出る釘は打たれる

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The nail that sticks out gets hammered down. I think it’s only befitting to use this particular Japanese proverb for the post because the Japanese know a thing or two about cameras and the photography industry in general. 

Everyone – from Olympus to Sony, Canon and Nikon have been through the photography industry’s XXI century roller-coaster, but they decided not to stick out (and stick to what they know best instead), whereas they should have experimented with new business models, products and technologies. So we have no choice but to pick up the slack for them. 

Why this proverb?

As soon as we put our heads above the proverbial parapet, inevitably one or two trolls pop up on Social Media to voice their concerns about the disruption in the photography industry being bad for them. The maxim ‘disrupt or be disrupted’ isn’t something everyone takes lightly to their hearts.

I’m no Ralph Waldo Emerson and I am not going to write a lengthy essay about tectonic shifts in the photography industry and the fact that we’ve been through this over and over with digital cameras, stock photography, smartphones, etc. 

The industry has changed and will continue evolving. Rapidly. Hundreds of millions of people across the globe now have equivalents of Sony A7 and Canon 5D Mark in their pockets (thank you Apple, Google, Samsung, Huawei, etc). But can they (with the latest tech in their pockets) deliver consistent quality photos in accordance with guidelines in thousands of locations on a daily basis all over the globe for food delivery companies, holiday rentals, international event organisers, etc? 

A resounding NO

Nor can you, a wonderful and deeply beloved freelance photographer!  

Lucky owners of iPhone 11 can take great family photos. They can even get an odd corporate headshot right. But when it comes to large scale shoots around the globe – it’s much more than the latest camera, lens, light, ambience, subject and even skills.

It’s all about the logistics

Try and do 10,000 shoots a month all over the US or 400,000 shoots across South East Asia.
We are not competing with or disrupting the freelancers. We are in different client universes.
Without our sophisticated tech, operational processes and a great team – our dear clients (who deliver incredible services to billions of people around the world) will struggle. 

Face it. The world is moving online. You don’t buy (or even use) anything online unless someone has visualized it – be it through photography, videography, AR or VR. 

And Splento is on a mission to help the world move from offline to online by visualizing it. 

This post is not about our amazing clients – we solve a huge problem for them. Yes, they need a hassle-free solution, at a reasonable price, as soon as possible, of consistent quality, with worldwide coverage and at huge scale, Amazon-like reliability and flexibility to cover any need. 

And, yes, we are there to help them: 

  • Create their own corporate guidelines, so they have exactly the same content worldwide;
  • Source, filter and interview the best specialists globally; 
  • Onboard & train the right experts;
  • Distribute thousands of jobs and manage calendars for them; 
  • Deal with no-shows, cancellations and reshoots when required;
  • Edit and resize photos, add exif data and store both edited and raw files;
  • Pay photographers in a timely fashion.

Freelance photographers and local studios can’t physically deal with all this. They won’t even know where to start. 

But this post is not about that. 

This post is about photographers, who are lucky enough to be a part of Splento Club and Splento Family. 

Why photographers choose Splento is very simple: 

  1. You get paid every Friday – no matter what. Every single photographer has been through this – waiting for months on end to get paid. With us – it’s not the client who is paying you – it’s Splento.
  2. You get your nights and weekends back! Again, you may be the exception, but the vast majority of photographers hate editing their photos and videos. Amazing photographers are great at taking photos, amazing photo editors are great at editing them. Believe it or not, but just like with book-keeping (and running!) – there are people who actually love it! We hire the best photo and video editors in the world to take this off your shoulders. You no longer have to sit through the night doing this – what can seem to some – monotonous work and instead people who can do it much better than you and find meditative relaxation in doing this work will be doing it for you instead.
  1. You can call in sick. We all have kids, we all catch flu, we all have force majeure. But when you are freelancing – your reputation is on the line. So you come in, spread your germs at an event, feel terrible and everyone loses. With us – you give us a bit of warning and there are several amazing photographers nearby who can step in and pick up your shoot.
  2. Become organised. It sucks when you have millions of things on your to-do list and you forget about one small photoshoot in the park that completely slipped through the cracks. With us you won’t – we have tech in place that will remind you about everything, so you don’t have to worry about missing anything.
  3. Get paid for referrals. It sucks when a client of yours asks you to recommend someone in LA or Hong Kong and they won’t pay you to fly there for their conference or restaurant opening. Wouldn’t it be nice to offer a solution for your dear client and also get paid a referral fee for it? With us get your cake and you can actually eat it.
  4. Be a part of a great team. But most importantly – we want you to feel valued (with our regular awards, training seminars and parties) and be a part of something much larger. For Christ’s sake (pun intended), for once in your life we want you to attend a Christmas party as a guest, not as a photographer! Ask our photographers, it’s awesome!

For those of you familiar with Maslow’s pyramid of needs – we cover three of five essential needs for those photographers and videographers who are part of the Club. Sorry, we don’t provide food or shelter, although we do have free fruit in our office in the morning.

If any of the above doesn’t sound like a win-win to you, then let’s agree to disagree.      


With best wishes,
Roman
CEO, Splento

P.S. You can find all previous updates from 2019 HERE