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Mark Baigent

I am in a hole, advice needed

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Posted (edited)

Hi all

I have had a bum few months, five operations on one of my eyes, which now does not work. Now I have heart trouble that could keep me off work for months (assuming I live that long), I can't walk far or lift much.  
My finances have taken a hammering, I would really appreciate some ideas of how to earn some pennies from home, a bit of stock obviously (but out of ideas) and maybe some photoshop work of some type. But happy to try anything..

Feeling a bit lost and picked on to be honest 😞

Mark

Edited by Mark Baigent
typo
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5 hours ago, Ed Rooney said:

 

That does sound like a totally crazy idea, Betty. I do see from Mark, John, and you that I'm not the only human who has troubles. 

True. But reading this, makes me realize mine are insignificant in comparison.

I'm facing some tests next month that will tell me if I need a stint, and in July I’ll see a neurosurgeon about the huge curvature that has developed at the bottom of my spine.  The move, and all involved with it from painting, moving heavy ladders, packing, lifting boxes, was not kind to my ailing spine.

 

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6 hours ago, Mark Baigent said:

 

 

... I think that I will be looking at the micro option

 

 

 

Or, contrary to what I suggested above (I'm good at contradicting myself), create a different collection for micros -- i.e. don't submit the same images that you have on Alamy. That might be  better idea because you can leave you collection here as exclusive and take advantage of the 50% commission.  I think that is what I would do these days if I were so inclined.

 

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8 hours ago, Ed Rooney said:

 

That does sound like a totally crazy idea, Betty. I do see from Mark, John, and you that I'm not the only human who has troubles. 

 

We all have troubles / challenges, but different ones, also crazy ideas like pursuing stock photography. 😁

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2 hours ago, Betty LaRue said:

 

I'm facing some tests next month that will tell me if I need a stint, and in July I’ll see a neurosurgeon about the huge curvature that has developed at the bottom of my spine.  The move, and all involved with it from painting, moving heavy ladders, packing, lifting boxes, was not kind to my ailing spine.

 

Stents are a breeze, I would much rather have stents than go to the dentist!

Good luck with your back.



 

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6 hours ago, Betty LaRue said:

True. But reading this, makes me realize mine are insignificant in comparison.

I'm facing some tests next month that will tell me if I need a stint, and in July I’ll see a neurosurgeon about the huge curvature that has developed at the bottom of my spine.  The move, and all involved with it from painting, moving heavy ladders, packing, lifting boxes, was not kind to my ailing spine.

 

 

 Here we think a stint is something else entirely. 😉

 

wim

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3 hours ago, Mark Baigent said:

Stents are a breeze, I would much rather have stents than go to the dentist!

Good luck with your back.



 

Thank you. And Mark, all the best to you. One of the things I’ve always valued, is to see the sunshine after the storm, take joy from seeing a beautiful bird and getting goosebumps when I hear a favorite song.  Look toward those simple things that give you joy. It will be good for your heart in more ways than one.

Betty

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4 minutes ago, wiskerke said:

 

 Here we think a stint is something else entirely. 😉

 

wim

Don’t want one of those in my artery! 😁

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Mark, your story is tough to read. It is what every self-employed person worries about.  Here in the U.S., medical costs can bankrupt people so easily.  I have been off work for these last few weeks, with a badly broken arm, and really feel the pinch.  As a full time photographer who shoots mostly editorial, I had to give up about $3,500 worth of shoots.  I just got the bill from the hospital for $38,000...my daughter works at that hospital and no family discounts ☹️. Most of that cost came from one drug they had to give me to counter another one, so they could do the surgery right away (I take a blood thinner).  I do have good insurance but I am waiting to hear from the insurance company about how much I will be on the hook for.  Still, I will get thru this and get back to work soon I hope.  I thought there was some good advice here, especially about getting a cheap white tent and shooting household objects.  I do feel for you and your situation.  I hope you get a nice break from medical issues and get some sales here and maybe elsewhere!

 

Best,

Michael

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Mark,

Looking through your collection I noticed you have done some of the everyday home items early on, so you could easily do some more. Maybe sprinkled with some concept now and then. However don't count on huge returns. Not here, but probably also not anywhere else: there are a lot around everywhere. Do look for them and see if you would know how to improve on them. At the micros it's really easy to see what sells the best. Most if not all have a button most popular or most downloads.

