PetaPixel

Success Stories of People Who Turned Ideas into Photo Products

Have an idea for a photo product and an entrepreneurial itch? PDN published an article this past week with three stories of people who successfully turned their ideas into products (and businesses). One of them is the story of Gary Fong and his Lightsphere:

Gary Fong, the former wedding photographer-turned-entrepreneur whose name has become synonymous with lighting accessories, says he got the idea to make his first photographic product, the Lightsphere, while flipping through an in-flight magazine. “There was an ad that said something like, ‘We make plastic parts for your ideas.’” It started him thinking about what he would like to make. What he wanted, he thought, was a large light diffuser, modeled on a lampshade. “Until then, diffusers were tiny. They sat on top of your flash and they didn’t do anything to the shape of the light. All they did was block the light coming through your flash.” He noticed that when he photographed indoors, light filtered through lampshades—which create a hot spot on the ceiling while diffusing the light on faces—produced pretty skin tones. “I thought, okay, I’ll make a big lampshade for electronic flash.”

Fong’s advice to fellow inventors? “All you need is the customers. It’s got to be a product that customers will buy. If they buy some, you know grandma will be packing boxes for you. If they buy waves of them, you’ll have grandma supervising some temps who pack the boxes until you find a distribution company.”

How Inventors Turn Their Ideas Into Photo Products [PDN]


Image credit: April Seattle Flickr meetup by Paul David Gibson


 
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  • Anonymous

    A quite good article about photography related products by photographers.

    Ruined by the lack of images in the article.
    Why is it that photography related magazines and blogs so often forget that we’re a visual bunch.

  • Anonymous

    If you want to design your own piece of equipment, check out Vitaliy’s website: http://personal-view.com/talks/discussion/1036/unique-design-your-own-gear-contest

  • Scunizi

    Basically design what you want at the link above and if it’s a winner (meaning marketable?) you’ve given up your rights to it to the site owner(s) to produce and market.  Not what I would call equitable. 

  • Masden

    For me both gary fong and the little cheap diffuser are huge success story for little usefullness.
    the best, cheap and portable accessories for your flash in a roof + the little white ticket bult-in in your flashes.

  • Masden

    For me both gary fong and the little cheap diffuser are huge success story for little usefullness.
    the best, cheap and portable accessories for your flash in a roof + the little white ticket bult-in in your flashes.

  • Bogdan

    Oi mate! Don’t hang so much weight on that Nikon hot shoe…