All Burning Man Images reduced to Printing Cost

Share your pictures and video. Tell us about the sights, sounds, and scents, as well as the rumors and truths found at Burning Man.
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Bob
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Post by Bob » Sat Dec 16, 2006 11:48 am

karlbaba wrote:I would argue that Photography is more LNT than Civil Engineering and construction.
So are drum circles.

Another thing -- why do photographers like you give credit only to yourself, and never the subjects? If everybody making money off their art at Burning Man were so fucking important to you, why wouldn't you throw your subjects a bone or two and annotate your photos with their names, the names of their camps and/or art installations, and contact information? Oh -- never occurred to you, did it?
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Overreaction anyone?

Post by Otisserie » Sat Dec 16, 2006 1:39 pm

Bob wrote:Another thing -- why do photographers like you give credit only to yourself, and never the subjects? If everybody making money off their art at Burning Man were so fucking important to you, why wouldn't you throw your subjects a bone or two and annotate your photos with their names, the names of their camps and/or art installations, and contact information? Oh -- never occurred to you, did it?
If you look at the website, he did say that 10% of the money was going to the subjects of the pictures. Not a lot, but that's about 10% more than I see other photographers doing.

At this point, selling prints at cost is obviously not going to make this guy rich off Burning Man. It looks a lot more like he took some pictures and would like people to get copies (the site also says he'll email picture files for free). And the fact that he has been willing to engage his critics here in a respectful manner is a refreshing change from many of the ePlaya discussions I've seen. I think the crowd could lighten up a bit here; there are bound to be many far more egregious commercial uses of BM in the future for you to get legitimately upset about.
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Post by karlbaba » Sat Dec 16, 2006 2:48 pm

[quote="Bob"][quote="karlbaba"]I would argue that Photography is more LNT than Civil Engineering and construction.[/quote]

So are drum circles.

Another thing -- why do photographers like you give credit only to yourself, and never the subjects? If everybody making money off their art at Burning Man were so fucking important to you, why wouldn't you throw your subjects a bone or two and annotate your photos with their names, the names of their camps and/or art installations, and contact information? Oh -- never occurred to you, did it?[/quote]

Better drum circles than circle jerks, but that's just my hippy taste coming out.

I'm not sure you looked very carefully at the images but the art cars and art installations often have the name of the creator on them, and sometimes their website. I usually ask the artists what caption they would like. If there's anyone out there who'd like to change the caption of something I've got that they were involved with, I'm happy to do it.

Strangely, I haven't run across any angry artists who think I'm ripping them off, only friendly and grateful exchanges of files, ideas, and visions. Of course, if anyone wants their stuff taken down, I do so immediately.

To clarify the poster above, BurningMan get's 10% of the profit, not the subjects of the images. That's not even my generousity either. They write that in the contract for pro photographers. Sadly for them and me, no profit means no money.

My Burning Man Gallery has had about 5400 hits, but no sales except for at cost. Perhaps that's cause the photos suck, or because folks don't approve of the commerce, but others have claimed to enjoy seeing them.

So yeah, it's occurred to me and I've taken action on it. I'd like to do even better but I have a lot of other things that take my time too. 7 weeks in India this winter followed by 5 weeks in Hawaii. I'll have to live lean but life is pretty free and good. Hope you are enjoying the same.

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Post by Badger » Sat Dec 16, 2006 3:03 pm

Do any of you who oppose this thread really believe he's doing it for personal monetary gain?

Do you believe that deleting this thread fits the spirit of the rule?
Yes x 2
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Post by Bob » Sat Dec 16, 2006 3:16 pm

Why delete? Some people might want to learn more about perfecting the art of marketing yourself via Burning Man.

BTW, I'm only charging five bucks to suck on my toes through February. Usually I charge fifty. Want to suck on a Famous Burner? Sorry, cash only, no checks or paypals accepted.
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Post by MikeVDS » Sat Dec 16, 2006 3:17 pm

^ Ok. Would you please explain how he's gaining from this?

If you think it's an advertisement for his products, I can pretty much guarantee it's one of the worst ever. He's basically giving away all of the product that would be targeted toward his audience. If you see some other way he might make money from this post, please inform us of these complex economic principals.

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Post by helitack » Sat Dec 16, 2006 4:25 pm

I am not a pussy.
Actively helping President Trump build the wall

Winning hearts and minds in lovely TexMexistan...

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Post by karlbaba » Sat Dec 16, 2006 4:49 pm

[quote="helitack"]I am not a pussy.[/quote]

R2!


Just kidding. I can understand that, since you live in a park, you probably work the "the Man" and can't afford to show your name here or link to your own art so I can see how it's done.

