The Future of Fstoppers.com

Patrick and I created Fstoppers.com about eight years ago and it's been a wild ride. We never planned any of this, we simply tried to steer this ship that seemed to be moving on its own.

Fstoppers' entire existence has been a bit of an experiment for us. We usually come up with some sort of idea; whether it be a blog post, a video, or a full-length photography tutorial. We create it, we share it, and then we examine your response. It's pretty clear which of our projects are successful and which are duds based on clicks, views, and comments alone. And they don't even have to be positive comments. Sometimes the easiest way to gauge success is by counting negative comments (so we even appreciate the trolls). 

In 2017 Patrick and I created more free and paid content than ever before, but it still felt like we were neglecting our website and our YouTube channel because we could have posted more. We've hired an incredible team of photographers/writers from around the world who bring you guys quality content every single day and it's been easy to post less knowing that the site has been in such good hands. Our hope for 2018 is to be more involved.

In a perfect world, all of our content would be free and we would get so much traffic that we could make enough money with advertising alone. Sadly this isn't the case. Fstoppers.com the website doesn't make much money after expenses and YouTube may only pay us a few hundred dollars for a video that took a team of us a week to produce. 

The full-length photography tutorials in the Fstoppers Store are the only reason Fstoppers is what it is today. For those of you who have purchased one from us, thank you. You guys have made Fstoppers a success and have allowed us to create so much other free content. That being said, I would love to produce even more free content but to make this financially viable, we need more traffic to these posts and videos. 

30 Videos in 30 Days

Starting tomorrow, January 1, 2018, we are going to release a new video and post on Fstoppers.com every single day for 30 days straight. We want to know what will happen if we work our asses off to bring you entertaining and informative free content every day for a month. Will Fstoppers.com gain exponentially more traffic? Will our YouTube channel gain exponentially more subscribers? Will anyone even notice? 

As always, this is just another experiment for us. I'm not sure what's going to happen but, even if it's not a massive success, we're going to have a great time trying to pull it off and we hope you join us. This should be fun.

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60 Comments

Gabrielle Colton's picture

Ohhh yeah can't wait to see what happens!

Tom Maggio's picture

Can't wait to see the D850 review.

Adam Ottke's picture

Coming VERY VERY soon!!!! ;-)

Russell Bronson's picture

Lee, you and Patrick are awesome! Thank you for everything you have done so far. As a relative neophyte in the photography world your site has been a huge asset. Looking forward to.the new experiment and will help promote as much as possible!!! Happy New Years, here's to a prosperous 2018!!! #eliarocks

Thanks for the kind words. Hope you enjoy the free content.

Russell Bronson's picture

I do. I am also a paying consumer, and frankly, can't wait to be able to do more to support you guys. (Didn't want to make the original comment about me though)

Josh Leavitt's picture

Keep up the good work Fstoppers Team. This site is top-notch, and I think I speak for all members and visitors when I say - we greatly appreciate this platform as a valuable resource to our photography. Best regards, and happy new year!

Tomash Masojc's picture

Happy New Year! :))))

I usually don't watch videos. I'm looking for written articles. How can I be a paid subscriber?

Me too. Videos are very low bandwidth for me. I read quite fast and I like to follow links. Video takes too long and links are a PITA. I value Fstoppers and am willing to have a paid subscription.

All the best to you, Patrick and all the wonderful people that make Fstoppers a great resource and community! Happy new year gang!

Michael Comeau's picture

My two cents: Fstoppers' original content is very often top-shelf - like the iPhone photo shoot, the blind camera comparison, the gun portraits. I want more of that stuff.

Mark Niebauer's picture

Strive for more honesty. It is the creed of artists.

