No other medium has made its way into the lives and habits of everyday earthlings with as much hype and hoo-haw as has the Internet. But at the end of the day, after all the grand claims and stock market surges, the Net is simply a visual medium, and what it does, it does to, through and for the eyes. And that's where XPhotography (www.xphotography.com) comes in.
Webmasters looking for never-seen-before sets of soft- and hardcore scenarios featuring a mostly exclusive cast of gorgeous young amateurs need look no further than XPhotography's dazzling assortment of wares, says XP's owner and Webmistress, Miss Laurie.
"We provide hundreds of high-quality amateur photosets to adult Webmasters," she says. "They can pick and choose photosets - many under $20 - for instant download, or have them mailed on CD. We also offer video, plug-and-play Websites, custom shoots, CD collections, and free content."
XPhotography also specializes in turning out exclusive images tailored to specialized tastes and bundled by theme so they're easy to find when Webmasters come looking. General categories include teen, lesbian, male, BDSM, group sex, sports, objects, BBW, pantyhose, costumes, lingerie, voyeur and more.
A self-made Netizen, Laurie taught herself HTML, graphics design, perl programming, and other necessary skills, and has built an extensive knowledge of all things Internet, especially those on the adult side.
"I'm a workaholic, perfectionist, and entrepreneur," she says. "I don't mind being called a nerd. I've loved computers since I was five, and I was just eighteen when I first started making money from my first adult Web business."
That was in January of 1996. Since then, she says, her company, Universal NetSource Inc., has garnered lots of experience running free sites, AVS sites, pay sites, link lists, and other sorts of sites, including some which are non-adult. She started producing content in April 1997 for her own award-winning, YNOT-member amateur megasite.
As her reservoir of experience with adult Net entities grew, Laurie says she decided to try her hand at marketing content to Webmasters. "I knew I could offer a great product at a reasonable price," she explains. XPhotography's official opening was on Dec 12, 2000.
Laurie attributes XPhotography's ongoing success in large part to the lessons she learned while buying content for her own previous ventures. "Essentially, I've tried to incorporate many of the things I would look for as a content buyer," she says. "In over five years of running adult sites, I've browsed and compared dozens of content providers' sites."
In so doing, Laurie noted lots of do's and don't's, and used that accumulated knowledge to do better what her competitors do best, and to avoid whatever mistakes she catches them making. And this goes for every aspect of her business, from image quality to site design to the services it provides.
"Of course, the quality of the content comes first," she explains. "I hate seeing sets that are overcompressed, highly air-brushed, inconsistent, have scanning problems, are out-of-sequence, or are highly repetitive from frame-to-frame. We avoid all those common problems, of course."
Close attention to the quality of each image is crucial to making sure webmasters will come back when looking for fresh photos, Laurie says.
"Our images are individually color-corrected and retouched to remove blemishes. We provide a nice high-resolution of 900 pixels high and wide, as well as a regular 640 size," she explains. "For all sets, you can preview a sample image and large thumbs of all pics. When browsing our category or model pages, you can easily see a thumbnail, title, image count, and price."
Another key to keeping Webmasters interested, she says, is variety, and it's here that XPhotography really excels.
"We offer a huge variety of content, ranging from glamour to masturbation, lesbian, and group sex. We offer almost every type of niche content - costumes, voyeur, messy, object insertion, pantyhose, wrestling, pee, and much more," she says. "We also have male content for both the gay and straight markets. You can find some unique sets on our site - a blonde teen in the shower with her real sister (carefully avoiding actual incest, of course) or a bride having hardcore sex with two guys at once, for example."
In addition to simple variety, Laurie says, the realities of the market also demand that a smart Webmaster's content will be new to the consumer. XPhotography also has an edge here, and can help Webmasters keep knowledgeable smut surfers coming back.
"As the industry has matured, there's much more competition. Webmasters have found that niche sites can be easier to sell to savvy surfers, and that running multiple sites can multiply their income," she says. "Premium AVS sites and pay sites need to offer content that hasn't been published on dozens of other sites already."
To meet this challenge, Laurie says, XPhotography constantly updates its wares and employs a group of exclusive models.
"We release new material multiple times per week, and also offer an affordable alternative to custom sets. We also have dozens of models whom we discovered and who are only photographed by us."
All that content and all those categories might make it hard for busy Webmasters to find what they're looking for when they come to the XP site to buy, but here again, Laurie's long experience has paid off.
"Because we add dozens of new sets throughout each month, the ability to search becomes more important. Categorizing all our material isn't an easy task, but I feel that we have come up with a successful design, after hours of brainstorming," she says. "Webmasters can view sets by model, theme, or CD. We're especially proud of our custom-programmed smart search feature, which makes it even easier for Webmasters to find what they need. We want to save our customers from having to weed through dozens of themes if they only are interested in a couple specific fetishes. I believe making our site so easy-to-use sets us apart from most other content sellers."
Once again, experience pays.