Where Have I Been?

by Anthony Morganti

Where Have I Been?

As many of you have noticed, I’ve not created any new videos for the past couple weeks. I and my family are doing well — thank you to the few people that have emailed me out of concern. I really appreciate it.

I really enjoy teaching photography and I would go so far to say that it is my mission in life. It’s very fulfilling to me when I can help someone with their photography and on the whole, I receive messages of gratitude everyday. Unfortunately there are just a few that aren’t as nice. Every now and then I get nasty emails or someone will post something derogatory — I must say that it is a relatively rare occurrence and I’m more than aware how the internet is — that is, it’s a haven for trolls and negative people that get off on insult and ridicule, but knowing that doesn’t always allow me to completely ignore the messages without them affecting me in some way.

A couple weeks ago I got hit with a couple nasty messages in a row and had to step away for a while for no other reason then to recharge my batteries and refreshen my outlook. I think what compounded the issue was that I happened to stumble across a teaching photographer on Patreon who was making nearly $3000.00 a month in donations. I make just over $100.00 and I have a much larger YouTube following then he. This prompted me to investigate other photographers on YouTube and I found several making over $1000.00 a month in Patreon donations. That coupled with the nasty emails I received had me question whether I wanted to continue.

I’ll tell you the truth, although I was seriously questioning whether I should continue or not, it didn’t take me long to come to the conclusion that I would continue to make videos. I do need to make my videos better — higher quality with more varied topics. I’ve actually always wanted to do that but I was banking on donations increasing to the point where I would be able to buy the various equipment needed to improve my videos and to hire models so I could do in depth how to shoot videos from portraiture, lifestyle, graduation etc. I’ll just have to make the personal financial investment to get what I need to achieve what I want and hopefully, it will end up paying for itself in the long run.

One thing is for certain, my videos will always be free. I know I’m missing out on making a lot of money not selling a video series here or there but I firmly believe in free education and I’m hopeful it will pay off in the end. I may have my videos available for a day or two early only for my Patreon subscribers as an incentive to get more donations then after that day or two, the video is available to everyone. I still haven’t decided if that’s an avenue I want to pursue. What I will be doing is at the beginning of each video I will take five seconds to ask people for their donations — not something really want to do and I know it will increase the nasty emails and messages as well as the “Thumbs Down” on YouTube but over the past couple weeks, I think I’ve developed a thicker skin. I know my intentions are good and if someone doesn’t like what I’m doing, they can move on.

My wife has suggested that I publish the nasty emails I receive — I guess that is an effective way to combat bullies. I’m considering it although it’s not really my personality to do something like that.

Before anyone mentions it to me I want to let you know that I have toyed around with the idea of being “Sponsored”. As a matter of fact, I am signed with a major camera manufacturer as what they call an “Ambassador” but once I realized that they really didn’t like me talking about other camera brands, I’ve stopped pursuing that avenue even though my contract with them runs another year. I feel I should be able to offer my honest opinion on something and it shouldn’t be shaded because I’m getting paid although, they really don’t pay you. They LOAN you gear which you must return but you make money at speaking engagements and they may buy an image or two that you take with their equipment. In my case, they buy all the rights to an image for $2000.00 — all rights mean it’s not my image any longer and I cannot sell it as mine. So for that reason and many others, I will not accept any sponsorships… again, I understand I’m leaving a lot of money on the table but that’s the way it has to be.

So I’m going to rely on donations mainly and sales of my Lightroom Presets and Photoshop Actions. Also, I was quite happy with the percentage of people that paid for my eBook, Anthony Morganti’s 10-step Lightroom Portrait Retouch. Nearly half the people in the world that downloaded it actually paid at least $1.00 for the eBook and well over 90% of the people from the United States that downloaded it, paid for it. That was quite heartening and I thank you all very much. I will be writing more eBooks and offer them with the same, pay what you can afford, pricing model.

I will be making a video later today or tomorrow. Over the next week you should see videos for Lightroom Quick Tips, Getting Started in Photoshop and I Critique and Process YOUR Image. I also receive a lot of questions via email and in the past, I’ve written blog posts that I called Questions and Answers. I think I’ll be doing a new video series called, you guessed it, Questions and Answers. It’s much easier to show something than it is to write about something. At least it is for me.

In the near future I’ll start the videos for On1 RAW, Macphun Software and the long awaited Macro Photography Series.

I’ve turned off comments on this post. Feel free to email me any suggestions you might have — I’m pretty sure I have a grip on what I need to do to improve my videos and I realize I’m being stubborn about monetization but again, I really believe in free education. Hopefully this all will work out for me and you!