Jesh de Rox’s “Beloved” Webinar Ignites a Twitter Tempest

Jesh de RoxUpdate: After you have fun reading this, read the follow up commentary.***

Last night multi-award-winning Canadian wedding photographer and speaker Jesh de Rox unintentionally ignited quite a fire storm in the Twitterverse. Jesh gave a free webinar about his upcoming Beloved Collective: an educational forum to learn about his “experiential technique” to photography. At the end of the free webinar was the sales pitch for the paid-for series. Nothing too uncommon there. It’s a very popular method for selling educational resources: give a sample for free, then give attendees a pitch to invest in something more. Here’s where it gets interesting. One of the educational resources Jesh is selling is a $16,500 one day 1-on-1 session (discounted $3,500 from the “regular” $20,000 price). Let’s just say, the fit hit the shan after that.

#OneDayWithJeshInstead

It wasn’t long before the Twitter stream was clogged with the hash tag #onedaywithjeshinstead (e.g. I was going to send my kids to college, but I spent #onedaywithjeshinstead). Considering this all started around 11 pm EST, it might have eventually died out. Except that one of the photogs on Twitter last night was a one Mr. Zack Arias. For those of you who don’t know Zack (and come one, chances are if you read this blog you do), Zack is a rather passionate fellow. Oh, and he also happens to have over 25,000 Twitter followers (vs. Jesh’s 7,000+). Per Zack’s own tweet, he never ever calls anyone out on Twitter, until now. Zack (and many other photogs who follow both he and Jesh) was shocked that any photog would charge such a sum of money for a one-day personal session. Naturally, some came to Jesh’s defense. There was a virtual tit-for-tat. When I went to bed last night, I kept my Twitter page up with the hash tag still live. When I came back this morning, there were almost 400 new tweets of that hash tag.

Zack AriasWhat is “Value”?

In truth, Jesh can charge whatever the market will bear for his consultation. Who are we to begrudge him if he can get it. We each determine for ourselves what is valuable. That being said, personally, I don’t think this was the right audience to pitch a $16,500 1-day 1-on-1 consult (even if it was down from $20,000). The photogs tuning in were doing so to help their businesses. If they could afford a $16,500 1-day photography seminar, chances are they wouldn’t need a $16,500 1-day seminar (especially in a world where you can get three days for FREE with the likes of Bambi Cantrel, Zack Arias, Vincent Laforet, Jasmine Star, or Jeremy Cowart on CreativeLIVE; or $99 if you buy the download. Also in comparison, according to Universtity.com, a year at Brooks Institute during the 2009-2010 school year was about $26,000). So, in light of what’s available in the market, as well as recent events in the world and the state of the economy, it might have been poor planning to have such an offering.

I think another part of this whole debate has to do with the state of photography (and filmmaking) education. Many veteran photographers who’ve spent one, two, or even three decades perfecting their craft get a little off-put at the rise of workshops by those in it less than ten, maybe even five years. So you have all of these emotions coming into play when people see a $16,500 1-day workshop.

There Was More Than Just the One-on-One

The unfortunate thing is that there was so much hub-bub over the 1-on-1, the REAL thing Jesh was selling started to get overshadowed. The other resources he was offering (and frankly, the ones which were the intended target) were reasonably priced in the $245 to $500 range. (You can see them all at mybeloved.co. That is not a typo. It is .co, not .com).

I’ve seen Jesh speak and the man is amazingly inspirational. His talks at WPPI are always standing room only and they often leave people in tears. I’ve also interviewed him for my old photography podcast and to this day it remains one of my favorite. Based on what I know of him, I have no doubt he is sincere in his passion to teach others. He is not trying to scam anyone. Given the $497 rate of his 5-week Beloved webinar, which includes with it the 2-day hands-on “Beloved Collective” seminar, I think what he is offering is quite a good educational investment.

Because of the explosion of tweets last night, I saw a lot of people casting judgment on both Jesh (for charging such an amount, by the way, without even looking at the other Beloved offerings on his website), and on Zack for attacking him publicly. Both of these guys are class acts in my opinion. We all make mistakes online (lord knows I’ve made my fair share.) Do I need to pull out the Rodney King “can’t we all just get along” card?

These are two highly respected leaders in an industry. Let’s cut them both some slack.

What’s your take?

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93 Responses to “Jesh de Rox’s “Beloved” Webinar Ignites a Twitter Tempest”

  1. Ron,

    You know I love you as a person. But it sounds like that your good intentions in this post to defend Jesh, appears more like you are promoting his products and a sales pitch on your part.

    Almost like you are getting a cut from the sales.

    Carlos

    • Ha. I love you too Carlos. :) Trust me, I do not get a dime and I could care less whether or not anyone buys his webinar. I think what I provided was a fair and objective review of the situation. There are hundreds of tweets of people attacking Jesh and his character because of the price of a 1-on-1, without even looking at the fact that that was not the ONLY thing he was selling. So yes, in a way I’m defending him, but not because I have some capitalistic or financial investment in doing so. FWIW, I’m also defending Zack. I saw a number of tweets casting aspersions on his character for making this thing so public.

      Looking forward to our next deep conversation my friend.

      • Perhaps the reason no one is mentioning the other things Jesh is selling is because the products ARE more reasonably priced… the fact his other products are more affordable only makes the drastically high pricing of his one-on-one even more ridiculous, since there’s such a large difference.

      • If the guy can make $40k a day giving regular workshops to 20 people at $2k a pop, then why wouldn’t 1 day of his time be worth less just because he’s talking to 1 person instead?

        Bashing a guys character because they charge more than you is (in my book) jealousy. Bashing someones business model/decision is silly (because whether they fail or not doesn’t impact you). Bashing him if he actually succeeds is stupid (because it would essentially raise the “playing field” for other speakers to raise the rates for all workshops).

        I remember not too long ago the firestorm was that he charged $2k for a group workshop. He gained a lot of buzz from it, and a ton of complaints. But if he wanted to grow bigger – why wouldn’t he want to “pull a Mike Colon” and be the first in the industry to price themselves so high that everyone on twitter is talking about him?

        Publicity=Free advertising. And this = a TON of free advertising.

        If it weren’t for his crazy high pricing, how many of us would have ever heard of him?

  2. You wrote: “I don’t think this was the right audience to pitch a $16,500 1-day 1-on-1 consult (even if it was down from $20,000). The photogs tuning in were doing so to help their businesses. If they could afford a $16,500 1-day photography seminar, chances are they wouldn’t need a $16,500 1-day seminar”

    I think both you and Zack missed the boat on this one point.

    While I DO think it’s absurd, there ARE people who would cough up the dough to feel the Jesh love. I think we underestimate how badly the photography world is saturated with professional hobbyists whose spouses pay the bills and who have lots of disposable income to spend on things like this. It has nothing to do with sound business, it has to do with being able to say that you “studied under Jesh de Rox” which, in the end, just might be priceless to certain of their clients.

