The DJI Mavic 2 Pro edition is one of the most powerful consumer drones on the market. Reaching speeds up to 45mph, and a class topping battery life of 31 minutes, the Mavic 2 Pro opens the door to creative possibilities that were previously impossible. The camera on-board is made by Hasselblad with a 1" CMOS sensor and F2.8 EQV 28mm lens that captures stunning 4K video and 12MP images.
The other day I came across another of these pay per entry photography competitions.
This time it was Facebook sponsored post connected to the British Journal of Photography ( BJoP). $15 per entry.
As the post was on Facebook it naturally attracted some skepticism from others and rightly so yo might think as there are more and more of these pay to be featured/reviewed/get followers/get in a gallery type 'competitions' floating around the internet.
What I found with this one was a bit of a badly worded offer once you looked at the web site. It wasn't actually from the BJoP but directed you to a site called open walls. The offer was to have your photography exhibited in an exhibition in France in 2019. Not bad you might think... but for $15?? .. sounds to good to be true.? You mean the printing/framing/shipping to France for $15... this was the unclear bit and why people deduced it might be a scam. The sponsored post on Facebook was clearly not monitored and had appeared several times on my feed and had a fair amount of people calling it a scam each time I saw it including 'why bother entering these comps' type of replies, so I decided to call the BJoP and make them aware and to see if it was genuine. The guy confirmed it was genuine but didn't know if it included printing/framing etc
As if by magic, within half an hour the Facebook post had had replies from BJoP. Sadly only directing all the contributors individually to the open walls site again and not actually addressing contributor concerns. One post pointed out that the BJoP had existed since 1854 and therefore must be genuine. Sadly this didn't take into account the quickly written and vague TnC's that are on the site that didn't convince entrants that the weight of history and professionalism might actually come through in a simple competition like this.
Recently I have been approached by several people to ask if I would like to be featured/reviewed/published etc for a small fee.
Another example I have was on Instagram from Beautiful Home Inspiration who started off by being very complimentary about my photos and offering me to be featured on their IG page. So I replied asking 'I guess you charge per submission?' What I got back was a copy/paste standard message now I was on their radar offering to be featured to 100k followers. 1 post $35, 2 post $45 up to 10 posts $145 - I'll receive 200-300 new followers per shutout with a handy pay-pal link included.!
Now I dont know when the world started to spin backwards but at one time photographers were paid for their work. All the photographers I know are hard working, dedicated individuals who have taken years to hone their craft and spent countless thousands of pounds on gear and getting out to the wild at dawn to get a shot or working with products or models to get the valuable experience that means that others can appreciate their art. The culture seems to be that we are the ones who have to pay these days or clever sites and groups have made us feel like that unless we pay for exposure, we are never going to be seen or get anywhere with our work.
How are we to trust which competitions and offers are going to lead to exposure/gallery exhibitions etc and which are not genuine?
Is the web now a place that you can't trust if anyone is actually going to further your career?
Should we take things into our own hands and manage our own exposure and online presence?
I'd love to hear any comments on similar experiences.
So I was contacted by a representative of Lumapod, a crowdfunded startup making a new type of tripod that you can see here.
I was delighted to have some positive comments in the email approach.
"We researched various mediums trying to find people who have an abundance of knowledge about photography and think you are the right person! We know you probably haven't heard of us, but we are hoping to get your honest opinion on a new travel tripod we have designed."
So I responded positively asking where I can get one to test and even blog or podcast about.
There isn't much information on the website so naturally its difficult to give an opinion unless I can use it on the top of a windy mountain or a quick setup inside a busy cathedral, something that I find getting gear out can be a bit time consuming or environmentally unstable.
So after some time of waiting I got a reply..
"We would love to send you one and get your opinion. Unfortunately, we have very limited prototypes at the moment and can't send any out because we need to use them for our own internal use… "
OK then... I'm not 100% sure in this case if I can give an opinion from just a photograph of something that at first glance doesn't look too stable to be honest.
The design looks good and compact but to be honest the feet are a bit worrying and I cant see it doing the trick in a challenging situation like an established stable competitor such as Manfrotto.
I'm all in favor of startups looking for feedback but without something that can be tactile and usable i'm not sure there is much point in reaching out for opinions. With no price or availability info available at the time of writing this either, then it's ineffectual and inconsequential marketing that I don't think has helped the startups cause.
I look forward to getting one if the company honor their promise and writing a good review. Watch this space.