Crowd-Funded Gear: Photographer Seeks $6,500 for D4s

Stephen Yanni, Orlando  photographer started a GoFundMe campaign on Saturday to raise money to buy a Nikon D4s. Jared Polin of Fro Knows Photo made a YouTube video this evening talking about this unusual move. The video also has phone interview between Jared and the photographer. [Update: Yanni's GoFundMe was removed 03/05/2014].

Yanni explains why he elected to use this "alternative marketing method" citing taking over 100k images a year, requiring an upgrade every two years, and having limited ability to pick up extra events to cover the new gear.

Yanni has set up 6 tiers of rewards as detailed on his GoFundMe:


As written on GoFundMe:

Buying a new camera every two years is an expense that Pro-Photographers have to take on to keep up. (No they don't take any better pictures, but when you take 100,000 images a year they do wear out)

Help us get the latest and greatest and to maintain our edge in the Orlando Market.

We are not asking for a handout, the products listed all have value - (Save maybe our "Gratefulness").

Just last year, The Fro helped Jaleel King, another photographer raise over $9,000 towards purchasing a new wheelchair (as reported here).

While we've seen books, lenses, accessories, even apps (Shootset will be awesome whenever it comes out) funded on crowdsource sites like GoFundMe and KickStarter this campaign is the first to my knowledge to try to get equipment for an individual. As of the time of publication Yanni's GoFundMe is still yet to raise any money.

Where do you stand on Yanni seeking to crowdsource what is, in essence, a business expense?

[Via Fro Knows Photo]

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Previous comments

I'm shocked that people are so outraged by this?? If people CHOOSE to donate, they choose to donate. He is not asking for free money. He gives services in return. There is literally no reason for anyone to hate on him. I'm seeing comments about how "disgusted" people are - I am common. Stop being such drama queens. If you don't want to donate, don't donate.

Logic and reason won't be tolerated on the interwebz. :)

...Buying a Golden Toilet every two years is an expense that Pro-Hipsters have to take on to keep up.

Want our old Golden Crapper? Select this and get the old crapper and an extra roll of TP. This was never used as a primary crapper and has less than 18,000 sh*ts on it.

Ha Ha - You make funny joke! Does that make you feel better about your life? It certainly adds nothing to this conversation.

For me this GoFundMe campaign is the height of entitlement, and was a hugely bad idea by the original photographer.

If you are successful enough to be burning out your Nikons from use, then you must be able to afford replacements, or maybe it's time to rethink the strategy of replacing your gear every two years.

And how does one "Afford it" sells service - which is what the "Campaign" did. You are just a troll - Your post is a "Bad Idea"

GoFundMe is a crowd-funding site, and not a place to promote your photography services.

What the original photographer did was SPAM the GoFundMe site.

Actually if you read the TOS at GoFundMe - they call themselves a marketing site. And there are at least 50 other people there raising money for cameras (Search for Nikon). GoFundMe had no issue with it.

"crowd-funding site" you keep using that word, I don't think it means what you think it means.

From the GoFundMe site...

"What can I raise money for?

Most people use GoFundMe to raise money for themselves, a friend or loved one during life's important moments. This includes things like medical expenses,education costs, volunteer programs, youth sports, funerals & memorials - even animals & pets."

I guess we can add: "buying expensive cameras for my successful photography business, that I personally don't want to have to pay for, so let somebody take care of the bill"

Creative Projects

How about creative project or money for your Honeymoon -

Creative Projects

Create your next song, film, book, or painting without going
broke! If you’ve got a great idea, then let people help you make it a
reality and try an online fundraiser with GoFundMe! Unlike some other
online fundraising sites for creative projects, GoFundMe doesn’t force
you to meet your goal by a certain time. Any money that you raise is
yours, instantly. What a great fundraising idea! Learn more about Crowdfunding Creative Projects

Honeymoon Registry

Do you really need more stuff, or is your home already bursting
at the seams? If what you really dream of for your big day is a
fabulous honeymoon, consider creating a Honeymoon Registry with
GoFundMe. You can allow guests to contribute to specific categories
that you create (airfare, your lobster dinner, a wine tasting tour), or
just your trip in general. Learn more about using GoFundMe for your Honeymoon Registry

He's begging for new cameras for his successful business, there's nothing creative about that... It had "Giant A-hole" written all over it.

Nope he is selling services to buy a camera, what every successful business does. You just don't like it.

Then he can do what every other successful photography business does and just pony up your own money for the gear you need, and don't abuse the good will from a respected crowd-funding site.

What I don't like are self-absorbed d-bags that feel entitled enough to beg for money, when they could spend their own hard earned cash on the fancy new gear they want.

The whole thing was a terrible idea right from the start.

Man you really sound stupid now.

There was no begging, a product was offered, and if you bought it, he got the money to spend on whatever he wanted. He wanted a camera.

He ahead and bought it anyway, because he has more money than you.

That makes you pissed that makes you mad I suspect.

GoFundMe is NOT a Promote My Business website, and if you think it is you really have no idea what you are talking about.

No it is an offer something get something site like all crowd-funding sites. Which is what I said.

Again no different then the other 50+ Nikon funding pages on goFundMe including may others for business.

Again you are the one that has no idea what you are talking about.

Funding is the act of providing resources, usually in form of money (financing), or other values such as effort or time (sweat equity), for a project, a person, a business, or any other private or public institutions. The process of soliciting and gathering fund is known as fundraising.

Sources of funding include credit, venture capital, donations, grants, savings, subsidies, and taxes. Fundings such as donations, subsidies, and grants that have no direct requirement for return of investment are described as "soft funding" or "crowdfunding".
Funding that facilitates the exchange of equity ownership in a company
for capital investment via an online funding portal as per the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act (alternately, the "JOBS Act of 2012") (U.S.) is known as equity crowdfunding.

Funds can be allocated for either short-term or long-term purposes.

@ihatedavidjay... Logic and reason will not be tolerated on the internet. You are making too much sense you must stop.

And do you hate all the Newlyweds Crowd-Funding Lobster too?

I completely agree..

Every time I read threads like this I'm amazed at how the internet has created a forum for people to make a myriad of comments on subjects that don't sit well with them. Before then, when we rode the family dinosaur to work, comments pretty much stopped at who was within hearing distance unless a letter was written to an editor or something similar. Now the whole world, or at least those who read the respective blogs, can read what they want to get off their chests. It really illustrates how big the world is. Good or bad, it's got to be pretty cathartic.

The only way I'd donate my hard earned money is if there was a "LEGITIMATE REASON" e.g.. stolen gear, fire etc. These people have no shame and should have their campaign and accounts deleted from the internet. Get off your behind and get a job like the rest of us.

Maybe read the article? The poster is offering services.

I did...And to me and a lot of others, that's not a legit reason to be asking for money for equipment upgrades.

Thank you for proving you did not read it. He is exchanging services for money. That is the same as selling something. Notice the big graphic pasted in to the article body..?

How much have you donated?

This is a joke, right?

Your post? Yes it is a joke.

Jayson Carey's picture

This is essentially a well-advertised classified ad. I don't know what all the anger is about. He's not asking for a handout, he's selling his old gear and advertising his packages.

He's never heard about replacing the shutter?

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