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Old 07-27-2013, 09:04 AM   #1
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Default Perception of Kickstarter.com

Good Morning Everyone.

Please take a few mintues to read this, it is not spam in any way.

I am writing this in serious hopes of trying to get everyones opinion on kickstarter.com. For those folks that may not be familiar with it, it is a crowdfunding wesbsite that caters to people who have creative projects with
a specific goal that wants support (in monetary form) in order to make the project come to life. Kickstarter has very strict guidelines to abide by to control content. They do not approve people that are looking for a quick dollar or a "fund my life because im a lazy piece of crap". It is for people with serious goals and dreams. In return, supports get a piece of the project back in return as a thank you.

I personally believe that this method of fund raising is a fresh new, 21st Century approach to raising funds however, I also feel that folks that are a little more "Seasoned" may think its a cheap and easy way to get funding without putting much into it. I just want to know how this is perceived by average folks like myself. I am not a professional photographer. I've never been paid for a picture in my life. I have a job just like everyone else, every 3 days I ride a fire truck around Lexington helping people who are having more than likely some of the worst days of their respected lives. I just have a dream and a knack for photography.

With that being said, I have created a kickstarter project that I have been working on for months that I have not launched yet but, looking for support and feedback from people that will give me honest opinions. I am not here trolling for money or writing a spam message. I take to much pride in my work and my dream to spam it around. Everything has been approved for this to happen with Kickstarter and now looking for input on peoples thoughts and perception.

My project focuses on showing off the true beauty of South Carolina through a photo album that I will have online. In by doing so, I hope to entice more travel and tourism throughout the state and hopefully bring in people from out of state to travel here as well. I do not want to show off mainstream photos that everyone has (Gervais St Bridge, Ravenel Bridge, Etc, Etc.) I want to get out and visit back woods places, go off the beaten path at State Parks, Hike the mountain trails, all while creating a rich vast photo album of our great States natural beauty.

Like I said, this is not a pitch for support just wanting opinions. I plan on Launching this on August 5th and with kickstarter, it is all or nothing funding. Either I meet or exceed my goal, or I come up short and get nothing and no one has to pay a dime. I will post a link below for you guys to check out my draft however, I am not quite complete with it as of yet. I still have a few photos to add and my intro video but, the core message is complete.

For anyone who reads this and takes a look at it. I really do want to say thank you very much. http://kck.st/1dWjgm0

Chris Jackson.
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Old 07-27-2013, 09:35 AM   #2
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Default Re: Perception of Kickstarter.com

I say if someone backs you to a certain package extent, you work with them to find a spot in their hometown or a place they know to include in the album. That may get spotty with scheduling and the place being suitable to go into your album, but it would be a nice gesture for bigger backers.

I would also assume you have done something along the lines of making this a business which would make your personal expenses tax deductible?
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Old 07-27-2013, 09:43 AM   #3
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Default Re: Perception of Kickstarter.com

That's a great idea and thank you for your idea and it is definitely worth taking a look at.

As for the business side of things. I have been speaking with some of my "9-5" business friends about an official business to deduct my out of pocket expenses. I have considered becoming an LLC but, with this kickstarter project if receive my minimum funding, I should have no out of pocket expenses therefore I don't know if that is something I feel like pursuing right now.

It is just something I really want to do because I enjoy it so much and have a passion for photography. I almost think that if I incorporate in some way, I will not enjoy it as much as I do now. Down the road after this project is complete, I could very well find this to be an option but, I just don't know if it is my best option for near term.
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Old 07-27-2013, 01:27 PM   #4
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Default Re: Perception of Kickstarter.com

First off, those were some great photos posted in your project site. I think you have a good idea and an interesting project on hand. I think it would be good for you to maybe elaborate on how you're going to work with the tourism agencies. I don't know if you've gotten that far in your plans, but I think it would be beneficial to potential backers to see exactly how you're going to promote the state.

Idea for a potential location - try to get to Landsford Canal State Park when the spider lilies are blooming. That would make for some great photography opportunities. Plus, I believe it's one of the few remaining places that actually have that type of flower.
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Old 07-27-2013, 01:57 PM   #5
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Default Re: Perception of Kickstarter.com

Quote:
Originally Posted by markymark550 View Post
First off, those were some great photos posted in your project site. I think you have a good idea and an interesting project on hand. I think it would be good for you to maybe elaborate on how you're going to work with the tourism agencies. I don't know if you've gotten that far in your plans, but I think it would be beneficial to potential backers to see exactly how you're going to promote the state.

