Photograph above taken in Maine with a Leica M7 and Ilford XP-2 film
It's No Longer About Sales
Over the past few months, I've had several artists and photographers write to me asking why I give away my products for free. They say I could easily make money by selling grid packs, membership fees, etc. I have to admit, when I first created Dynamic Symmetry Art over a year ago, that was my goal - to make money. Not that I needed it, but rather, because I felt like I could. However, as the year went on, I quickly realized that I was struggling to write articles because I felt like I had to be overly cautious of what I might say in order not to jeopardize future sales. In other words, the goal of making money prevented me from speaking my truth or expressing my real opinions.
Well, about three months ago, I decided to shut down my website because of poor sales. Yeah, I had finally given up on trying to make money and felt like this was a complete waste of time. After all, if I'm not making enough to cover my expenses, why keep it going and put in all the effort?
Anyway, about four days after I shut my website down, I received an email from a photographer stating how grateful he was that he found Dynamic Symmetry Art, but was also wondering why he couldn't access any of the internal links. I immediately wrote him back and explained that I was no longer in business and that I didn't see any reason to keep my site online. The next day, he responded to my email and expressed real disappointment, but at the same time, thanked me again for helping him regardless.
After I received this gentlemen's final email, I thought about what he had said and why I had given up. The fact is, I've always enjoyed helping others and sharing information that might benefit artists and photographers. And if I enjoy helping others, should I really define my success based on monetary value? So, after a week of critical thinking and long conversations with my wife, I decided I shouldn't. I reopened Dynamic Symmetry Art, and the following week I was back online. However, this time I would offer all my products for free and not worry about making sales. I realized that for myself, providing artists and photographers real-world information was far more important than making money.
Looking back on it now, it's quite clear that giving away my products for free was the best decision I could have made. I can finally write the articles that I want to write, make honest evaluations about other Dynamic Symmetry products that are currently on the market, and provide artists and photographers reliable information on the art of composition. I guess to put all of this in simple terms, I've ditched all the marketing bullshit in search of the truth. For me, this is reason enough to keep this website going.
Moving forward, I will no longer promote products that don't stand up to my expectations and more than likely, won't meet other serious artists and photographers expectations either. While of course, there are some excellent books, videos, and Dynamic Symmetry products on the market, there is also a large number of misleading articles, poorly written books, and junk videos that aren't worth the time or money. I'll be looking at all of these very closely in the future and provide my recommendations as I see fit.
On a final note, it's important to mention that five months ago, I was publicly criticized by another Dynamic Symmetry website. This website owner stated that even though I understand Dynamic Symmetry, I wasn't applying it to my photographs. In their own words, "Those who cannot do, teach." Of course, this photographer's motive for this factless criticism was based on my opinions about Dynamic Symmetry camera grids. In other words, because I don't recommend camera grids for professional photographers, it would ultimately hurt their bottom line. So in turn, they were trying to destroy my credibility. Needless to say, they failed miserably.
Make a donation of $10.00 or more to help support Dynamic Symmetry Art and receive a free extended edition of The Art of Composition: A Dynamic Symmetry User's Guide for the Modern Artist. This PDF edition contains 474 pages and is uncompressed for maximum resolution (275 MB). All donations help pay for hardware and software expenses, as well as research and future development. Thank you for your support!