Sometime in early October we started receiving emails from people asking, "Have you guys ever thought about monetizing your blog." The scene in Mallrat's when the TV producers say to Brody "You got great presence, Kid. Have you ever thought about hosting your own talk show?" and he responds without hesitation, "Yeah" always comes to mind whenever anyone asks me if I have thought about making money off of anything. Of course I have. At least once a day I think, "If only I could figure out how to make money off of watching "Family Guy" or playing "Call of Duty"... but I digress.
So the whole monetizing thing is up in the air... there are lots of things we are considering and have had a heck of a time making anything happen. Sort of a boring topic so if you are remotely interested in our advertising adventures and drama you can read about it here in our supplemental section.
The two major side effects of our advertising chatter are t-shirts, (which we are doing and should be available next week or so) and a MBP Calendar.I know you're hoping that said calendar will feature glistening close-ups of Calvin and I's clothing-less upper bodies... Sorry to disappoint, because we have decided on pictures that showcase the life of a Mormon bachelor, with no faces. Something anonymous, stylish, and awesome. So I sent a message to a photographer that I have actually met. We aren't really friends, we're friends of friends She is very talented, one of the best photographers I have seen. She would have been perfect for this and she has no idea that Jake is... well... me. We had an email back and forth for a while I will give you a very abridged version of our back and forth. (See the unabridged version here)
I know women hate it when we men blame things on their monthly cycle. So I wont actually say that the drastic unprovoked change in tone was as a result of anyone involved's monthly shedding of the uterine lining... but, if not that? I gotta wonder. Her name is Abbie Warnock.
Oct 28th: Jake to Abbie
So, we're facebook friends which hopefully means you read [...]our blog[...]if you do read, you know that we are completely anonymous. [...] We are thinking of making a Calender. [...] So what do you think? -Jake
Oct 29th: Abbie to Jake
Hi Jake, I'm not a beefcake photographer by any means, and if it's anything like the mormon shirtless calendar dudes, I just can't be bothered, ha ha. [...] but I would like to know more about what you're doing. :) -Abbie Warnock
Oct. 29th: Jake to Abbie
no, not a beefcake thing at all... Is there a time I could call you? I have a feeling concept and vision would be better discussed than written. Probably one conversation would be enough to decide one way or the other if it's something you'd be into.
Nov 3rd: Jake to Abbie (after not hearing back from her)
Okay, I will try to be succinct, because from your responses so far I am gathering (incorrectly perhaps) that you're not really interested in this. [...then I explain in great detail our calender idea...]I know that you're busy and kind of a big deal so if you're not into it, I'm sure I can find someone less talented and hungrier.
Nov. 5th: Abbie to Jake
Sorry, the last 48 hours have been a big runaround[...]Those are all cool ideas, and I could definitely produce those images for you.[...]My hourly rate is $200 per hour of shooting, and my Full-Day Rate is $1200
Nov. 9th: Jake to Abbie
That is definitely out of our budget right now. Unless I can some how get my Pell Grant to include it... :) [...then I make a counter offer...] That's the best I can do, and understand that probably wont work for you. I will look into another photographer while I wait to hear back. Are there any you would refer?
Nov. 12th: Abbie to Jake
I can do that [essentially accepting our counter offer].
Nov. 12th: Jake to Abbie
That is excellent! So, we probably need to discuss details just so we're both clear. [...] -We (as in Calvin and I) will not be meeting you in person or attending any "shoots" [...] I've never used a camera that cost more then $24 I don't know what [...] you will need from us.
Nov. 12th: Abbie to Jake
*I'm actually totally NOT ok with you two not attending the shoots. [...] That's non-negotiable. Since there isn't going to be an art director, one of you needs to wear that hat. [...] This sounds like something that we should sit down and talk about in person. I'll be in provo tomorrow.
Nov. 12th: Jake to Abbie
Unfortunately Abbie the anonymous thing is pretty much the most important part of our blogs existence. [...] So, I will discuss with our attorney [...] Where do you live because I'm in Salt Lake City and couldn't make it down to Provo very easily tomorrow.
Nov. 13th: Jake to Abbie
Okay, so there is no way we can personally be at the shoots. [...] So, I know you said this was "non-negotiable" and if that's how it stands I will understand. However consider this: In my very first facebook message I mentioned giving you a great deal of creative license. What if YOU were our art director? I've seen your stuff online and know that you are creative and have an eye for things. I didn't just pick you out of a hat, I looked around. We would be willing to put a great deal of trust in you to get this done. [...] So, I really think that discussing the project over the phone, and giving you fairly free reign that is understood (we can even put it in writing) beforehand could work out quite nicely.
Nov 13th: Abbie to Jake
Wow. I've photographed famous people that've been less maintenance than you guys. You're spending more time talking to legal counsel than you are getting projects along, this is blowing me away. If you're legal-contract-concerned about me revealing your identities like you seem to be, I gotta admit that you're being really pretentious. I have bigger fish to fry and things to worry about other than this.
This isn't worth the run-around to me, and at this point, it certainly isn't worth the price and "perks." Living in a town as small as provo and dating/writing about it like you are and will be, it's an inevitability that you'll be found out sooner or later, and it won't be by Abbie Warnock. Oh, and for the record, my myspace blog has had 290,000 hits in the past two years. People surf. It happens.
I won't be working on this with you. When you figure out how to act like professionals, you can work with professionals.
Abbie is right, I'm not a professional. Since I desperately need to learn to act like one I am glad she has given me this experience from which to glean off of her wisdom. It's not like 80% of the readers of our blog will be getting married in the next 5 years and be looking for a professional photographer or anything. Worst part is... if she changed her mind I'd offer her a make-up-make-out (anonymously) and take her back.
PS: A MBP calendar is in the works if you want to be part of it see this link