    • Ben, You’re right, there ARE people who may be willing to pay this. But my point was that the people on that webinar last night were NOT those people. This is kind of like selling $100,000 wedding photography on the Knot.

      The kind of person who would pay $16,500 for a 1-day ANYTHING is a completely different breed of individual. He/she is NOT up at 9 pm at night watching a low production value webinar. This is the kind of money millionaires pay to spend a day with a Hollywood-caliber celebrity. That is my point with respect to this not being the right target.

    • ‘It has nothing to do with sound business, it has to do with being able to say that you “studied under Jesh de Rox” which, in the end, just might be priceless to certain of their clients.’

      …as long as their clients have even heard of the guy. Which it seems like most people haven’t until last night/this morning

      • Yep, with you on this one. That 16500 number has brought a lot of attention to people that I have never heard of. And honestly, the photos that Jesh has on his site are tre’ boring. Maybe you guys should try AOL. I hear it’s all the rage.

  3. $16,500 to learn how to apply a Photoshop actions to make your photos look old and hear hours of zen garbage? No thanks.

  4. I watched the entire webinar. I was sort of inspired. Nothing he said was original to me, but I appreciated his ferver. I appreciated his quotes and his passion. I was hoping at the very end when he got us all lined up to check out one more thing that he was going to give me at least 1 tangible thing to walk away with that would improve my business… for free. Afterall, I listed to him bloviate for 70 minutes about love and caring! You’d a though he’d at least cared enough to give us a little nugget of his so called “gospel”. Frankly, I think $500 is too much. But what do I know…I know this much, Zack has helped me A LOT with my business, more than he knows and I’ve never paid him a dime!

    • No arguments from me there Lynn. Zack is off da hook the real deal. I love him. (I actually used to be able to get him on the phone too. ;) And I do think you have a point about wishing there was more of a substantive take away from the webinar. I’m sure this whole situation will be quite a lesson for everyone involved.

  5. Just stumbled across your blog in the midst of the “fire storm in the Twitterverse.” Thanks for giving some perspective and bringing this out of a (sometimes funny) “blast Jesh” session to an actual conversation.

  6. I can’t believe how many people flock to these “rock star” seminars. I say 99% of those attending should have their camera’s taken away from them, forever. If you don’t have it in you to make a nice photograph its not gonna be some guy talking about his love of seeing people walk out his door that will make you good.

  7. Ron, I think he accomplished what he set out to do, get some buzz. It reminds me of that app in itunes that went for 999.99, (I AM RICH). I’ll be honest, I never heard of the dude before this post… I know him now! And by him creating such a flurry Twitter-land, and a mano-a-mano with Sir Zach, he accomplished s’more celebrity in a saturated market.
    It actually reminds me of the East Coast/West Coast rap beefs that went on in the ’90s. Or the whole boxing world. Who’s gonna say, “umm- I think I’ll fight OK. He’s pretty good and I might lose. I trained really, really, hard, and I hope I win. I hope I’m worth the millions I’ll be getting for getting my blocked knocked off.”
    Blessings, Brother Ron.

  8. My take is that since Jesh isn’t a dummy, it’s a brilliant business move. If I was thinking that his $500 webinar was expensive, I’m thinking it’s a screaming bargain now. I think it’s simply the triple burger theory being put into practice.

  9. Hey Ron,

    Nice commentary and I too can appreciate wanting to change the photography landscape and make a name for yourself…Jesh has done an amazing job at that! He is trying to cash in on it and who can blame him, if he can get it..more power to him. You, Carlos and I have been in this industry for a long time..seen these type of folks come and go, styles come and go…remember colorized flowers on b&w images!

    Look 15 years down the road and ask yourself if your images will stand the test of time or look more like something that was concocted. Instead of joining a movement, learn your craft and stand on the shoulders of those that came before you!

    If you want to pitch a workshop, feel free to pitch http://www.rootsworkshop.com …there is one seat left, but sorry no kickbacks :)

    J

    • “Look 15 years down the road and ask yourself if your images will stand the test of time or look more like something that was concocted. Instead of joining a movement, learn your craft and stand on the shoulders of those that came before you!”
      LOVE IT!-and so true.

    • J – I would love to attend the Roots Workshop, but at $3400, it is slightly out of my price range this year. But I am hoping to make it next year. I have heard only great things about the workshop Emilie launched.

  10. I think theres something that needs to be pointed out. The heart of what Zack was saying, versus just slamming Jesh for a high price tag. Three tweets from Zack stood out to me:

    “I’m sick of all the smoke and mirrors. I’m sick of the 3 step plans. I’m sick of the craft of photography getting trampled on.”

    “I’m sick of the over night rock stars. I’m sick of the personalities. There is no NEW way of doing things.”

    “Be a great person. Be a great photographer. Go serve your clients. Don’t spend $20,000 on a one day coach to figure that out.”

    I agree completely with those tweets. Why? While being a pro photog for only a few years, I am not knew to the industry. Being a designer and art director of nearly 20 years, Ive seen the shift in the photography industry.

    The shift I am talking about is NOT the one of “everyone has a camera and claim to be a pro” now, the turn and burns, the $500 wedding photographer. I am referring to the abundant overload of seminar and speaking photographers, of which about 20% are known for their work, the rest are known for their speaking/seminar/let me sell you something photography business rick quick medicine man tactics.

    Leaving names out, the majority of these photographers are know for their books or phrases then their work. The “craft” of photography as Zack points out is not even in the conversation.

    We can guess and pontificate about what nearly 17 grand will buy you, but in reality and my opinion it falls into category of actually hurting the industry than helping.

    It takes the dude who buys a Canon 60D or a Nikon D90 and couples enthusiasm and their pocket books and makes them no more a well studied and practiced photographer.

    Heard a great phrase by a well known photographer the other day, something to this affect:

    “If we took away photoshop and plug-ins, how much ‘good photography’ would their actually be? Not much.” Its always about the craft.

    Its not about what a seminar preaching photog can get for a 1 on 1, its about the integrity of the industry.

    • “If we took away photoshop and plug-ins, how much ‘good photography’ would their actually be? Not much.” Its always about the craft.”
      So feeing true. Thanks

    • Those 3 quotes stood out for me as well! Very well said Chase!

  11. More than anything, I had fun watching the Tweets and FB comments roll in last night. I have known about Jesh for maybe a couple of years now and have seen some of the interviews, etc..Here’s my bullet point take on things….

    – I may not agree with, or even may be appalled at what someone charges for what you get – but I say if you can get it then go for it. I don’t believe in telling anyone what they “should” be charging.
    – I will however, like Zack did, call it as I see it if that’s how I feel. Nothing wrong with that either.
    – I don’t question someone’s motives too often – reality will usually come to the light of day eventually. Jesh may be very sincere about it and that’s fine.
    – 16k is still a lot though and through what I have heard and seen of Jesh I can’t imagine it being worth 16k to me at least. If it is to someone else – then enjoy I say.
    – That being said – Zack is about the only photographer whose workshop is on my list currently – and he doesn’t even shoot in my “style” – it’s the attitude and passion that draws me.
    – The photography world has been going through a huge blow up in the “educational/workshop” business. It’s a great way to expand your business.
    – There is a lot of great educational/experience opportunities out there – and a lot of wasted time and money too.
    – As has been said, let the buyer beware…make your own decisions on what is worthwhile and then live with your own decisions after that. There really is a ton of “fluff” right now.

