GoPRo GP1 Housing turns your GoPro into a Compact Camera


New on Kickstarter, this is a project that is worth backing. The GP1 housing is probably the only housing you should be getting if you have budgeted for a GoPro 3 or 4.

First, the GoPro 4 has pretty impressive low light capture capability, and with 4K action capture....which is missing from most compact cameras these days, it's a camera that is hard to beat. The problem with the GoPro has been the form factor.

The tiny body makes is incredibly difficult to use as a normal digital compact camera. And this is what spurred the Exo GP1 in the first place.

The GP1 is only a housing with just a few extras, like a fixed viewfinder and a cold shoe mount on top of the housing to mount LED lighting for video shots and a tripod attachment on the bottom.

So if you had only one camera, there is no need to double down on another just for shooting 12 megapixel photos.

Oh, yeah....since the housing is limited by the camera itself, you're stuck with the 12 megapixel photo mode on the GoPro Hero 4.

Go Pro doesn't mention much about the lens' wide angle reach, which I suspect is between 18mm to 20mm in full frame speak.

There is no optical zoom capability so you will have to digitally crop the image into a zoom image.

The GP1 cost about US$250 and is made from aluminium, a useful option if you are the rough and tumble type. However the price is for early backers of the project so it's not possible to purchase this for less than 300 bucks should it get funded.

There will be plenty of complaints as we speak since the 12 megapixel photo capture isn't quite enough for photographers these days. Plus the wide angle makes it very difficult to shoot with since you're stuck with just one focal length.

But if you're one of those who prefer to carry only one camera and that happens to be a GoPro, this housing makes perfect sense.


Toggally helps Pro Photographers find Work


Here is another one of those assignment based platforms that helps photographers find work. It's a bit different than Scoopshot Pro but nonetheless share similar ideas. 

The only difference is that the fees for these are fixed and judging from the worth of your time, I only have reservations. 

Back in the dark ages of film, a photographer could easily charge between 50 to 100 bucks an hour. Remember this was 20 years ago and today, we find those same rates dominating Toggally, a photog for hire site based in the US. 

I want you to sit back and think for a moment about what I have written in the past about digital photography equipment. The cost of which hasn't changed but the amount of equipment you need to do a shoot has. 

Post processing is done by you and your computer. You don't just hand RAW files to the customer. If you failed to process them, the customers from Togally can choose to reject them. So you need to ante up to a computer, capable of doing, there is a choice. Most DSLRs come with a standard photo processing program that runs on either OSX or Microsoft, so that won't be a problem for you. But it is up to you to buy a fast computer capable of handling all the processing needs. 

Photographers are Craftsmen? Or Journeymen?

Journey men are reliable workers but there is nothing outstanding about them. Craftsmen use more creativity in their work and can probably handle more skilled task. 

And this is where Pro Photographers are today. 

Taking pictures for a a pro will be determined if you do the job creatively or reliably. 

Unfortunately for you, the photog wannabe, Togally makes no distinction for the two. 

What you are worth is 100 bucks an hour, and should you shoot for longer periods, the rates gets cheaper, at 50 bucks an hour as seen by the Event assignment cost above. 

I don't remember a time where a photographer's time would get cheaper by the hour like some unskilled labor by a migrant who would choose to be paid cheaper by working extended hours. It sounds positively Mexican. And how Togally gets this magic number is beyond me. 

For corporate shoots, your fee is still 100 bucks an hour, but you get a full 100 bucks for an 8 hour day. As a rule, photographers should never be working on an extended shift beyond 8 hours because photos need to be processed as clients today expect everything in real time—the digital phenomena. So if a corporate photographer is hoping to earn more than this, then they have lucked out. There are not breaks, you have to be on your feet all the time taking wonderful pictures and not leave out a moment. It's like the work of an editorial photographer out to get the news. The best shots win. But I suppose Togally thinks you can cruise to the finish line by just being there. Please note the money back guarantee. 

For commercial photographers shooting products in a studio, they have a raw deal as they get paid only 600 bucks a day. I don't know about you but there is a studio cost to this which needs to be addressed. If you live in a warehouse, you can set up a corner in your dwelling for all your photography needs but you do need cheap lighting and a rent for the warehouse. So is 600 a day going to cover it if you don't get an assignment every other day? Even if you live just on air and water, there is an expense for electricity, water, mobile phone and Internet fees. 

