An open letter to all those that want to work with our photography brands or possibly any brand.
I have wanted to write this for a while especially as I now have a better understanding, being that I have both been the person writing and now the person responding to these enquiries. I must stress that I only speak for myself here. Yes, that in effect is also speaking on behalf of the brands we work with here in UK, but I know that those I work with feel the same.
First a little about myself, what qualifies me to have this opinion then, well let’s start with the fact that I have been into photography for quite a while, and every now and then I will take some good photos. Due to this I have worked with some great brands on my journey. Second, I am part of the successful team who introduced the very popular Kase filters to the UK market, and we have worked with many talented and hardworking photographers to get to this position. So I think my perspective on this is probably quite balanced. I have literally been on both sides of the fence, I have written to the brands I wanted to work with, and here at Kase UK we get hundreds of emails/messages asking if we want to collaborate with the them.
As the writer, what did I do, well I think due to maybe other life experiences, what I did not do was just write to a brand I had no relationship with and ask for or expect free stuff? I only ever contacted brands that I was already using or had experience of. This way I could write to them and say, look I love using your products, and this is what I do with those products. I would then also explain why I think working with that brand would both benefit me and them. I would always go to them with a plan. Whilst this was not always going to get me a relationship with that brand, what it did 100% get me was a response, and one that could be built on. What it also got me was lots of contacts with the right people.
As the person that gets to read the emails from photographers, what do I do? Well first I judge on my own and the company values, has the person come to us with at least some of the above? Have they explained to us why they want to work with us at Kase, do they know our product, what have they achieved? What we often do not realize, is that its always a story that sells something, a story about you, a story about a product, come to think about it the most popular photographs are always because they tell a story. A story must be either inspiring or informational, that is what grabs the interest of the reader or viewer. Do not get me wrong, of course there is also the commercial side of things when it comes to who we work with, and for us also at Kase UK we are big on ethics too, but those points do not even get looked at until you have sold us the story.
We would absolutely love to work with all of you that contact us, but we can’t, that would be a crazy business model. We generally buck a perceived trend at Kase UK, none of our associated photographers have been just given free gear, that’s not our way of doing things, but what we will do is make sure any collaboration is as cost neutral as possible where we can, and then after that we will then do our best to give our collaborators an ongoing revenue stream. We want on going stories for our customers, and we want those stories to be about our photographers, and of course our excellent product.
There of course will always be exceptions to these thoughts, but generally speaking, this is what we want to hear or see. Maybe this will help you, or maybe you will totally disagree, either way, this is my message to you all.