  12. I was reading the tweets and thank you for clearing up something that was entertaining to a bystander was still confused over the specifics. I think it is funny how the photographers take their craft so personal and believe that any interest or comments on themselves as a photographer is a personal affront to their character or a something that should bother them. Don’t like the interest or comments on your photography or how you do business, do not put it on the web for all to see.

  13. I saw the twitterfest and it was ugly! It’s acceptable to call a person out for undercharging, but I’ve never seen it done for overcharging! Value is what you think it is. Hey, I personally think a $1000.00 Louis Vuitton bag is overkill, but many people who buy $30,000 Hermes bags think the Louis are crap! You get my point, value is what the person purchasing decides, it has nothing to do with anyone else.

    I personally think the $16,500 pricetag is just a marketing gimic on Jesh’s part to make the value of his other courses that much more. Think about it, if you are someone that is interested in taking his class and you can get almost the same thing for $300! I mean who wouldn’t jump aboard!

    In life, many things are not as they seem! Some of Zack’s comments where a little off but most where on! I personally think he was just having a bad night and blew up, hey it happens to everyone!

    In any case, those are my .02!

    Andy
    lightenupandshoot.com

  14. Q: Why would anyone spend $20K for business advise from someone that thinks that the value from a $20K one-on-one session makes any business sense.
    A: Only someone that either doesn’t understand sound business practice or someone that can afford to ignore sound business practise.

    A $20K investment for one day of coaching should be well thought out and featured prominently in your business plan (you have a business plan, right?). I would suspect that it would be very hard to make the case from this expenditure in a sound business plan.

  15. I watched most of the webinar last night, and it seemed to me that he’s trying to sell a movement. He’s bottled up emotions that we experience in relationships (compassion, love, etc.) and put a price tag on it. Paradox anyone?

  16. I thought the price was stratospheric until I saw this at the bottom of Jesh’s website.

    “As a gift, you will receive a complimentary subscription to the Beloved newsletter.”

    Okay, then there is true value in this one-on-one session.

    lmao

  17. When it all boils down, Canada and the United States are free nations (for the most part anyhow) and each of these men have a right to do what they want. If Jesh wants to charge $20k for a 1-to-1, who says he can’t? If Zack wants to call him out and say it’s a waste of money, who says he can’t?

    However, Ron was asking for opinions. Here’s my take: Is Jesh offering something revolutionary? No. Is he offering an insight on making incredible photographs that nobody else can teach? By all means, no! Is his emotional, pathos type of public speaking very much persuasive because of how different it is in our industry? Yes. In my opinion, if you want to hear someone who will make you cry, tell you a beautiful story, make you want to sit alone in nature, then go read Edgar Allen Poe in the Headlands, don’t waste your money. Especially at a time when a nation such as Japan is ravaged with hurt and pain.

    If you want to learn how to light, take Zack’s workshop, buy his DVD. If you want to learn how to shoot film, take Jon Canlas’ FIND workshop. If you want to learn how to shoot at night and think outside the box, take Jeff Newsom’s workshop. What I’m trying to say is that I do not see anything about Jesh as a PHOTOGRAPHER or a poet that would be worth your investment. Again, my opinion, but as stated we all have a right to comment on either side of the aisle on this one. :)

  18. Honestly, I think it’s misleading to offer a one day seminar at that price. How much can you really learn in one day? Is there an expectation that at the end of the day your services will be able to command a price to make a reasonable return on this investment?
    I spent two years in photo school at around double the cost of his one day seminar … two years vs. one day. At the end of those two years, there was still a learning curve. I learned photography in school, then I figured out how to apply it after I graduated. I hate to use this metaphor, but this industry is like a crock pot rather than a microwave.

    So, is he wrong to offer a one day, one-on-one personal training session for $16,500? No, if he feels that the training is worth it. Are you an idiot if you think that a one day, one-on-one, $16,500 training session will give you an overnight success? Absolutely.

    Also, you can take my opinion and apply it to ANY weekend workshop … yes, Zack’s workshops too. Just because you spent a day or two learning from a photographer doesn’t mean that you have what it takes to be one yourself. I go back to my earlier point … how much can you really learn in that short period of time?

  19. Well, all I gotta say is that this Jesh guy is a marketing genius. I’d never heard of him until all this nonsense. From a “Craft of Photography” perspective, I’m with Zack Arias on this one. From a Genius of how to get the networks flowing about you, ala Seth Godin and create an internet buzz about your schtick – Jesh has done well.

    As for me and my house, we’ll invest the $16,500 in a Get Rich Quick in the Real Estate bubble, oh, a, Stock.. a, insurance.. phot oh – never mind.

  20. Great Fun to watch the tweets and the forums like this buzz about this. My take is if I can generate this much buzz about my business by making crazy offerings than maybe it is awesome PR. In a Charlie Sheen sorta way. Just saying, Jesh has not lost a dime or a client over this. Still I would rather have a beer with Zach any day.

  21. I have to say, I agree with Chase.

    I am one of the twitters who used the hash tag #onedaywithjeshinstead but I also looked at his work and critiqued his website while I did.

    I’m a professional photographer. I am embedded in a company and if I can’t shoot it, I arrange for someone else to. I look at a ton of portfolios in a year and admit I have a very critical eye. Everyone I hire has work online better than mine – it’s a basic principal of hiring in business – hire people better than you.

    While tweeting, I was looking at at Jesh’s website, and I googled his name and workshop to scope out prices. I have a lot of critiques about it all.

    Ultimately, the price tag and the quality of the photos, especially the ones that come up ‘for you’ when you say you are a stargazing mountain who wants to see something real – starts with a man in fall foliage, just don’t line up. I’m sorry they don’t. I’m not bagging on the level of his photography – he has nice shots in there, but nothing that really grabs me.

    I wish him luck and continued growth in his career.

    But the bottom line is – the people who can afford his workshops and are interested – more power to them, enjoy, have fun, etc.

    There are those for whom $16,500 is no small sum and to them I say, look before you leap, make sure you’re getting what you paid for, ask what you want to get out of it, ask if you think it might be reasonable within reach to get that in one day.

  22. true, great marketing, now we’ve all heard of this guy.

    BUT – would any of you hire him?

    I wouldn’t, maybe in a couple years, but I wouldn’t right now, if I had a partner level event, I wouldn’t send him. If I had a friend getting married, based on his workshop prices, I’d make presumptions about his wedding prices, and based on the photos on his site I would say ‘pass’.

    I’m sorry, that’s what you put out there when you announce these types of prices for a one-day one-on-one – this is the price he is asking because it’s probably in line with what a day of his client work would go for… if that’s his client work, and that’s his rate, I know a lot of photographers who could do it for that price or even a little lower and you will have a higher quality product.