Wedding photographers also get paid 100 bucks an hour. Now we all know weddings do happen often enough but the same people don't get married and divorced within a week like in Las Vegas. There is a finite number of weddings in a day and that's where photographers have to capitalise on their income. Getting paid 100 an hour like any other photographer isn't going to help your credentials as a professional wedding photographer. There is a marketing cost to it and I don't mean paying Facebook to promote a page for your business. Wedding photography is a co-operative endavour. You need a wedding gown studio, make up artist, props such as cars and location shoots. It is fine if the Wedding is held just in a church and the bride and groom have their own costumes but not having a make up artist would mean more photoshop work later, so why not let your customers pay for the make up artist and save yourself some valuable photoshop time? I have shot weddings and some last for a full day while others just need you to be at the wedding solemnisation that last less than an hour. 

If you want a photographer to cover a sports event, that's 50 bucks an hour. I suppose they are not referring to the World Series or a NASCAR event but probably more like college basketball or maybe a golf tournament. 

Then it occurs to me, if that is treated as an unskilled assignment, then what isn't?

Shooting sports isn't easy. You need a telephoto lens that will cost you a bomb to own, why are you being paid so cheaply? I invested in a zoom lens, f/2.8  70 to 200mm and that didn't quite provide the reach all the time. The sweet spot is a 300mm lens for professional sports. However if you got close enough, you can shoot motorsports with just a 200mm lens if you know where to put yourself in a specific location.  

Shooting college football and basketball might seem easy enough but you still need at least a 200mm lens for that reach. I know there are plenty of used lenses on eBay which you can buy for a song but most of them are either manual lenses or have apertures of f/4 wide open. For indoor shoots, lighting is always a problem unless you had a spiffy full frame DSLR that allows you to crank up the ISO all the way up. 


I have had this suspicion that fees paid to photogs these days have bottomed out. It has not gotten any higher but stayed flat for the last 17 years. 

There is no indication that the fees have been marked up for inflation considerations or for that matter, or to take into account the amount of equipment you had to own — a point that was missing from the Togally site. 

For me, owning a studio outside of your home is an investment. A studio with proper lighting to shoot products and still life is a fixed expense that you have to pay every month. 

Shooting specific genres of sport requires an even heavier investment in prime telephoto lenses like a 300mm or maybe even a 600mm lens. Such equipment cost has to be paid off and if you are paid far less to do this, chances are you'd have to mortgage your left kidney to loansharks to refinance that acquisition. 

The reality of it all is that being a Pro Photographer in this day and age takes a lot of guts, misery and accountability. If you can't run a successful business that pays for its own expenses then you're just feeding a desire to be in a market space that has no commercial returns. 

So please don't quit your day job yet. Tip your toes into the water to see if you can hack the pace of living without any consistent wage. I hate it when photogs mislead people to say that they are happier doing what they do and living on a meagre income. They could be overdosing on Prozac and look through reality with rose tinted goggles. Besides, do you even have enough money for Prozac on a daily basis?

If you love what you do, then don't get hurt financially doing it. Because there is a cost to a retirement plan and if you don't have one by the time you hit 40, you're definitely fucked. 


Secrets to becoming a successful Paid Photographer


This is probably one of the most sought after topics, is there a secret to becoming a photographer who is going to be paid for his work.

These days, I don't use terms like professional photographer. To me, the pro suffix does not help you in the work space. As a budding photographer hoping to make money, there is no other way to establish yourself unless you granted all your clients sexual favors.

Of course there are.... but you have to learn the tricks of the trade, but before we go into that, let's understand one thing. Digital photography has levelled the playing field. You are now competing with both wannabes and amateur photographers who shoot in their spare time. What makes you stand out these days is not how you capture a photo but rather on how you maintain a business relationship with future and existing clients. So if you talk sweet, are charming, or hugely entertaining to have around for company, that is a BIG plus. Being kind also helps but being generous is not.