So I'll just take your word for it.

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Post by helitack » Sat Dec 16, 2006 4:51 pm

Yep, the man. Protecting squirrels and coyotes and rocks from feeders and bolters and users of chalk. Check your PM
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Post by MikeVDS » Sat Dec 16, 2006 4:57 pm

BTW, I'm only charging five bucks to suck on my toes through February.
This would be an accurate analogy *if* you use $5 of soap scrubbing your toes so that said sucker doesn't die a horrible death. If you want to be PC about it like these people seem to demand you should allow the people to bring them proper amount of soap to do said scrubbing and forget about them going through you to get said soap.

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Post by Bob » Sat Dec 16, 2006 5:20 pm

Thanks, but I already have a lifetime supply of Dr. Bronner's Pure Castile Wintergreen Urinal Refresher.
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Post by karlbaba » Sat Dec 16, 2006 5:23 pm

[quote="helitack"]Yep, the man. Protecting squirrels and coyotes and rocks from feeders and bolters and users of chalk. Check your PM[/quote]

Got a PM from Helitack and got to see some of his stuff and his name too.

So definitely not a pussy.

Us photographers always like the smell of our own farts. Honest evaluation is always in the realm of the subjective unless something is really bad or really good. I'm sure you'd enjoy his stuff though.

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Post by karlbaba » Sat Dec 16, 2006 5:32 pm

[quote="Bob"]Thanks, but I already have a lifetime supply of Dr. Bronner's Pure Castile Wintergreen Urinal Refresher.[/quote]

If you check the label Bob, you'll see it's good for essene Birth Control and Playa foot as well.

;-)

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Post by skygod » Sat Dec 16, 2006 5:32 pm

Badger wrote: Why this debating about whether the king is wearing Saran Wrap or no
Is it possible at all to interact without commerce? Can folk even do that?
That's the challenge of Burning Man, and it seems a lofty goal.
Generating sales is commerce so the thread should be deleted.
"It will seem difficult in the beginning. But everything seems difficult in the beginning."- Musashi

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Post by karlbaba » Sat Dec 16, 2006 5:56 pm

[quote="MikeVDS"]^ Ok. Would you please explain how he's gaining from this?

If you think it's an advertisement for his products, I can pretty much guarantee it's one of the worst ever. He's basically giving away all of the product that would be targeted toward his audience. If you see some other way he might make money from this post, please inform us of these complex economic principals.[/quote]

I figure that the Burning Man folks aren't going to buy my other stuff and indeed they haven't. At best it will cost me money if folks get interested in the Burning Man Images that are a fraction of the rest of the stuff I offer.

Of course, money is just a placemaker we have created for energy.

Folks have been living via commerce since we emerged from hunter-gatherer days. It may take a commerce-free event like BurningMan to help pry our minds loose from the conscious and unconscious assumptions, priorities and habits that playing the commerce game in our society instills in us.

I believed in questioning those values before and after Burning Man. Still, we shouldn't kid ourselves that it's a commerce free economy when we save up and buy stuff to bring to the event and then go back to our day jobs and act like the rest of society. If there isn't some adjustment in our attitudes and practices that takes a capitalist world and injects a different, contributory ethos into it, then BM is just a cool party.

So the question is, both for Burning Man, and for the Forum, where do we draw the lines. At the playa? Year-round? I know Uchronia took a lot of flak for their press releases, web pages and such, but I keep hearing from many that it was one of their favorite installations. Tough calls.

Personally, I think things like offering art at no profit is more an example of decommodification and Burning Man gifting than an affront to it, but Burning Man is a diverse event and folks are going to have different takes on a principle thats outside our social model.

So although there's a potential for productive discussion in all this, and I hate to waste so much typing that might be food for thought, I'll still fine with the Mods deleting the thread. I don't have the button to do it myself.

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Post by MikeVDS » Sat Dec 16, 2006 7:39 pm

From dictionary.com:
com·merce /ˈkɒmərs/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[kom-ers] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
–noun
1. an interchange of goods or commodities, esp. on a large scale between different countries (foreign commerce) or between different parts of the same country (domestic commerce); trade; business.
2. social relations, esp. the exchange of views, attitudes, etc.
3. sexual intercourse.
4. intellectual or spiritual interchange; communion.
5. (initial capital letter) Also called Commerce Department. Informal. the Department of Commerce.
1. He's getting no commodities from his offer, so it isn't #1.
2. He is getting the exchange of views and attitudes but I think that one is allowed.
3. I don't think this is about sex.
4. Don't think so
5. Nope

So how is this commerce? Since you like to stick to that word. You know if you say something enough I'm still not going to believe you until you can show that you're correct.