    I think he’s in danger of a Rebecca Black effect here.

    He has a great following, so he’s safe, but among those who met his work last night, he will need to really up his photographic game to move forward from that first impression.

  23. Thanks so much for this post, Ron. I thought it was a very fair analysis.

    I’m sorry that I never got to meet you and Tasra when you went to Highway, I really love and respect everything you guys are doing in the industry!

  24. Ron,

    You have said and many others echoed: “In truth, Jesh can charge whatever the market will bear for his consultation. Who are we to begrudge him if he can get it. We each determine for ourselves what is valuable.”

    I have a problem with this because of the market he is promoting to. So many new photographers are young and inexperienced and believe these many “rockstars” when they promise that they have the keys to the kingdom of success and all you have to do is hand over your credit card to attend their seminar and you will be successful. They buy his (and others) expensive programs with funds from their young family’s household income because they have been convinced that by spending this chunk of money they will be fast tracked to success. Later they are faced with the frustrations of failure and maxed out credit cards and still have no solid photography and business skills to move forward.

    I do not know nor have ever heard of Jesh but I do know if and have great respect for Zack, Carlos and others who have stepped forward to try and put this profession back on track. I am all for helping the new photographers and part of that involves educating them on all the snake oil pitchmen that they are going to run into.

    I guess I am just an old “grumpie.” :-)

    Regards,

    Rick

  25. I too will jump on with Chase’s and nousefor:

    “I am referring to the abundant overload of seminar and speaking photographers, of which about 20% are known for their work, the rest are known for their speaking/seminar/let me sell you something photography business rick quick medicine man tactics.
    Leaving names out, the majority of these photographers are know for their books or phrases then their work. The “craft” of photography as Zack points out is not even in the conversation.”

    This is interesting and timely because I and others have been working all week on establishing criteria for reviewing and scoring photography workshops for a online and print publication. None of our criteria so far has included spirituality or anything like it. More nuts and bolts, things like Skills taught, Communication berfore the workshop, Quality of materials , Quality of location, Bang for the buck, that sort of thing. I will definately put Jesh’s training on our list of “Must Review” workshops, After all, how could we resist after all this hooplah.

  26. I’ve always said that you’re worth what someone will pay you. I can sit at my desk job making $50k /year and think that I’m worth over $100k. But once I get out there with my resume, contact potential employers and tell them my desired salary is over $100k, and can find an employer who is willing to pay me that salary, then guess what? I’m worth it. If no one will pay me $100k a year, then it looks like I’m only worth $50k. You’re “worth” is determined by what someone will pay you.

    So, Jesh, if you can find someone to sign up for a 1-on-1, then more power to you. We will find out if a day of your time is really worth $16.5k. If someone forks it over, then you’re worth it. If no one does, then you’re not. Pretty simple.

  27. I’m really bummed by how all of this turned out. Last year at WPPI, I left Jesh’s platform TRANSFORMED. I was just SO inspired by him and what his vision was. This year at WPPI (which is where the pricing sheet got handed out, thus I’m surprised this hubbub didn’t start then), the whole presentation sounded like a multi level marketing ploy (pyramid scheme). I think the collective is an AMAZING idea, and really the cost of it is quite reasonable for what you get. But, I wish someone would’ve sat down with Jesh and gone over HOW the material was presented. And also, why didn’t one of his close friends/inner circle tell him that his one on one cost seems exorbitant and could diminish his credibility? Like why didn’t someone say “hey, Jesh, your one on one cost is 2.5 times the cost of a REALLY high end lawyer from Newport Coast, don’t you need to rethink that a bit??” I ultimately I still believe in his vision, but I can’t fault Zach Arias for calling out the pricetag. SOMEONE needed to do it. Because really, Jesh should’ve hired a business consultant and also someone who has experience in PR to run everything by them FIRST.

    • This is what I was scratching my head about too last night Katie, that no one looked at this and thought this wasn’t the best idea. Or, as some have suggested, maybe it’s doing exactly what he wants it to do. We’ll see in time if the shake out helps or hurt his photog instructing business.

    • Katie said
      >>Because really, Jesh should’ve hired a business consultant and also someone who has experience in PR to run everything by them FIRST.<<

      I'm available for that for $16,001.00

  28. i also have this question about his site – he credits the musicians but did he get permission and/or PAY for the rights to use those songs?

    • i’d just like to speak to – & clarify – the small point in question of jesh having rights to the music on his site . jesh is a dear friend of mine and a handful of years ago he asked me personally to use ‘gravel lines’ on his website i was entirely honored and told him absolutely yes .

      all my best to each of you …

  29. I am not an artist by training. My background is in Accounting and Finance and, in that line of work, you quickly see what people will do when it comes to money (either their own, their budgets, etc.). You see the real side of people, good or bad and you get so much BS thrown at you that you can pretty much sum people up quickly and know if your’e getting the truth from a sincere individual or a sales pitch by someone with ulterior motives. In other words, my BS meter isn’t 100%, but it’s pretty damn good.

    The reason most people were upset is very simple: Jesh de Rox’s $16.5K is a ridiculously high price for a one-day seminar with someone who looked and sounded like he was stoned. He cried a few times during the webcast. I’m supposed to look at him as a leader? In my opinion (and this is just an opinion), this is a scam. I could go to nine Cliff Mautner four-day bootcamps for $16.5K. That’s 36 days of learning with a great pro. Heck, I could probably prepay my 5 year-old daughter’s wedding and hire Carlos Baez today for something 20 years in the future. I’m going to compare that to a one-day seminar talking about emotions and feelings with a modern-day hippie?

    Ron, I understand you have to play it down the middle because if you choose sides in this industry people won’t do business with you and God knows that I’ve seen photographers climb down from Mount Olympus to the newbie level to chase after dollars in the past three years. But you miss the point about Zack Arias: He stuck his professional neck out last night because he believes in something. And that is what this industry needs. People who put their name on something, stand for something. Not this “Being and Becoming” junk from Newport Beach or this “Freedom” stuff from Santa Barbara.

    Thank God Zack spoke his mind. Somebody in the industry had to.

    Regards,

    Ray Carcases

    • Hey Ray,

      Thanks for your passionate comment. I didn’t miss Zack’s point at all. In fact, I didn’t comment one way or another about Zack’s commentary or tweets. I just restated what others were saying with regards to Zack’s statement, and I defended Zack. No one more than I knows about Zack’s level of generosity and commitment.

      In short, this was either a brilliant marketing move by Jesh, or a really bad judgment call to advertise that package.

      • I saw Jesh speak at WPPI. He put the words to where I want my images to go, to what is in my heart and what I want to do with my bussenis. I don’t know if inspired is the right word for what I felt when I left- I felt like what I was searching for was validated, attainable and very real. I wasn’t able to participate last night unfortunately, but I am so appreciative of his work, passion and heart and I cannot wait to learn more from him!

