Unsolicited Business Advice: Discounts are slowly killing your brand.

I try to share this every Black Friday but it bears repeating more frequently than that.

"The true value of a product is the least amount you’re willing to sell it for."


Look, I love discounts, but I’ve gotten burned so much in the past that if I’m ever in charge of a company and we’re questioning discounting our products, I won’t do it. Slow sales may be the problem but discounts aren’t the solution.

Bonus: If you’re looking to create some urgency in sales without resorting to discounting, check out seanwes tv 112.

Filson - 876 Broadway, New York

I recently attended the launch of the Filson New York Flagship Store and I must say, they have quite the space. It was a packed house as they offered free raw oysters, drinks, a rewaxing demo, and a build your own debossed leather keychain station. I also got to compare my Otter Green Logger Mesh Hat next to a brand new one. Maybe I’ll try my hand at rewaxing and bring some life back to it.

Among the usual gear you’d expect to see, they had a few items for sale from their Restoration Department. These are products that most likely have been sent in for repair or replacement and the customer opted for a replacement. I saw one jacket in particular that had some great “before” photos included in a small envelope on the tag. Very nice touch. And the jacket looked fantastic as well.

Nicely done Filson. I’m sure I’ll be back.

Items of Want 052

I’ve been searching for a solid shell that can handle the elements but not make it seem as if I’m headed on a multi-day backpacking trip, and I think this is it. To be honest, I really want the one in burnt orange but I’m not sure if I could pull it off.

James Brand the Benton LTD

James Brand offers a refreshing design on everything they make and I’d be more than thrilled to put this pen in my everyday carry rotation. And it looks like it comes with some awesome custom Field Notes notebooks. Those green pages for staple day…


After an early Winter storm brought a ton of slush, I realized I desperately needed to up my boot game, as walking the dog with wet socks is no fun. To be fair, I guess technically he’s barefoot but we tried putting boots on him and he hated it. Long story short: I’m not as tough as my dog.

Olympia Provisions Grande Charcuterie Basket

The holidays are here and even though I enjoy my solitude, it’s the perfect time to get together with friends and family. This basket could really take that “together time” to the next level. And you know what would be extra awesome? Hiking this basket up to the top of a mountain and enjoying it at the summit. You’re sure to make some new friends at least.

klokers KLOK-01 - Desk&Pocket

klokers has really come up with an especially fun way of displaying the current time. And if you know me at all, you won’t be surprised that I love how this desk/pocket watch can easily become the main subject of show and tell. Once I get done parading it around the lecture circuit, I’d most likely leave it in my home office as a permanent timepiece on my desk. Truly an interesting take on displaying time.

— Check out past Items of Want —

Legality of Photographs

There’s been an interest lately concerning the legality of sharing photos on Unsplash and I’m looking for some help. And while you may question why I share my photos on Unsplash to begin with, I’ll get to that later. For now, I could really use your input if you’re knowledgable in this area.

Question 01: I’m trying to figure out if I need some sort of model, location, property, or trademark release (or some other release I’m not aware of) for 17 of my photos. To view the rest of my photos (that I feel are safe) visit my Unsplash profile page.

According to Section 5 of the Unsplash Terms page, it sounds like I should be free from legal ramifications: "Note that the Unsplash License does not include the right to use: A. Trademarks, logos, or brands that appear in Photos / B. People’s images if they are recognizable in the Photos / C. Works of art or authorship that appear in Photos

If you download photos with any of these depicted in them, you may need the permission of the brand owner of the brand or work of authorship or individual depending on how you use the Photo."

Question 02: What is my course of action once I’ve shared a photo on Unsplash but decide to delete the photo? Am I simply at risk for the rest of my life?

From the Unsplash FAQ: “Please note: When a photo is deleted from Unsplash, we will do everything we can to prevent its further distribution, including preventing it from being viewed and downloaded through Unsplash. However, the Unsplash License is irrevocable, so copies of the photo that were downloaded before deletion may still be used.“



I haven’t asked a lawyer about it yet but photographer Zack Arias shared a video where he obtained this statement from attorney Carolyn E. Wright:

"Proceed with caution with dealing with Unsplash. Photographers who contribute photos there may find themselves in a lawsuit for a variety of reasons. While an end user clearly has the responsibility to secure permission for a commercial use of a photo of a recognizable person (as evidenced by a model release), stock agencies and photographers have been sued for right of privacy/right of publicity claims when posting and/or offering for licensing photos of people.

