Thursday, 12 May 2011


I am a photographer… and potentially a rubbish business man!  

I recieved a very nice email this morning

Subject: Potential 
> Sponsor for Your Videos
> From: Chris with xxx Lounge and xxxx
> []
> Message: We're big fans of your Youtube channel 
> and website and all of the photography information you provide to the 
> community.

> I wanted to introduce myself and our companies and discuss a potential 
> idea that we have. We run a wedding photography studio in Orange 
> County called xxx (xxxxx) and an online 
> magazine called xxx (xxxx), providing free 
> tutorials, blog themes, and resources for photographers. In addition, 
> we create photography products, such as bags, filter cases, and straps 
> that we sell through Adorama as well as on our site xxxxx 
> ( 
> We're in the startup phase of xxxx, but we're quickly growing a 
> loyal fan base; and we were hoping to reach out to you for some help. 
> In an effort to grow brand awareness for xxx, we were hoping to 
> sponsor some of your upcoming videos. In our ideal marketing plan, you 
> would insert a slide at the beginning or the end of your videos stating 
> "video sponsored by xxxx," with a unique coupon code ("dombower") 
> for your viewers and fans to receive $10 off purchases of $60 or more 
> (or something along those lines).
> We have a few options for things that we could offer in return. Our 
> ideal payment would be a combination of aspects of the following, but 
> we are also open to any other ideas you might have.
> 1) Money
> 2) Free Advertising for X amount of time on the sidebar of xxx Lounge
> 3) Featured Article for your site on xxxxx Lounge
> 4) Mailers to send out with all of our xxxx purchases

> If you're interested, please let us know which options (or combinations 
> of options) you might be interested in. We really hope that we can 
> work something out, as we feel that your casual yet informative, fun, 
> and upbeat style of teaching photography is exactly what we're looking 
> for and a great resource for the community.

> Thanks and have a great day!

Thats great chat, very nice of them to approach me like this and very nicely they way they have introduced themselves and given options.

Now here is my reply. Tell me if I am being a business idiot or if this is the right track you think I should stay on.

Hello Chris 

Thank you very much for your email.

Firstly thank you for considering me as a potential client for you stuff and i am glad you enjoy my videos and think that they go well with your brand.

your studio and online magazines are very very nice. I have added the slr lounge onto my facebook.  and i like the professional look to the Undfind. You have a very good web designer!

Now for the part that you say   "In our ideal marketing plan, you  would insert a slide at the beginning or the end of your videos stating "video sponsored by xxxxx," with a unique coupon code ("dombower")  for your viewers and fans to receive $10 off purchases of $60 or more  (or something along those lines)  I do like the Idea of giving my fans/ subscribers a chance of getting some money off codes etc and it is a good way for you to see who is coming to your websites and how well the promotion is going.

However I am not keen on doing so.  I don't mind mentioning it at the end saying "hay everyone there is a site here saying they can give you 10% off with my name" and putting that into the video but at the moment i am not a fan of having some companies banner at the start or end of the video.  I know other photographers that do that but it is not really my style. and also it may make some of the viewers miss trust my reviews if i am being sponsored etc. (this may be an incredibly stupid business strategy of mine!)

I am really not doing any of the youtube stuff for the money, (although the google check i get each month or two is always a nice little benefit and motivator to make more videos) However I would like to get more and more subscribers on my youtube channel. So if you want to use any of my videos on your slrlounge page I am happy for you to link them up from youtube.  Or even if you have any equipment you want me to review I would be happy to do a video and blog review (but i am honest with what I review so you would only want to send good stuff). I can also be kept up to date with any latest releases and if they are good i could mention them in future videos.

There is a camera company in the UK that has linked up my youtube account to their page

I am trying to finish my photography book this month! and would love to get exposure on that and try and get the word out as much as possible so that is really the only advertising I would be interested in as refund.  