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Post by Bob » Sat Dec 16, 2006 8:21 pm

It's spelled out in the Community Guidelines succinctly enough for Dear Readers to comprehend why commercial self-promotion is mostly absent on the BBS, in my opinion.
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Post by karlbaba » Sat Dec 16, 2006 8:34 pm

[quote="MikeVDS"]From dictionary.com:
[quote]
com·merce /ˈkɒmərs/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[kom-ers] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
–noun
1. an interchange of goods or commodities, esp. on a large scale between different countries (foreign commerce) or between different parts of the same country (domestic commerce); trade; business.
2. social relations, esp. the exchange of views, attitudes, etc.
3. sexual intercourse.
4. intellectual or spiritual interchange; communion.
5. (initial capital letter) Also called Commerce Department. Informal. the Department of Commerce.
[/quote]

What? You mean "no commerce at Burning Man" isn't about sex? I stayed chaste for nothing?

Now I feel ripped off...

;-)

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Post by mdmf007 » Sat Dec 16, 2006 8:45 pm

Holy Shit -

The poor bastard offered up some pics for cost. I believe that he is sincere, and like the rest of us Karlbaba has to eat also, hence the commercial website for his pics.

I think it is unrealistic to expect him to develop a site where there is no mention, thought or hint of commercialism

To attack his skill as an artist kinda blows too. He never claimed to be the worlds best photographer.

I understand the ethos here - but IMHO I believe that karlbaba meant well. It amazes me what some people will attack and criticize here.

later all -
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Universal Reciprocity and the Wealth to Indulge It for Fun!

Post by gyre » Sat Dec 16, 2006 9:06 pm

I think anyone that thinks they will make money by giving their stuff to me for free, should email me anytime.

The only reason commerce was banned from the burning man event was to keep the State of Nevada sales tax demons from shutting the event down.
The burning man event is still all commerce, just like any festival.
It's in the form of universal reciprocity.
Everyone gives what they can in goods, art, entertainment and so on.
Everyone takes what they need.
This is not a rare form of commerce in extreme hardship cultures.
It is a wonderful thing to experience it in a culture with enough wealth to do it as an indulgence.
In these cultures, the wealthiest man may be considered to be the one who has done the most for other people, and so is owed favors.
He may get recognition, praise or social status.
Ever hear of the Tuna Guyz?
Thought so.
Did you know they are in the tuna business?
Heard of David Best?
I haven't met a burner who hasn't.
It is all commerce.

The State of Nevada is still trying to figure out how to tax praise of art, loans of wheelchairs, free food and thank yous.

The State Tax people where I live have a definition of commerce.
If I sell a part to someone without a markup for expenses or overhead,
it is not taxable as a business transaction.
I started doing this years ago to simplify my life with them (or rather without them). I only bill for labor.

For those of you who object to corporate support from off the playa,
I am soliciting companies for donations of things to give away at burning man.
Anyone who thinks this is not the right approach, I would welcome your financial support, so I can raise the thousands of dollars without doing so.
Checkbook, anyone?
I am interested in how strongly these objections translate to the real world.

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Post by Bob » Sat Dec 16, 2006 9:11 pm

Okay, toss the Community Guidelines.

Would you expect everybody to ignore setting up a booth & charging any amount for photographic prints at Burning Man? Or even giving them away? Then say it's okay on Burning Man's BBS?
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Post by gyre » Sat Dec 16, 2006 9:25 pm

There are a lot of photographers who set up, including one who set up a studio in a tent and sends photos to people. I know one photographer who gives away photos, but will sell duplicates off the playa. He may actually make money off the event. But the first set is free and no one is obligated to buy any photo ever.

I just received a very large gift that was offered to me at burning man this year.
They refused my offer to pay for the shipping at 90 pounds.
Would it be commerce if I had paid the shipping?
I would happily pay more than that.

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Post by MikeVDS » Sat Dec 16, 2006 10:36 pm

[quote]
Would you expect everybody to ignore setting up a booth & charging any amount for photographic prints at Burning Man? Or even giving them away? Then say it's okay on Burning Man's BBS?
[/quote]
How about if he posted on here beforehand telling people to bring photo paper and ink (developer or whatever he uses) and he'll print for you. And if you e-mail him he can "arrange" to bring those items for you. Seems like a fine arrangement to me. It's no different than bring your own cup and you can have free drinks. You provide some of the needed material and the rest is given free. They aren't taking your cup, or photo paper, or money for the photo paper, it's going to you or to whoever you get the raw material from. To ask for money on the playa is a no-no because it's expected that you don't need money. As I said before, him asking for money for the prints on here may have not been politically correct since the even $-word was used, but if he reworded it to say, you provide the materials and I'll make sure everything is printed free, it would have been just fine.

