Every man for himself or help others out?

MOREGONE

No longer a newbie, moving up!
Joined
Sep 13, 2012
Messages
875
Reaction score
195
Location
Tempe, AZ
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
Hello,

So I have somewhat of a conundrum. Typically I am very open to sharing and helping others out. I've always been a fan of open source, Ubuntu, Android, etc. But I have something that I have mixed feelings about and want to see what some others thoughts are.

I freelance for the local news paper and we have to caption all of our photos similar to...

Jane Doe, 25, from small town, hanging out with her friend Jack Doe, 25, from that other place, Friday, June 8, 2013, at The Candy Store in downtown Nowhere.
I have developed a tool that makes this downright painless and has cut my time to a quarter of what it used to take to caption my photos.

Part of me wants to share this with the other photographers. But then I have some internal conflicts. With what the current climate (thinking Sun Times), I don't want to devalue our work to the paper and give them justification to lower our already low pay. The other part is I am running a business now, I shouldn't give handouts. These aren't my co-workers since were all freelance.

I would appreciate some other perspectives.
 

wyogirl

Oh crop!
Joined
Jun 18, 2013
Messages
1,593
Reaction score
611
Location
South West Wyoming
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
I would say that unless you have programmed this tool with serial numbers or something, then there is no way for you to prevent people from sharing it if you share or sell it to them. I could be wrong there, I'm not sure. So, I guess you could sell if for whatever you decide its worth, but you wont have much control after that. If it is truly revolutionary, then you may find yourself in a place where you created something but it has become impossible for you to control it.

I'm having a hard time explaining what I mean, but its like something becoming a household name instead of a brand.... like Asprin.
 

vintagesnaps

Been spending a lot of time on here!
Joined
Jan 13, 2013
Messages
8,719
Reaction score
2,790
Location
US
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
If you were all coworkers at the paper, why not? But since you're all freelancers and competing that seems like it would make it a tougher decision.

If it's something you created, maybe developing and marketing it to sell would be worth thinking about. Probably depends on the other photographers, if you know any or some of them well enough to share and trust them with it or not. And then would it be something they'd share with the paper or keep to themselves?

If it's something that would make all your jobs easier without compromising you being able to continue to get assignments I suppose I would. Depends I guess on if it's something you feel you can afford to give out to everyone or not. Sad to say being freelance I don't know if it'd be risky to give away your 'secrets', usually I've found fellow photographers to be helpful but in this case I don't know if it'd be a good idea to tell all on how you do your work or not.
 

weepete

TPF Supporters
Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 18, 2011
Messages
5,778
Reaction score
2,189
Location
Glasgow, Scotland
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
The way I see it is this could be a useful tool for others in your profession and possibly some others. They'll be making money from it so you should get a wee something from it too.
 
OP
MOREGONE

MOREGONE

No longer a newbie, moving up!
Joined
Sep 13, 2012
Messages
875
Reaction score
195
Location
Tempe, AZ
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
I would say that unless you have programmed this tool with serial numbers or something, then there is no way for you to prevent people from sharing it if you share or sell it to them. I could be wrong there, I'm not sure. So, I guess you could sell if for whatever you decide its worth, but you wont have much control after that. If it is truly revolutionary, then you may find yourself in a place where you created something but it has become impossible for you to control it.

My tool is not revolutionary, it is built out Excel actually. It really boils down to the Concatenate function in excel. In it's current forum it is pretty specific to the events I/We cover. It could certainly be adapted to many uses but it would have to customized. I'm not saying I have created the next big thing. I saw an opportunity and found a solution. The real work went into creating all of the different captions that we use for our events, categorizing them, and making it as easy as possible to use.

For each event we have to turn in 25 pics minimum which means 25 captions or more. Now I just insert the event info once and I have dozens a formatted captions ready to rock. No more typing!!! Even when I have add peoples names its all developed to plug them in appropriately etc.
 
OP
MOREGONE

MOREGONE

No longer a newbie, moving up!
Joined
Sep 13, 2012
Messages
875
Reaction score
195
Location
Tempe, AZ
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
I don't know any of the other photographers personally. We receive group emails from the editor and I am really the only one who reply's all and kind of makes an effort. I met one of the other photographers by chance when I was at an event he was covering.

In a lot of ways were are jockying for the same events and lately I feel I have been getting more of the big events coming to town.

I think I will just keep it to myself and if / when I leave, I will share it with them.
 