  30. $16,500 is an extremely ridiculous price tag to me… However, I can’t imagine a photographer paying that either. It seems to me it’s more of a I’m-a-celebrity-and-want-to-experience-something-most-people-can’t-afford thing… Kind of like the Hermes bag. Really, does that make the Louis bag crap? Hello, no. But it’s a badge of either fame or fortune to have an Hermes bag, much like this one on one with Jesh thing would be. Normal people can’t afford to rent a private island, but if they can, hmmmm, why not? Normal people can’t afford to charter a private luxury jet to go on family vacation, or own a bentley, or (fill in the blank)… These very same people think, gosh, you know what would be cool??? To pay ridiculous amounts of money to hang out Jesh De Rox, of course!!!! If no one else can afford it, then I must have it!!!! :) All that, and he’s just created about a million conversations about himself… Genius business move.

  31. In true Ron Dawson form, you gave clear insights to those of us who weren’t paying attention. I appreciate being caught up from your incredibly biased (toward both sides) perspective. ;) Seriously man, I think what I love about YOU is the level-headed laying out of both sides of these arguments. I can tell you have a lot of love for everyone involved.

    You’re a class act Ron. Thanks for posting.

    • Wow. Thanks Andy. I care about this industry and it does kind of feel like family fighting when you see people of this caliber in any industry going at it.

      However, knowing Zack, I’m pretty sure he was on the phone with Jesh today. It will be interesting to see HIS blog about the situation. (The new http://zackarias.com/blog)

  32. I don’t know Jesh de Rox but I know a bunch of the other photogs who tweeted a few hours before the seminar. So I signed up and watched.
    I liked the idea of using Beloved/ Love/ Passion etc within our field of photography.
    What no one told me about beforehand was that this was going to be a marketing spiel to sell some stuff.
    Tying up those beautiful words to a pretty shoddy marketing campaign sucked to say the least.
    Asking $16k for 8 hours was bizzare, rude and immoral.
    You can keep your Jesh de Rox.

  33. Fantastic article – well said, well balanced, well done.

  34. It’s my opinion that anyone can charge whatever they want and it’s up to the market to decide whether or not if the product or services have value as perceived by the consumer.

    This does seem to be a very high price but if someone pays that price is it still too high?

    What about photographers that charge 15K plus to shoot a wedding? Some would say that is too high with the digital format. With film, you have to be dead on everytime. The amount you charge for something does not have to be justified because there are many alternatives out there. It’s up for the consumer to educate themselves on whether or not the price has enough value for them to part from their cash.

    I can go to racing school for a few days $10,000.00. Will this make me suddenly go out and win a race? Doubtful. There is an element of craft in alot of what we do and alot is marketing as well. There is no way to stop the proliferation of people entering the market. The threat of new entrants is very high but there is also an expectation to perform. I don’t think that Jesh charging what he is charging is going to change much of anything other than the bank account of the person that chooses the one on one consult.

    I have met Zach and love what he stands for but I also like Jesh and his approach as well. These are 2 people who are passionate about photography and the arts.

  35. Inspirational, but certainly not compelling.

    Was it just me or did anyone else notice that Jesh never gave us even a hint of what his “Experiential” techniques are…not even a tease. His program did contain some inspirational quotes by great authors, but not an ounce of content that would compel me to invest $250…no less $16K!

    I’m with you, Ron. There are much better image makers (even some “Rockstars”) that are sharing their knowledge & inspiration free, or at a reasonable cost. Why anyone would fork over their hard-earned dollars to invest in Jesh’s mystery program is beyond me.

  36. Interesting post. Glad that you presented what you feel are both sides of the story. I 100% agree with Zack. I read all of his tweets and ones to him, agreeing with him and disagreeing.

    I have a distaste for personality culture in general, so that bias will impact how I view micro-celebrity within professional industries such as photography. I understand that a culture of reality TV, personal brand and social media makes the creation of micro-celebrities easy and probably even liked but it is not one that I personally enjoy. The culture of micro-celebrity (not “real” celeb folks in Hollywood) within professional industries is odd, reminiscent of HS and immature. I genuinely hope it ends, but I know it won’t.

    I do think the price tag that this photographer offered is ridiculous. I am entitled to that view and not a “troll” because I think so (some of the micro-celebrities in the industry called any photographer that disagrees with the rate a “troll”). I do not wish the guy harm and it is simply an opinion. I do think that some workshops are often exploitive in price and do not have the ROI that matches the price. Why I say this is because I talked to a big name photographer and asked him about Rox’s workshop. I asked how did it improve his business and what did he learn. After he bragged about the workshop via DM, I felt that my questions were justified. He was active in the conversation until that DM. He NEVER answered. It inspired me to write a post titled “5 Questions I’ll Ask Before Taking A Workshop.”

    The problem is at the end of the day, photography is a business, whether the client is another photographer or a real client wanting services and products. If a photographer genuinely believes that the workshops priced this way will improve their business, so be it I guess. I know some are not doing Rox’s workshop for business improvement, but for the way it makes them “feel” and coincidentally those are mainly women photographers. I will admit that this bothers me, I guess my inner feminist is annoyed, but again, we are all adults with choices.

    Adults can’t get mad when other adults decide to spend their money lavishly on gear or workshops. Do I like the idea of the industry going in a clique-oriented direction with high prices, name-dropping and and attacks against anyone who dissents? No. But it is what it is.

    Honestly, lately I am less interested in “community” (because it is utterly ridiculous to expect professionals in one area to ALL like each other ALL of the time, and no other industry, community, or even a basic family has this experience—its psychologically ridiculous to expect it) and more interested in a few positive relationships with a few peers, clients and people who may like my work. I…don’t attend conventions, join groups or do anything within the subculture of photography now. I am more interested in photography as an art form to express visually and in words.

    Again, your post is good, my views align more with Zack’s than Rox’s and basically…it is what it is.

  37. Bravo to Jesh for believing he has something valuable to offer. Shame on Jesh for letting that balloon into gross arrogance. Yes, it’s his business and yes he can charge what he sees fit. But that doesn’t make it right (unless it was an auction and the money was for a charity). I’m not worried about it and will likely not give it another thought because he has no affect on me or my business. But I will definitely be one to stand up and say that it’s just sad. And I hope that one day if people out there are willing to pay $20k to hang out with me for a day that I NEVER take advantage of that.

  38. I watched the webinar, and it came off hinky. He doesn’t show any images, speaks in buzzwords, doesn’t define his concept in the least, but you have to pay $250 for a book to find out what he’s talking about or $500 to join the next seminar? Did he get his business plan from the Tootsi Frootsi ice cream scene in the Marx Brothers movie A Day At The Races? I’m sorry, but it’s offensive that photogs like him who have priced themselves out of the market are turning to selling snake oil seminars to their fellow shooters to make up the shortfall, and the most dishonest thing about it is that they inevitably bill it as “giving back to the community”. I say we invest the $16,500 in some tar & feathers.

