Photography and the collaborative economy

Peers IncCover of book Peers Inc by Robin Chase

I've just finished reading Peers Inc by Robin Chase, the founder of Zipcar and highly recommend it. In it she makes a powerful case for the way in which individuals or small groups can team up with large corporations, through the use of platforms (e.g. mobile apps accessing online databases), to their mutual benefit. It makes it easy to harness creativity and innovation (which is what individuals do best) with complex organisation, legislation, and payments etc (which is what companies do best). She particularly applies it to the utilisation of spare capacity such as with cars (Zipcar) or empty rooms (AirNB) but the concepts are equally applicable to the creative industries.

For my professional photography I use a platform called Zenfolio which hosts this blog and my web site, archives my images, and also provides all the backend software and organisation that enables me to sell my images around the world through its partnering with professional photographic labs around the world. This means anyone ordering my prints in, say Australia only has to pay local postage and my prints don't have to get shipped to the other side of the world.

This means I (the 'Peer') can concentrate on what I do best, taking images, and Zenfolio (the 'Inc') does what it does best which is all the organisation and backend functions. There are several companies that offer this sort of functionality but I have always had good service from Zenfolio and they have only partnered with professional printing laboratories. If you have need for a good archive and a web site for your images, even if you don't want to sell them, you can get a 10% discount by signing up though this link or by quoting the discount code MX7-59Q-1RV. [Disclaimer - I earn a small referral fee if you sign up but I am not in any other way affiliated with Zenfolio]