Getting RAW – What Frustrates You About the Photog Biz?

Last week this video premiered on Pictage’s new PhotoLife site. This was one of the films we shot for the opening keynote address at PartnerCon 2010. In it five photogs share their frustrations about the photography industry. The video stars Evie Perez, Eliud Matos, Michelle Standerfer, Katrina Wheeler, and Shari Zellers. They were all willing and brave enough to get very open about their feelings.

The theme for PartnerCon this year was “Where y’at?” CEO Jim Collins wanted to explore this theme in his opening keynote. We’re all at different stages in our career and in life, and the film series was meant to show a variety of folks at these different stages. This particular video was inspired by a “girls only” sleep over my wife Tasra hosted for a group of local photographers. During that time, they shared various frustrations they were having about making it in this business. I knew if they could share their feelings on film, it would be a perfect addition to the film series. Many thanks to Katrina Wheeler for helping me round up some of the participants for this video. And thanks to all of them for their openness and honesty.

RAW from Ron Dawson on Vimeo.


  • Two weeks ago the Joe Buissink film “Mirrors & Shoes” premiered on PhotoLife. If you recall, there was a visual reference to the photographers in THIS video. That’s because as created for Jim’s PartnerCon keynote, “RAW” came first. Joe’s video was meant to be a follow up. Go back and watch Joe’s again now having seen “RAW.” The comments he makes in it are a little more poignant in context of the “RAW” video playing first.
  • Shari was afraid of the response she’d get from other photographers given what she shares in the video. She didn’t have to be. Everyone was extremely appreciative of her candor and honesty.
  • I got the titles to move behind the people by keying out the CYC background. That left a black background for each person. I then replaced it a white matte on video layer 1. The text is on video layer 2, and the keyed out people on layer 3.
  • The long blog post I scroll through towards the end of the video is Zack Arias’ blog post “Cheap Photographers Only Kill Themselves.” As of the time I edited the video, there were about 247 comments.

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