Radio Interview Transcripts

MorePhotos Radio - Mark Cafiero for WPPI


ANNOUNCER:  Welcome to the More Photos’ Radio Photography Spotlight brought to you by helping professional photographers with all of their internet needs world wide. Also brought to you by Finally, an e-commerce solution for professional photo labs that makes sense. Now here’s your host, Damien Allen.  DAMIEN: Good morning and welcome to More Photos Radio. My name is Damien Allen and joining me today on the telephone is Mark Cafiero of Cafiero Photographer in Denver, Colorado and Scottsdale, Arizona. Good afternoon and welcome to the program, Mark.
MARK: Hi, how are you?
DAMIEN: I’m doing just fine. I hope you’re doing well?
MARK: I’m doing great.  Thanks.
DAMIEN: You’re going to be speaking at the upcoming WPPI Conference with a class that will be called "Will work for Food ". Could you tell us what this class is going to be about?
MARK: Yeah. Will Work for Food is sort of a difference concept on what I call achieving virtual wealth, and this is a way to trade services with other companies without involving the use of money.  So, basically, what I’m going to be speaking on is how to identify other companies out there that might be a potential partner when it comes to a trade of services and how to negotiate the deal and all that sort of thing. It’s kind of a new, fun approach to trading services that I think is something that a lot of people haven’t  put a lot of time and effort into, and I think people will be really surprised at the benefits that you get from bartering.
DAMIEN: When did you discover the art of bartering for services and how did this all come about?
MARK: It all came about one day when I had a tooth ache, and sort of consulting with my cousin who is a dentist, and he was telling me, oh yeah, you’re probably going to need oral surgery, and it just by a complete coincidence I got a phone call that same day from an oral surgeon who had a cosmetic dental operation here in Denver who was calling me about photography, and that was the first time I’ve ever tried to work out a deal for trade, and I just basically confronted the guy and said, hey your timing is real interesting. I actually think I need some oral surgery which I did, would you be up for a trade? And he was up for it and it’s been sort of an ongoing thing with him and next thing you know I am shooting staff photos, photos of their practice, and then I’m doing senior photos of his daughter and family photos and all sorts of before and afters for his  cosmetic patients, and in the whole process I have probably received about $7,000 worth of initial oral surgery and some cosmetic stuff after that. So after that I started really concentrating on finding other companies that have a need for photography and approaching them for a trade, because I found it was just such a better deal than using money. It was a better deal for both of us. It’s been real fun, new approach.
DAMIEN: What would some of the basic parameters or pitfalls of virtual wealth be? How do you get into this, and how do you set up, you know, bartering has been gone from the general public for quite some time. How do you begin to barter for services?
MARK: The way I go about it these days is, for example, these are companies that I have a need for service, like for example, I know my car is going to need a new clutch so the first place I go to are websites, and I just try to find companies who have poor photography on their websites and then I approach them with the deal. I’ve done this with my mechanic and it was personal training all that sort of thing, and then even unsolicited I’ll show it to a business like a restaurant, and I’ll have these little cards that I drop off that says, “Wanna Trade?” and it has all the details of my offer and it’s got some sample photos on the card. It’s just a very regular 5x7 card with some information about trading. To my surprise so many businesses out there are up for a trade. It makes since if I think about it. If people ever approach me for a trade, I’m always going to be open to that, and it’s been pretty consistent with my experience.
DAMIEN: Well it sounds all very interesting. What day and time will your class be held during the conference?
MARK: My class is going to be on Sunday, March 7, 2010, 11a.m. to 1p.m. So this coming year on March 7th.
DAMIEN: Now are you finding pitfalls to virtual wealth other than you don’t have cash ready in your pocket if you’re performing a service.
MARK: Oh yeah, of course there are pitfalls. In my opinion that’s sort of what makes it fun. There are occasions where you do a job for photography like for example I might go to a restaurant and do some food shots for their menu and that sort of thing. I think one of the lessons I’ve learned is you can’t really have too high of expectations. Some people are going to be really generous with the trade; some people aren’t. I do all my negotiating after the fact. So I’ll go and do the photography work, and then I’ll show them their images, and we’ll work out the deal after that. So as long as you don’t have huge, huge expectations and it’s worth your time, I think anyone out there is going to be happy at the occasional pitfall. I had a restaurant who gave me a dining credit that was a little bit less than what I was hoping for, but you know, you win some and you lose some, and for the most part I walked away real happy.