Idea for a potential location - try to get to Landsford Canal State Park when the spider lilies are blooming. That would make for some great photography opportunities. Plus, I believe it's one of the few remaining places that actually have that type of flower.
Thank you Mark for the kind words. I am trying to get in with some local tourism agencies here locally right now. I spoke to Dawn Dawson-House, Director of the South Carolina Tourism Agency and she gave me the advice that I would be able to build a relationship with the smaller chambers quicker than that of the state level due to state politics, and bureaucratic channels they have to follow. She also thought I had a very interesting idea on a personal level.

With that being said I am hoping that I am in fact able to build a relationship with some of the smalled tourism boards around the state to help promote the state in a way that I see it. Just natural beauty. I have a lot of passion for making this project happen and hope others will believe in it and see where we can take this.

I have reached out to the City Of Columbia/Lake Murray Country Tourism board via Facebook and have yet to hear anything but, I think it may be better if I go visit those folks in person so they understand that I am a real genuine guy with a genuine idea that would potentially show off our state in certain ways that not many people have seen before, especially those folks who are busy all the time and just don't have the time to get out and explore the state and what it has to offer.

Like I said above, I am not a professional photographer and nor do I pretend to be but, I love getting out into nature and exploring our state and I want to show everyone else what they are missing out on.

Thanks Again Mark.
Chris
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Old 07-27-2013, 06:13 PM   #6
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Default Re: Perception of Kickstarter.com

I love Kickstarter.

$16,000 seems a bit much for traveling around the state, taking photographs, and putting them up on the web. You should offer a coffee table book or something.
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Old 07-27-2013, 06:35 PM   #7
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Default Re: Perception of Kickstarter.com

Good luck man. I just don't see people giving you hard earned cash so you can travel around the state, go to parks and take pictures.. Hell, that sounds like a vacation to me.
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Old 07-27-2013, 09:54 PM   #8
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Default Re: Perception of Kickstarter.com

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Originally Posted by USCremedy View Post
Good luck man. I just don't see people giving you hard earned cash so you can travel around the state, go to parks and take pictures.. Hell, that sounds like a vacation to me.
You know I thought long and hard about how to reply to this, I was out playing a little golf and I read this while I was getting ready to tee it up on a par 3. At first I was taken back and kinda angry, however hitting an 8 Iron 4ft stiff from 168 made my worries go away.

I asked for an honest opinion and you gave it to me so I will say thank you.

And btw, if I would have thought hey I can get paid to take a vacation and take some pictures, I would have chosen a warm island in the Caribbean somewhere, rather I do care about my State, I was born and raised here so I want to do whatever I can for the better good to help the State look as attractive as possible.

Even at 28, I consider myself a part of a dying breed of people who actually care for their neighbor, their land, their state, etc, etc.

If no one ever had a dream to create something for the betterment of society we would still be in the bush hitting sticks together like a geico commercial.

But, all in all like I said, I cant please everyone and your entitled to your opinion but, this is far from a vacation.
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Old 07-27-2013, 10:06 PM   #9
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Default Re: Perception of Kickstarter.com

There are thousands upon thousands of tumblr sites, photo blogs, facebook pages, and websites that feature this very idea, for free, and they're already established. It seems like the market place is already over crowded for a commodity the public isn't demanding. Personally, I agree with the poster who said it feels like you're asking for funding for a sabbatical or a vacation. What is it that you could offer that isn't already available, and what is it you can or would do better?

You should use kickstarter to fund an invention, or a small business idea. Give the world something it doesn't already have. Improve something that isn't the best that it can be. Rehashing the same idea every amateur photojournalist with an iphone camera and instagram has already had doesn't seem like the most productive use of your talents.
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Old 07-27-2013, 10:17 PM   #10
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Default Re: Perception of Kickstarter.com

Quote:
Originally Posted by Acockolypse Now View Post
I love Kickstarter.

$16,000 seems a bit much for traveling around the state, taking photographs, and putting them up on the web. You should offer a coffee table book or something.

Hey Man,

I can totally understand where you are coming from with the fact that 16K seems a little steep. This is something that is going to take up to 5 Months to complete. I dont want to put a solid number on how many photographs I am going to compile because who knows what I will find and encounter.

I dont know how familiar you are with photography - especially on the high end, but 1 Canon 70-200 F/2.8L lens cost 2,899, A prime 300MM F/2.8L is about 7,300. I just want you to know that this isnt Bill and Todds famous redneck adventure with some silly point and shoot camera or god forbid an Iphone and instagram.

With the 2 lenses that I want to pick up that will put me just over 10K. Then i have 3K bugeted for fuel, lodging, and expenses over the course of 5 Months I feel is extremely fair.

That leaves 3K for a contingency and prints to send back to the people who support me. In most kickstarter projects people also factor in salary, which Kickstarter actually recommends however, I am not doing this. I am doing this because it is a hobby and something I can say I designed, managed and completed.

