You Got Questions, We Got Answers: FAQs and Disclosures
Who writes this stuff?
I'm David Hobby, a 20-year career newspaper shooter. I studied photojournalism at the University of Florida, during/after which I shot for a variety of papers/wire services in Florida before settling into staff positions at Patuxent Publishing ('88-'99) and The Baltimore Sun ('99-'08).
I founded Strobist is 2006 and left The Sun in 2008 to pursue that and other ventures.
Why did you start this blog?
Honestly? Okay. Strobist was launched in April of 2006 as an excuse to get out of lecturing to my friend Gail Burton's photo class. I figured I would try to save some time by just writing it down once. In that sense, Strobist has been a spectacular failure.
But it also largely changed the way the photo community thought about light (150,000,000 page views and counting) so in that sense it worked out well.
Why Blogger.com? Why not your own URL?
I think Blogger rocks. It's free, Google indexes it better than any other platform (they own it) and it is very robust. Plus, being Google, I know it will be around in five years. Bandwidth is not a problem on this free platform either. When we passed 50k views a day, I contacted them and asked if we were getting too big for the free service. They had a nice chuckle over it and sent me a shirt.
Seriously, they are great folks and I highly recommend them and their free platform. Without it, there would not be a Strobist. Period.
How do I subscribe to your blog?
You can subscribe by clicking here.
How much traffic does Strobist get?
Strobist currently gets over a million page views per month..
My company makes lighting-related stuff. Can I advertise here?
Possibly. See here for more information on rates and reader demographics. But you should know the advertising has been full for some time. There's a wait list if you are interested.
Can I use your material in my site?
You may quote small amounts of material (one or two paragraphs) or abstract material, as long as as long as your post IS ABOUT THE QUOTED ARTICLE you provide a link to the original post. You can get a "permalink" by clicking on the time stamp at the bottom of any post.
What about translations to other languages?
I have tried it several times, and in every instance it became more trouble than it was worth. I am therefore not exploring additional human translation partnerships at this time. There is a dropdown for machine translation of the blog into any language. It can sometimes be funny. Sorry!
Can I steal your entire posts for my automated scraper blogs that are pretty much designed to be Adsense link farms?
I will DMCA your site without a moment's hesitation. And depending, I may also go after you for copyright infringement.
I would like to license one of your photos. What is the best place to reach you?
I am most easily reached via Twitter. Because of the scale of the site's readership, I have long had to remove my personal email link. (Sorry.)
My editorial re-use rates are very reasonable, generally starting at around $250. I am not a $1 microstock agency, and I really do not give a shit if you can buy photos elsewhere for pennies. Fine. Go buy them. But don't steal mine.
If you simply take the photo and use it without licensing it, my first after-the-fact offer to you will be 3X what it would have been had you sought to license it before the fact. If that is unacceptable, it'll go to the lawyers. And my lawyer is great at slam-dunk infringement claims. And if that's the way it has to be, I am totally okay with that. But I'd rather not. So please, don't steal my work.
Do you have any financial disclosures?
First, my opinions are not, nor have they ever been, for sale. I was raised in a newspaper that was totally hardass about that kinda stuff, and it stuck. The site does have advertisers. They know that they do not have any control over the editorial content and I am free to talk smack about them at any time. They respect that. And for that, I respect them.
I sometimes use affiliate links in posts or tweets (i.e., Amazon affiliates). If an item is purchased through that link I may get a small percentage—usually about 4%—as a commission. This costs the reader nothing extra, and helps to support the site.
Also, in recent years I have become an enthusiastic user of Fuji cameras after about 35 years shooting Nikon. That's organic, in part because I think the Fuji cameras are outstanding, but more because the folks at Fuji actually listen to photographers. Even better, they are constantly soliciting feedback and ideas to make their cameras better.
Given that opportunity, I have been very vocal to them and am proud to say some of my ideas have come to fruition. Of those, I am most proud of this one. I have been working hard with them to do what I can to make what I see as a great company even better.
To that end, we have occasionally swapped use of existing (and creation of original) photography for gear. And once, I went to Japan to attend several full-day meetings with their engineers during which we exchanged literally hundreds of ideas. They paid me, but not nearly at a rate sufficient that I would have done so merely for money.
In short, my opinions about Fuji are organic, based on genuine enthusiasm and absolutely not for sale. I am free to say anything about them or their gear at any time.
I am shooting a wedding on Saturday. What kind of flash should I buy?
No kidding. That is the kind of question I used to get, at scale, when my email was listed on the site. Sigh. For gear and technique questions (hopefully better reasoned than that one) try the Strobist Flickr Discussion Threads. There are over 100,000 photographers there ready to both help you and to learn from you.
Seriously, I do not think there is a more civil and helpful photo group on the 'net. Of all of the neat things Strobist has spawned, I am most proud of our group's friendly, knowledge-sharing ethic.
100,000 people? Are they any good?
You tell me.
Have a question to add to the FAQ? Hit me in the comments. If it is helpful to a broad number of readers, I will add it. Thanks!
(Last update: 10/17/2014)