Are You a Decision Influencer? I’m Not.

by | Mar 18, 2021

Today’s Rant by Joe Farace

I’m somewhat active on social media. You can find me on Twitter (@joefarace), Instagram (@joefarace), as well as my photography how-to blog and this my car photography website/blog. Sorry, I’m not on Facebook and I’ll gladly tell you why that is face-to-face over coffee or something stronger sometime. With all this online activity, I don’t consider myself a decision influencer.

Caption: Here I am behind the wheel of a brand-new 1972 Chevrolet LUV aka Isuzu pickup truck at that year’s New York Auto Show. Did I influence anybody to buy a LUV? I don’t think so but I still think it was/is a cute little truck.

Why is that you ask? It’s really simple: No company, PR agency or combination thereof pays me money to write how much I like a particular camera, lens or car for that matter. Don’t confuse the ads that appear at the bottom of this page with anything but a way to cover the expenses of operating this blog. And it doesn’t even do that. That’s why last year, on my photography how-to blog, I started a program allowing readers to donate to support that and this blog. If you decide to donate, thank you.

What this means to you is that most of the cameras and lenses that are featured on this blog were purchased with my own money. There are some exception: Three of the last four new cameras I have were gifts from my wife, Mary—I paid for the Lumix G9—and she doesn’t care what I write about them.

You may be surprised to learn that some camera and lens manufacturers will not lend us equipment to review. Is it because we won’t guarantee a good review? I don’t know but while they are unfailingly polite whenever I request a review camera or lens they never, never actually lend this blog equipment. That may be why you never see your favorite lens or camera company featured here. If so, sorry; I;m trying. For a while new gear from many different manufacturers was loaned to me by a third-party retailer who made no demands on us other than that we return the gear within 30 days. Due to personnel changes at this store, this generous policy was quietly stopped.

So the next time you’re reading a review or watching a video from an influencer, ask yourself one question: Who is paying them to say what they’re saying. You already know who’s paying me—nobody.

Scan of original 1972 Ektachrome slide by