You Got Questions, We Got Answers.
I'm David Hobby, a 20-year career newspaper shooter. I studied photojournalism at the University of Florida. I have shot for the Leesburg (FL) Commercial, the Orlando (FL) Sentinel, UPI, and lots of other publications as a freelancer/stringer/intern. I have been a staff photographer at Patuxent Publishing (Columbia, MD) from '88-'99 and at The Baltimore (MD) Sun from '99-'08.
I left The Sun in 2008 to blog and shoot full-time.
When/why did you start this blog?
Originally, 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.
How much time do you spend blogging?
About eight hours a day. There's a lot more behind-the-scenes work that you would think. Certainly more than I expected. I have met The Devil, and his name is "e-mail."
Dude, 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. I contacted them and asked if we were getting too big for the free service and 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.
What Blogger template do you use?
I use Minima Black, an old-style blog (not the drag and drop, widgety version) and it has been heavily modified a little at a time. I am not a coder. I completely suck at it. I just learn enough to do the little thing I am trying to get it to do by looking at other site's source pages.
If you are thinking of choosing a Blogger template to customize, I think Minima Black and Minima White offer solid, simple platforms from which to start.
How do I subscribe to your blog?
I make my entire post available over RSS feeds. You can subscribe by clicking here.
How much traffic does Strobist get?
Strobist gets over 1.5 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.
Hey, I have, like, 300 porn sites. Where is the best place to spam links to them? In your comments?
This, dear readers, is why I no longer use comments on new posts.
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 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 human translation partnerships at this time.
Can I steal your entire posts for my automated scraper blogs that are pretty much designed to be Adsense link farms?
No, you may not. And if you do, the black helicopters will come for you. Or, I might just DMCA your website's ISP and they will fix the problem very quickly. But you won't like how they do it.
I would like to license one of your photos. What is the best place to reach you?
I am most easily reached via Twitter. My editorial re-use rates generally start at around $250, as I am not a $1 microstock agency. If you simply take the photo and use it without licensing it, my first after-the-fact offer to you will be much higher than that. If that is unacceptable, it'll probably go to the lawyers. 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.
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 a verbatim question I have received. For gear and technique questions (hopefully better reasoned than that one) try the Strobist Flickr Discussion Threads. There are over 75,000 photographers ready to help you and 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.
75,000 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)