End users/publishers who use photos from Unsplash may be subject to liability and damages in several ways. For example, because copyright infringement is strict liability, publishers may infringe if the photos were uploaded and then used without the copyright owner's permission. Trademark owners may have a trademark infringement claim against the photographer and/or end user if the product photo causes confusion as to the source of the product or dilutes the trademark.

An attorney representing an aggrieved party likely will sue the publisher, Unsplash, and the photographer to increase odds of recovering damages for these claims. Therefore, the "free" element of Unsplash may ultimately cost you more than when using a traditional license model."



So, if you could be so kind and offer your input in the comments, I would love to hear them. And please don’t be anonymous, it’s hard for me to hold your comment with any weight if I don’t know who you are.

And because the internet is full of people that love to argue, let me assure you that I’m not one of those people. I’m genuinely looking for some mentors in the field of photography.



Photo 01


Photo 02


Photo 03


Photo 04


Photo 05


Photo 06


A business in NYC that I’m photographing “into.”

Photo 07


A friend’s arm. No model release.

Photo 08


Flatiron Building

Photo 09


Photo 10


Golden Gate Bridge

Photo 11


Photo 12


Private property (photographed while staying at Airbnb)

Photo 13


Private property (photographed while staying at Airbnb)

Photo 14


Private property (photographed while staying at Airbnb)

Photo 15


Private property as seen from a public road (Virginia).

Photo 16


Private property as seen from a public road (Virginia).

Photo 17


Santa Monica Beach

What do you think? Do any, some, all of these need a release of some kind? Which numbers need which releases? Your help is greatly appreciated, not only by me, but by other amateur photographers looking for clarification.



Bonus Content

Ok, it’s not really bonus content but it’s some info that I found useful that you may as well.

Huckberry NYC


Huckberry recently opened a physical space in New York City and I was fortunate to attend the “VIP” pre-launch. Ok, it wasn’t really just VIP, it was friends and family, brand ambassadors, and the like. Either way, I made sure I secured a ticket with my name on it and booked a northbound train for the occasion.


I’ve been a customer of Huckberry since their start in 2011. In fact, the return address on my first order had Richard’s name on it, and I believe the address may have been his apartment/garage. I just wish I knew how I stumbled across Huckberry back then.

It's been fun to follow Huckberry over the years as they've truly grown quite a bit from those early days. I can only speak from a customer's perspective but if you're looking for some behind the scenes history, I recommend you read: "Bootstrapped, Profitable, and Proud.


Huckberry's exploration into the physical space is off to a great start. While they say this is a pop-up, I would really like to see them do enough business to make it a fixture in the West Village neighborhood. In fact, I heard a local mention something along those lines as well. They were thankful to see such a warm and lively presence at 383 Bleecker.

For years I've wondered what a physical Huckberry shop would look like and this pop-up pretty much nails it. I’m also really interested to see how future “versions” down the road would play out if they were able to dedicate more time and resources to the physical experience.


Overall, it feels half store and half hangout and my only critique is that it might benefit from another seating area. Maybe a bar or bench or even a few stools for customers to slow down and enjoy the space. Space is obviously at a premium in New York City and it’s amazing enough to get the location they did. I’ve been in much smaller pop-ups where the product selection has to be severely limited.

Everything in the shop is well though out and placed appropriately. In my mind, and comparing to the website, there are little touches everywhere that reinforce the Huckberry brand. Even the wide plank hardwood floors hearken back to the early days of the General Store.


A week after the official launch, I returned to the shop with a friend of mine, and even though we were just spending a day in the city, I made sure to give him a tour of Huckberry. As a quick sidenote, I was impressed that Micah (Executive Director, Brand Management and Business Development), remembered my name. We only met on opening night and I’m sure he met dozens of other people. Maybe I’m just terrible with names but it felt good, like I was a regular.

The shop was busy but not overly crowded and there was a good energy about. I must say, the Huckberry shop pairs well with New York City in the Fall. They’ve also been putting on some in-house events and will have more throughout the Fall and Winter months. Check out their site for a list of upcoming events.

If you find yourself in NYC this Holiday season, be sure to stop in and check things out for yourself. And whether you’re shopping for the men in your life or just looking to treat yo self, you’re sure to find something awesome.

Oh and probably the coolest thing about the shop is that the marketing team (I assume) came up with a genius way to "take" the Huckberry brand with you when you leave their doors.

They've printed guides that cover a range of interests, detailing six adventures out and one night in. While the activities are geared toward the sights and sounds of New York City, they also have an itinerary for a trip to Iceland and another for snowmobiling across the oldest operating dude ranch east of the Mississippi.


Well done Huckberry.