A light tent? All the others have a light tent. So use it if you want your images looking like all the others. Two or three pieces of white paper or card; some pieces of black card and a window with a curtain will do fine.

For cutouts one sheet under the subject. the others as a fill-in. Also think of some mirrors for interesting highlights. For small things like jewelry I have used disposable dental mirrors, that cost 20 cts.

You have been on Alamy for quite a while so you must know by now what -from your collection- sells the best here. I'm guessing released real people doing real things. Preferably stuff that's hard to stage, like people who do look miserable in a realistic way.

 

My guess is that you must be in or around healthcare situations a lot. Probably with lots of people of similar or older age. There must be picture opportunities there. Just look at the news for situations that would involve people. But also have a serious look around for meaningful stuff.

Years ago (still on the old forum) we once found out that an image of a simple doctor's lab coat had sold like 50 times or more in one year. I forgot the contributor's name. He or she may still be active here. This would be difficult now with 137,386 images turning up for doctor coat. But still: health and an ageing population is a huge subject. Released much more so. Maybe not just at Alamy like some of the others have suggested. Maybe diversify a bit.

 

Then there's where you live, taking into account that you will probably not have a huge range. I have never been there, but you seems to have very colorful beach huts. Also quite some tourists seem to go down there. Would there be a place where you could sell some nice prints of those huts and maybe of some other stuff, or where they would sell those prints for you? A nice matted print is always a good souvenir.

That Education and Visitor Centre would be the perfect place.

Does that The Twizzle Gallery sell anything? #10 of 12 things to do in Walton-on-the-Naze. Tripadvisor says. Hmmm.  Ahh the Naze Tower shows local artists and is at #2.

And then there are all those Airbnb and other cottage rentals. Wouldn't some like a nice print on the wall with a small price tag on it?

 

If you don't have a decent printer that would go against what would be my first advice: don't do anything where you should buy something or pay something first or upfront.

In that case I would have a look around here on the forum and see if there's anybody that would want to print a small batch for you to test the waters.

 

For us here photography is of course the first thing we think about: if you have a hammer everything is a nail, right.

So this business has already been taken. They have; he/she has the old images covered. More nostalgia, but a lot more modern here.

 

Now what if it's not photography? Is there currently something missing in your town that you could do?

- Recently, talking about owning a cottage on the English coast, it came up that renting out or just caring for a second house on the coast is pretty difficult in smaller places. This was not about Walton, mind. My guess is that that place was smaller and more remote. Anyway it would also mean some physical activity on hours that are not entirely of your own choosing.

 

wim

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2 hours ago, Michael Ventura said:

Mark, your story is tough to read. It is what every self-employed person worries about.  Here in the U.S., medical costs can bankrupt people so easily.  I have been off work for these last few weeks, with a badly broken arm, and really feel the pinch.  As a full time photographer who shoots mostly editorial, I had to give up about $3,500 worth of shoots.  I just got the bill from the hospital for $38,000...my daughter works at that hospital and no family discounts ☹️. Most of that cost came from one drug they had to give me to counter another one, so they could do the surgery right away (I take a blood thinner).  I do have good insurance but I am waiting to hear from the insurance company about how much I will be on the hook for.  Still, I will get thru this and get back to work soon I hope.  I thought there was some good advice here, especially about getting a cheap white tent and shooting household objects.  I do feel for you and your situation.  I hope you get a nice break from medical issues and get some sales here and maybe elsewhere!

 

Best,

Michael

 

Yikes! I couldn't imagine getting a $38K bill from a hospital. I hope the insurance company comes through.

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Life's one big struggle!....we have to deal with the cards we're dealt....and play the best hand we can, and yes that may prove difficult when you have no hands!.....People can amaze you on how they rise above adversity....so find time for a good laugh, laugh at yourself and lift your spirits...and do the best you can...yeah life will really suck sometimes..

 

ATB to you Mark and the others doing it hard, i hope your situations improve.

Cheers Bill

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9 hours ago, John Mitchell said:

 

Yikes! I couldn't imagine getting a $38K bill from a hospital. I hope the insurance company comes through.

