Three Amazing Years

In Craft & Vision, e-books, Giveaways, News & Stuff, PHOTOGRAPH Magazine by David43 Comments

Three years ago, a couple of forces came to bear on me at the same time and I found myself unexpectedly playing with the idea of writing an eBook. I was on a hike with Corwin, my manager and best friend, and I remember asking him, “Hey, what do you think about me doing an eBook?” It was a vague idea at best, but I went home and, determined to learn Adobe InDesign, I sat down and began working on a short project I was calling, for lack of a better name, “Ten Ways to Improve Your Photography Without Buying Gear.” That book just became known as TEN, because, well, it’s a shorter title and it has brevity, if not wit, going for it. I put it up online as a $10 PDF that I would sell for $5 for a limited time. To my great shock people downloaded it. Over and over again. I did another one, cleverly called TEN MORE. And still people downloaded it. I never could bring myself to raise the prices; they’re still just $5 each.

When I first hit the Publish button there was nothing in the world that could have prepared me for the response.  Three years later we’ve had well over a quarter million downloads, 43 digital books in the library, and by the end of 2013 will have 17 authors under this accidental publishing umbrella. I still wake up every day and shake my head, partly from disbelief, but mostly from gratitude. I’ve stumbled headlong into a creative project that I love, and one that’s provided for me and a growing team of photographers, layout artists, and editors. When I fell from the wall in Italy and could no longer take assignment work, I had something that kept me going, and paid the bills. We’re a small company that’s learning as we go, but even the failed experiments and harder lessons have been so worthwhile.

So today we’re celebrating our first three years. We’re doing that by announcing a few exciting changes, and then we’re going to give away a few things, and offer a great discount just to say thank you.



PHOTOGRAPH, The Magazine
First, we’re announcing PHOTOGRAPH, a Quarterly Magazine for Creative Photographers. PHOTOGRAPH is going to be big, elegant, and dedicated not only to the art of photography, but to photographs themselves. With each season there will be a new issue of PHOTOGRAPH. It’ll contain portfolios from exciting photographers, like Art Wolfe and Bruce Percy, in large, beautiful, layouts. It’ll also contain columns from a great list of regular contributors, from artists like John Paul Caponigro and Chris Orwig; articles that address the way we make photographs, post-processing, and creativity. It will stay clear of gimmicks and fads, it will honour the amateur who does this for the love of it, it’ll be ad-free, and it’ll be made with love. PHOTOGRAPH will be available, like the eBooks, as a digital PDF download, for $8 or as an annual subscription for $24.00. We’ll be announcing it soon; stay tuned!


For three days only, the 27th, 28th, and 29th of August, 2012, we’re offering 33% off on all purchases of 10 or more books at Craft & Vision when you use the code 3YEARS. So 10 books for $33. Get 12, 17, or 37, they’re 33% off for 3 days. Thank you for making this a great 3 years!


Today we’re announcing the opening of the Craft & Vision Community (effective later this week). What was a year ago opened as a paid, by-subscription service, is now open to everyone. The podcast, and the archives, are now free to all, on the Craft & Vision blog. We’ll have links to both of those on the Craft & Vision website. We hope that by doing this we get wider participation and enrich what is already a beautiful thing. We also hope that by detaching this from a financial obligation that we free everyone up – ourselves included – to do this better, in the way we most want to do it. We tried something, learned some lessons, and are now changing course a little. I hope the podcast and blog will enrich your experience with us.


Lastly, we’ve dipped into the database and from the names of every person that’s ever purchased an eBook from us, we’ve randomly chosen some winners. To David Block, Paul Clarke, and Michelle Raines we’re giving away a complete Craft & Vision Library, including a copy of every book we put out in 2013. To Javier Latorre Zacarés and Carson McComas we’re giving away an annual subscription to PHOTOGRAPH, and to Stuart May we’re giving away a signed copy of my last book, Photographically Speaking.


Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for being a part of this. While it’s my sincere hope that each person that downloads a Craft & Vision book is getting more than they paid for, it’s also a gift to me and those that partner with me – you allow us to do what we love, day after day, and to keep creating something beautiful. Your support, patience, and enthusiasm mean the world to me. Thank you so, so much. Happy birthday, Craft & Vision.


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  2. marjan

    Happy birthday indeed Craft & Vision and David and the team and what a wonderful presents – the magazine looks fantastic, can’t wait to get the first copy, the free community blog and podcasts and great discounts – will email a few friends to let them know but most of my photography friends already have most of the books of course. Looking forward to many more happy C&V birthdays.

  3. Augustine

    Your humbleness (is that a word?) and seeming surprise at your success brought a tear to my eye. I don’t find it all surprising that you guys have made it to three years with such a strong following. You create a terrific product that is always inspirational, interesting and entertaining. Congratulations for a birthday that was wrought from following a dream (and a heap of hard work :)

  4. Duncan Fawkes

    Happy Birthday David and C&V! You continue up be a huge source of inspiration to me and think these changes are great. I’m sure it will be a huge success but good luck anyway!

    Right, I’m off to buy a ticket for the next leg of the journey.

  5. Per-Chr Nilssen

    Happy Birthday, David & Co! Looking forward to more exciting titles and news in the years to come!

  6. Mark Herring

    Brilliant sounds like its been man amazing 3 years. The new changes sound great and I will be subscribing to the EMag.
    It’s amazing how life moves and things always seem to turn up for the best even through times of adversity. Sometime we just need to trust in life and go with the flow .

    Cheers and good luck for the next three years David. From Mark in New Zealand :-)

  7. Alex Schwarz

    Happy Birthday and congratulations to this anniversary!

    Your blog and C&V books are alway a source of inspiration to me. Keep up your great work and hopefully many more great years to come!

