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Free galleries and watermarks

I've just put together my first free gallery, presenting my favourite twenty pictures from the Caned in Jodhpurs photoset, starring Zille Defeu, Thomas Cameron and myself. The video of this scene and the full gallery of 96 high-resolution photos will both be available on the site at launch.

This gallery is to send out to the lovely people who have donated funds to me towards the building of this site. Each and every donation has helped pay the bills and meant I had a bit less pressure to find paying work that week, and a bit more time and energy to work on the site. I am supremely grateful to everyone who contributed, and want to express my appreciation. I think I might be giving out a couple of free subscriptions to those who were particularly generous, but I also wanted to do something for everyone who chipped in.

I've got a set of glossy postcards printed with some of my favourite stills from the site, and will be writing everyone personal thankyou notes. But I thought a URL to a free gallery would be a nice gesture, too.

Lots of decisions to be made in putting the gallery template together. First question: is this template going to survive the launch of the site? No - I'll need to redo it with the 'join' links and links back to the main site areas. Still, I envisage the eventual FHG template as being closer to this than to the graphics-rich homepage design; the emphasis should be on the images being presented, not dominated by a large header graphic.

Then there's the question of how much text to include on the free gallery page. My initial vision had a single, short introductory paragraph, no more than three or four lines, to the right of the logo. But the header looked better lined up horizontally with the logo, and I realised that as a viewer, I would much prefer to be given a sense of the full plot, rather than simply a lead-in. After all, the emphasis in all my content is on believable, engaging storylines with an interesting psychological edge, as well as beautiful aesthetics, fairtrade production and real, hard spankings. Having put so much thought into the narrative, it feels right to emphasise storyline in the promotional materials. After all, those who are put off by contextualising dialogue and want to watch plot-free spankings will not be drawn to my productions: Dreams of Spanking is all about the story.

I worked up the full 96 image photoset of Caned in Jodhpurs, so that's one down, umpteen to go. It threw up some interesting questions, such as watermark placement. My preferred placement for the watermark is in the top left corner - I think it looks more professional, more glossy-magazine than the bottom right placement often preferred by adult websites. However, in many images (particularly landscape ones) a top left watermark would cover up someone's head, a raised implement, or some other key element of the composition. In such cases a bottom right watermark makes more sense. But I'm not sure whether it's better to include a combination of top left/bottom right placements, so that most of the images still have the preferred top left placement, or whether I should aim for a universal bottom right placement. The bottom right rarely covers up key content, but in many cases (as in this set) the logo would end up over a busy patterned carpet background, and much harder to read than the subtle white-on-cream where it's placed against the ceiling.

I suspect that finding a placement which works on all images without exception is impossible, and so permitting myself variation within photosets from the start keeps things very simple, as I can keep each individual image as strong as possible by customising the placement to the composition. Still, it's possible that some viewers will find the variation more disruptive. Perhaps this question should be the subject of one of my first polls...


I'm so looking forward to the launch of this site!

Thankyou! So am I :)

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