 

It is nasty of the hospitals to send a bill before the insurance has kicked in. In the cancer support group I attended we had to calm each other down as we waited. After a while, the bill would go away or be greatly reduced but there was great unneeded anxiety.

 

Paulette

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18 hours ago, John Mitchell said:

 

Or, contrary to what I suggested above (I'm good at contradicting myself), create a different collection for micros -- i.e. don't submit the same images that you have on Alamy. That might be  better idea because you can leave you collection here as exclusive and take advantage of the 50% commission.  I think that is what I would do these days if I were so inclined.

 

 

If you go this route, you might as well put your "microstock collection" on Alamy as this has no impact on prices you get from microstock. But don't put your "Alamy collection" on microstock as it might lower the prices achievable via Alamy. To some extent, I do this now. When I upload photos, I decide whether i think the image is somethign that I traditionally manage to sell on Alamy and put it into one bucket or the other based on my decision (although I do tend to go for the Alamy bucket more often than not). Anything taken on my phone goes in the microstock bucket though.

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2 hours ago, NYCat said:

 

It is nasty of the hospitals to send a bill before the insurance has kicked in. In the cancer support group I attended we had to calm each other down as we waited. After a while, the bill would go away or be greatly reduced but there was great unneeded anxiety.

 

Paulette

 

As much as we complain about the NHS in the UK, at least this is a scenario that we do not have to worry about.

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2 hours ago, Matt Ashmore said:

 

As much as we complain about the NHS in the UK, at least this is a scenario that we do not have to worry about.

 

YET!

 

Allan

 

 

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17 hours ago, Michael Ventura said:

.  I have been off work for these last few weeks, with a badly broken arm, and really feel the pinch.  As a full time photographer who shoots mostly editorial, I had to give up about $3,500 worth of shoots.  I just got the bill from the hospital for $38,000...m

Thanks Michael.

$38,000!!!  Thank God for our NHS, this will cost me a grand total of nothing. We can just worry about getting better and not stressing about costs.

ATB
Mark

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7 hours ago, NYCat said:

 

It is nasty of the hospitals to send a bill before the insurance has kicked in. In the cancer support group I attended we had to calm each other down as we waited. After a while, the bill would go away or be greatly reduced but there was great unneeded anxiety.

 

Paulette

 

That sounds like freakout material. People in already stressful situations shouldn't have to put up with that. I had hip replacement surgery last year and never saw a bill for anything --  just checked out of the hospital two days later and went home. I even got four hours of free physiotherapy per week for almost three months.

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Posted (edited)
22 hours ago, NYCat said:

 

It is nasty of the hospitals to send a bill before the insurance has kicked in. In the cancer support group I attended we had to calm each other down as we waited. After a while, the bill would go away or be greatly reduced but there was great unneeded anxiety.

 

Paulette

This sounds like third-world stuff. I don't envy you.

Although God willing I haven't been to the doctor for 12 years, when I had frozen shoulder there was no hesitation to send me for the MRI scan. I later discovered it would have cost the NHS about £800. Pretty minor stuff but the chances of my being able to pay for that myself were and are well south of zero. £800 or £80,000, though, we don't have to think about it and don't even know what it costs.

I had a course of pills for something minor and happened to have an appointment with a locum doctor who mentioned that it cost €90 per month. I paid £6. My regular doctor even increased the size of the prescription so I got more pills for that £6.

Unfortunately if we leave the EU the NHS will be firmly in the sights of the sort of people you're talking about for a trade deal. Along with the chlorinated chicken.

Edited by spacecadet
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Posted (edited)
40 minutes ago, spacecadet said:

This sounds like third-world stuff. I don't envy you.

Although God willing I haven't been to the doctor for 12 years, when I had frozen shoulder there was no hesitation to send me for the MRI scan. I later discovered it would have cost the NHS about £800. Pretty minor stuff but the chances of my being able to pay for that myself were and are well south of zero. £800 or £80,000, though, we don't have to think about it and don't even know what it costs.

I had a course of pills for something minor and happened to have an appointment with a locum doctor who mentioned that it cost €90 per month. I paid £6. My regular doctor even increased the size of the prescription so I got more pills for that £6.

Unfortunately if we leave the EU the NHS will be firmly in the sights of the sort of people you're talking about for a trade deal. Along with the chlorinated chicken.

