Photographers Can Do CwF+RtB Experiments, Too

from the n00bs-need-not-apply dept

Michiel Rhoen writes in to tell us about photography instructor and author, Thom Hogan, who has embraced the CwF+RtB philosophy by offering a limited edition deal (only 25 spots available with 4 already taken at the time of writing this) where Mr. Hogan will sit down one-on-one with each buyer for 3 hours. During those 3 hours, Hogan is game for almost any kind of photography consulting, giving his professional advice on camera equipment, portfolio reviews, help with post processing work or just a long chat over a meal together. But that's not all... The complete Thom Hogan Limited Edition package (US$849) includes:
  • A full normal package for the book, Complete Guide to the Nikon D700 (CD and To Go Guide), a US$49.99 value
  • A full printed version of the main book in black and white, a US$29.99 value
  • A full printed, signed, numbered version of the main book in color, a US$99.99 value
  • All of the above shipped to you via Priority Mail
  • All future updates of the book, if any, delivered free, a likely US$14.99 value or more
  • Three hours of personal, one-on-one time with Thom, a US$750 value
So this deal is aimed directly at folks who own a very specific camera and who happen to be able to travel to see Hogan when he's available for the one-on-one time. It's not exactly going to make Hogan a millionaire (at best, it's going to make him $21,225 gross). But it's a great example of how an author can take advantage of actual scarcities (Hogan's time and expertise) as part of a business. I do find it interesting that Hogan's limited edition offer is an experiment that might demonstrate the advantages of selling an author's time over selling content that is already created. I imagine if this package sells out, that Hogan will expand this limited offer to other specific cameras. And I'd bet he'd even be able to crowdfund a new book if enough amateur photographers ask him to create his next "complete guide" for a camera he might not otherwise have reviewed.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Tim, Oct 28th, 2009 @ 11:06pm

    other things

    I've seen lots of things that photographers can do - One in particular that I know of does just give people 3 hours, they arrange full safaris/trips, for a limited number of people, where the experienced photographer will accompany the group as a tutor/advisor.

     

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  2.  
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    Tim, Oct 28th, 2009 @ 11:07pm

    Re: other things

    doh : does --MORE THAN-- just give people 3 hours.

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 29th, 2009 @ 12:06am

    $21,000 gross?

    WOW!

    He could treat himself to a brand new Kia and possibly even a set of heavier duty floor mats!

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 29th, 2009 @ 1:09am

    It seems very, very difficult to accomplish CwF+RtB experiments on a photographer level.

    I'm a Canon person myself (coming from my use in video) and found Nikon's use of f-stops and aperture usage real uneasy to move to. Now if Nikon was involved in video, it's quite possible that I could more easily move over. But until then, it seems easier to stick with what I know.

    I'm not saying Nikon is a worse platform, but it's like Windows vs. Mac in a way, and you don't want to get involved in that.

    But as Mike mentioned, if Mr. Hogan had experience in both Canon and Nikon, and could just get people behind him because he understood and could teach to both, well, everything may work out better.

    His experience is very, very valuable, but by limiting to a particular platform or camera body seems, too thinly.

    I use a Chinon 35mm myself, and have adapters for both Canon and Nikon lenses, but that's beside the point. I'm just not in a position to drop a few thousand into a decent body, hope for the best, and fly out blindly for a meeting with Thom. However, some people may find the experience much more useful than I.

    I like Thom's idea, however, it's definitely something that someone else will appreciate much better than I will ever be able to do.

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 29th, 2009 @ 2:22am

    add to #4

    Well, I was thinking:

    We know that retail kits are decent, but not necessarily "Pro Quality". But what if we found some way to get a decent Canon Kit in Thom's hands with a few real good lenses?

    Maybe we can move him over and become ambidextrous. :-P

     

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  6.  
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    Sheinen, Oct 29th, 2009 @ 3:02am

    My business model for portrait photography is pretty simple and not far off.

    The actual photo session costs nothing, and in fact there's no guarantee I'll get paid at all. We'll spend an hour or two shooting in a few locations, I'll take the afternoon to do some basic/rough editing and post watermarked online copies for them to view.

