that sometimes projects may fail. And then I thought of..- well, it was another thing, but long story short:

My thoughts started with this month´s word Projects and ended with a certain picture I took the other day. Continue reading “a Picture and the Story behind it”

PS. Two little LEGO Projects

This month here on Stuck In Plastic our word is projects and so we were happily surprised to discover that the LEGO Group is not just running one but actually two beautiful projects right now for all the RLUG/RLFM groups out there that are celebrating the brick and minifig in all its glory.

The very first one is really tailored to the creative photog in all of us and is some sweet little Easter fun with the chance of winning a nice little LEGO Easter Egg. The LEGO group will innocently draw 10 winners out of all this creative plastic goodness, so this one really has us written all over it.
Taking pictures of plastic. Continue reading “PS. Two little LEGO Projects”

On the subject of projects… and pandas

Why do we do projects?
Why do we start photographic projects?
Why do we launch ourselves in the daunting task of taking pictures on a regular basis or with particular constraints?

It’s intimidating, stressful and exhausting.
So why do we do it?

'Every project has challenges, and every project has its rewards.' - Stephen SchwartzClick To Tweet

When you tackle a project, you know that it will not be easy.
You will suffer but in the end, you will learn something from it.
Continue reading “On the subject of projects… and pandas”

Sticks and stones may break my bones (but rain will never harm me)

The other day I went for the most beautiful time of the year (that is beside Christmas and toy photo safaris):  holidays!

Preparations had been made:
a house had been rented on a small island;
tickets for the ferry had been booked;
the annual torture of picking a small selection of minifigures (who had been extra good all year in order to be traveling along) had been overcome.

When the time had come we hopped in our family car and went to our desired destination. Unlike the several holidays before this year I had made some plans on sticky notes for what plastic/where to shoot. I was familiar with the local conditions and knew exactly where I wanted my models to pose.
The camera gear had been packed.
Nothing could go wrong, right?

Well, almost… Continue reading “Sticks and stones may break my bones (but rain will never harm me)”