 

Access to the NHS is to my mind the greatest thing about living in the UK. Unfortunately, like many other public services, it is being continually undermined by lack of funding long before the B word was ever invented. There are numerous medical procedures that are no longer available on the NHS so there is no option but to pay up or put up with whatever it might be ☹️. I paid up for lens replacement surgery because of cataracts a few years ago as one had to be literally almost blind to have it done on the NHS although it had been much more generally available a few years before. Cutting off one's nose to spite one's face and shooting oneself in the foot are definitely no longer covered 😀

Edited by MDM

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38 minutes ago, spacecadet said:

This sounds like third-world stuff. I don't envy you.

Although God willing I haven't been to the doctor for 12 years, when I had frozen shoulder there was no hesitation to send me for the MRI scan. I later discovered it would have cost the NHS about £800. Pretty minor stuff but the chances of my being able to pay for that myself were and are well south of zero. £800 or £80,000, though, we don't have to think about it and don't even know what it costs.

I had a course of pills for something minor and happened to have an appointment with a locum doctor who mentioned that it cost €90 per month. I paid £6. My regular doctor even increased the size of the prescription so I got more pills for that £6.

Unfortunately if we leave the EU the NHS will be firmly in the sights of the sort of people you're talking about for a trade deal. Along with the chlorinated chicken.

Add up how much NI you paid in those 12 years.

It is a myth that the NHS is free - and a myth that allows horrible mismanagement on both the user and provider sides.

However once again this is absolutely nothing to do with photography and I will try and shut myself up by force of will.

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8 minutes ago, Starsphinx said:

Add up how much NI you paid in those 12 years.

It is a myth that the NHS is free - and a myth that allows horrible mismanagement on both the user and provider sides.

However once again this is absolutely nothing to do with photography and I will try and shut myself up by force of will.

 

True but it paid in smallish amounts over time so you are not hit with a big bill should you need treatment.

 

Allan

 

 

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30 minutes ago, Starsphinx said:

Add up how much NI you paid in those 12 years.

It is a myth that the NHS is free - and a myth that allows horrible mismanagement on both the user and provider sides.

However once again this is absolutely nothing to do with photography and I will try and shut myself up by force of will.

 

20 minutes ago, Allan Bell said:

 

True but it paid in smallish amounts over time so you are not hit with a big bill should you need treatment.

 

Allan

 

 

 

The cost of any treatment, whether it is a GP visit or heart surgery, is not proportional to what one has paid in NI contributions or any other tax nor is it means tested. Therefore the cost of treatments by the NHS is free to all patients and allows stress-free medical treatment, at least in terms of not having to worry about what the treatment might cost. The problem is that many treatments are no longer available on the NHS or the criteria to receive treatments have been elevated or the waiting times are very long due to government cutbacks over many years.

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I think I need to add that truly poor people get free care here. Neither of my half-brothers ever paid a penny for insurance and they were taken care of by the taxpayers. I just get annoyed at the way the hospitals handle their billing. There is talk here of Medicare for all but I have seen the difference in what my doctor is paid now that I am on Medicare and he would be out of business, in my opinion, without the decent fees he gets from insurance companies.

 

Paulette

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Sorry to hear of your troubles, Mark. Losing sight in an eye has got to be difficult. It's something I know a bit about: not that I lost sight in one eye, but never had it. Despite never having 'binocular vision', I've had no problems with photography (which seems like an eminently suitable activity for a one-eyed geezer). I hope you will find that your eye for a photo is likewise unimpaired.

 

I take inspiration from photographer, André Kertész, who, in his latter years, was unable to travel. Instead, he took photos - some of his best - from his apartment overlooking a courtyard and park.

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5 hours ago, Starsphinx said:

Add up how much NI you paid in those 12 years.

It is a myth that the NHS is free - and a myth that allows horrible mismanagement on both the user and provider sides.

However once again this is absolutely nothing to do with photography and I will try and shut myself up by force of will.

Not a penny piece.

Nor a myth to which I subscribe- if you notice I mentioned the cost to the NHS of those treatments.

The thread is about what Mark can do photography-wise in his present state of health. Most relevant, I'd say- at least there's no worry about being bankrupted by medical care in the UK.

 

 

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