    If they want a decent printed version, or full size, unwatermarked copy they pay for it.

    It forces me to maintain really high standards, but makes it so much easier to get people to give it a go!

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 29th, 2009 @ 3:48am

    Now if he could just learn how to play miniputt, he could have a new career.

    Too bad we don't value him for his work.

     

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  8.  
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    Aardvark, Oct 29th, 2009 @ 4:52am

    Re: $21,000 gross

    Yeah, but that's for 75 hours worth of work, that's less than 2 work weeks. No too shabby...

     

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  9.  
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    ethorad (profile), Oct 29th, 2009 @ 6:17am

    three copies of the book?

    Unless I'm misunderstanding, it looks like you get three copies of the same book? Not sure how much of a RtB that is

     

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  10.  
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    Marcus Carab (profile), Oct 29th, 2009 @ 6:26am

    Re: three copies of the book?

    I wondered that too. But as a reference book it makes some sense: one signed copy to stow away and collect, one standard copy to keep on your desk, and one cheaper black & white copy to stuff in your camera bag and take with you.

     

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  11.  
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    hexjones (profile), Oct 29th, 2009 @ 7:47am

    Re:

    "I'm a Canon person myself (coming from my use in video) and found Nikon's use of f-stops and aperture usage real uneasy to move to."

    What are you saying? To use a SLR effectively, you need to know how to use aperture and f-stops. The two companies are no different.

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 29th, 2009 @ 10:22am

    Re:

    Uhh...you pay $850 and you get copies of his work all printed up and stuff...any future updates...and 3 hours of access to his vast knowledge and experience...

    How exactly is that NOT valuing him for his work?

     

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  13.  
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    TheStupidOne, Oct 29th, 2009 @ 10:27am

    Re: Re: $21,000 gross

    And likely pretty easy or at least enjoyable work. I just hope he has an escape clause in case the person who bought it turns out to be a total nutjob

     

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  14.  
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    John Kim, Oct 29th, 2009 @ 10:28am

    Spending time with an Auther?

    Whoa, first time I heard of an author selling his time? But I guess you need to do whatever you need to do to make a buck out there. I probably would just read the book though.

     

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  15.  
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    Pickle Monger (profile), Oct 29th, 2009 @ 10:50am

    "he'd even be able to crowdfund a new book"

    I'm in if he makes one for a D50 :-)

     

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  16.  
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    Michael Ho (profile), Oct 29th, 2009 @ 11:49am

    Re: "he'd even be able to crowdfund a new book"

    Well, actually... he does:
    http://bythom.com/d50guide.htm

     

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  17.  
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    TDLover, Oct 29th, 2009 @ 3:26pm

    But...

    But how will him selling his time for so little be able to support his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren for eons to come? His free time has no royalty kickbacks for everyone to enjoy! This feels like a scam to me!

    :) hehehe

     

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  18.  
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    Thom Hogan, Oct 30th, 2009 @ 11:57am

    Comment

    As posited by the article writer, this is as much an experiment as anything else. I make an adequate living doing what I do, so it isn't really about money. I actually kept this experiment low in potential time commitment as my work schedule is pretty full up for the next year as it is.

    Without revealing anything specific that I've learned, I will say that what you don't see (all the emails between my customers and me behind the scenes) has already uncovered several things that I need to address with my customer base in the future. So regardless of whether I make any money off this--which again, was not the goal--I'm learning valuable things about my customers.

    Experiments are just that: experiments. You come up with a hypothesis and test it. In collecting data, you often don't prove your hypothesis but discover new things that alter it, so you test that next. That's exactly what seems to be happening here.

     

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  19.  
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    Michael Ho (profile), Oct 30th, 2009 @ 2:48pm

    Re: Comment

    Thom,

    Thanks for stopping by! Obviously, your experiment intrigues us, so if you ever do have updates that you're willing to share -- please let us know. Perhaps the things you learn may be generalized to more folks who produce creative works.

    Keep up the good work with the experiments,

    Mike Ho

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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