Friday, May 11, 2007

Taking Photos in Chacala

When I was getting ready to move here, to Mexico, to Chacala, I used to imagine what kinds of things I might be doing here. To be of use. I mostly imagined it would be something do with kids and gardens, because those have been my favorite things to do for years and years. And I am doing both. But there are other things too.

My real life in Chacala turned out to be a little different from what I imagined. I didn’t realize how important speaking Spanish was going to be. Or how difficult would be for me to deal with a some of the other gringos in Chacala.

I had never been around other ex-pat’s before, and have really struggled to find a way to get along. But it’s summer now, and life is good. I have found lots of little niches for myself here in Chacala. Little projects that I enjoy and seem to be helpful to some of my friend here.

One little project that’s kind of grown is taking photos. I hadn’t had a camera for about 25 years before my wonderful son, and his also wonderful Dad, brought down this camera I am using now. I love taking photos, and digital cameras are amazing. I usually take about 100 shots to get 4 or 5 ones I really like. No film costs. Just print the ones you like.

Having the camera has allowed me to really upgrade another little project I have here in Chacala. It’s my Chacala Budget Rental blog/website. I now can have photos, in addition to descriptions and contact info of almost all the rentals in Chacala. A few rental owners, with large websites of their own and very active advertising campaigns don’t need my help.

It’s been fun. At first local people didn’t really understand about websites and how it would help them get customers. But they let me take and post photos of their rentals, and gave me their phone numbers, etc. And it’s turned out pretty well. Now everyone knows about websites, and many local people look at my blogs occasionally. And as soon as someone finished building or fixing up their rental units they ask me to take photos. And to put their rental on the website.

The idea is to let potential visitors see all the options here in Chacala. If possible, they contact the rental owners or property manager themselves, directly, and make their own reservations. For those for those renters or landladies who don’t speak English, or use the internet, or have bank account in the U.S. for rental deposits, I can help out. At least for now.

It’s been really fun for me to be in email contact with hundreds of potential renters, and then to meet people when they come to Chacala. Some have become real friends. And I like being helpful, and answering questions. I ended up doing another blog Chacala Nayarit, with answers to lots of those questions. Especially about how to get from the airport to Chacala.

I didn’t have any idea how to get photos printed until about three months ago. Now I budget $10US a month for printing my favorite photos at the Las Varas photo shop. A Kodak place. Then I give the photos to whoever. It’s been really fun. Lately people are asking me specifically to take photos. Sort of like job. No pay though.

Lately I have been helping local rental owners make little signs to advertise their rentals. Signs with larger photos of their rentals, to hang at their other businesses, or wherever.

Yesterday my former landlady was over and I showed her some cool curved glass photo holders I got at a shop in PV where everything is under 12 pesos ($1.10US). She fell in love with them, and I gave her a couple of them.

Then she came back over this afternoon and wanted specific directions about where the shop was. Then she called her sister-in-law, who has a cell phone and was in PV. Following the phone directions, she got to the shop, and step by step, to the picture frames. Cell phones are amazing.

She is going to use them for gifts for family members for her daughters huge Quinceneria party next week. She asked me to take the photos for the frames, but I am a little nervous about it. We are going to take the photos this afternoon and tomorrow, But if they aren’t good enough, she will get a real professional.

I also have taken photos of construction projects too, at the request of the owners. That’s pretty fun for me. The owners are out of Mexico, and this way they can keep track of what’s happening on their project. It´s fun for me to take photos, and have all these different way to acutally use the pictures.

1 comment:

Nancy said...

I love your photos. Sometimes I feel like I am walking down the road right next to you!