    Greetings from Vienna,Austria

  8. Russell

    Happy birthday C&V! Your ideas for the future sound great, David, and I’m sure it will continue to bring you the success you and your team deserve.

    Russell in the UK.

  9. nate parker

    Wow- the cover of that magazine looks great! I’m totally thrilled! Talk to ya in a few days David.

  10. Sherry Galey

    I’m so happy about your success and excited about your new project. Your produce quality and are doing hat you do for the right reasons. Your e-books are full of great information and inspiration. Thank You!

  11. Krzysztof Stepien

    Congratulations C&V Team! Wish You 1B+ downloads for the next anniversary. Vision rulez!

  12. julia tsola

    Happy Birthday C&V.?????? ?????!
    David, your blog and C&V books are always so inspiring. Looking forward to the magazine; which looks amazing!
    Good luck and greetings from Paiania, Greece

  13. julia tsola

    Sorry! had written many happy returns in Greek, but it came out as question marks!!! SO, Many Happy Returns of your anniversary!!

  14. Dale Janzen

    Congratulations to everyone who is a part of the C&V team! ‘Craft & Vision’ is more than simply a company name… it is the heart and soul of what you collectively do… how you do it… and the reason for your well-deserved success! I’m looking forward to all that is ahead.

  15. Author

    Thanks so much, everyone.

    Justin, that’s a very diplomatic way of telling me that cupcake makes my ass look fat, isn’t it? :-)

  16. Lori

    Wow!! Really looking forward to the magazine! 😉 Just bummed it doesn’t come with a cupcake…. :/

  17. M.Christine Duncan

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY Craft & Vision! And as always, celebrating with the friends and fans in mind, and giving back more than ever before! David, there are very few in this industry who do what you do… congratualtions! Slainte!

  18. Liz

    Happy Birthday C 6 V I thought you had been going much longer than 3 years I must have been aware of you near the beginning. I love your books so instructive and easy to read.

  19. Anna

    A big thank you back to you, David, and the C&V team!!!!! I’ve enjoyed all my C&V purchases and am excited to see that you have more innovative goodness in store for us.

  20. rupam { xhobdo }

    Happy Birthday Craft & Vision and Best wishes to you & all team of C&V.Thanks for the post.Waiting for Photograph magazine,Awesome cover.All the Best.

  21. Javi

    Congratulations David! and thanks for these years sharing your experiences, your vision, and your passion. Keep doing such a great job!

  22. Lynn Park

    David, your post packs a wallop for me. This is why: fixed income, more month than money, and this is going to be a long week. I had to pass on the C and V community when it first opened. Now I’ll have that as a source of learning and friendship. Moreover, I’ve been asking for guidance and keep getting the same answer: “Take your pictures.” Thank you for being part of my process. Here’s to the ever-better picture!

  23. Stefan de Jong

    Happy Birthday Craft & Vision, to you David and of course the whole team.
    I really hope that I (am sure I also could write the word ‘we’) can enjoy your creative approach for a long long time!
    Cheers from “Dutchland”

    Ps: it took me a second attempt in order to recognise the man behind the cake :-)

  24. Ross B

    congrats on the change – I can’t wait for the mag!
    When will the links on the C&V website for the podcasts come up?
    Can’t wait for that either. I absolutely loved the within the frame podcasts – cant get enough!
    thanks for inspiring me.

    Hi from New Zealand

  25. Pingback: Things You’ll Find Interesting August 27, 2012 | Chuq Von Rospach, Photographer and Author

  26. Erin

    I had a good chuckle over that image of you blowing the candles out, it’s great!!! Congrats too.

  27. BK

    Congrats! The new quarterly looks great — it will be discounted for the former C&V paid community members, right? : )

  28. Ken

    Congratulations David, and thank you for three years of excellent content. Here’s to three more and please stay away from drop offs!

  29. craig krizek

    Hey David,

    Any of those cup cakes packed in the pelican cases? Congrats on your success, it is richly deserved!!


  30. Melissa Reed

    The new site looks great! Getting more gray I see…age or the stress of getting a new site up?!? Just kidding… :)

  31. jules

    Happy birthday. The ebooks are genius, and the pricing crucial to their success, as the penalty for failure is so low for the consumer. For the price of a cup of coffee, the ebook need only be as entertaining as a cup of coffee. Some have been more useful to me than others, but none feel like a waste of money. The only problem is they are so cheap that my credit card company kept querying them. So, I was surprised when you started your expensive subscription thing, and glad to see you have returned to your senses. :-)

  32. jules

    …oh just noticed you are trying to flog a magazine now. Well that pricing maybe less unrealistic than the previous subscription thing, but 8 USD a quarter is still enough to cause pause for thought. 4 USD a quarter I might take a punt on – it’s the cup of coffee equivalence thing again.

    1. Author

      Jules. Not trying to flog anything. The blog remains free, as does the podcast now. If you want the quarterly magazine, we’re happy to get it to you. If not, we’re happy to continue to provide the free resources we do. The magazine will cost me thousands to produce because I believe in paying every single photographer and artist that contributes. I’d spend more on 2 lattes than I would to buy one copy of this. We’re happy that you pause for thought; if you want a copy, you know where to find us. :-)

    2. Melissa Reed

      Well, it works out to be what, $32 annually? I know there are plenty of photography magazines I pick up in the store for $13 a pop. By the time I buy 2 or 3 I have just spent $26 or $39 for 3 issues. So it seems to be it is more cost effective for me personally not to mention the notion that this is a magazine that is focusing on the images themselves and can really generate an invigorating conversation. So honestly, I’d give it a go. Although it would be food for thought to have the first issue at a reduced price initially so the future buyers get a real taste of what they will probably become quickly addicted to!

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