Creative: Photography Advice, Sponsorship

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Okay, this might be more of a public service announcement than anything else. Anyone who has worked for a company that can provide photographic sponsorship knows the peril of this reality. It can get ugly out there. The volume of demand far exceeds any cash reserve known to man. During my stint at Kodak it was thousands of request per year. Someone was awarded seven figures at one point, so crazy things DO happen, but there are tricks and tips to help the company better understand how they can help, and in turn, how you can help them. And don’t even THINK about using “exposure” in your sales pitch…..listen on peeps.

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  1. Whoa there nelly! Do you somehow have access to my emails?
    I’m in the early stages of hunting down sponsorship for a fair size portrait project next year. My first time considering “begging” mailers for resources / funding.
    Somehow you’ve provided me six bangers of tips to ease my process. Yes I’m still expecting “no” from the majority but at least now I might dodge some of the “no, you damn idiot.” replies.
    Cheers mister.

    1. Post

      Getting used to hearing “no” is a great skill. It always sucks but it should never be a deterrent. Explaining the benefit of photography is becoming more difficult by the day.

  2. So many gems. A couple of audible chuckles escaped.

    The communication (verbal and written) aspect is key. I am always surprised at how this falls by the wayside. You have 15-30 seconds. No time for rambling. Make it concise. Make it interesting. And practice. In front of the mirror. On your significant other. On your neighbor.

    This is the one part of photography where my day job has helped. Not that I really like to recognize my day job in any shape or form. 😉 There are a few others but distilling complicated things into simplistic ones for easy consumption is a huge part of what I do every day.

    The surf anecdote made me smile. I never shot color Kodak, always Fuji. Velvia 50 and 100 as well as Provia. Never shot B&W Fuji, either Kodak or Ilford, TriX or HP5. I never even knew anyone that shot Kodak.

    We would be there for the circus for almost the entire month of December. We used to stay at the Ke Iki Bungalows right next door to Shark’s Cove. The walk to Ehukai was about 15 min. I would shoot about 150-200 rolls. I have a pretty good guess at the numbers you came up with.

    1. Post

      I thinking talking about the work is a hugely strategic “make or break” aspect of doing any kind of photographic work. Photo work, to me, is behind the eight ball before it begins due to the diminished nature of the work itself. So gaining traction or attention for it begins, many times, with speech and not the images themselves. Even something as harmless as “What kind of work do you do?” Brewer was the first to use Kodak. Then many other guys went for it.

    2. Brewer is the man. I have a gorgeous book of his work (along with Divine, Bolster, Servais and Grambeau) that The Surfer’s Journal had put together. Huge source of inspiration to me. He lived around the corner from us in Dana Point but I never had the chance to meet him in person.

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