The MilwaukeePhotoTweetUp took place at the coffeeshop of Gravity, on April 20, 2010. Though there weren’t as many photographers in attendance as I hoped for, there was still plenty of good discussions happening.
In attendance were:
Olivia Hare: www.proven-pictures.com
Olga Thomas: www.olgathomas.com
and myself, Troy Freund
Much time was spent discussing how photographers can utilize different social media platforms, from Twitter to Linkedin to Facebook to Craigslist. Everyone agreed that there was a good use to made of social media, but everyone was still trying to figure how to make it work well for their particular market needs.
Craigslist was mentioned as a surprisingly good source for finding clients of wedding photography. LinkedIn was mentioned as a good way to introduce yourself to other professionals that you might not be familiar with. Facebook was acknowledged as a seemingly “required” venue to have a presence at, though again, what to do with that presence is still being determined. Twitter was mentioned as a neat way to get lots of information quickly and as a way to keep aware of “the pulse” of particular markets. One thing seemed for certain–all photographers need to get into social media at some level.
Olivia Hare, from Proven Pictures, was also in attendance and had brought along some nice demo photo-books from her company. Proven Pictures has done order fulfillment for other print-houses in the industry, but is looking to go directly to the professional consumer in 2010. So, all photographers should be on the look-out for offerings from this social-media savvy, green-minded, located-in-the-Menomonee-Valley company. They could definitely be a good vendor to work with! I know that I already have plans to work with them on a direct mail piece through their Prove Direct branch.
It’s pretty well accepted that all photographers need to have a website to market themselves with. One low-cost option for building and maintaining a site is iWeb from Apple. Olga spoke quite well of this product and even gave us a small demo on her site and how it works.
One of the biggest discussions of the night was on the topic of copyright and the challenges in maintaining control of photographers’ images in a world where transmitting, copying, and stealing them is so easy. It was heavily suggested that ALL photographers get more informed about copyright and start registering their images promptly.
Commercial photography was also discussed and thanks to the presence of Scott Baitinger, the attendees got the perspective of an art director. While he could appreciate photographers wanting to maintain rights or control over the images they make, he has to take a strong stance for the commercial clients he works with. What was acknowledged by all, was the feeling that photographers are often in a price pinch-point, thanks to an over-saturated market, made so by the apparent ease of digital photography. Many photographers may be afraid to aggressively negotiate with a client for fear they will lose the client to the next lowest-priced photographer.
It was agreed by all that both sides in commercial photography, client and photographer, need to more actively negotiate for the success of both parties. In the end, no one should feel taken advantage of.
The Tweetup winded down around 8:30 and boy, what a swell night it was. Keep your eyes and ears open because there WILL be other MilwaukeePhotoTweetUps!
Troy Freund Photography
Below is a slide-show of images made my David Trotman-Wilkins, of the night’s happenings!