Adam Bykowski

Oak Lawn, United States

I enjoy photography of all kinds. I intend to inspire you in some way by lifting your spirits through my images.

Hope for Photographers on RB

If you are a photographer here on Redbubble and have been here for the last two years, you know all about the changes to the look of the Home Page here. The look has become cartoonish with only occasional showings of photography and when there is, it is dark, faded, uninviting and uninspiring. The site went from being all about photography to almost none at all. Many photographers are very upset and feel hidden from the visitors that check in. The result is sales slump and what little confidence you have in your work gets shredded.

I have been pushing to change all that and just want all of you to know that a change is coming. To cut to the chase, letters were written to the CEO of Redbubble, Martin Hosking. After a long wait, Martin responded to these letters in a positive way and although did not discuss details, his reply reflected understanding the need for photographers to be shown more and agreed that something should be done.

Now, I know that he cannot pull the trigger too quickly on making changes that we asked for, but I feel he got the message and will get with his staff to look into it. This all started about three months ago as I was getting near the end of my Photographer of the Day series during March thru April of this year. After I wrote a journal about my disgust about how photographers were seemingly ignored on this site, I received bubblemails from people discussing the problem and eventually words like “if you need any help making a change, I will help”. So three months ago, a team was formed. The team consisted of four people; autumnwind, aka Shar, goddarb, aka Beth, billyboy, aka Billy, and me, aka, well me. We bubblemailed back and forth and decided to let Billy write a letter, but we did not know who to write it to. So another name must be mentioned here and that is Rhana Griffin. She works for RB and has been a staff member/manager for a very long time. She was contacted by Billy and she is the one that recommended that we send the letter to Martin and for that direction, I am eternally grateful to her.

Billy’s letter was positive and void of anger and complaining. It was well written and basically went into requesting a change into how a photographer or artist can change the way the site looks when visitors come onto the site. The letter also discussed how many photographers have left the site, partially due to the whole Baby Hitler incident and the feel of lack of caring from RB management on the whole matter. There were several suggestions on changing the look of images being viewed by visitors and changing the interaction of the site. Weeks went by after sending the letter and no reply from Martin. I asked Billy if I he was okay with me writing a letter of my own to Martin and he told me to go for it. My letter was a little different and started by complimenting Martin and his staff on creating so many products and changes, but the letter stated how there was a negative side to practically completely hiding quality photography on the site. I asked him if there could be more photography on the home page, and stated that what little was there, was dark, faded, and uninspiring and there needs to be more vibrant images like the ones that I have featured in my POTD series. I also asked that instead of featuring artists that draw or computer generate, that photographers get featured once in a while on the home page.

Within about two days, Martin replied to Billy’s letter and then mine. He agreed with points on both letters. He stated that to make all the changes requested in Billy’s letter, that it would be a massive undertaking, but understood that changes were needed. On my letter, Martin also stated that he agreed that some changes should be made, and that a new look is coming in October of this year. I try not to get too excited about that statement as I have seen changes for the worse before, but as far as photography goes, the look we have now cannot get much worse.

So in short, I think Martin (the head honcho), Mr. CEO, got the message. I am just grateful that he did not reply with a “business is business” response and told us that we are making money here and your thoughts have been heard, but have no merit at this time. I feel something will give for us photogs in a good way eventually.

And if the change in October sucks, I will hit him with a letter again. And I will not stop until fairness to “the hidden” and photography recognized openly as an art on this site occurs so we are back in the limelight as deserved.

Your friend,
Adam

Journal Comments

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