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Post by Deleted Barkeep » Sat Dec 16, 2006 10:55 pm

Bob wrote:Okay, toss the Community Guidelines.

Got to side with Bob. Think about it. Guy has site on which he sells photos at a profit. Guy announces special sale, moving merchandise at cost during holidays. When holidays are over, visitors are still in the habit of visiting his site, and some of the new visitors will make purchases, increasing business for the site owner. This comes close to being a "loss leader", and has been a well known business tactic so long that it gets mentioned in first year economic courses.

Does advertising stop being advertising just because somebody has to wait a few weeks before it helps his bottom line? My suggestion: Keep the thread, but edit out any links to the man's site. Then move this one over to policy discussion, because this issue is going to show up again, and it's good to have a precedent in place where everybody can see it.

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Post by karlbaba » Sat Dec 16, 2006 11:42 pm

[quote="Deleted Barkeep"][quote="Bob"]Okay, toss the Community Guidelines.[/quote]


Got to side with Bob. Think about it. Guy has site on which he sells photos at a profit. Guy announces special sale, moving merchandise at cost during holidays. When holidays are over, visitors are still in the habit of visiting his site, and some of the new visitors will make purchases, increasing business for the site owner. This comes close to being a "loss leader", and has been a well known business tactic so long that it gets mentioned in first year economic courses.

Does advertising stop being advertising just because somebody has to wait a few weeks before it helps his bottom line? My suggestion: Keep the thread, but edit out any links to the man's site. Then move this one over to policy discussion, because this issue is going to show up again, and it's good to have a precedent in place where everybody can see it.[/quote]

What you are writing has a certain amount of logic. I have found that it doesn't work that way for me, but there's always hope.

You have ask yourself how far do you want to go to keep folks from benefitting financially from Burning Man? Perhaps when Alex Grey exhibits his art at Entheogen Village they should make sure his signature is covered up so nobody who has got used to enjoying his art can track it down afterwards? How about making sure the bands and DJs stay anonymous too?

How about making sure the BMORG folks don't make more than it takes to live a spartan life?

Seems like the place to start answering these questions is

"Why is non-commerce good for the event and what boundaries do we need to preserve those benefits? Avoiding a slipperly slope but not being overly Taliban about it either. How much of the "non-commerce should extend beyond the dates and playa, and how? How can the non-commerce principles be adapted or inspire the default world and what sorts of things bridge those worlds?"

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And Larry Came Down From the Mountain and said no barter....

Post by gyre » Sat Dec 16, 2006 11:44 pm

I want to remind you that he is not selling at cost.
He is losing money on every one of these.
I think loss leaders are supposed to get you into the grocery store for the milk, so you buy cookies too.
Even the non-burner stuff was offered at the printing cost.
Do you really think there is a huge business in prints for this crowd when there are a few million digital photos on offer on the net?
I haven't even found time to look at all the photo links I've been sent.
The real money in photos is usually in photos of individuals.
Karl doesn't seem to be aiming in this area.
Ask someone who does yearbook photos how much money they make.
If I were giving marketing advice, I'd suggest photos of people and things of significance to individuals or forget it, if all you're after is cash.
And never discount art ever.
Give it away first (which he's doing).
People are totally stupid at understanding overhead in any business and far worse when it is art in any form.
A friend of mine works only for the rich and they still don't get it.
He says his work involves a few hundred dollars in materials and it only took him thirty years to learn how to make them and something over $100,000 in tools and don't forget opportunity cost!
I can't afford his work and he is probably undercharging for it.
The last thing an artist should do is a loss leader.

There's enough bad vibes on this thread to run a hoodoo factory.
Yikes!

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Post by Zhust » Sun Dec 17, 2006 12:05 am

karlbaba wrote:Kinda like if I wandered into the camp nextdoor and said "I'm going on an ice run, anybody who wants ice, give me what it costs."
Your analogy is flawed. It's like if one camp gives away ice so you take it then put it up for sale at the cost of moving it from their camp to yours.

What I'm getting at is that the images you captured are valuable explicitly because they capture the free presentation of someone else's idea. That is, you have taken pictures of other people's work. If it were not for their works, your works would not have value.

Here ... look ... here's an image of mine (in thumbnail):

Image

It is for sale, but I don't care if people buy it here -- I'm just using it as an example. See, it's a picture of walk-signs. They offer no artistic merit unto themselves, so, as a photographer/artist, I have bracketed them in a context for which they have value. All your images are more like this:

Image

which is another image I took that, well, captures exactly what the artist (the maker of the horse with Native American aphorisms about peace) had in mind when they placed it next to the eagle at our local War Memorial. I don't believe in selling that because of its reliance on someone else's art.

