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Thread: Has anyone tried Kickstarter?

  1. #1

    Join Date
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    Has anyone tried Kickstarter?

    I'm thinking of giving Kickstarter a try to help fund my Colorado River project. I was wondering if anyone here has tried it. If so, I'd love to hear about your experience and of course would be appreciative of any tips or suggestions.

    For those who aren't familiar with it, Kickstarter is a crowd-funding site where photographers, artists or others can raise money for projects. It's not purely through donations though, since the person seeking donations must offer rewards in return.

    I'm not affiliated with the site, just wondering if anyone has experience or opinions about it as a source of funding for projects.

    www.kickstarter.com
    Last edited by Noah A; 3-May-2011 at 08:20. Reason: forgot link

  2. #2

    Join Date
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    Re: Has anyone tried Kickstarter?

    I have a friend (former lf member) who used it to fund an project that took him to italy. He raised quite a few thousand dollars.

  3. #3

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    Re: Has anyone tried Kickstarter?

    I hate getting those solicitations, they are a huge awkward pain in the ass and I hate to see my friends begging. I block people on Facebook once they hit me with one. Every other artiste seems to have one now....

    The Kickstarters that work are ones for a really good idea that can make people money, like product ideas that are really, really good. I bet the art-orientated ones are only good in the sense that they are a round about way of soaking your friends and family for cash without the embarrassment asking them directly.

    I'm sorry to crap on the parade but I get a couple a day and they are always for dumb self-obsessed projects. One guy wants $8,000 to finish his loser horror movie with no plot, another wants to go to Brazil to document the Rain Forest.... Sorry, not contributing.

    Should have done it last year when it was new!

  4. #4

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    Re: Has anyone tried Kickstarter?

    Thanks Vinny. I'm giving it a try since there's really no risk involved...we'll see what happens.

    It seems like some good projects aren't successful but there have been some successful ones too (including other LF shooters) so we'll see. It probably has to do with whether or not you have friends who can afford to donate. I'm afraid I don't--most of my friends are other photographers also struggling to support themselves and fund their own projects, but I figured what the heck...

    There are a few completed projects I wish I had known about before they ended. It can be a chance to get an original print for less that it would cost in a gallery...

  5. #5

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    Re: Has anyone tried Kickstarter?

    I hate asking for money too but the idea is you get something of value in return. Of course only the donor can judge if the project (and the reward you get for the donation) is of value.

    For example I wish I had seen Martin Adolfsson's project before it was completed. He offered signed prints for as low as $50. I would have jumped on that opportunity. Lots of people did.

  6. #6
    Abuser of God's Sunlight
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    Re: Has anyone tried Kickstarter?

    Kickstarter is amazing. A good friend of mine works for them, and I've been trying to figure out a kickable project since he first told about it.

  7. #7
    Format Omnivore Brian C. Miller's Avatar
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    Re: Has anyone tried Kickstarter?

    Figure out a project by looking at what's been successful and what hasn't. Then make a reasonable bid.

    Successful: Ancient olive tree, with nice artsy tree photo.
    Unsuccessful: A small bike trip with LF camera, with a snapshot.

    What you want to do is avoid selling a lame vacation with some photos. Nobody cares about your vacation. They do care about "undiscovered" or "rediscovered" things. They want something unique. Write about what is waiting for the supporters. What will they see? What will they read as the project is ongoing? I notice that you don't have a blog. Start one.

    It's just the standard salesmanship stuff.

  8. #8

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    Re: Has anyone tried Kickstarter?

    Love your work Paul. Perhaps start small--I'm thinking my project and budget may be a bit ambitious for my first try...but we'll see in 28 days.

    Anyway, I like your Wilderness and Lost Spaces, Found Gardens series a lot, also the Southwest work.

    You don't have to listen to me, you should shoot what you want. But I'd love to see you revisit your Chicago work in large format. Though this may just be because I love Chicago and am going to shoot some urban landscape work when I'm there in August or September...

    Maybe I'm deluding myself, but I don't see it as begging for money. I really do see it as funding for work that might not get done otherwise, and in return for your donations you can get some really nice stuff. In a way it's a forum for people without gallery representation to sell work to a bigger audience.

    Of course, there are some crap projects. The simple thing is to not donate to those. Clearly people will only donate if they think the work deserves to be made.

  9. #9
    Format Omnivore Brian C. Miller's Avatar
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    Re: Has anyone tried Kickstarter?

    Paul, photograph someplace like The Wiener Circle. Listen to the episode. Funny!

  10. #10
    Abuser of God's Sunlight
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    Re: Has anyone tried Kickstarter?

    Thanks, Noah,

    and ... Brian, re: Weiner Circle, etc. ... I'll leave that project for someone more qualified.

    My newest work is a step in a different direction, liklely a less marketable one. For kickstarter I'm thinking in terms of creating some kind of art event, in collaboration with friends, possibly involving the underground supperclub I run from time to time.

    If I ever do a photography project for kickstarter, it would probably be a fun one that lends itself to a lot of inexpensive prints, and that's conceived of just as a kickstarter excuse.

    As far as begging for money, I have no problem with it. I apply for grants every chance I get. Begging for honest work is what rubs me the wrong way.

    Be sure to post your Chicago work when you're done. I'd like to see it.

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