DAMIEN: What do you hope participants in your class will take away at the end of it all?
MARK: Just a new way of thinking. When it comes down to business and pricing and that sort of stuff, just start thinking a little more outside the box. I think that even with the irregular day to day operations, one lesson to be learned is that negotiating is a very powerful concept and I think a lot of companies out there, especially small business owners, they try to stick too hard to their pricing and they are not so much open to any sort of fluctuation from what they have going on in their contracts and their pricing information and that sort of thing. I’ve learned that the more flexible you can become, the better your relationships are with the people you work with, and the happier you will be after doing business with a new customer. So some of the rules that apply to bartering also apply to real world business, and hey I’m not encouraging people to just drop working for money. Obviously that wouldn’t work, but this is more of a fun, new way of doing business, getting some extra perks in your life that you wouldn’t normally have, and hopefully people will just think it’s a real fun class and walk away ready to make a few deals with some of their local companies out there.
DAMIEN: How did you get started with the WPPI, Mark?
MARK: It started about 5 or 6 years ago. I did my first presentation on the art of capturing the candid moment. I was out there initially to speak about my photography and my candid photography at weddings and that sort of thing. They did an article in Rangefinder about me about a year before that, and then they asked me to come speak at the convention, and I’ve been doing it every year after that. It’s gone very well. People really seem to enjoy the different presentations, and I try to make a point every year to talk about something entirely different than the year before, and that makes it kind of fun too.
DAMIEN: Now we’ve checked out your awesome website, and we know you are an author and a contributing writer for Range Finder Magazine plus your work has been featured Wedding Photographers Handbook and the Best of Digital Photography. Howlong have you been a photographer and what inspires you to capture such beautiful images?
MARK: I’ve been shooting weddings since I was 16 years old. I made it a career about 6 or 7 years ago, and I think what inspired me to be a wedding photographer is the fact that I enjoy watching people. I like expressions and emotions and I love to be a fly on the wall, you know, it’s like all my life I’ve been a people watcher. I almost became self-conscious about it, because I’d find myself just staring at people in public places, and what I found is that the photography was sort of an outlet for that. You know put a camera in front of my face, and I can stare at people and take pictures of everyone. To me it’s just the ideal job in the world, and I find a lot of satisfaction in that.
DAMIEN: What will be new for Mark Cafiero Photographers in 2010? Are you going to be doing other workshops, or are there any other projects coming up in the studio?
MARK: Well this year I am actually focusing a little bit more on family photography. I’m planning on branching out a little bit and that’s one of the things through bartering I’ve gotten a lot of jobs photographing families of business owners in exchange for credit, and what I found, something that is really surprising to me is that I love family photography, and I want to make that more part of my business. So right now I have my wedding photography business, and I think I’m going to create an entirely different business outside of that in regard to family photography. So it’s something I never would have expected, but it’s something I truly enjoy so I think I’m going to start branching out to family photography. As far as like presenting at different conventions and forums and all that sort of thing, for 2010 I’m pretty much going to really try to work on some other things here within my business and then maybe get back into that maybe in 2011.
DAMIEN: Will you kindly share your website address and contact information with the listening audience, Mark?
MARK: Absolutely. The website is and my blog is
DAMIEN: We thank you very much for joining with us today; Mark.
MARK: Thank you. I appreciate it.
DAMIEN: we encourage our listeners to attend Mark Cafiero class and learn more about Bartering to Achieve Virtual Wealth and to attend the WPPI Conference in beautiful Las Vegas, Nevada, March 4 - 11, 2010. We have been speaking to Mark Cafiero of Cafiero Photographer in Denver , Colorado and Scottsdale, Arizona. You have been listening to More Photos Radio. My name is Damien Allen. Everybody have a great afternoon.
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