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Fight the giant
I'm a shopkeeper, not a photographer or retouching expert but I'm in need of some advice and I was told this was the forum to ask.
I run a small general store in a main street with 10 other stores. We are part of a great little community but that's all about to end because a large supermarket is planning to build a complex fairly close. There's not much we can do to fight them because council seems to be on their side but we can try.
I want to make people aware that having the supermarket will mean the end of the local shops and I would like to use a photo to do that. I want to take a photo or our shops on a Saturday morning with lots of cars and people and send that out as a flyer to everyone in town.
"these are your local shops, come and visit us before we turn into this...
I need to have the same photo with empty shops and for sale signs, broken windows etc.
We need the local population to understand that there's a down side to progress and promote discussion on the development.
Can anyone help us?
Re: Fight the giant
myself I was thinking of walmart!!! .. or something like home depot or lowe's ... where there presence in a community has gutted the local downtown district and drove small businesses out of business's ..
my own experience, walmart drove 5 pharmacies out of buisness, compusa drove all of 9 of out small software store in our area out of business, home depot drove drove our three nursary shops out of business... in all of these.. the consumer lost a lot of service they also lost variety of products to choose...etc
you have a complex issue which make it difficult the best way to fight and get your points acrossed...!! And your actually looking at a multifacited ad campaigned to get across to the widest number of people ... the negative impact of a big all in one store! your hand out idea is very good but need to expand on it...
I would first take another look at the impact.. yes empty stores but there a lot more to that... and you need show that with images... I don't think you can do it with just one kind of hand out that shows just a empty store, but with several different themes of handout showing all the different impact....
kinds of shots ...
a. of course the empty stores... rundown appearance of the downtown and the moving in of unsavory elements into the area .. you can photoshoped the stores with broken glass, weeds growing, paint peeling, unsavory elements.... photoshopped... i have seen this in the real so it not imagination!!
b. jobs lost!! one big store doesn't replace those people and thier families who lost there jobs... mabye group shot to show how many employee and thier families out of work.. if it hard to get everyone together for it... may take several shots of different groups and then photoshop them into one image..!!
a example...true story.. in one small town there was appx 5 pharmacies with appx 40 employee's and that represented appx 120 people relied on the livlhood... !!!! .. and the big store drove them out of business .. well the big store only had about 5 employees! in there pharmacy section..
c. shots of long lines at the big store compared to the small stores.. people don't like long lines...
d. shots demonstrating lack of variety and lack of choice AND lack of PERSONAL SERVICE at a big store compared to small stores that can offer better service and variety... perhaps a shot (redone to enphasize) but small store shows lot of things but the big store,,, show only one item... reminds me of andy walhol image. of soup cans.. . smiling... exagerated of course but none the less it true..
e. and lets not forget about the kids... oh yes... now your small stores probably hire kids during the summer... that great teaches the early value of work.. however big stores don't hire kids as a rule..... no small buisness means a lot of kids roaming the streets and getting into mischief! maybe short to demonstrate that... so may a picture, and simple words, of a school kid working but the kid is cutout representing the lost summer job... that kind of image has a impact..
Now there many more kinds of issues you can address with pictures... so get together with your fellow store owners and have a brainstorm meeting of all the different issues involved...
now with that.... for hand outs... i would go with a collage of pictures on a hand out... unless you got a single great shot... I think it better and more impact to have collage of similar themes on a hand out....
also have different themes of handout, in order to impact the largest audiance.. some people don't mind long lines but they want variety, or some don't mind lack of variety but they do demand serevice...!! you need shots to cover the different concerns...
example: at a community center had problems getting volunteers they had just one handout ..I Got rid of that one handout (it was bad) which wasn't doing anything and created set of collage handouts with keywords specific groups we wanted.. ...showed the advantages of volunteering,, one that address college students doing volunteer help another addressing seniors doing volunteer help , people in general volunterring,, ...and we passed those handout at the colleges , the senior centers and such... . chucks we ended up with more volunteers than we knew what to do with...lol ... anyway...... handout will work if your strategy is good ...
other resources you can to help you in this campaign because that what it is.. it a battle with many fronts..
a. if a local school or college community with a good photgraphy department... work with the instructor in getting volunteers to take the photo, this would be a good project for the students (the instructor can give credit.. smiling) to take the kinds of shots you need.... to demonstrate your issues.... and these studends be taking the kind of impact shots you need.....
Now along with this.. if there a good art department... that is into digital art and they can work together to get the resutls you need on the images.. again the kids can get credit from the instructor... and they learn a lot...
b. if there a photography studio in your area... a good place to get h elp on what to look for in taking the shots... hopefully the owner, free time smiling, can give guidlines and tips....
c. let not forget the news paper advertising department... i would think they would help (without charging smiling) .. since they'll be impacted as well ... stores like walmart very seldom if at all.. advertise in newspapers... and if youguys are driven out of business, the newspaper loses business, so it in there interest to help you!!!! in fact,,, you store owners give yourself a group name... it can serve as a logo, it give people something to clue in on... and to remember!!
I think you can find a lot of volunteer help in your community and that what you need..
I am sorry for being so lengthy... but i had a feeling you needed more than what was asked..... i hope it usefull
Re: Fight the giant
you make some very good points and they are certainly worth considering but I'm concerned about bringing the wrath of the giant down on us.
With the simple before and after shots we are making everyone aware that something is happening and creating more questions than answers. My assumption is that people will come into the shops to get their answers and that's a one to one conversation inside the shop.
with a more significant campaign we risk the giant countering anything we say or do and they are VERY good at promoting their own interests.
There is a lot more to our strategy but I need to play my cards close. What I really need is a photoshop wizard willing to help us create the 'after' image.
Re: Fight the giant
Perbenyik, you seem to have upset Jerry... Je rr yy, deeeeep breath.
Totally just joking, both of you.
It is a serious issue. It's unfortunate that you have little chance of beating them. I like the idea of the campaign you have in mind. I would look ahead to when they are in construction mode; tearing out trees, ugly construction site, huge coming soon sign, maybe traffic delays, whatever. And then ahead to when they are open and how you and the others could maybe band togather to fight. Myabe take their store coupons or offer a discount if you mention that you came to our store instead of thiers. Anyway, there are many talented people here and what you are asking is not too difficult, although time consuming. This is not the place to post in though, you want the classified section under the buisness heading, this website. You could offer a small stipend or maybe even get it done for free (Jerry may already have the first draft done ). You shouldn't take any financial burden yourself seems to me ten store owners, maybe $20 each and there you are. Or something like that I don't know what a pro or amatuer might charge.
Also, and I'm not sure this is proper (Mod, please feel free to smite me and remove my post if this is bad) you might also try worth1000. That website has a format fitting your needs where you can post your idea along with the "prize" amount being offered. You will recieve numerous entries and you simply pick the best one.
That's my 2 cents. One last thing, please take the photos of your street and shops and post them here so folks can get an idea of the layout and start the wheels turning.
Re: Fight the giant
now we're talking - thanks
It's always difficult to drag money out of shopkeepers for something like this but it's well worth doing. I'm sure something like this requires time and talent and I'm happy to pay what I can.
I'll take the photo's ASAP.
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