The Most Difficult Thing in the NFT Community for Photographers

The Most Difficult Thing in the NFT Community for Photographers

The NFT community is robust, and yet there are many roadblocks that photographers face there. We try to uncover the challenges and guide the photo community around them.

By Sloika

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This week, we asked photographers, “what's the most difficult thing for you in web3 right now?”

We got 60+ answers, and overwhelmingly these were marketing, visibility, and sales. Let me quote just several answers:

Standing out in a massive sea of talent and selling when you’re not “popular” or well established outside of web3 — @AdamCarity

Collectors wanting to purchase art for for the value you believe you deserve, without having to create really low cost editions — @MikeSchimdt_eth

The hardest thing is to create relationship with people with those tools. It is hard to create friendship with artists or collectors when Twitter is 80% full of bots or scam projects — @The_Fr_Gallery

Discoverability/visiblity. I've got some good sh*t out there, and more waiting in the wings, but the onus is entirely on me to blast it this way and that in hopes of being seen. Collections/editions/1-1's mostly sit there silo'd on platforms, with no organic push from them — @walasavagephoto

To find a dialog with collectors. I don't shill. I don't spam. But I want to create real authentic relationships. That’s hard — @nickfabian_nft

Getting the visibility that I truly deserve — @Nddy_1759

It’s pretty clear that photographers are drowning. First, we are heavily dependent on algorithmic apps, such as Twitter. Second, as this social media channel becomes an obvious way to promote, it becomes full of noise (my DMs are just spam and scam at this point). And third, humble or introverted photographers really want art to be discovered on its own merit, not because of some backstage deals or incessant shilling.

We need to dig much deeper to unpack the reasons and rationale, but from the outset, it really feels like a “tragedy of the commons”, where we took the young green pasture of web3 for granted, and spammed Twitter and open platforms with endless amounts of NFTs that don’t get any traction.

Getting visibility is likely to get 10x and then 100x harder as more artists are onboarded into web3. So what’s the solution? First, there needs to be a clear understanding that an artist needs to become a brand — where everything, from name to voice to messaging to photography work is deliberate in helping create a recognizable brand. Think of the bigger artists, musicians or politicians, they all aim to have recognizable message and image.

Second, platforms will have to play a bigger role in highlighting artists. There’s already a great divide in what and how various platforms compete and, subsequently, charge. Opensea can charge 2.5%, but they are unlikely to ever do white-glove onboarding of artists or constantly promoting them on their home page. Some galleries and platforms onboarding, on the other hand, and take 50% to onboard new artists that wouldn’t be here otherwise. Artists will likely pick the service or a platform that makes a difference — whether connecting with collectors, helping craft a story, or promoting their work to a wider audience, so over time the competition will help highlight the most successful ones, with an appropriate level of compensation.