VISUALS App is Live – Looking to the Future
I am extremely excited to announce the launch of my iApp today (which runs on the iPad, iPhone, and iTouch). Its been a labor of love that has taken well over 6 months to bring to fruition. I sure hope you get the chance to check it out here. (You can download the app from your devices directly or of course from iTunes). The initial application is free because I wanted to give everyone a chance to experience it and some of the new features (you will then be given the option to purchase additional individual image collections or al of them at a discount). The app contains some of my favorite images from my day as a staff photographer at the New York Times, and each image is accompanied by a video of me sharing the story behind the images, as well as many technical challenges that I faced and how I overcame them.
There is something that I would like to emphasize in particular: the impetus behind this app was not to have it serve as a self promotional tool, but instead to establish a direct connection with the photography audience and fans of my photography. I believe that as we look forward, photographers are going to be sustaining their careers and body of work by connecting directly with their audiences and fans of their work – as opposed to the more traditional delivery platforms such as publications. In other words, I am not sure that the old world way of distributing your images through large publications will be as effective as trying to develop a relationship with your audience directly. My goal is for his app to be a step in that direction, and perhaps even to lay the groundwork for others to do the same.
I would like to share one example with you that I think speaks to the changes that are happening in the traditional publication model of our industry. Prior to the economic/publishing-world meltdown two years ago, it was not uncommon for me to fly five times a month for editorial publications alone. Since then, I have only flown five times in the past two years for editorial publications. It has become clear to me that the only way to sustain the high level of expense for producing aerial photography (a helicopter is $2000/hr on average!) would be to get support from fans of the photography directly. While fine art prints of these images have sold consistently over the years, I think the idea of getting fans of the work to make contribution of a few dollars in greater numbers is the way of the future for all artists.
This distribution/commercial model will give all artists a greater and more creative future in connecting directly with their audience and selling greater numbers at smaller price – as opposed to going through an intermediary (studio, label, publisher, etc…) – a process which generally contributes to widening the rift between an artist and their audience. My hope is that this new trend will open artists up to doing even more creative work that is focused on pushing the envelope, rather than meeting the commercial needs of the aforementioned entities.
Below you will find a video that illustrates the features of the app. I hope that you take the time to check it out. I thank you for your support in purchasing some of the collections or all of them – as it will go toward future photography projects and perhaps a video application down the line.
There is also one more feature that I wanted to point out – this app allows you to share the photographs via email with others and save them to your device – which i hope promotes the idea of sharing work and opening up discussion. I think that one of the main flaws of most publication applications to date is that they fail to embrace the idea of sharing their content and enabling their users to do so as well.
Thank you to Equity Incubator for helping make this wonderful app and for all the time they put into it. Should you be interested in developing a similar app or a different photography app of your own, feel free to contact them HERE.