Designer

Been spending a lot of time on here!
Joined
Apr 13, 2012
Messages
18,491
Reaction score
4,846
Location
Iowa
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
Making one's work easier is a natural thing. I do it, my wife does it, I think nearly everyone does it. I don't share everything I have done because I figure it is just something we all do, and others can and will do something similar, only in their own way.

Besides, many people just will not be appreciative of any effort on your part to help them.
 

kathyt

Been spending a lot of time on here!
Joined
Oct 11, 2012
Messages
3,759
Reaction score
1,887
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
I don't know any of the other photographers personally. We receive group emails from the editor and I am really the only one who reply's all and kind of makes an effort. I met one of the other photographers by chance when I was at an event he was covering.

In a lot of ways were are jockying for the same events and lately I feel I have been getting more of the big events coming to town.

I think I will just keep it to myself and if / when I leave, I will share it with them.
It sounds like you have developed a great system that is allowing you to work more efficiently and effectively. What the result of this is is that you are getting more jobs, because you are not being bogged down by tedious tasks. They call you and you are available because you have a great system in place. Business isn't always about rainbows and butterflies, but more so the bottom line. That bottom line is providing an income for you. Don't share all of those income providing secrets. I am sure Steve Jobs took a lot of valuable info to the grave. :)
 

texkam

TPF Noob!
Joined
Jun 6, 2012
Messages
1,277
Reaction score
364
Location
Big D. Near the lake.
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
Steve jobs was about as far from the open source mentality as one could get. Perhaps if you were as wealthy as Mark Shuttleworth this would be a no-brainer.
 
OP
MOREGONE

MOREGONE

No longer a newbie, moving up!
Joined
Sep 13, 2012
Messages
875
Reaction score
195
Location
Tempe, AZ
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
I don't know any of the other photographers personally. We receive group emails from the editor and I am really the only one who reply's all and kind of makes an effort. I met one of the other photographers by chance when I was at an event he was covering.

In a lot of ways were are jockying for the same events and lately I feel I have been getting more of the big events coming to town.

I think I will just keep it to myself and if / when I leave, I will share it with them.
It sounds like you have developed a great system that is allowing you to work more efficiently and effectively. What the result of this is is that you are getting more jobs, because you are not being bogged down by tedious tasks. They call you and you are available because you have a great system in place. Business isn't always about rainbows and butterflies, but more so the bottom line. That bottom line is providing an income for you. Don't share all of those income providing secrets. I am sure Steve Jobs took a lot of valuable info to the grave. :)


Recently I covered an event on a Sunday evening until about 11pm. Typically they want shots "the next day" but they were hitting me up 9am asking for the shots. I got them to them very quickly after they made contact and they were very grateful. That was the first time they ever leaned on me to get photos in, ever. Think it worked to my favor that I was able to turn them around so quickly, and it was all because of this tool.
 

Stevepwns

No longer a newbie, moving up!
Joined
May 29, 2013
Messages
622
Reaction score
203
Location
Maryland
Website
www.jacobeastonphotography.com
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
The way I have always looked at it.

If it puts food on your table.... its yours and should stay that way.

If its a hobby and meant for enjoyment, share it so others can enjoy it as well.

The hard part is when your hobby puts food on the table. I would keep this to myself if I were you. Tools for your job are yours, period.
 

sm4him

In memoriam
Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 4, 2011
Messages
10,726
Reaction score
5,468
Location
The Beautiful Hills of East Tennessee
Website
sm4him.500px.com
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
Another reason to keep it to yourself:

This tool seems to work pretty much *exactly* as YOU want it to, to optimize your personal work flow. And while all the other freelancers may "need" to have captions done the same way, I can almost guarantee you--the minute you begin sharing your tool, you will also begin getting requests to CHANGE it.

"Oh, this is good, BUT..." and they'll want to make little adjustments to suit what seems perfect TO THEM. And either you'll tell them you're not going to make changes, which will miff them, or you'll end up making changes and the system will no longer be ideal to YOU.

Leave it alone. Let YOUR tool work for you, and let the others figure out a tool that works for them, IF they're so inclined.

That said, IF one of the freelancers ever asked me something like "how do you get all your captions done so fast," I'd at least tell them the basics of how I created the tool I use.
 

raventepes

No longer a newbie, moving up!
Joined
Apr 30, 2012
Messages
304
Reaction score
36
Location
Soldotna, Alaska
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
I agree with keeping it for yourself. In this day and age, it pays to have some kind of an edge in this general industry!

My first thought was to licence it, but I thought a little deeper into it and came to a conclusion that eventually, someone would figure out how to "crack" it, or develop a system similar to it. Yeah...just keep it to yourself.
 

Most reactions

New Topics

Top