As of right now, with 16K, I will not put any money in my pocket. I want to provide the best possible product possible. I looked into press printed photo books but, those damn things for a decent quality are extremely expensive.

Its like I told USCremedy, it is just a dream to be able to work on something that would mean so much to me and a majority of the citizens of our State.

Feel free to hit me up if you have any other questions or anything, seriously!

Thanks man,
I really appreciate the advice
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Old 07-27-2013, 10:24 PM   #11
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Default Re: Perception of Kickstarter.com

I say go for it. You never know until you try. Good luck with it.
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Old 07-27-2013, 10:27 PM   #12
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Default Re: Perception of Kickstarter.com

Quote:
Originally Posted by TucockShakur View Post
There are thousands upon thousands of tumblr sites, photo blogs, facebook pages, and websites that feature this very idea, for free, and they're already established. It seems like the market place is already over crowded for a commodity the public isn't demanding. Personally, I agree with the poster who said it feels like you're asking for funding for a sabbatical or a vacation. What is it that you could offer that isn't already available, and what is it you can or would do better?

You should use kickstarter to fund an invention, or a small business idea. Give the world something it doesn't already have. Improve something that isn't the best that it can be. Rehashing the same idea every amateur photojournalist with an iphone camera and instagram has already had doesn't seem like the most productive use of your talents.
Good point, but, you ask how am I going to differentiate myself ?

Go to flickr, and all those other sites. What do you find ? Mostly crap images of some boring subject matter that youve seen 300 times over.

Or you see someone with Instagram pretending to be some sort of amazing photographer when their photos are over saturated and makes me want to vomit. Instagram is cool in its on way. For what I want to do, No.

Do a google image search for South Carolina Photography and all the images that come up, I wont be there. Most amateur photographers die because they do everything that everyone has done time and time again. My cover photograph for my project should speak for itself. That is a lonesome Cottonwood Tree on the shore of Lake Murray. I can absolutely guarantee that no photographer in South Carolina has that picture. Things like that make me different from every other guy with a camera.

And as far as over crowded market. Ill send you a copy of my facebook inbox from friends wanting me to take various photos for them. Its over crowded with same stuff....I dont take pictures other folks do. People appreciate that. You can google something or you can lace up your boots and go find it yourself all while being immersed in nature which is what I do and people appreciate that.

Sorry but, some folks value commitment to go out and showcase beauty and actually have to work for something. Driving around town with the Iphone snapping pics and uploading them to flickr is hardly the target audience I am looking for. No one under the age of 25 is going to care about my project for the most part, and I totally understand and know that. There is a demographic for everything. I have done research for months and my target audience is not the young and upcoming. Its the folks that appreciate hard work, dedication, pride, and honesty. Something that is sadly being forgotten in this Country.

This is my invention. Sorry. Reinventing the way people view South Carolina.

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Old 07-27-2013, 10:32 PM   #13
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Default Re: Perception of Kickstarter.com

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigdog2003 View Post
I say go for it. You never know until you try. Good luck with it.
Bigdog,

I feel very confident that I have the support for it man and thanks for your support!

It goes live 8AM, August 5th.
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Old 07-27-2013, 10:38 PM   #14
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Default Re: Perception of Kickstarter.com

Quote:
Originally Posted by Latt4Gov View Post
No one under the age of 25 is going to care about my project for the most part, and I totally understand and know that. There is a demographic for everything. I have done research for months and my target audience is not the young and upcoming. Its the folks that appreciate hard work, dedication, pride, and honesty. Something that is sadly being forgotten in this Country.
These is the same people who would tell you (politely mind you) that if it is something that meaningful to you, you need to work hard, save up the money needed to accomplish your goals, then go achieve them. The majority of the kind of people you are talking about may very well be willing to take time and show you some of the un/under appreciated locations they know of and love, but they arent going to shell out their hard earned money to buy your equipment and pay for your travel. These same people WILL likely purchase your product once on the market (as long as you arent talking about a $100+ coffee table book) and greatly appreciate your work, but you are going to have to earn their money.

I'd buy the end product, if it is how you describe it, and was reasonably priced...I wouldnt/wont fund the kickstarter, as those seem like someone asking for a hand out IMO.