#1 Barter Trade than give a Free Service

Many times, people will ask you to shoot for peanuts, or for free. Your charming disposition will allow you to twist that into a paid assignment if you are willing to barter. So instead of having to give your services away for free, think of ways to get back something.

Receiving vouchers for free meals at restaurants, free car wash services, or a year's worth of baby diapers isn't as bad as it sounds. These vouchers can then be used creatively to market your services to others. Take the diapers, present it as a gift for the first couple to sign up for a paid wedding photographer session. Some might take it in jest but others will see the practical use for them.

#2 Ante up on your Photoshop Skills

Photoshop is a much abused word. Affinity Photo is the next killer app that cost next to nothing compared to the huge fees you have to pay but regardless of what app you use. Make sure you learn how to use them. By showing off the digital artist in you, clients will be so damn impressed that they would give you more work.

No one hires a photographer because he's a photographer. Digital imaging has changed the way things are being done and clients are not stupid. To pay you for something that they feel any one with Photoshop can do more cheaply is silly.

The case in point was at one stage, I realize that people were not thinking out of the box. There was a advertising agency who wanted to shoot a 4WD splashing its way through a jungle scene. In my mind, I knew this can already be done using photoshop and a green screen of a car with model actors. The composite technique used in SFX can be applied here and suddenly, everything is possible. You don't even need a real car in a studio to shoot.

Which is the fake picture and which is the shopped picture?

Photoshop can be use to change colors, add effects and event blend in logos and pictures if required and your skills to do this is what sets you apart from the rest of the photographers. No digital photographer can ever claim to be just another photographer in this day and age and if you do, you're out of your league. A good desktop computer is also crucial for Photoshop work and if you don't have money to buy one, then you've lucked out. Any average photographer with great photoshop skills will make a killing in the market. 

So what's there to stop you from making a Ferrari poster with a wedding couple in front of it? Composite a toy Ferrari in the background. It all boils down to your digital skills. Still image photography is never about going on location to shoot. It's about knowing how to shoot a composite photo cheaply.

#3 Use Social Media for Promotion

When you have time, and I am sure photographers these days don't have a torrent of clients booking them up, use social media to keep people informed of what you have been up photography.

Instagram, Pinterest or G+ is a good place to start as you post regularly from your smartphone. The reason for this is simple. A post a day will tell clients you are actively engaging an audience, it shows dedication and passion, just like a regular blog post. You earn respect even though you are posting these photos while you play poker shark at a local game just to make ends meet. Self promotion, however narcissistic, is the way forward. Never assume that your talents speak louder than words.

Even setting up a website for an event is not going to take you much time as the templates are all there for you to use to get one up quickly. That said, why can't you offer that as a service as well? Both and offer limited free hosting and you only need one scrollable an and responsive page to start the site. No brainer to learn too. For that you can charge and yes, tell them your social savvy.

Whatever you do, please do not use Facebook. It's a money pit you fall into that gives you very little in return.

#4 Engage your Clients

So you are now on social media, but do your clients know that? Blogging is not for everyone. Many photographers can't write and I don't expect you to but having a photo feed on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest or G+ is something your can tell your clients about. Look them up and add them to your network. It helps to build a following, however small at first, will be worth your day and time. Feature the work you had with them in the stream, and promote that with a hashtag or twitter follow.

Blogging on subjects that are not of interest to clients is a complete waste of time. Remember clients do not want to read your blog on camera performance or to hear how hard it is to do digital manipulation on images. They want to see your work flow from day to day. They want to see a portfolio of work and that doesn't have to mean actual photos you took but rather what you can do with them.

Don't try to educate them to on how much you are worth. These days, clients pay you if they like you...a lot, or next to nothing if they think you're a one off photographer. It is always a mistake to tell clients you're worth more than what they think you are worth. That is like telling them they are stupid in the face. If they want you to take on an assignment for far too low a renumeration, then tell them you can only perform to such a level and compromise or barter for the rest of the fees. Your personal charisma will have to do most of the leg work as running a photographic service is like running any other business, you need business acumen and talent. It's far less to do with your abilities as a photographer but more as a business person. 

