Every once in a while, I find myself wondering what it would be like to shoot another genre of photography. Sometimes, after I bake something that looks tasty, I pull out my camera and tripod and I set up to take a couple different images. To be quite honest, most of these images sit in Lightroom, waiting for me to find a use for them; some of them get edited, while most simply sit as RAW files. From time to time, I will look at them sitting all alone without a true category, and I will feel bad. So I edit them a bit, try and figure out some sort of look that I like, and then they continue to sit. There are even times when I go so far as contacting photographers within that niche in hopes of gaining advice. By doing this, I find myself gaining knowledge on how to start up with that genre in case I would want to make a portfolio.
Surprisingly enough, a lot of the more popular photographers get back to me rather rapidly. This should be great news for those of you looking to contact your favorite photographers, as there is a pretty good chance they will get back to you, too!
Of course, not everyone does get back to you, and sometimes you are faced with a bit of disappointment. Sure, you’re just experimenting with another genre, but it still sucks when you don’t hear back from someone you admire or who you believe has some great advice hidden in the depths of their mind.
And then there are those who I cannot stand being in contact with: those who try to sell you something.
Not too long ago, I decided to contact a food and product photographer, hoping to garner some sort of advice. After having taken some photographs of my equipment for this here blog, it sparked something inside of me.
I was hoping to gain some advice from you in terms of how to get started with still life photography, such as food and products. Recently, I had taken images of my photography equipment for my blog and it has sparked a sort of need to pursue this sort of photography. If you have any advice for me, or would like to see the images I had taken, please let me know.
I hope to hear back from you soon.
Simple enough of an email, I would think; I had high hopes of receiving the advice I wanted. Especially since I had written to a multitude of other photographers (mainly those within my own niche of landscape photography) who had shared with me some wonderful advice. Many of the photographers I contact happen to become those who I interview, as well!
But instead, this particular photographer chose to ask me if I had purchased his product photography tutorial, explaining to me that it would be the most beneficial route and would explain everything I wanted to know. Just so you are aware, he had sent me a single email asking if I had the tutorial before sending me a somewhat lengthy one, explaining his tutorial to me; maybe it’s just me, but would it not have been just as time-consuming to give me some quick advice?
Okay, I get it: he probably gets a million of these emails every day and he cannot give specific advice to everyone. And yeah, he needs to make money too: if he didn’t, he wouldn’t have created the tutorial to sell at a profit. Instead, he would have given away some of his knowledge for free, say, in a blog format.
My point is simply this: if he had enough time to send me two separate emails in desperate hopes of selling me his $300 tutorial, he had plenty of time to give me a touch of advice. All I wanted was some feedback on how to get started with what he does. Nothing more.
If I want to buy whatever it is you are selling, I will buy it. It is one thing to advertise it a bit in a newsletter or on your website or social media, but don’t try and force it on me when all I am asking for is advice.
And yes, me including so many links to my shop in that last bit is purposeful. I'm just trying to be a bit funny, and maybe make a sale or two while I'm at it.