So in summary,  its a no to banners at the start or end or sponsoring of videos. but it is a yes to mentions and highlights/reviews and reductions for subscribers and potential mentions on your behalf of my photography books etc. And a yes to if you are wanting to put any of my videos up on your slrlounge on line magazine.

Let me know what you think.

Kind regards

Dom Bower

Dom Bower Photography

New Youtube channel


Now they have replied

Hey Dom:

Thanks for the response.

I completely understand and respect your position on the banner advertisements.  True photography professionals, motivated by the art form and the sharing of knowledge rather than monetary gain keep the photography industry real and what it is today.  I appreciate your candor; and we would love to discuss further any cross promotional or partnership ideas you may have.  

I'll discuss with the partners and see if we come up with any specific ideas.  

For now, I've created a coupon code for your followers that doesn't expire (for now) and gives anyone 10% off when they use "DOMBOWER" at checkout on uxxxxx

We'll be in touch; or feel free to contact me if you come up with additional ideas.

Take care!



  1. It is far far to easy to go down the corporate route. Fair play to you for keeping your independence, and your impartiality, this will keep the trust and value that your subscribers and fans have in your opinion.
    As your presence grows within the youtube and photography groups, companies and individuals will inevitably want to associate themselves with you, some with good intentions, but most to hopefully gain exposure and eventually sales.
    Problem being, I am sure that you will have to accept this in the future! as your subscribers grow and the time allowance you have to dedicate more and more of your time, and of course this will require money!!!!
    It is possible to do both, you just have to be very, very firm, and a clear a precise business plan......Ellis

  2. I definitely agree with the comment above. It's really easy for someone to see pound signs and sell themselves out, so in this case my respect for you has gone even higher. And I think it's cracking you've really stuck to your guns and showed them that you're the boss by showing them what you want rather than what they want you to have. Awesome!!! Hope this works out well for you!!


  3. Dom you obviously have your principles and fair play to you for sticking to them. They are obviously trying to become successful by riding on the back of your success, so fair play to you for not letting them.

  4. good , I like you putting the customer into centre of what you do

    I just hate the face that you mention you are not doing the youtube video for money, which might slightly turn the business man off from my point of view.

    What you could do is to re-word it,

    something like that "My aim of the youtube video is to help people to understand the fundamental concept of photography, therefore I am delighted to receive assistance from you company in Marketing (promotion) aspect of my youtbue channle.

    And , I would be delighted to review your camera gear, once the trust has built up , then I will consider your offer of being sponsored in every video that I do . I need that trust because I ONLY receommned a worth Trust company to my viewers!

    Something like that . just my view......

  5. Hey Dom,
    It may not be the best business, but I love your integrity. I know for a fact that some other photographers who are "out there" making videos and building a community like you, don't give honest opinions on everything. They want a relationship with companies and some have come right out and said, they won't review bad products because they don't want to upset the supplier of an item, or make other potential sponsors fear their honesty.

    I've bought small items like bags or other camera accessories that were highly reviewed by a particular photographer, only to get them and be very disappointed at obvious and major flaws that were never mentioned in the review. That kind of behavior doesn't help anyone.

    I hope whatever you do, it works out for you. You rock!

  6. I second that; so many things are sponsored now it's difficult to know just how much the money talks. I appreciate your work and it's terrific to learn and draw inspiration from someone who evidently loves the subject. Thanks.

  7. it's sad to hear that people are incorrectly reviewing things and if i had a channel i would never do the but well done to you dom, im sure that in the same situation i probably would have jumped at the idea of a sponsor.

  8. I understand the hours you spend on your youtube channel, facebook and blog and no doubt other area's and understand you do so as you have a love for photography. I know you have deceided to add ads to your youtube channel and really think that every 2nd or 3rd video you put out could have a sponsor. The way i see it you spend 10 or 20+ hours a week to this and why not get a little money to ease the way i for one think you deserve it for the amount of help you do for us in the photography community, i have learned more from you than my camera club which i must add is the oldest in scotland.