#5 Leverage on Awards

Shooting pictures and submit them for competition with the intention to compete and win. When you win an award, that's what makes you stand out from the rest of the crowd. Milk that award for everything that it is worth including putting it on your website, calling card and stickers.

I wish I won one of these....

Awards are technically meaningless if you do not exploit it to your benefit. Clients prefer to have an award winning photographer at their kids birthday party than to have a nobody with a camera at that same party. Remember, your competitor can beat you in terms of price but for that award you carry, you can beat him at their game.

This is the only way to protect your turf from other wannabes who can undermine your worth. So remember to steal, beg, and buy over an award if possible. It will save you from a heap of problems. 


The digital age has depreciated the value of photography to the point that it's not your time but their time that matters. If you can't accept the brief, then you should refuse. You can also accept the brief but fulfil them creatively through digital manipulation.

Models can be digitally manipulated from royalty free stock photos to suit a scene of your client's choice. What they pay for is not the actual model hire and photo shoot. Wedding photography can be faked the same way by shooting the couple with a blue screen and dumping a location background. Composite photography techniques are all the rage in SFX movies so why not do that at home?

Digital is the way out of the mess you will get into by promising too much. Commercial Photography isn't about your photography skills these days but on your ability to fulfill a brief in the best possible way within a budget.

When the client has a much lower budget, then it is time to be candid with them without offending them.

Many professional photographers would like to be hired as photographers than digital artist. I am afraid that is not possible in this day and age. Those two go hand in hand as one. If you can do it, then better skip being a pro. 


Scoopshot Pro to become the Uber of Photography?


Sometime back, I wrote about a crowdsource photography platform which allowed you to take photos from your mobile device and sell them as microstock images. 

My own experience on the platform didn't go well. First, there were so called 10 dollar assignments where the best photo will get bought from Scoopshot themselves, it turns out that the photos that were purchased were the worst ones imaginable and somehow I felt cheated to have participated. 

With that, the Finnish owned crowdsourced mircostock platform started to falter and with funding already running into millions, it looked like they were going down the gutter. 

Then they announced ScoopShot Pro, a Uber like business model where photographers could get hired based on their shooting experience and location. Your portfolio will have only NINE images. For any digital photographer, this should be easy peasy. In any given day, a digital photographer can shoot a whole stream of photos with only the best chosen for the portfolio. Or for that matter, a photo that could be composited to look like a single frame image. 

Scoopshot Pro is not a Professional Network for Pros

Apparently anyone can join, and the best part of it is there is no requirement to own expensive equipment. You get hired based on a selection of images found on your online portfolio and the lowest price per hour or per assignment. 

The incentive for photographers is to get hired on the spot based on location requirements and genre of photography. So if you do weddings, chances are they won't be asking you to shoot a car or wildlife image. 

Scoopshot says that the assignments will be prepaid in advance by the customers. Which sort of means the prices are not set by you but rather by Scoopshot themselves. This sounds particularly distressing to photographers who are thinking that they can be paid as good as their counterparts in developed countries. What you need to worry about is minimum wage. How low are you willing to accept in terms of fees for an assignment brief. That's because if there is a match up for two similar photographers from one location, I assume that both of you will be notified. Who takes the job depends on who is faster on the trigger and hit the accept button. 

Billing is handled by Scoopshot themselves and you don't have to lift a finger. Once you submit your assignment pictures, the customer has to approve them. This will mean that you will have to pay the model in advance of your salary or fees if one is used. 

You are also required to undertake the whole assignment without any advance payment of expenses as well. Which means money upfront by the photographer to pay his way and the cost of it all is factored into the assignment cost so you cannot claim any further expense. 

Scoopshot also mentioned that experience is what counts and you are required to list them to prospective customers. That's kind of difficult if you don't specialise in a genre that will help you get the job done. 

For example, advertising photographers would have far more experience shooting commercial photos as compared to wedding or street photographers will gain the upper hand for commercial request. 

But street photographers would be better off provided editorial photography than commercial photographers....and so on. 

Hiring photographers seems to be at the customer's request if they pay an annual fee. Please note the pricing package listed above as it clearly states that they have unlimited mobile task which they can request for as assignments from photographers around the world. 

All a sudden, this Uber Photographer platform starts to get fishy. 

