Friday, January 13, 2006

Prague is breeding...BOLSHEVIKS

The new photo bolsheviks are coming to Prague. They've got all the latest gear. They've got the shmooze they learned in LA or NY or some other godforsakenly fake planet. They come here--like many other fakers before them--to sniff the Eastern European air, drink the beer, start a business. They've tried everything from shooting fashion photography to selling Russian relics on ebay. They've invested in the dotcoms, won some, lost some, came to Prague to start again. But now they're crowding in on my turf.

HOW YOU CAN SPOT A PHOTO BOLSHEVIK

1) The guy who's tried 25 jobs in Prague suddenly buys a digital camera and suddenly he's a 'photographer.' This works fine for scamming impresionable art babes out of their clothes (well, so the theory goes, it's never worked for me, ehem...), but please don't tell me you plan to start a business you know nothing about. Not to mention that you should probably know how to take a picture.

2) They've got slick websites. All content, very few photos. Flash and sound and all that jazz will fool some folks from LA or NY or....you get the picture.

3) A guy who advertises one minute as 'the hottest fashion photographer to snort coke with the skinny Milan models' one day--and the next day--he's a wedding photographer.

WHERE ARE YOU GOING WITH ALL OF THIS, PRAGUELODYTE?

Glad you asked. ;)

Well, y'see, it's like this: I'm the real deal. I was taking photos professionally for at least 5 years before I set up my photo business here. Now I've been providing high quality, natural documentary style wedding photography in Prague for over 3 years. I was the first one to do it here. Hell, I never even heard of the phrase 'documentary wedding photography' before I started doing it here. Now there are at least 5 other 'photographers' in Prague advertising this very service. Humph.

A business-minded friend of mine suggested to me the obvious: that any business in a normal capitalist environment will spawn competition. The market will grow and the weak ones will fall by the wayside. Okay, fair enough. But enough of the snake oil salesmen already, alright? I had to endure years of wannabe American 'Prague writers' who were perpetually 'working on The Novel.' Now the photography stampede.

My only concern with modern marketing is that it's main purpose isn't to provide high quality at reasonable prices (which is what I do), but it exists to confuse and manipulate the consumer. There are many people that will fall for a slick website or a clever tagline. But please look at the photos.

I guess what I'm saying is this: I know I don't have a super slick website (I did it myself and I'm not a web geek, sue me). I don't like to toot my own horn. Nor do I have a staff of underlings and capital to burn on target ad campaigns.

I'm a nice guy with a camera who happens to be a professional photographer. I guess I need to get lessons in marketing, self promotion, all that jazz. If not, they say nice guys finish last. I'm going to trust in my images to sell me, not a dotcom or a slick ad campaign. I may be nice, but I don't intend to finish last.

1 Comments:

Blogger An Enlightened Fellow said...

Scum follows in the paths of the ingenuitive.

2:41 AM  

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