Patrick Hall's picture

You will like tomorrow's video...it's as honest of a review as it gets while still being fun to watch (I hope)

J Maloney's picture

Love your website and pretty much like the content. I can appreciate the hard work put into it on a daily basis. As a working pro I would like to see more "money making" info like PDN used to do back in the day. This gear ain't cheap. I also don't care about gear reviews as there are way too many other sites who do a good job of that ie: DP Review. I already know how to make a great photo and light things and people so rarely need tutorials. I just want to stay current on getting new clients, estimating jobs and the like. For that I would gladly pay for a subscription. That may put me in the minority of your viewership so I'll understand if you don't pursue this advice. Just my two cents. Keep up the good work. JM

Subscribed on YouTube. But if day 1 is something about a drone, I'm unsub'ing... kidding! maybe...

I have been following your site for some time. Truly appreciate the work and the information you make available. The images are awesome to look through and see what others are doing. Truly inspiration. I, for one, would be more than willing to pay for access to the volume of high-quality material. i know other sites have a small annual subscription fee.

Dan Crowther's picture

I rarely watch any videos. No matter how well done they are it's quicker to read an article than to watch and listen to all the intro, chit-chat, and banter that's usually part of a video. With an article, if the author gets too long winded I can skim for the key parts. Scrubbing through video, not so much.

Additionally, unless I specifically use ear-buds, watching a video means I'm automatically sharing my the audio with everyone nearby; no thanks.

Keep making those awesome articles instead!

Love the site.... you two do a great job. Happy New Year, I wish you the best year ever

Jon Miller's picture

Hey guys can you shine some light on something someone (sales person at a camera shop) said to me recently. I was looking at upgrading from my Canon 5D MKII to a Canon 1DX Mark II and the first thing I was told is that my lenses which is the 24-105mm f/4L and 70-200mm f/2.8L and others will not yield a great result, he basically stated if I go that route I'll need to update all my lenses. So he pointed out the Nikon D850 and the lenses for it stating they were better , etc, etc. My question is upgrading to Canon 1DX Mark II is there truth regarding the lens. I do like the features I see in the D850, this would mean switching from Canon to Nikon which would be a huge expense, since I use the 24-70mm, 24-105mm, 70-200mm, 100mm, 100mm macro, 85mm in my work 90% of the time.

Patrick Hall's picture

I have no idea why that would be true but I don't spend as much time behind Canon's line as I do Nikons. Tomorrow's first video is about the D850 but I don't think it will answer that question. I'd get the camera you want and rent some lenses and see if you can tell a big difference.

I call BS on this. Either he’s making a bigger profit on Nikon gear, or he’s being biased towards them.
The only lens you might see a difference in would be the 24-105. But I have no idea why the other premium glass from Canon you mention would yield poor results.
Go with Canon if you are invested in their lens lineup already!

Jon Miller's picture

My main concern is wil the image become softer as I print large prints on a Epson 7880 printer.

There is a common misconception that with higher megapixel sensors, you MUST upgrade your lenses but actually, higher megapixels means your lenses automatically get upgraded in terms of detail which can be resolved. It's lens-dependent, of course as something like the 50/1.4 gets less of an upgrade than something like the 100L.
In this case, however, the pixel density of the sensor on the 1DX Mark II is actually lower than the 5D Mark II so it's not something you need to worry about.
This is a sales person trying to get you to spend more money. You will not notice any decrease in performance and may even notice an increase in focusing speed and accuracy with your current lenses by upgrading your camera.
That said, upgrading some of your lenses could yield additional benefits (focus speed, accuracy, sharpness, etc) but you will NOT notice degraded performance if you upgrade the camera.

The bottom line is if this guy gets you to jump ship he will be making a helluva lot of commission on a camera and a large number of lenses. Ask his store manager if he can confirm that with their Canon rep.... and see if he's willing to lose the ability to sell Canon.

I am a D850 user and went with Tamron for lenses: 15-30, 24-70 G2, 70-200 G2 and 45 f/1.8. All are equal or better than the Nikon equivalents when it comes to image quality.

Jon Miller's picture

Interesting as he did state that the Sigma Art lenses are better than the Nikon lenses.

Thank you very much for everything in 2017. Great information and entertainment. I look forward to more work on the website but I am a big fan or the tutorials (I've bought a couple) and I love the BTS so hopefully you won't cut back too much.

You really make a great job, thanks for all!!

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