  39. Rocky Thompson March 24, 2011 at 4:14 pm

    Honestly, I can not see what the hype regarding Jesh is all about. I’ve tried to stomach his WPPI classes and had to leave both times, bored out of my skull. So there’s that. And I feel like his images are slightly above average, but nothing that will knock your socks off. (I do tend to side with Zack on this. Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should).

    So I don’t have any criticism toward Jesh or Zack in this matter. I only would want to say that anyone who would spend that kind of money has got some serious problems and perhaps it is those people who deserve our concern and perhaps, medical attention. Where have they gone so far off the rails that spending $16,000 for one day seems like it’s is a good value or worthwhile?

  40. I think the thing that disturbs me most is that Jesh defenders come off as extremely cult-like, and I don’t use that term loosely. It’s called the cult of personality. When you strip away the offerings, the emperor really has no clothes. He’s a good photographer, that’s it. He’s not offering anything more than many other similar seminars.

  41. I think if Jesh were donating the proceeds of his fee to a great cause, like the earthquake and tsunami victims in Japan or art programs in public schools, everyone would have more respect for him. But the fact that he’s charging $16,500 and KEEPING it all for himself is just bad karma. He’ll get his fee in the end I’m sure, but since the buzz going around about this guy going is mostly negative, this will end up hurting him. Spread the wealth of knowledge Jesh, if you are so passionate about what you teach, why charge so much (or anything) for it? Don’t be so damn greedy and for God’s sake stop starting every tweet, blog entry or email with “dear amazing photographer” or “dear friend” or “friend,” when you know you’re being totally insincere.

  42. The least interesting thing about JESH? His Photography. Nuff said.

  43. Stone Temple Photo March 24, 2011 at 7:28 pm

    All this only substantiates the very reason we quit the DWF. When the “rockstar” phenom hit, it made me sick to my stomach. I was drawn into Beloved thru a tweet by Dane Sanders. Sure, I remembered Jesh from when he was a pup on DWF, but had no idea he was about to pimp a 16.5K seminar. He all but had me hooked until the monetary aspect of it came up. All that passion…is all about money. He lost me right then.

    We’re finding great success in a reversion back to straight photography. No gimmicky processing…just nice photos, good service, files included. Who cares about the Joneses!

  44. I totally get it. If I am being honest, I had never even heard of Jesh until a few days ago. So I tuned into the webinar to learn more about what Beloved really is. I was disappointed that I did not learn more detail about how it works, or examples. But I hate that he is getting publicly bashed. That is so not cool! And he never even mentioned the $16,000 one on one, did he? It sounded to me like he was pushing the field guide and the webinars. I think people just saw what they wanted to see and never took off their blinders. Twitter blew up with attacks in both directions. And the class act thing to do would have been to just walk away if you weren’t interested. Just because we do not agree with someone or their tactics, does not give us the right to judge or publicly humiliate them. I am personally ashamed at some of the names that I saw tweeting nasty things, or underhanded remarks. Not cool. Just not cool.

  45. I wish photographers would spend 1/10th the energy they do attacking each other on Twitter on improving their craft instead.

  46. Katie
    “I’m really bummed by how all of this turned out. Last year at WPPI, I left Jesh’s platform TRANSFORMED. I was just SO inspired by him and what his vision was. This year at WPPI (which is where the pricing sheet got handed out, thus I’m surprised this hubbub didn’t start then), the whole presentation sounded like a multi level marketing ploy (pyramid scheme). I think the collective is an AMAZING idea, and really the cost of it is quite reasonable for what you get. But, I wish someone would’ve sat down with Jesh and gone over HOW the material was presented. And also, why didn’t one of his close friends/inner circle tell him that his one on one cost seems exorbitant and could diminish his credibility? Like why didn’t someone say “hey, Jesh, your one on one cost is 2.5 times the cost of a REALLY high end lawyer from Newport Coast, don’t you need to rethink that a bit??” I ultimately I still believe in his vision, but I can’t fault Zach Arias for calling out the pricetag. SOMEONE needed to do it. Because really, Jesh should’ve hired a business consultant and also someone who has experience in PR to run everything by them FIRST.”

    Yeah, you’re right there wasn’t a test market done for this. It probably could of used one as the message I believe Jesh intended to send didn’t get through to the audience. Very sad.

    Andy Owen
    “In true Ron Dawson form, you gave clear insights to those of us who weren’t paying attention. I appreciate being caught up from your incredibly biased (toward both sides) perspective. Seriously man, I think what I love about YOU is the level-headed laying out of both sides of these arguments. I can tell you have a lot of love for everyone involved.
    You’re a class act Ron. Thanks for posting.”

    I couldn’t agree more. And as someone else mentioned, Ron turned this into an actual discussion. Thank you, Ron!

    PhotoDude
    “Was it just me or did anyone else notice that Jesh never gave us even a hint of what his ‘Experiential’ techniques are…not even a tease. His program did contain some inspirational quotes by great authors, but not an ounce of content that would compel me to invest $250…no less $16K!”

    It is a shame Jesh didn’t share more of this, because it is extraordinary. You’ll definitely want to ask someone who attended his session at WPPI because it’s no secret. It’s just hard to explain without “seeing” it (read more below).

    Danielle
    “Bravo to Jesh for believing he has something valuable to offer. Shame on Jesh for letting that balloon into gross arrogance.”

    It’s one thing to say the he isn’t worth the money, but it’s another to say he’s arrogant. I think that’s a huge assumption; one I would believe quite unfounded.

    Ian Lozada
    “I watched the webinar, and it came off hinky. He doesn’t show any images, speaks in buzzwords, doesn’t define his concept in the least, but you have to pay $250 for a book to find out what he’s talking about or $500 to join the next seminar? Did he get his business plan from the Tootsi Frootsi ice cream scene in the Marx Brothers movie A Day At The Races? I’m sorry, but it’s offensive that photogs like him who have priced themselves out of the market are turning to selling snake oil seminars to their fellow shooters to make up the shortfall, and the most dishonest thing about it is that they inevitably bill it as ‘giving back to the community’. I say we invest the $16,500 in some tar & feathers.”

    Ian, ask somebody who went to WPPI and heard him speak there. I’m sure they’ll be able to tell you more of what Beloved is than what was sure on the webinar. That is a huge part of the conversation that preceded all of this. Who knows why Jesh missed this gross oversight? Maybe that’s the stuff he didn’t get to (he admittedly only got through ½ of what he wanted to share) or he simply overlooked that. This would make him guilty of being a poor communicator. But that’s a far cry from selling snake oil and calling for him to be tar and feathered.

    Rocky Thompson
    “Honestly, I can not see what the hype regarding Jesh is all about. I’ve tried to stomach his WPPI classes and had to leave both times, bored out of my skull. So there’s that.”

    This is an honest and helpful comment, Rocky. I completely agree with you that what he does surely isn’t for everyone. And obliviously no one has to pay $16k for a 1on1 if they don’t want to. That’s the beauty of this whole mess. But isn’t a line crossed when we call people names simply because they don’t value they same things we do or see the world as we do?

