First, let me preface this post by saying and quantifying, everyone has a right to associate “value” for their wares, their knowledge, their skills. If someone has something you want…not to mention if a LOT of people want what only you have, well, that’s just supply and demand and associating value, well, that’s just good business. Receiving monetary compensation for something of value is the basis of business right?
So, why do I feel “nickled and dimed” more than ever by trying to become a photographer who wants to make money…not spend every time I turn around? Everywhere I go there is a company trying to sell me a place to print or books to put the pictures in, not to mention all the art necessary for wall hangings…most of this involves EEEEK….numbers and equations of fractions….a language I do not speak. Then, they tell me I need a bag for all my stuff. It has to be a special bag with neoprene or drawstring closures with add-ons to hold batteries and CF cards etc. Then a strap to hang my camera coolly from my side, like a rockin’ hipster chick that I am! Do you see the image yet?? I will put it all on and take a picture for you. It looks quite ridiculous. I’m not saying I don’t LOVE these items. I’m just saying I spend too much time listening to these people convincing me that parting with my money to purchase their inventions that *might* make it easier for me to shoot, thus shoot better. Why WOULDN’T I be sucked into these wonderful devices!?!?!
Unfortunately, the downside is that the Business of photography seems like it has become an industry of inventions! Thus, it’s now REALLY great business to get photographers selling to other photographers. Sometimes it seems the only way to be a succesful photographer is to invent something to sell to other photographers. Conundrum!
Sure, there are always ways to improve upon a product and make what we do easier? But, I didn’t start shooting so that I could sit around and dream up gizmos and gadgets(believe me though, I do own MANY and dream about owning even more), however, I simply want to shoot.
This isn’t a post to begrudge nor undermine any of those inventions either. I actually own many fabulous gadgets that make shooting easier, funner (yes, i intentionally said “funner”) and have simplified my shooting style. Conversely, I own many that are crap too. Sigh.
The point here is I’m about to drop the “f-bomb”. Funny, you might actually be surprised. Here it goes…photographers, I’m speaking to us in particular and we speak a language different from most… My favorite 4-letter f-bomb is….wait for it…FREE!
Do you hear the howls and screeches? Does it sound like a slasher film is taking place outside of your window? FREE! Aaaaawwwwwwwwww! Hoowlllll……nnnnooooooooo!
So, if you’re still reading, you may have figured out that FREE when combined with photography conjures a hatred and visible disdain as faces contort at the notion of cheapening the value of our work. Say the notorious “F” word all you like around a photographer….just dont say “FREE” and no one will get hurt. 😀
That is why it’s always a HUGE, DEEP, breath of fresh air when a photographer willingly opens themselves up and offers something for FREE. No strings attached FREE. No sales pitch, no trade show of product endorsements….nothing. Simply FREE. mind-boggling I know. You are either thinking it’s a crappy photographer or there is SOME kind of catch…I know I was.
I was WRONG!
Last weekend, a photography husband and wife duo in Denver, Colorado known as the Mansurovs began to offer free workshops on landscape, portraiture, weddings and flash. I attended the weekend workshop on weddings and portraiture and they’re so giving of their knowledge and enthusiastic, we even delved deep into flash! BUT. Wait for it…..wait…it was a FREE workshop! Queue dramatic music…Duh, Duh, Duh!! Not only was it free…it was FANTASTIC!!
The Mansurovs have a way of explaining technique and complex concepts in terms for the “layman”. They also do it with pizzazz and live shooting examples. They bring out there gear and show you how they do it and even hand you a camera and tell you to “try it”.
They’re informative and lively and fun and no question goes unanswered. For this “FREE” workshop, they even hired a GORGEOUS model, Leeza, and an AMAZING make-up artist Sameera. If that isn’t enough to titillate your toes…one attendee, who also happens to be a friend to the Mansurovs brought boxes and boxes of delightful and delicious muffins from My Favorite Muffin Bakery Cafes!
Spoiled and fortunate do not even begin to describe the serendipitous situation that found me in the right time and place to be able to attend this wonderful workshop…that, I would have totally paid for! Yet, because The Mansurovs are, in the purest sense of the word, giving, they gave of themselves in a way we don’t often get to see
unless you bring out the Visa.
Sincerely, from the bottom of my heart, I appreciate this unique experience and any/all future “workshops” that I attend will have very, VERY big “britches” to fill to begin to measure up to the experience with The Mansurovs. They are so warm, embracing and sharing and approachable. I couldn’t recommend more highly to save your money and come to their workshops that are “FREE” while they’re still kind enough to do so. They provide value beyond what one might expect from a “PAID” workshop.