Customers don't want mobile photos....they want high quality DSLR photos and if you are paying to get mobile tasked assignments, I think you as a potential customer will have grounds to believe that you might not be getting the best deal for your money. 

So until this rolls out and proves to be true. We can only guess how far and wide this platform will be in enticing professionals to their fold. 

After all, Uber is not about quality but price. If you can undercut the market minimum, that makes for a good business model. 


Lifetime Stock is here to Disrupt the Royalty Free Stock Image Market


When you start out with a camera in hand, and the world at your feet, you have every right to be optimistic. 

During my time, it was an exciting journey. People were paying for good photography and learning to shoot was a skill. It wasn't something you could get our of a craiglist advert as photography during the analogue age was difficult. 

Magazines wanted writers who could shoot some basic photos because those two talents came as a bonus. Photographers were hire as full time staff in Magazines and those who could afford it, even had their own in house dark rooms to process photos. 

In the real world, people didn't take up photography for fun. Almost everyone who took up a camera could earn money shooting for people and people paid money for it because film and development cost were part of the equation. There was no freebies, because the consumables like film and printing itself cost money.

In my last post, Depositphotos was mentioned as a microstock agency that was raising prices while cutting royalty payments to photographers. Then I also had the post on the microstock business itself and how to make it in the business. It was to highlight the reality of the image business, in the digital age. 

What I use to do no longer applies. Magazines and newspapers often source for photos found on the Internet and credit the photographer in kind. Websites prefer not to pay for photos even if they are backed by multinational media corporations. So where are the markets for photographers? 

It is still in advertising or commercial space. 

What the Hell is Composite Photos?

People who set up websites and magazines will need to put up banners and print adverts. and there is no mistaking the need to have photos as a form of illustration. 

In the deposit photos post, I mentioned Composite Photos, but many didn't know what I meant. Well here is the example. Lifetime Stock is a microstock agency where they sell photo elements to create the ultimate composite photo. 

What Lifetime Stock does differently is that they buy blank background and isolated models posing against a blank space for compositing later by any digital artist. 

If you want to shoot such stock images, you have to learn to shoot against a blank background and at the same time ensure your light source is neutral so that no one can really tell which direction the sun is coming from. 

Beyond this, you can also shoot still objects, maybe fruits, cups of coffee, everyday items with neutral lighting. These objects will be etched out and the isolated object dropped into a corresponding background. 

This agency is on the look out for photographers who have some experience shooting such photos and if you qualify, you can easily fill in the gaps. However you have to note that they sell photos based on a subscription model, meaning customers can download up to 33 files a day based on the annual package they buy. 

The standard package is optimised for web use, while the Pro package is more suited for print use. 

The online photo editor is sort of like a Photoshop cloud app. You can do masking and compositing based on your chosen photos and create a brand new one just like you want it to look. 

You have to look at this sort of sites as an opportunity, which however demeaning to the photographer it may be, is a way to earn some money. 

Reality Unmasked

The reality of my teenage dream is officially a nightmare. To dream of having to shoot pictures while earning a decent income is nothing more than a fantasy. You can still go professional of course, but not in the way you could imagine. 

In the analogue days, film stock images were costly to store and people who wanted to use your photos had to pay good money for it. Corel was one of the first to pioneer the success of royalty free stock photos from Canada, where you could buy a CD full of images which gave you the rights to use it as you will. 

But before that. stock images could only be ordered from a catalog and the slide would be delivered to you via a parcel. There were no on-demand photo service which you could buy a photo when you needed. However whoever took part it the stock image business during those days could earn decent income if you had over 1000 images at a photo bank. 

And that's how they like to call their business, a photo bank. Because only a bank holds pictures with real value. 

Microstock? It's as vaporous as a bear or bull market run. That's how you tell the difference. 


How to get your Photo projects Crowdfunded

Photographers are generally well meaning folks. They take pictures hoping to express their creativity and talent but some how, they also become dreamers. 

The dream is to get funded to pursue what you love doing. It is a great idea but how do you get funded?

Do you really need a new camera to shoot pictures these days?

I remember a time when the DSLR market was taking off during the late 2000s, this is around 2008 to 2010. The brands were going all out to get you to switch and during my time at Sony Asia Pacific, several projects were submitted to me for consultation. At that time, I was engaged as a consultant of sorts for their DSLR market in the Asia Pacific Region. Some got rejected while others were a little more meaningful. These folks got the cameras they asked for in return for content. They were fully funded because Sony needed to show what their line of cameras were possible. No professional would touch their products with a ten foot pole. Needless to say, several got lucky in my time. 

Today that market has all but dried up. Brands like Nikon and Canon want you to create images but they are leveraging on professional photographers who already have a following. Why bother to create a star when you already have one working alongside you? Even if you pitch a great idea, the problem is always two folds. Who will take up the effort to advertise your successful foray into making a picture book, portfolio or for that matter camera. 

Why Crowdfunding is getting Harder


It has to do with value. What is it that you bring to the table of these big brands that make it so unique they can't get someone else, a pro, to do it for them for free camera gear?

This is why people turn to Indiegogo and Kickstarter to crowdfund. Here are some rules to follow.

#1 Get a Life

I have seen many epic fails. Like the one saying, I need a new camera to pursue my career in photography. That sort of line not only sounds overly honest, but gullible to anyone thinking that he or she will actually do a good job after getting funded. You got an iPhone?

Well shoot something, show it off in a portfolio before asking for money. If someone notices your talent in your iPhone photography, they might give you the money you need to get started. You need to show that your life is in photography and if you don't even have iPhone pictures to prove it, you're just another snake oil salesman. The same is for those hoping to get funded for a camera to do a video documentary....god sakes, doesn't the iPhone take video already? 

What's more, there are plenty of places to show off your budding talent. Pick Flickr or even Instagram....of for that matter EyeEm to show off your eye and maybe someone will take you seriously. 

#2 Put Effort into a Video or Pitch for Crowdfunding

A lot of folks think that by putting up a collage of sorts is enough to convince people you're the next ace photog who can take on the likes of McCurry or McCullin. 

You heard of the selfie, well now you can sell yourself by talking about what this project is all about. Your face says it all and if you can't be bothered to put effort into a video or a proper presentation for your crowdfunding proposal, then what makes you think that people out there will take you seriously? Sure there is a sucker born every minute but they can't all be hanging out on Kickstarter all day waiting for you to happen. 

A good pitch is just one short sentence. Don't matter if that is your exhibition, limited run prints or anything remotely bookish. Weave your own dream into the pitch and tell the world why they need someone like you to do this. If you are not talented in such delivery, get a friend to help...unless they are all stoned and high on weed, chances are your pal who did well in English could help you out. 

#3 Clarify your Photography Ambitions with an Example

There are those crowd funding pitches that has only one photo of something totally unrelated to the thing you want to do. It's like having a photograph of a mole hill and asking people for money to go photograph the earthquake in Nepal. 

People have to know you have done something like that to start to read your pitch. Showing examples of past work in high altitudes (and I don't mean photography from an airplane window) would be the first step. 

For video projects, the same can be said of having a short documentary, shot and edited on your iPhone. If you can't do that, what good are you with bigger projects?

#4 Get Co-Sponsors to come in with you

Get someone to sponsor your airplane ticket. Show them the logo on kickstarter and your blog (getting a free website is easy peasy these days) as long as you have some other sponsors onboard, be it for footwear, c-rations, or even a backpack, have them on your pitch page as a sort of endorsement. 

If you can get pop culture websites like theVerge, Vice, or some other entity with a cult following to feature you, mention them too. Your publicity with them will ensure that you are legit. Don't ask me how you should be getting such sponsors because if you haven't a clue on where to start, then you shouldn't be pitching. 

There are some companies like Getty Images that offer grants from time to time. It would be good for you to look them out to see if you qualify, who knows? It could be right down your alley. 

#5 Activate your online Presence

If you are serious about doing a book on the homeless on New York, then start a Tumblr, Vimeo, YouTube or Instagram feed to show what you are doing daily even during the campaign period. You have to show your sincerity with passion and funders will google you to find out who you actually are. 

If you haven't got an online presence of anysort, you are in deep shit. This is because they want to see the number of followers you have online. Facebook is a ditch because it won't help you connect your followers to what you are doing without some form of payment. It's online prostitution only that it's completely legal. You pay them, they help you. No money? Then why are you on Facebook?

Why the Rules Got So much Harder

You have no idea how many people would contact big brand names for free stuff and sponsorship. For example, you might want to get socially aware corporations to help you with a book you're doing but ultimately, they need to know who the hell you are. If you are a distant relative to Brad Pitt or the Queen of England, it could help....but if you're a nobody wanting something from them. Fat chance. 

Big brands don't like to sponsor projects which are difficult to use to reach consumers. For example, a digital book is pretty much useless because not everyone will have the patience to download it once it is available. They prefer immediate delivery of content such as an Instagram feed than a picture book that only exist on the iPad. 

Where are the Book Sponsorships?

For those hoping to pitch a physical book...that is to find a willing publisher. Good luck. Photo books sells best if they are by famous photographers. So if you are not famous, what chances do you have in publishing a photo book?

Now I know you have come across some of those 'publishers' who are out to print your books. What they don't tell you is that you have to pay for it and let them publish and distribute for you.

Paper prints cost money, so unless you already have a sponsor, you should not do it. Pitching ideas and concepts to print publishers of photo books will fall in the same hole. If you are nobody, then you better bring something to the table that is worth their time. Let's say you want a print run of 10,000 copies of which you already have a corporate client willing to take half of that at a profitable retail price. Then the publisher will look into how that might work to their advantage, like maybe give you money to finish the project. Never give them a project in 'concept' stage when you don't have the funds to do it. Publishers don't like buying into a great idea with them having to foot the bill of your project cost.

For that you need to find other sponsors, like maybe from people who you have access to in your linkedin profile? If you have a whole list of sponsors, it shows you have gone some way to getting funding.... tell your friends you are on Kickstarter and they might just toss you something to get you going. Will it be enough? I don't know. Do you have Bill Gates on your Linkedin profile as a friend? Warren Buffet maybe? 

Sponsorship by anyone is a commercial concern. They need to get visibility from your project and for some small firms, they could sponsor you physical stuff that you might need on your journey. That's how you start the ball rolling. 

I think that selling unique prints autographed by you is a good step to rewarding your sponsors....provided your book takes off like a Russian rocket and not one from Space X or NASA. It is just a matter of I scratch your back and you scratch mine. Sponsors need to get something out of it. Even if you are publishing a book, a logo and a word of thanks plus a few complimentary copies will earn you enough respect for a second round of sponsorship if you prove to be worth your weight in salt.

Sponsorship is never a one way street. You have to meet your sponsors in the middle and see what sort of use that would be to your eventual goal.

On Kickstarter, I have seen picture books get crowdfunded by unique talents. There was a photographer in the 70s porn industry who had all this prints and she needed the funds to produce a book about the industry. That sold like hot cakes. That said, I am not asking you to do only porn related projects. 

Activist style book projects for humanitarian goals can also be successful if you deal with the right corporate brands who want to leverage on that. Again, the more famous you are, the better it will be for them to meet you. If all you ever had was a Facebook page...well....good luck. 

As for UN related bodies who are into helping others. Let me make it clear. The UN is not a charitable body that gives you money for book projects. It is the other way round. I worked on a UNICEF related book project (ISBN 981-05-3227) where the whole thing was financed and sponsored by Konica Minolta. Getting their seal on your book is very difficult, they want to know what that is worth to you and how much you are going to pay for that privilege. The book was sold as a charity concern with ALL of the retail revenue going to them. No skimping on the details on paying on the profits on this book as a gesture of their involvement. They don't need that.

The second book project we took up with them was left them fighting for credit. Both the Geneva office and the NY office wanted credit for green lighting the project and it never took off the ground due to internal politics. So that should give you an idea on how not to get started on this path. 

I wish there was a blog that featured failure. To tell people that everything they thought they were doing right ended up wrong. Makes for a valuable lesson for all those who want to take the same path. 

We all dream of doing the things we love and hopefully make a living out of it. It doesn't always happen that way and for good reason too. There is a commercial aspect to everything related to such projects and if it is not viable. It will sink faster than the Titanic.