I’ve just made my media kit template public and I’ll give you a link to it further down, but I just wanted to tell you some of the story behind it.
Back in February one of my first posts was called the architects media kit checklist. It was a simple list of things architects could bundle up into a package ready for the media to use. The idea was to be proactive with your photography and your architecture, and also be prepared for when someone asks about your work so that you can give them information quickly and easily. The response at the time was very positive with many editors supportive of the idea.
In the background I was building my business around this idea. I could see that the value of an architectural photographer’s work wasn’t actually the image, it was the number of people who saw the image. So you could take the most amazing photo the world had ever seen, with the most expensive equipment the world had ever seen, but if it was left to just sit in a drawer, then it had no tangible value for the architect commissioning the work. This is because an architect doesn’t hire a photographer to create fine art, they hire a photographer to help share their architecture. The image is a tool for communication.
The value of an architectural photographer’s work isn’t actually the image, it’s the number of people who see the image
As a young photographer I knew that I could never compete with the veterans by just showing an architect my portfolio. It didn’t matter if I had equal, or even better work. That competition was always going to fail because the real business decision wasn’t about the image, it was about what you could do to help the architect. Unless I could create value then I would perish like so many other enthusiastic creative people.
As a young photographer I knew that I could never compete with the veterans by just showing an architect my portfolio.
What I did is start talking to as many people as I could. Editors, journalists, and architects. What I wanted to know was what they needed to publish a project. What information worked for them and how should I get it to them. I worked through a lot of different ideas and came back to a simple document that my clients and I could co-author. I would include my images if they included text about the project. It’s a simple win win. We both want to get published, so why not work together and create something that makes it easy for the media to publish.
If you want to see an example of a completed media kit, you can check out Jolyon Robinson’s project here. I’ve also made the template file available on Gumroad for $10, but if you send me an email before the end of today (November 26 2012) and ask nicely I’ll give you a free copy. You can use it for anything you want, including other architectural photographers wanting to work in a similar way. At some point I will also release a video or something to explain how to use the template and how you get it out into the world. On that note, if you’re a journalist, blogger or freelance writer and want to get my latest media kits then pleases subscribe here.