Photographers, tired of being boxed in?

17 09 2007

( In complete disclosure, the following views are solely those of Mark Eric. They don’t necessarily represent the views of any of the featured members or contributors to this website.)

In honor of our 1,000,000 visitor milestone (which should be reached in the next few days), I just posted an article on our sister site, http://www.trashthedress.com. I urge all photographers to take a close look at what is going on in the industry. Brides are looking for fun, reputable, creative, photographers to document their wedding experience (not just the wedding day, but bridals, engagements, and newlywed sessions as well). The tide is shifting. Wedding Photography is evolving. The buzzwords that many photographers have lived by for the past several years are starting to become irrelevant.

Without going into the controversy surrounding one of the leading associations in the industry, many photographers are looking for a new choice, myself included. With the enormous success and buzz created through TTD, some photographers have asked if we plan on expanding our referral base into something bigger and better. Photographers are looking for an organization with integrity. While no plans have been made as of yet, we don’t want to pass up the opportunity to use the huge platform we have been given to help make our industry better, therefore we are taking everything under careful consideration.

Personally, I would like to see the following in an organization- if one were to be formed.

1. Accountability. The organization would have to be run by a board- not just one person. I would also like to have an organization that changed leadership every 1 to 2 years, in order to stay fresh and focused.

2. Integrity. Every decision made would be in the best interest of the industry. Period.

3. Professionalism. Members would be qualified. Although the organization would encourage and possibly train beginning photographers, it would only make recommendations if the photographer had been qualified through a screening process whereby the entire board voted on eligibility.

4. Education. The organization would offer educational and inspirational material to it’s members to help foster creativity and progress in each member’s personal career.

5. Competition. Competitions would be held periodically. I would love to see a system where entire weddings would be voted on (perhaps in the form of an album design) , as well as individual photographs. These competitions would reward the creativity of the artist. And maybe, just maybe- the organization could get voting into the hands of the market, not just a panel of judges.

6. Buzz marketing campaigns geared to draw the market to the organization. Much like TTD has garnered media attention all around the world, campaigns should be designed by this organization to let potential clients know about the talent and professionalism among it’s members.

7. Liberty. Members should have a right to fellowship with whoever they wish. They would also have the right and support of the organization to create any entity that would benefit the industry. Members would also be encouraged to give back through charitable organizations such as NILMDTS or Thirst Relief. Giving to a charitable cause would give special credit to the member in the form of dues, recognition, and other rewards.

These are just a few ideas I have. If we were to form anything- it would only be done if we can do it in a manner that is best for the industry. It would be an organization by photographers, for photographers. It would not be a one man show. If you have any ideas or input, please feel free to leave a comment to this post. Members of other organizations can post anonymously, so they should have no fear of being kicked out of that organization if they wish to remain a member. I look forward to hearing your feedback.

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9 responses

17 09 2007
Colleen

Amen!! I was so excited to get into a certain association last year, but after spending tons of money on contests and having nothing to show for it (okay – maybe I’m not as good as I like to think I am) and not getting a SINGLE referral I decided it was not a wise decision to renew. So I didn’t. And now I feel so free! I put whatever I want on my site, I say whatever I want in forums, etc. We are evolving and it’s exciting and fun! Thanks for being a leader Mark! Are you going to put this association thing together or do I have to do it?? 🙂

18 09 2007
Amy

Here, here. It’s about time! Confident that Mark can get things right–come on! Let’s see some action….

20 09 2007
Rob

I think a new organization like that is a fantastic idea!

21 09 2007
Mint&Sage

Woo Hoo! I would be all about that organization. I haven’t requested membership in another organization because there is so much controversy about it and I don’t need that right now. Where can I apply?

24 09 2007
abbyrose

yay!!! It’s about time someone puts a sane alternative out there.

How do we apply!!?

24 09 2007
Anonymous

Along those lines…I’d love to see a forum specific to portraits that doesn’t have a bunch of requirements. I recently was rejected because of this particular forums guidelines or rules. Basically I gathered that my images aren’t good enough for them because of my choice of post processing techniques or my choice of composition. I’m pretty confident that my style is the direct opposite of what they would look for. While that’s perfectly fine for that set of photographers that doesn’t help me personally grow in the area I’d like to be.

14 10 2007
Sandra Honea- Lemin

What a great idea! Hope it happens soon!
Sandra

2 11 2007
nate reynolds

Marc
I think this would be great. I would love to offer any help you may need. Keep us posted.
Nate

16 11 2007
Gina DeConti

I’m in complete agreement, Marc. This would be an amazing alternative for photographers who are looking for something else. I for one would be happy to help if you need people to volunteer.

~gina

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