From my family to yours, and the GG management team, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all!
These next few days, things well be slow on GG, so please be patient if you experience any problems or are awaiting PM's or emails to be answered--it's that time of year to spend time with your loved ones and say prayers for those that are away from their loved ones, especially those that protect our freedoms and make the ultimate sacrifice.
I do want to point out a few things though, and this may sound like a wolf crying, but I assure you this time it is not. Sometime next month we'll be looking at new changes on GG, from redesign to some suprises.
The first thing you will soon notice, is that all the photographer premium members who've enjoyed over a year for free--at our expense, not yours--will soon have a grace period
to renew as Premium, Diamond or Lifetime member.
Yes, we'll be expanding benefits for Lifetime members as promised, adding Diamond level and enforcing Premium status payments. All levels will have increased benefits, Lifetime members will always have the best benefits.
Our site has exprienced tremendous growth over the years and the result is increased expenses. With that comes increases in prices, but unlike other companies, we've decided to increase benefits at the same time--a nice heads up, is to renew your present membership to Lifetime status if you're not already there, as Lifetime memberships will go up in price too--if you pay for a Lifetime membership, you never, never pay again.
Basically, all PHOTOGRAPHER premium members will be given a two-week notice soon, at the end of the two-week notice, if you have not upgraded to Lifetime, Diamond or renewed your Premium status, your portfolio will default to 5-small images only--the current free status. If you upgrade or renew, there will be no problems, it will be transparent. I know, we said this all year long, but we're finally getting close to making this work, so please, when the two-week grace period is in effect, please renew or upgrade. You can however upgrade now and not worry about any of this--this is for photographers only, not models
. Models will continue to enjoy free memberships for now.
Personally, as President and CEO of BLRIS Inc., the corporation that owns this site, I've not been happy with the functionality of this site--period, so look for sweeping changes in very early 2006--that's a promise I will personally stand by. So if you see a glitch, some down time, or a upgrading server notice, that's just part of the process, so bear with us, though we'll be back up sooner than expected--hopefully those periods will be late at night when folks sleep, and very minimal.
On another note, look for a temporary suspension of the model contest, we've found a few vulnerabilities that need to be fixed before we can go further. Since Jan. has started, we'll finish with that contest, we will however immediately restart the contest and issue awards for all months, even if we have to issue two winners in February. We will also not start the "end of year, best of the 13" contest until the vulnerbilities are fixed in the contest system--we expect that will be ready Feb. 1st.
I close by saying thanks to all, thanks to those have participated in all the workshops, JT's, Rick's, Robert's, David's, mine and all the rest, you are the ones that help support this genre of photography that often gets a bad wrap.
In addition, I want to thank all those that gave their all to be in my upcoming book, more on that later, but for those that didn't, once you see what we've done with that book, I hope you'll be excited enough to partake in future books--it's about spreading the gospel of photography, glamour photography, and sending a message, glamour photography is in fact stronger than ever.
I wish everyone a safe and happy holiday season--enjoy this image of my little ones, if you haven't seen it in the Studio Photography & Design
issue this past Oct., then if you're lucky enough you'll notice it's on the inside cover of the limited edition, Lexar Elite Photographer's 2006 calendar this year above the CEO's message--10,000 copies went out to dealers, photography magazine editors, and other art directors, around the world, unfortunately you cannot purchase it.
Thanks, thanks for being a part of this community and family, Rolando and the GG management sends!