    Mark Olwick
    “I think the thing that disturbs me most is that Jesh defenders come off as extremely cult-like, and I don’t use that term loosely. It’s called the cult of personality. When you strip away the offerings, the emperor really has no clothes. He’s a good photographer, that’s it. He’s not offering anything more than many other similar seminars.”

    Great point. I can see that fans of Jesh can come off as “extremely cult-like” and how all that can create some distrust. Your story of the emperor is a great point because it’s a parable of perspective, which is exactly what Jesh is about—shifting perspectives no doubt. When cast in a negative light however, it’s not easy to see what Jesh does that is so amazing. So I’ll do my best to explain…What’s amazing about Jesh in person is his ability to cut through the BS and get to what’s truly most important in one’s life. He can navigate complex interpersonal issues people might have been wrestling with for years, he uncovers parts of people they’ve buried deep inside themselves for so long they thought that part of them was dead, and he has a gift to help them get in touch with a deep sense of joy. And all of this is extremely individual because each person is so unique it’s hard to communicate unless it’s just you’re the one he’s sharing this experience with and it’s an honest dialogue with questions exchanged. That’s how real communication is exchanged – it’s two way, not one way like the webinar and why I think it feels so incomplete.

    Jonathan Moore
    “I think if Jesh were donating the proceeds of his fee to a great cause, like the earthquake and tsunami victims in Japan or art programs in public schools, everyone would have more respect for him. But the fact that he’s charging $16,500 and KEEPING it all for himself is just bad karma. He’ll get his fee in the end I’m sure, but since the buzz going around about this guy going is mostly negative, this will end up hurting him. Spread the wealth of knowledge Jesh, if you are so passionate about what you teach, why charge so much (or anything) for it? Don’t be so damn greedy and for God’s sake stop starting every tweet, blog entry or email with “dear amazing photographer” or “dear friend” or “friend,” when you know you’re being totally insincere.”

    I can understand why it might appear as if Jesh is insincere because so few people actually talk like that and mean it. But it would be a shame to misjudge him there, his sincerity is the last thing I would ever question.

    Wendy
    “And he never even mentioned the $16,000 one on one, did he? It sounded to me like he was pushing the field guide and the webinars. I think people just saw what they wanted to see and never took off their blinders. Twitter blew up with attacks in both directions. And the class act thing to do would have been to just walk away if you weren’t interested. Just because we do not agree with someone or their tactics, does not give us the right to judge or publicly humiliate them.”

    Thank you so much for bringing this up. It’s sad that what got the most attention wasn’t remotely close to what Jesh talked about.

    scottbourne
    “I wish photographers would spend 1/10th the energy they do attacking each other on Twitter on improving their craft instead.”

    Brilliant.

    • Kameron,

      It was never my intention to judge him because of the way he talks. A lot about what Jesh says about establishing a line of communication and being focused with the subject is dead on. If Jesh did NOT mention anything about “$16,500 for a one on one,” (as Wendy points out) then why does this blog post even exist? Did someone just make this up?

      Regardless of whether or not all this is true, there is absolutely no justification for ANY photographer to charge that kind of money and then keep it. No one should have to pay for a one on one “exclusive” session with any photographer, it’s just not right. There are several photographers who I’ve admired for years and those guys are there for me if I need advice on anything. They are willing to spend time with me because I’ve established a relationship with them, not because I pay them. Emerging photographers shouldn’t have to pay for “trade secrets” that they should be discovering on their own, and photographers who are successful should willingly help photographers who need it!

      Enough of this! Let’s all go make some nice pictures!

      • The one on one session was listed at the very bottom of a page on a website. It was not the topic of the webinar last night. But unfortunately that is all that many people saw, and when they saw it that is all they could focus on… and decided to cause a riot. I just think that if people do not like someone or something, they should just walk away… but walk away quietly. We are supposed to be professionals. Nobody in their right mind is going to pay him or anyone else $16,000 for a one on one. But does that mean we have to run him into the ground simply because it is an option that he chooses to offer? There are many people that I do not like because of something they have done in the industry. But I would never in a million years call them out in a public forum. That is just being a coward.

  47. Last comment was good I think alot of people, spend most of their time on blogs, twitter, flickr you name it commenting, instead of going out and taking a good picture.

    For 16k I could go to alot of the National Geographic photo seminars, I could take probably 3 African safaris, or buy a Nikon D3, good 500mm fixed lens,light weight carbon fiber tripod, and other camera accesories.

    I guess for now I will have to stick with my Nikon D50, D90, Iphone 4, Manfrotto tripod and my willingness to get out their and take some pics.

    Good Luck and now get out there and get clicking.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/hewlbbac/

  48. Wendy,

    Good point, but I do think there are more photographers struggling than succeeding at the moment, and most people are just venting out their frustrations. Is it necessary to intentionally humiliate the guy? No, of course not, because I really truly don’t think Jesh intended on causing such a ruckus. I do hope that Jesh, and everyone who is criticizing him, will learn something from all this.

  49. @nousefor — Yes. The musician/songwriter on his site, Amy Seeley, is also a friend of his. It’s a fair question you asked, because I am a huge advocate for obtaining the legal rights and permissions to music.

    I wrote a novel… but I decided not to post it.
    In short… I’m disgusted with many people in the photography community right now. Really seeing the ugly side of people. It’s amazing the conclusions people jump to, and the judgments.. and the lies.

    I want to encourage everyone to tune in today, to get the other half of what Jesh would have liked to explain more about:

    Friday (March 25th) 10:00 am ET (EASTERN).

    http://www.livestream.com/belovedcollective

    Password is: beloved

  50. Ron,

    First of all, thank you for your blog posts. They always keep me entertained, up to date and informed. :-)

    Now, while I’m usually just a reader (never like to make comments) this time I have to. Because I was one of the people up at 9pm waiting for the “next best thing” that’s going to give me that competitive edge.

    What did I get out of the webinar? 70 minutes of my life that I can’t get back.

    Here’s the summary:
    60 minutes of Blah, Blah, Blah…how successful his life has been and how even with all that success and money, his life was not “complete”…with several moments of “holding back his tears”.
    5 minutes of why he feels I just HAVE TO get on board with this movement.
    5 minutes of me yelling at my PC, saying WTF?!? How much? For what? Did I miss it? Where’s the rewind button on this thing? I didn’t see anything!
    He didn’t even show any samples, explain anything in any kind of detail. Just lots of generalization. I felt like I was on a webinar for the buy-in on the next new “tablet” that’s going to “kill the ipad”…only, “we can’t show it to you yet.” You have to pay to be in the loop. While I consider myself a spiritual man, for all other things, I prefer to be led by fact rather than faith.

    Establishing a dialog and a relationship with the client during a session and getting them to interact with each other for some less “posey” images…isn’t that what every photographer does already? If not, then they should be. Nothing new, it’s been happening for years! Ask any of the very successful photographers out there.

