Monday, August 1, 2011
We're going to interrupt our regularly scheduled programming this week to ask you what YOUR thoughts are on Shayne Gray Learns Photography:
Is it possible that the name dooms the product? In other words, in your opinion does "...Learns Photography" take away from the value of past, present and future work posted here no matter how good it might ever get?
So where is this question coming from? Well, it's been a great experience and I've connected with many people both in the virtual and physical world who have been very encouraging. That really helps us to keep going, of course.
But something interesting has happened that I've noticed. I've done a few projects where I've traded my services for something in return and have found that people don't always deliver once they have their photos.
The Psychological Factor
Trades might be a little more of a casual verbal contract than one that deals in cash. The implication of "...Learns Photography" might also lessen the importance of completing a transaction because it's not sold and packaged as "pro".
Also people (understandably) might not see a dollar value in something associated with "just learning".
But this creates the problem that has become a huge issue in the world of photography.
When is it time to sell yourself as a Pro?
Pro photography gear has become amazingly accessible. So what happens? Suddenly EVERYONE is a photographer. A guy walks into a photo shop and walks out with a new $4000 necklace (5D Mark II @ $2500 plus whatever fancy-pants lens on the end of it @ around $1500). On his iPhone on the way home he sets up a website and starts selling himself as a photographer almost immediately.
There's that other whole discussion about those guys selling cheap photography and undervaluing the market for all the others, but I'm not totally convinced about that - and that's a little bit of a side issue to this topic anyway....
The problem is that there's a ton of absolutely terrible photography out there and people are trying to sell themselves waaaaaaay too early.
On the one hand it absolves me of responsibility if a project doesn't turn out (which has yet to happen). On the other hand, people don't want to invest in something with a disclaimer that it might not turn out because I'm just learning.
So what's the solution? Do I give myself more credibility and step away from Shayne Gray Learns Photography to start building a business? Has it been long enough yet?
It's been nice to see that more unsolicited paying gigs have started to come in and perhaps I need to direct my clientele to a more polished platform.
So what do YOU think¿?
Posted by shayne gray at 12:43 AM