I’ve been looking again this morning on yet another well known photographer’s attempt to get money through Kickstarter.
In both cases, I am left wanting to know more. About the why’s, the how’s, the intended results and outputs, about how the money breaks down and is spent ( ie Gerd says it costs $25000 for two weeks work near Chernobyl…I cannot see how that figure is arrived at, and I deserve to know).
In both cases the arguments/pitches are poorly made. There is not enough space devoted to the above questions. Larry wants to finish his book, which I’m sure will be stunning, as Larry is an awesome snapper. However, how many people will buy it? What sort of audience will it reach? If small, as I suspect, what effect has that book had? I know Larry wants to finish his book, but that’s not the point.
Gerd wants to go back to Chernobyl after 25 years to see what’s what. Again, I cannot measure the efficacy of his approach and output.I don’t -really- know why either, other than he wants to, and it’s the 25th anniversary. In Gerd’s case, I have no idea how he intends to disseminate the information he gathers, it’s not mentioned. That’s not good. What is mentioned, in both cases, is what you get if you donate. Larry will give you signed bits and bobs, as will Gerd. That is all very well, and may indeed work for them, because people are greedy enough to hope that the signed card they get, or whatever, may be worth a few bob one day. Unnamed snappers cannot play that game. It’s a crap game anyway.
Because the donations are typically small, it seems there is no need to explain properly to the giver the full picture. I think that is an error.
If you want my money, you need to work a darn sight harder at telling me why you deserve it, why the story deserves it.
If I am to donate, I want to know how much the photographer takes in fees, how the work is to be produced, where it is to be distributed, to whom, in what formats, and I would also like some sort of ‘success barometer’. Otherwise I’m just giving money for a thankyou on a facebook page.
There is also no way built in to share the success….should the project have any. If I have funded your project, and then it sells massively and gets you rich, can I not get some money back? A percentage? Something? Tell me.
I am trying to be constructive here. I like the kickstarter idea, but I think we need more transparency, more openness, at least in the above examples.