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Thanks Gary Fong

07 March

For the past 3 years, I’ve been going to WPPI (Wedding and Portrait Photographers International), and there’s usually something as a photographer and a web developer that I find some inspiration in. Whether it’s a talk given by a photographer or some cool new product another company is offering.

This year, it was Gary Fong.

I’ve known of Gary since I was a Pictage member way back in 2003. He seemed like an interesting guy with is FongDong and being very vocal and opinionated anytime I heard something from him. I love people like that (I just relate to them), and he seemed like a pretty cool guy.
Then one day I wrote this article about someone using another person’s artwork for their own and I noticed a comment from Gary. It really surprised and shocked me.

Since then, we’ve become Facebook friends and I’ve got to see further into his passion for the wedding photography industry. He loves photography and photographers profoundly. And he has defended many by publicly calling out even the highest profile “Rockstar Photographers” for copying or claiming work for their own, which has become quite an epidemic.

So it was fitting that the main topic of his talk was copying. However, it was much deeper than the act of purely ripping off people’s photos and using them as their own.
He really addressed how photographers will never set themselves apart from each other if they continue to copy and follow the trends that tend to circulate; e.g. Selective Color, Couch in a field, Baby in a sling, etc.

The question that was posed was, if you want to be charging more than the other guy down the block, how are you going to do so when you’re delivering a very similar product? If you want to make significantly more, shouldn’t you be doing something that significantly sets you apart?

Here’s the question I have for you: What are you doing because it’s what everyone else is doing, and you’re just playing safe? It could be with your website, with your photography, with your products…
But what are you doing now, that if you broke free from, might just make you different enough to be attractive to a different audience?

That one thing might just be the thing that creates a whole new momentum in your business.

What a Week!

13 October

Sitting here on a Friday night (or is it Saturday morning?), watching Social Network, and thinking back on the past five days of work, I can say without a doubt it’s been a remarkable week. Perhaps the most impactful week since Flaunt Your Site began!

Our first employee, Walaa Habib, joined the company this week, and the velocity at which we’ve been able to express the passion and the purpose for Flaunt Your Site has jumped ten-fold. While I’ve had a vision for what the company has been, I haven’t really been effective in expressing that to the world, or even current clients. With Walaa coming on board we’ve been able to tackle the whole area of client fulfillment I’ve long wanted to do. And all the other projects we’re planning. I really want our clients to have an experience that they don’t get from other companies. A tactile experience that goes beyond getting just a website or an SEO plan completed for them.

We’ve just booked our latest client, and I’m looking forward to sending them an actual welcome packet (a first) that they can hold in their hands. I’m also looking forward to much, much more. Earlier tonight, I was present to my first real client, Shari DeAngelo. Three years ago, before we were even known as Flaunt Your Site. It was just me doing my best to design and code (translation: “hack”) custom sites together. Shari came to me, needing a custom website that would work for her. Without her and without a number of subsequent SWPB’ers (a group of amazing wedding photographers on Flickr), Flaunt Your Site wouldn’t exist today.

I owe this week’s achievements, and all the successes to each of our past clients and to each and every member of SWPB.

I’m moved and touched by what Walaa, and I are creating, and I can only imagine as Flaunt Your Site grows, what we can provide together as a team, for future clients. I’ve only been able to produce so much on my own, but what I’ve wanted to produce for each and every one of you will take a remarkable group of people to accomplish. And I’m committing to you all right here and now to assemble that team.



Hey Tofurious… WTF Man?

17 May

Dear Tofurious,

WTF Man? I guess you really, truly are without shame. Are you and David Jay secretly lovers? It’s OK if you are, I’ve marched in San Diego’s Gay Pride parade carrying the Equality flag before, so I have nothing against it if you two are together. I mean you must be. You both have this delusional megalomaniac thing going on where you actually think your products are quality, and where Ethics and Integrity mean nothing to you.

Look, I’ve produced a couple stinkbugs in my time. My Flaunt Uploader was released a little prematurely, but I have taken the comments and I’m back at the drawing board trying to get it right for people.

