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Need Help - Market Research - NEW INFO & Samples!!

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Minuteman3, May 7, 2007.

  1. Greetings, all!!

    I have had some discussions with a friend of mine who is a professional photog concerning offering photo seminars. With a very big twist!!

    I am curious what y'all might think the market would be for these events.

    In a nutshell, here's the deal: The photog is a American citizen who has been living in Japan for around 30 years. He comes from a film-rich family as his father was a cinematographer for many years in Hollywood. (Working with the likes of John Wayne, Clint Eastwood and many others of the 50's-the 80's.)

    He's published books, had gallery exhibitions, and contributed to numerous Japanese magazines ... all in an environment where "foreigners" have to be twice as good as the local talent to be hired. Some of his PJ assignments have included running with the bulls in Spain (literally), living with the pygmies in Africa, diving in Palau, and earning his 9G pin in the back seat of a F-16 Falcon!! Speaks 7 languages fluently, including Japanese at the native level. In other words ... he's good!!

    He's now living in a semi-rural part of Japan near Tokyo. We'd envision a 5 or 6 day program. We'd set up lodging at one or more traditional Japanese Inns he knows. (No 5-star hotels in Tokyo!!) The classes would focus on a variety of techniques, including color ... B&W ... and IR. Subject matter would range from a day trip to Tokyo to a lot of time in a rural setting away from the "tourist" areas. There would be landscapes ranging from farmlands to the beach.

    So, my questions: depending, of course, on costs ... would you be interested in learning more?

    But, perhaps more importantly, would the fact that he has yet to make the shift from film to digital make a difference? (Although, by the time this all comes together he may have started going "digital"!!) With the possible exception of IR work, I do not think the media is as important as learning how to "see" the image. Your thoughts?

    Thanks in advance.

    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 9, 2007
  2. It sounds interesting to me but going that far and spending that much (whatever the cost it ain't gonna be cheap) I'd want it digital based and not with someone who is just learning (no offense to your friend).

    The IR part isn't all that interesting.

    Keep us posted as the idea develops.

  3. I'd go for it >>

    if it was Digital based and some film as well. I'd love to learn film photography actually come to think of it :smile:
  4. Your friend sounds like an accomplished photographer, but it's not a given that those who 'do' are also able to 'teach how to do.' I work with PhDs who are very talented but couldn't teach a fish to swim. If he's done any workshops, some endorsements of happy clientele would be helpful in generating interest.

    He would be wise to be flexible on the film/digital aspect as well. Many folks would like to see results faster in a workshop setting without having to find E-6 processing in Japan.

  5. Thanks very much for these initial responses. I look forward to more.

    A couple of preliminary comments: He is an excellent teacher ... while I "escorted" him around Air Force bases he gave me the equivalent of a master's degree in photography. I still use quite a bit of what I learned. He has not yet given any workshops, per se, so we'll need to work on setting up a schedule that is so compelling folks won't be nervous about signing up ... and I am sure that will not be a problem!!

    One of my major challenges, in fact, will be to figure out a marketing plan that captures the whole program. He's an unbelievably talented person, who is also extremely bright and articulate ... but in very much a Hemingway-esque kind of way. I can assure you that running around Tokyo or sloshing through a rice paddy will be just as much fun as gathering over a meal of traditional Japanese foods and enjoying some sake or beer!!

    Sean -- great comment about the more instant feedback of digital in a workshop setting. I know the film vs digital issue is one we need to work on, but I hadn't thought about this aspect. Thanks.

    Look forward to other comments ... thanks.

  6. Falter


    Feb 26, 2006
    Agreed to both points (digital yes, IR no).
    Otherweise sounds very interesting!
  7. I'll "bump" this thread again as my "partner" now has a website up and running. He's using a Japanese guy to do the work, and they have some polishing to do. But, it's a good introduction and a chance to see some of his work. He has a couple of upcoming gallery shows at a trendy Tokyo gallery as well. Here's the site:


    I've already advised him that his webhost is somewhat slow and that some of the images come out a little dark. They are working on it.

    And, as part of this continuing research ... we'd probably be able to offer this week at a lower rate than you might imagine. He lives east of Narita airport in the countryside and we're planning to find traditional inns that would be far less expensive than a 5-star hotel in Tokyo!! Details are still in the very preliminary stage.

    Also, if you have any comments on the website or the selection of images, I'd appreciate them.


    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 9, 2007
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