all that said, I wish you the best of luck in this endeavor if you decide to go this route, or any other route you decide is best
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Old 07-27-2013, 10:45 PM   #15
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Default Re: Perception of Kickstarter.com

take this
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Originally Posted by Latt4Gov View Post
I am not a professional photographer. I've never been paid for a picture in my life. I have a job just like everyone else, every 3 days I ride a fire truck around Lexington helping people who are having more than likely some of the worst days of their respected lives. I just have a dream and a knack for photography.
combine with this
Quote:
Originally Posted by Latt4Gov View Post
Ill send you a copy of my facebook inbox from friends wanting me to take various photos for them. Its over crowded with same stuff....I dont take pictures other folks do. People appreciate that. You can google something or you can lace up your boots and go find it yourself all while being immersed in nature which is what I do and people appreciate that.
sounds like you already have a product that is "in demand" you could start charging for it and use that as your "seed money" for this project...
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Old 07-27-2013, 10:51 PM   #16
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Default Re: Perception of Kickstarter.com

another thing, maybe the major "landmarks" shouldnt be your main focus, like you said in the op, however if you could gain a new perspective of them...sometimes you see a picture of the "same old thing" however the perspective of them is different than you have ever seen, and it gives a new life to it...going from your posts above it seems like you may have the gift to be able to do this...maybe it wouldnt hurt to have some things like that in the book also, just an idea
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Old 07-27-2013, 10:57 PM   #17
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Default Re: Perception of Kickstarter.com

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Originally Posted by johnnyb View Post
These is the same people who would tell you (politely mind you) that if it is something that meaningful to you, you need to work hard, save up the money needed to accomplish your goals, then go achieve them. The majority of the kind of people you are talking about may very well be willing to take time and show you some of the un/under appreciated locations they know of and love, but they arent going to shell out their hard earned money to buy your equipment and pay for your travel. These same people WILL likely purchase your product once on the market (as long as you arent talking about a $100+ coffee table book) and greatly appreciate your work, but you are going to have to earn their money.

I'd buy the end product, if it is how you describe it, and was reasonably priced...I wouldnt/wont fund the kickstarter, as those seem like someone asking for a hand out IMO.

all that said, I wish you the best of luck in this endeavor if you decide to go this route, or any other route you decide is best
Hey now I can tell your a smart individual. Sounds a lot like my dad which actually made me chuckle a little... In a good way of course. This was my biggest thing with some of the more elder people I have talked with. And I knew before talking to them, knowing how my grandparents and great grandparents were self made people, I was going to have a tough time with it. But, everyday business get investments on ideas. Sometimes they pay off, sometimes they flop. When you get down to the nit and gritty, Kickstarter is a 21st Century approach on investment only instead of monetary return, you get a piece of the investment directly. (I.E Photos or Whatever the case may be)

Now this is just my rambling but, I feel with advancements in technology now well into the 21st Century, the traditional investment may be a thing of the past.

Of course I could save the money and fund this purely myself, of course I could. But, I have had a ton of support from friends, family, and coworkers they have pushed me to pursue this because they know I am capable of turning this into something amazing. I am just looking to kickstarter as a way to take advantage of technology and use it to my advantage. I think anyone in any business would agree that if there is a way to collect funds toward a new product all while minimizing their cost is a win win no brainer.

I had an elder Captain tell me one time at the firehouse many years ago, Jackson, all you have in your life is your word. So I have lived by that motto ever since. All I have is my word.

Thanks for the comments. I honestly do appreciate them.
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Old 07-27-2013, 10:59 PM   #18
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Default Re: Perception of Kickstarter.com

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Originally Posted by johnnyb View Post
take this

combine with this


sounds like you already have a product that is "in demand" you could start charging for it and use that as your "seed money" for this project...
I could charge them of course. But, it is a hobby that I love doing and I cherish my friends so I do it for free when I get the spare time.
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Old 07-27-2013, 11:01 PM   #19
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Default Re: Perception of Kickstarter.com

Your photos are beautiful, but I think you will have a hard time reaching $16,000. The type of photos you are talking about taking in state parks and such have already been taken and published in books by professional photographers. Many of them are on the official website for SC state parks. I agree with your goal and there can never be too many photos taken of our beautiful state, but it's going to be hard funding this with kickstart because it isn't an original idea.

Do you really need $16,000? It seems you are planning on sharing your work digitally. Your main expense will be gas. Most parks are free or cheap.

Take a look at this link with some stats. It seems that most projects around $5,000 succeed, and those around $16,000 seem to be guaranteed fail statistically. You can raise $15,000 and not get a dime if you don't meet your goal.
http://edition.cnn.com/2012/06/12/te...-projects-fail

Anyway, good luck!
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Old 07-27-2013, 11:04 PM   #20
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Default Re: Perception of Kickstarter.com

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Originally Posted by Latt4Gov View Post
I could charge them of course. But, it is a hobby that I love doing and I cherish my friends so I do it for free when I get the spare time.
I understand completely, not saying you should be charging them "studio rates" but maybe work out a referral type program with them, they refer x number of paying clients to you and you do a free shoot for them, i'd be willing to bet you have at least been asked to (if not done) shoots for people who are more associates than friends/family, if you want to do your close friends and family for free, then fine, these associates, set up a program like above with them...your time and talent has value man, they shouldnt be expecting you to give either away with nothing in return.
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