I was chatting with Robin Spencer about professional photography
associations. (he tells me to mention his name…he’s shameless that way…)
I don’t belong to one anymore. Been about 6 years since I quit in protestation of their high fees vs value in return.
(I really had a hard time trying to justify the costs to new members)
I do love attending association events however, mainly to hang out with my droogs and people.
Love me some trade show too. My most favorite part of any photographic gathering.
I tell Robin…: “ya know, if someone asked me to join again, show some love, there’s a good chance I just might. You’d think, right? Hit up past members, especially ones like me who are still running legit operations. The association seems to be swollen with wannabees and part-timers. Nothing wrong with that. But they could all benefit with as many full time studio owners.”
He sez in his Robin Spencer in-your-face kinda way: “People who don’t kiss ass are never invited back.”
I thought about this comment. I agree in a sense. He could be right. The status quo doesn’t like being held accountable.
But maybe it’s more than that. Even though the ones who don’t kissass never get invited back, because like me they tend to point out the obvious shortcomings of a big bloated inefficient organization like a professional photography association.
Maybe it’s simpler. Who knows. It could be that they’re a big bloated inefficient organization.
Either way, it’s an interesting thought. And the fact is, when it comes to hearing from them….crickets…chirp, chirp….
I know if I were in charge of one, I’d start by slashing and burning inefficiencies, cutting out excess fat and expenses, and ramping up the education for members.
( BTW I’m not throwing my hat in the ring and pitching politics….so don’t go nominating anyone!..:)…)
I’d increase value, lower fees, haul out the guillotine and lop off a few heads….and I’d start a campaign to get new members, and old members back.
It’s a funny thing. You rarely, if ever, see any membership drives.
Truth is, in one sense we don’t really need associations. Personally I think their days are numbered.
I hope I’m wrong. Because getting in person face time with others in my field is very important to me.
And we all know why associations are playing a smaller role year after year….
It’s the interweb thingie and the fact that the entire industry is in a continuous and shrinking state of ebb.
Which means marketing, brass balls, courage, selling and networking matter more than anything else in our studios.
Getting education, good quality education has been relegated to other sources, all promoted online, and webinars.
Speaking about webinars, tomorrow night I’m hosting one with Travis Gadsby on:
“Maximizing your online presence with software that does the heavy lifting – Facebook and Website optimizing”
I did a rough count and I think I’ve hosted over 700 webinars since 2008. Maybe more. Why?
I love learning.
We’re either progressing or regressing.
Pick one. For me, the proverbial info junkie, I’d rather more forward.
Hope to see you there!
And this weekend at the PPOC in Ottawa…yes, I’ll be there with my main
droog and co-founder of noBs photosuccess James Hodgins.
Yours in photography and success,
“If you want to be a profitable and successful photographer, then study profitable and successful photographers.”