If I may be so bold, I think this is the line you have crossed (along with many other Burning Man photographers who sell their images). Despite the effort you have made to create the images, they explicitly rely on other people's art for their power. Unless you have made a commercial agreement with the original artist, it's my opinion that your artwork should never be sold -- be it for your profit or for any money whatsoever.

The gray middle-ground is for images like those on Flickr which are offered up for free yet capture another person's work. What's the intent of the original artist (something for Burners to enjoy or something for everyone to enjoy)? and is it okay with the original artist that images of their work are shown (i.e.: is it important that the work was exclusively experienced at Burning Man?)
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Re: And Larry Came Down From the Mountain and said no barter

Post by karlbaba » Sun Dec 17, 2006 12:14 am

gyre wrote:I want to remind you that he is not selling at cost.
He is losing money on every one of these.
I think loss leaders are supposed to get you into the grocery store for the milk, so you buy cookies too.
Even the non-burner stuff was offered at the printing cost.
snip
Yikes!
I'd like to clarify some of the above. I'm only losing money on the Burning Man Prints if you consider overhead, time, and everything beside the printing. For this particular offer, I don't touch the money at all, spending or earning. I just create a link to my printing company after reducing my prices to edit out the profit.

Now all my other galleries should still be charging regular prices. I do have an offer for the holidays with my outdoor community follks, many of whom don't make a pile of money, for them to pay what they want to pay above my costs. The few folks who responded had good money already and knew me and paid full price anyway because they could afford it and they know me.

It's true that this kind of photography is a bust to sell on the net. I make most of my photo money selling to catalogs, books, guides and selling matted prints in local shops, and none of that is BM images. Nobody is in the habit to buy stuff like this online.

Just wanted to clarify a bit.

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Post by karlbaba » Sun Dec 17, 2006 12:34 am

"Your analogy is flawed. It's like if one camp gives away ice so you take it then put it up for sale at the cost of moving it from their camp to yours."

Which is still a non-profit deal. Having costs covered (not even labor costs, just actual expenses) means effort gets expended but no money is accumulated.

Now your statements about these photo's value being tied to the artist's work is quite true. Artists that I've sent files to are told they can go ahead and use my photos for their ads, profit, or whatever they like, without any compensation to me, as long as they OK any commericial use with the BM organization (cause they have their rules)

And again, the artist's I have correponded with have all been happy to get images of their work and been fine with my gallery online. Some of this art at Burning Man gets photographed by non-pro photographers all time and the Artists tell me that almost nobody makes prints and files available to them. They get busy themselves and maybe they aren't photographers so you'd be surprised how many art car creators and other artists don't have images and visual reminders for what they've done.

I made a point of giving out cards on the playa to those who I photographed (so they could get free files) but for some of the big (sponsored) installations I had to rely on email or have them find me. (Turns out one of my old climbing partners was very involved with the Cathedral) Of course, our admission tickets are a big part of what makes the big art happen. Is that commerce when artists get money from BM to build something at BM? Who owns it when the event is over if it's not burned? Doesn't the Artist get exposure and prestige by using Burning Man's money to create something?

So it's a symbiotic relationship. A perfect balance is always tough to get and in the eyes of the participants. Burning Man gets the playa for us even though it belongs to the people. The artists use the Playa and benefit from the exposure that Burning Man and even my images give them. We benefit from the Art.

If you want everybody sacrificing and nobody benefitting, just keep paying your taxes to go to war for oil

Peace

karl
www.yosemiteclimber.com

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LuckyBastard
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Re: All Burning Man Images reduced to Printing Cost

Post by LuckyBastard » Sun Dec 17, 2006 12:59 am

karlbaba wrote: An 8x10 that usually costs $27.99 now costs $3.56

A 20x30 that usually costs 199.99 now costs $23.75

I'll jack my prices back up sometime between Christmas and New Years.
So you're giving them away now but in a week you'll jack the prices back up. Sounds like a commercial venture to me. A pretty lucrative one at that considering the markup and that you don't lift a finger other than to deposit the checks from PrintRoom. And don't give me any BS about covering the cost of your equipment, travel to and from the event, etc. If you want to go to the event and shoot, fine! If you want to offer to sell your shit (at cost) to the people in the photos or responsible for the art in the photos, fine! You want to come on here and try to sell your shit, not fine!
Your HEART may belong to The Man, but your ASS belongs to The Glom

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