Adapt to Customers or Perish

It doesn’t matter what your business model is as a photographer. It matters what the customer’s buying model is.

The above bit of wisdom is by Guy Kawasaki, who is quoted in an interesting article on rethinking photography business models.

These days, just about the only way photographers can make a living is by shooting weddings. But brides are creatures of our modern age too and are balking at some of the more old-fashioned elements of the business. Scott Bourne writes:

Gone are the days when we can just send some negatives to the lab, order some cheap 8×10 prints, put them in a black folder, mark them up 400 percent and call it a day.

Instead, brides want everything done digitally. They want all the pictures taken during the ceremony burned onto a CD. They even want the unprocessed files so that they can Photoshop them on their own.

Photographers must adapt to what customers want in order to survive.

I see the same thing in the book publishing business. Customers have e-readers, wonderful devices that allow them to buy books instantly. They don’t believe that e-books should be as expensive as print. While publishers may resist, customers believe that e-books should be priced somewhere between free and $9.99. Continue reading “Adapt to Customers or Perish”

HARD ART DC 1979 and the Art of Possibility

hard art DC 1979Washington in 1979 was a scarred metropolis just ten years removed from riots that had hollowed out the city. It was a grim time, with hundreds of buildings boarded up just blocks from the White House.

1979 was a tough year for the county too, as the Carter presidency ended in economic malaise and the humiliation of the Iran hostage crisis.

In these dark times, however, some people saw opportunity. Artists and musicians saw empty houses that they could turn into art galleries and practice spaces. Rents were cheap because few people wanted to live in neighborhoods filled with junkies and prostitutes.

HARD ART DC 1979 by Lucian Perkins documents some of this fascinating story. It chronicles the nascent punk rock scene in Washington, featuring seminal bands such as Bad Brains. Continue reading “HARD ART DC 1979 and the Art of Possibility”

Interview with Julianne Brienza, Executive Director of the Capital Fringe Festival

Julianne Brienza

Julianne Brienza

I’ve done another interview for the Pink Line Project, this time with Julianne Brienza, Executive Director of the Capital Fringe Festival.

I met Julianne several years ago, when Fringe was just starting out. It’s amazing and inspiring to see how far she’s come. Fringe is definitely something that way too serious DC needs. As she describes in the interview, Washington is very much a city on the rise in terms of the arts.

The Disintermediation Moment

With the advent of the Barnes and Noble Nook e-reader and the growing acceptance of e-books among readers and writers, it’s safe to say that we’ve reached what I’d call the Disintermediation Moment. This is the time when industries collapse, driven by changes in consumer behavior and expectations. Technology offers new solutions, eagerly adopted by ordinary people, but resisted by middlemen and gatekeepers who want to retain their status, control and income. Continue reading “The Disintermediation Moment”

SnagFilms Rocks

Ted Leonsis, rich with AOL money has been plowing his considerable fortune into the documentary business.  Today, he launched a new web site called SnagFilms that allows you to watch great documentaries for free online. One of the first docs available is DIG! This should be required watching for anyone who thought it would be cool to be in a band. It follows the Dandy Warhols and the Brian Jonestown Massacre as they fight it out for indie music success. One band makes it, the other collapses into drug-fueled insanity. And while it may not be pretty, both bands created some great music.

Leonsis has always been tech-savvy and his site features tools that allow you to easily embed links to your favorite docs, whether you’re on Myspace, Facebook, iGoogle, Blogger or have your own web site.  Like so: