Posts Tagged ‘picture calls’

The customer doesn’t want a quarter-inch drill. He wants a quarter-inch hole.

The drill itself is merely his instrument of delivery, just as the cameras of fotoLibra photographers are theirs.

That’s the sort of insight that delights management consultants, and it does have a certain seductive logic. If you concentrate on what the customer actually wants, instead of dressing up your product to fulfill your own desires and aspirations, then the road to fortune and fame will be open to you.

That was the disruptive thinking that lay behind the concept of fotoLibra. We are neither photographers nor critics. Who were we to judge one photograph over another? It would be purely our personal taste. It would have no reference to what the market wanted.

Our solution? Let the market itself decide. In fact, we would go a step further — the market would detail what it wanted to buy, and we would tell our photographers through regular Picture Calls. How simple is that?

Then fotoLibra found itself in that awkward position between overbearing boss and nagging wife. All our photographers wanted to do was buy spiffy new lenses, and there we were hectoring them about the photographs they should be taking, not the ones they wanted to take.

Happily I hope we’ve matured a bit. We’re more relaxed about the choices our photographers make. And going back to our drill imagery, our picture buyers don’t care if the photograph has been taken with a Coastal Optics 60 mm f/4 UV-Vis-IR APO Macro or a pinhole camera, as long as it matches their imagination.

So in our regular Picture Calls we describe the “quarter-inch and other-sized cavities” our customers are looking for to our army of photographers, and with the tools at their disposal they go out and Drill Dem Holes.

And it works very well.

And because the burden of fortune and fame is not yet an intolerable weight on the shoulders of fotoLibra, we’d welcome a little more of both.


Pro Blog Index

July 12th, 2010

This is the Index to the fotoLibra Pro Blog postings since January 2010.

If you’re new to fotoLibra, welcome! — and may we suggest you read through the HINTS & TIPS section, and if nothing else read Great Expectations from the 2009 blog. It still holds true.

In fact there are a lot of interesting posts in the 2009 blogs, and you can see an Index to them here.

Comments are welcome, even on old posts, and will be read and often responded to.













What can we do?

May 21st, 2009
Gwyn Headley

by Gwyn Headley

Managing Director

I’ve just had Jacqui Norman almost in tears.

Jacqui sends out our Picture Calls. She tries to be as precise and as accurate as possible.

On May 12th she sent out a call for aerial portrait format photographs of the North York Moors. This is what she wrote:

The TOUR series are all oblique aerial shots. You will need access to an aeroplane or helicopter. Even if you don’t have one, this is not impossible if you have enough chutzpah. Yvonne Seeley blogged about how you can do this yesterday on the fotoLibra Pro Blog.

The next image needed is a TOUR map series image of North York Moors, wanted by Monday, May 25th.

The images that have been submitted so far? Every single one of the 22 images submitted so far (4 days still to go to the deadline) has been taken with the photographers’ feet solidly planted on terra firma. And four of them are even landscape, not portrait.

None of these images will be shown to the client. They’re not what she asked for. We might as well send her pictures of the Great Pyramid At Giza for all the relevance they have to the precise requirements Jacqui laid out.

What can Jacqui do? How can she make the brief any clearer?

Our photographers aren’t stupid, so clearly Jacqui is, or we are, doing something wrong. I asked Nick Jenkins what he suggested and he came up with the idea of colour-coding these OS calls. So we’ve tried that, and it hasn’t worked.

Any more ideas?