Craigslist Ad of the Day - 7/28/12

Started Jul 28, 2012 | Discussions thread
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Michael Thomas Mitchell
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Craigslist Ad of the Day - 7/28/12
Jul 28, 2012

Today's craigslist ad of the day is a little different.

http://atlanta.craigslist.org/atl/crs/3168227148.html

Here, the photographer's raises some interesting questions, for both him and us.

First, his ad brings into question whether or not he even is a professional.

think in general, we pros more or less settled on the idea that "professional" should be applied whenever money and expectations are exchanged. Whether one is a "full time" or "part time" professional is irrelevant to the client; they should only be concerned about their transaction with you. So, is this guy a professional? Despite his open question on the matter, he is at least functioning as a professional with each client whom he exchanges money and expectations with.

Second, his ad brings into question whether what he does is more art or business. I think this is merely an extension of the first question. And matters just as little. Business functions as business regardless of the artistic merits of the product provided. (For what it's worth, his examples exhibit no more or less "artistry" than one might expect, given the ad. I've noticed a lot of newbies attempting to define what they do with words, rather than letting their work speak for itself. And too often, the words don't accurately reflect the work. It's basically a lot of hyperbole.)

Third, his ad brings into question whether or not what he does constitutes "competition" for other professionals. Well, his Facebook page looks reasonably busy for someone who has only been (ahem) in "business" since June. I counted about four weddings and numerous portrait/engagement sessions. Business competition is all about getting the clients. He's getting them, regardless of what they are paying. So yes, he's probably "competition" for someone.

And finally, his ad brings into question whether price is a function of what people can afford versus what what the photographer requires to make his endeavor worthwhile. This is interesting, because his portrait sessions are only $30, a number we don't even have to pick apart to know is not a realistic rate for anyone who plans to do this long term. This tells me he's a newbie who is thrilled to have someone pay him, but who suspects he is not good enough to charge a real rate. These people either ultimately step up and do it right or get burned out and let their business aspirations fade away. The path he is currently on is seldom trod for very long.

Well, like I said, a different kind of ad today. Thoughts?

I

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