    My problem wasn’t the crazy price tag, which I just laughed off…who cares what he wants to charge? I’m certainly not going to bite! If I had $16,500, I certainly wouldn’t spend it on a 1 day meetup. I’d make that part of my marketing budget. It’s up to his followers to decide if they think he is worth it. I personally don’t think so…but I’m not a follower.

    My problem with the whole thing was, that as busy as I am, I wasted this time waiting for something that never came…only to be told about a website and a buy-in. Come on…throw us a bone at least!

    Lastly, while that was my first impression with Jesh (I had not heard of him before), it was indeed a lasting one. I can’t say that I’ll ever want to hear or watch any of his future “great ideas” because I can’t afford the “wasted time”.

    For me, the whole experience was just lacking something to “be loved”.

    • Ed my friend. You are something else. :)

      Your point is actually quite interesting. Of all things to get worked up about, that does seem more substantive. But the truth is, most of the firestorm was about what people read on Twitter about the 1on1. They didn’t actually sit through it. I would be very curious to know what percentage of the people who watched it felt fulfilled. Before the end, his #belovedcollective hashtag was trending, and a LOT of people were tweeting his quotes.

      Thanks for reading (and sharing) my friend. I’d love to read more of your comments on future blog posts. :)

  51. This has been the greatest publicity stunt ever! This guy was unknown a few days ago and now we’re all talking about him. I doubt he will get $16,500 for a day, but I’m sure he got 16500 new followers and 16500 people talking about him. Part of me is disgusted I’m giving any attention to the matter, but part me admires him for creating a huge buzz.

  52. I watched the live seminar today, I also followed some of zack’s tweets and a few others..

    My take on it..

    Two years ago I went to a seminar with Yervant and Joe Buissink for 199 dollars

    Monday I’m going to listen to Jerry Ghionis for I think I paid 49 dollars

    These are three TOP names in our industry… I don’t even know who this Jesh person is, I do know he was in Jerry’s recent wedding.. does that make him somebody now? Just because you’re friends with a David Jay or a Jerry Ghionis, does not make you a good anything but, maybe a friend. These men Jerry, Joe, Yervant have made a name for themselves by being amazing at what they do.

    Jesh needs to prove how amazing he can be, like I said.. WPPI has a lot of platform speakers we’ve never heard of, but it still does not cut the 20K price tag.

    I personally am tired of the run by night rock star raised up over a recent article in rangefinder or a platform class and all of a sudden, they are the leading format on anything that I do. It’s really rather insulting.

    I know I did not put Zack in that top 3 placement but you know, I’ve followed him and sincerity of his heart is for this industry and the people in it. I believe he felt he needed to defend and protect and I’m glad he did. I didn’t see too many other people out there commenting… I’ve met him and his wife in NYC at a PDN party and they are good people and they are real, not trying to be who they are not and I for one appreciate that.

    There’s not even a logical argument for that, I don’t care what intellectual information he is handing out.

  53. Ron thank you so much for this post! I agree with some of what you say here. From my own experience after watching the first live stream, he had me at “hello”, then I drifted! WHY? Nothing personal but if you watch it for yourself, you will see that the actual “collective” was never clear. What was clear were the costs for the series. I actually thing the lower end webinars are a GREAT value, but he NEVER for once said what exactly one will receive.

    I also feel that the stream was limited in time, and he could have skipped out on his own feeling about what he offers, and the tons of quotes, and perhaps should have focused on what it can do for us, our businesses and our clients. Again he did not go into specifics about what the program entails.

    It’s not fair to be so harsh you are right, but understandably, we are all very passionate people. If Jesh cleared things up today, I am not sure because I didn’t watch, then hopefully that alone would have helped. If I had more info, and it was right for me, I feel the 5 week seminar is a good value for the money. For now, I have no idea what the Collective is all about.

    I love Jesh’s work, his passion, and his desire to help photographers get to a certain level in their business. I may or may not look further into this because I am currently working ON my business with other techniques and business strategies I learned from a week-long seminar with another well-known photographer in the industry. But I wish Jesh well, I am sure I will meet him one day and I look forward to being inspired by him at WPPI 2012.

  54. ok, so i’m a little late on this. i didn’t follow the firestorm that followed Jesh’s first webinar-thing-ee. i did sit through his first and second one, but even at the end of the first i just looked at the price, saw it was not even close to what i would ever spend given so many other great resources are so much cheaper, and moved on.

    i think it is not worth the time attacking character or presuming any one person knows more about the industry than the other. yay for Jesh for having a fire within and if what he is doing ignites fire in other photographers then good for him. he isn’t hurting anyone along the way. in fact, it seems that it really could only help.

    so if you aren’t the hippy, lover type then ignore him, for goodness sake.

    besides that, as he pointed out in his second showing, it wasn’t a one day consultation he was offering. it was a business overhaul, guaranteed or money back, from someone who knew how to run a successful photography business (if 350K a year is what you consider successful).

    who am i to say what Jesh’s, yours, or anyone else’s time is worth. if you want to pay him 30K, that’s not my business.

    i was so put off by the negativity surrounding this whole ordeal. i did not go to school to learn photography and i have slowly been learning over the years. but i haven’t gone out and undersold the industry by pricing weddings cheap just to get the job. i try to keep it real and not portray myself as someone i’m not. i know i have SO much to learn and if i can use the “field journal” to improve my people skills and drawing out more honest, rather than staged, emotion then it is worth a couple hundred dollars to me.

    i guess i’ll stick with the becker, dane sanders, j*’s of the photo world and just try to be real and keep learning. i don’t want to focus any more of my valuable time on bashing someone else and i am sad that it turned so ugly…

    just my little opinion as i stumbled upon this blog today after reading the letter to the Muse ;-) but i am a no one in the photo world and i guess i kinda like it that way.

  55. hate to burst your bubble but good press credentials, great glass and post processing software…does not equal magical.

    • Ron, I agree with you assertion that it seems he targeted the wrong crowd with his sales pitch. I am sure there are people who would gladly pay that money in order to study with him for a day. On the other hand, if one has $16,500 to pay for a one day service, is noting that it is being discounted 17.5% from the original price, or $3,500 really going to seal the deal? This is an elastic service that he is offering and once the price gets as high as $16,500 I think sales, or even bargains start to become a moot point. I think his pitch was poorly conceived all the way around.

  56. I got caught in the middle of the action on Twitter, getting retweeted by Zack a few times. A lot of heat. But I gained 30 followers out of the ordeal. hah!

  57. Has anyone actually taken part in his course? From what images I have seen on his site and in his promo video I am not to impressed. I do think he is trying to make more “real” images in his approach rather than staged/posed shots I see, and I like this. I think I will save my money and work locally on my craft… I am open to hear from those who have studied with him.

  58. Of course he’s free to charge what he wants. But we’re also free to laugh really hard at how absurd of a notion it is to come up with that idea. Just because there are those that would like to point out the emperor is wearing no clothes doesn’t mean they are Jesh haters. It’s just means they have common sense.

  59. Yikes, $16,500 a day? I thought Heidi Fleiss was expensive!

    Tampa Photographer

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