I am not happy with what I am able to do. Before I even think of offering services to the public I need to reach a higher level of quality. I want to use lenses and lighting better and be able to output a wider variety of print and digital products.
This link is to AMEX‘s Open Forum article on community-based marketing.
Among others, I found this worth remembering when setting up business, especially online business:
“consider a model that offers an experience that includes training, teaching, and sharing with other members of the community no matter what industry or product.”
“To take advantage of the inherent benefits that this strategy offers you must begin to view your own business as a network instead of a sales organization.” This seems to me right along there with your idea of including models among the business proprietors. The idea could even be extended beyond this. The whole article is really worth reading.
The article also suggested subscription as a valuable feature, something Clayton or Jay mentioned. But I still think we need to come up with our own unique product set, not just offer downloadable and/or streaming video or photo sets. If our products are truly standouts we can rely just on the quality for them to sell but I rather like the idea of architecturally structuring a product that is elegant both in content as well as attendant web-packaging for instance, what else can consumers get purchasing still photographs. Once people like something they are likely wanting extras and pennies for options often provide more profit. I read today, for example, that gas stations make more profit from beverages and snacks they sell than from gasoline! At Wal-Mart and other stores, those product shelves along the way to the cashier are an example of marketing. I am not into making a profit as much as offering products with real value to consumers. What I have not figured out to my satisfaction is just what real value is.
Helicopter shots are great but not necessary. I think as photographers our main advantage is our experience with framing, lighting and the creation of beautiful, emotionally riveting images. I did the workshop with Vincent LaForet on HDDSLR filmmaking over the weekend. He and Chase Jarvis are doing a greater percent of their work in filmmaking, which paradoxically has refreshed their take on still photography! I suspect the day is not far in the future when still photographers are also video photographers. The medium is coming together in the use of DSLRs.
I am interested in creating videos with models but I’m not interested in infomercials. I want my videos and films to be works of art, to be primarily aesthetically pleasing if not enthralling! So, if we’re going to produce wrestling videos, make wrestling videos that stand out for their aesthetic and dramatic effect. To do anything less is not worth it for me. There are way too many wrestling products out there. How to differentiate our products from the masses is the issue.
The natural progression of a still photographer into filmmaking (videos are falling by the wayside, relegated to people not as invested in producing superior quality products) is to becoming Directors of Photography (DPs) and art directors. For me I want to go all the way to becoming a director.