Need a Unique Gift for Someone?

Whether it is for; a birthday, an anniversary, Christmas, a thank you, or for any other reason; finding an appropriate and unique present for someone can sometimes present as a problem for a potential purchaser.

Photographic prints are one option. But, there are many personalised and unique products that can be quickly made from the original images. These products include, but are not limited to the following: mouse pads, stubbie holders, jig-saw puzzles, slate products, coated glass and crystal, coated aluminium, coated plastics, ceramic tiles of various sizes, ceramic mugs, and on fabric for wearable products such as T-Shirts.

All of the above listed products, I am able to manufacture myself through a process known as sublimation printing. This process is explained in another posts on this site. Any photograph that I have taken can be made into a sublimation product, with or without added text and/or graphics.

In addition to photography, graphic design is another interest of mine, and I currently have hundreds of designs which I have published. Most have incorporated my photography as well as graphics and any of these is available for placement on products of your choice.

Personal manufacturing by me is one option for obtaining these products, but another is through third party web sites. One site which I have now been a member of for well over nine years is RED BUBBLE. Examples of some of my RED BUBBLE work and access to my profile on RED BUBBLE can be obtained by clicking the link.

Not all products listed on RED BUBBLE, am I able to manufacture myself, but many I can. You are of course very welcome to purchase directly from the RED BUBBLE site, but if you live locally in south-east Queensland, I suggest that you contact me first. If I am able to manufacture the same or a similar product, I can do it for a lower price than you will see on the RED BUBBLE web site.

A newer kid on the block which I have uploaded many of my designs to is a site called ZAZZLE. Some of my designs on ZAZZLE are also on RED BUBBLE, but there are also many additional designs there. Another difference with the ZAZZLE site is that all the designs that I have uploaded, I have made editable. You are able to enlarge or reduce the size of any of my graphics, and you are also able to add your own personalised text to any graphic, for any of the products listed. ZAZZLE has a Greater range of products than RED BUBBLE.

Currently I have three separate stores on ZAZZLE, and the products are listed in a total of twenty-four different categories. Links to my profile, stores and the categories are listed below. You are welcome to browse through any that you wish. As with RED BUBBLE, I own all the photographs and art work listed on any of my products. This I have stored on external hard drives for easy access, and any of the photos and graphics can be used for products which I personally manufacture.

ZAZZLE profile.

As I said, there are a heap of categories, (twenty-four of them), but feel free to browse through any that you wish.

Love

Words

Flowers

Success Through Adversity

Strawberries

Butterfly

Change

Perfection

Friends

Beauty

Simplicity

Watercolour

Flowers and Love

Team Work

Equality

Communication

Dogs

Companions

Love

Motivation and Inspiration

Good Ideas

Cavoodle

Moodle

Old English Sheepdog

Congratulations if you have gone through all of those. Another idea for a present is a copy of one of the books I have published. There are over thirty from which to choose. Over the last few years, they have been mainly photography albums, and chances are if you have been to one or more of one of my shoots your images will be in one or more of these albums. Almost all of my publications at available as both instant electronic downloads. The electronic downloads cost only a couple of dollars each, with a variety of electronic formats available for each. You may prefer to have a printed hard copy that you can leave on the coffee table for visitors to browse through. These publications are all registered with ISBN numbers and are available through all major international booksellers. I personally purchase several copies of each publication, and if you live locally to me, any of the publications I can bring along to our next photo shoot or somewhere else we may be meeting up for you to have a look at. A list of all of my books and some of the outlets they are available from are listed on my Ian’s Books Web Site.

Who or What is a Friend?

Social network sites such as Facebook and Instagram have created new meanings for the term “friend”.

In keeping with the contemporaneousness of many things in today’s throw away society, social network friendships can be made or lost as quickly and as simply as a single left click of the mouse.

There are different criteria used by people to determine who their social media friends should be. One criterion is to obtain the maximum possible number. People using this criterion often use their large following as a money making exercise, making recommendations for products and services in their posts in exchange for recompense from the firms concerned.

Another criterion appears to be that people want their “friends” to be virtual clones of themselves. Numerous posts state that if you disagree with a certain idea or belief that someone has, you will be “unfriended”. Social media actively encourages this sort of attitude. Views held by someone are reinforced by Facebook by feeding more and more stories with the same or similar views.

This morning I read Facebook post with a photo of a completed Marriage equality survey form with the “no” box ticked. The person making the post felt the need to state that she was “sorry”, but was voting “no”. Why apologise? Well, she obviously realised that many of her Facebook “friends” would have a different viewpoint from hers. And, they surely did, and let the original poster know in a tirade of obnoxious and in some cases abusive comments in response to her post. The irony of one accusation of “intolerance” is apparently beyond the intelligence level of the accuser, who is indeed intolerant for not accepting that it is okay for others to have views different from theirs.

The world would be a boring place to be if we all thought and believed the same things. Diversity is good and should be embraced. Numerous studies have in fact shown that workplaces where diversity is encouraged are more innovative and successful, than workplaces in which things are always done the same way.

Back to the question, “who or what is a friend”? I accept that social media “friends” can be different from real friends. Even though real friends may also be social media friends. Also, I am quite comfortable for any friends of mine, regardless of how they are categorised, to have views on various subjects that are different from mine.

And, maximising the number of friends on social media. Well, to be honest I did try going down that path at one stage, particularly with my Instagram account. But, some of the practices that have been suggested to maximise numbers are to say the least unethical, and my foray into maximisation of friends and followers was short lived.

I have a smart phone, but usually use it only as a telephone and for sending and receiving SMS’s. I still have an Instagram account, but use it very infrequently. Facebook I usually check daily, some times twice daily, but I am never on it for more than about an hour at a time. It is important for us all to have a life beyond social media, and I plan on making mine that way. I will not respond to your emails straight away, because I now check them only infrequently. Facebook would like people to be available 24/7 to respond to messages. I am not going to be pressured by what I can only describe as their subtle bullying. So, if you have sent me a message on Facebook, Linkedin, Starnow or email; you can generally expect a response within forty-eight hours. If you don’t get one, and the matter to you is reasonably urgent, try sending me an SMS on 0403 543 827.