And… making WordPress themes with shitty code is one thing (well… you really did fuck up the RSS url’s in that RSS icon, so people couldn’t subscribe correctly). I’ll admit, I’ve made a few bucks fixing Tofu themes.
But when you create a plugin and then just blatantly copy another person’s artwork to promote it, that’s just plain chickenshit.

Shall I remind you:

This is Phil Derkson’s artwork for his popular Pin It button. Yes, it’s even more popular than the one that Jamie Swanson and I put out.

Does it look familiar? It should, because you FUCKING COPIED IT!

You want to make plugins that are slight variations off of others, that’s great. Go ahead. That’s what makes Open Source/GPL amazing.

However, I don’t know if you’ve noticed but while WordPress and Joomla do pretty similar things (publish and manage content for websites), they have their own identities.

As of this writing Phil’s plugin has had 43,945 downloads.
Mine and Jamie’s has been downloaded 11,429 times.
And you’re what??? Charging for yours? $25 bucks!!! Shit you are delusional.

But I get it… The joke’s on the photographers that will actually purchase it. There may be a few. You have reach and numbers… You might get a thousand or so. But then you’ll just be laughing all the way to the bank. $25k in one of your back pockets, and David Jay’s hand in the other.

An Open Letter to David Trust and PPA About SOPA

27 January

Dear David,

In light of your email to PPA members today about SOPA and PIPA, I’d like to speak to a couple of the things you addressed.  More specifically the actions that internet users were using “heavy-handed tactics” in order to spread “false information.” And what is being presented to the public as to what those bills would actually do.

Before any of that, I’d like to say that, I’m a photographer and I care about the protection of my images just as much as anyone. And I do believe that there is a solution out there to accomplish that protection. I completely disagree that that this was the way to do it.

So on to it…

The Internet is one of our sacred gems. It has no borders, we don’t need passports to visit our friends with tools like Skype, iChat, etc. And there is an innate freedom that exists there. For someone to restrict that freedom is something that will cause people to rise up against that threat.

Copyright is not, as you incorrectly attribute Google and Wikipedia with saying, censorship. But the practice of blocking of sites to viewers is.

Consider these scenarios:

  1. You’d like to visit someone’s house, but police prevent you from entering because there is a bomb in the house.
  2. You’d like to visit someone’s house, but police prevent you from entering because the person {may have} stolen something.  *Thanks to Nathan Johns @Austin_Photog for adding “may have” above since due process is diminished in these laws.

While the first scenario, authorities are protecting your interests (living and all that), the second is something on the lines of Marshall Law. Stripping the freedom from internet users is just that, stripping freedom.

To be clear there are countries that do restrict access, China, Burma, North Korea, Iran, Cuba, and a few more. I don’t think we want to end up in that list. It starts with blocking a few sites, but who decides what sites are Kosher, and what aren’t? It’s too much power for any one person, or group of people to possess when our freedom is on the line.

I’m fully supportive in a bill that actually targets the perpetrators. But this is something that must be fully thought out, and will involve working with other countries in order to achieve. The target should be the Copyright violators, and not the restriction of people’s internet access.

You should also note that the majority of photorgaphers I speak with, including rather heavy hitters in the industry, and many PPA members, have consciously opposed both SOPA and PIPA. This would point to a clear contradiction in how PPA represents member’s interests. They all understand that freedom is more important than ©.


William Bay



Both Trey Ratcliff @treyratcliff and Scott Bourne @ScottBourne have come out and spoken against PPA’s support in SOPA and PIPA.

From Trey: “Infuriating! The Professional Photographers of America say crazy things in their latest email about SOPA!”
From Scott: “Sorry @OurPPA your positon in favor of #SOPA has just established you as utterly out of touch. You may be well intentioned but you’re wrong!”

Let PPA know how you feel.

PPA members can go here: and add your comments below David Trust’s letter letting him know that PPA does not have their members interest at heart in this case.

Also write to their Twitter account @OurPPA and let them know what you think.