Wednesday, 8 February 2012

POV: WTF? "Dear Travel Photographer Blog"


Oh, what fun! I received one of "those" cheeky emails again. I get a few every month, but this one in particular prompted me to write a WTF? post. It's been awhile since I've written one...I don't want to get rusty.

So yes, I got an email from someone assisting a travel photographer (possibly well known, but one I've never heard of...not that means much anyway) who asked me to post a banner and a press release advertising this travel photographer's 2012 photo tours. Yes, you read that correctly...a banner!! A banner of the photographer's photos on my blog!!

There are a couple of rather obvious gigantic WTF?s here.

The first is that I am a travel photographer who creates, plans and leads photo workshops, so why would I want to advertise someone else's trips? Yes, my photo workshops are certainly different from many others, since my niche is in combining documentary photography with travel photography throwing multimedia coaching in the mix, and generic or other travel photography tours wouldn't be real competition, but what's in it for me? Nothing. And why would I endorse photo tours I know nothing of?

The second WTF? is that there was no indication that if I were to do this, I'd be compensated in any way. There was no request for my advertising rates for example, nor an offer to reciprocate the favor on the other photographer's website/blog. No, it's "just do it for free".

I replied, as politely as I could, saying I wouldn't do anything of the sort, explaining why using the simplest words in the English language.

This brings me to a larger question, and one that has been raised by other photographers who author popular blogs.

Here's some statistics: The Travel Photographer's blog gets anywhere between 80,000 and 90,000 unique views a month. PDN's monthly print circulation is 20,000.

If I were to say that ad rates in photo magazines' and their websites are in the $500-3000 range, would I be far from the truth? I don't think so. Of course, rates depend on the size of the ad, frequency, color or B&W...but who reads print magazine these days? Not many, but many more read blogs...a lot more.

So why shouldn't individual popular bloggers expect and get similar revenue streams to advertise products and services? The Travel Photographer blog and other popular photography blogs reach a much larger segment of consumers than most photography magazines, and we are still played for suckers when it comes to adverts.