Search results

15 Apr, 2014 | Posted by: sellmyphotos

How the Online Photo Galleries

Are Set to Make Big Money

Rohn Engh

Big Data has visited photography and liked what it saw.

In every digital photo you take, there’s valuable information. It’s called metadata. It doesn’t show up visually in your actual picture but it’s imbedded in the binary details of the image itself.
It can tell the location of your photo, and picture-taking details such as the aperture and shutter speed. But most importantly, it can indicates the subject matter you like to take: horses, skiing, boating, pets, children and so on.
In other words, it reveals your preferences.
Your photos are a footprint of your personal preferences.

If you are among the millions who make the internet a daily routine, you no doubt include photos in your online experience.
Let’s talk about preferences.
A good sales person will tell you that if you know the preferences of a potential customer –half the sales battle is won.
If you don’t, you have, well, a cold call.

In the brick-and-mortar days of retail sales, the salesperson was at point zero upon greeting a new customer. Since much of retail sales have moved in the last decade to the on-line shopping model, ( is smiling as I write), merchants are discovering they can learn the shopping preferences of customers without meeting them in person.

Here’s how it works. To take a simple example, Netflix. They stream their movies to your computer or you receive them in your postal mailbox.
After you’ve been a happy customer for awhile, they politely ask you to rate your previous movies through a 5-star system. These ratings become your preferences and are catalogued in the Netflix databank. It guides Netflix to suggest other movies in the same vein of your preferences. If you like Westerns, they suggest more. If you follow Law Enforcement, they suggest choices in that genre. And if you like Nature movies, they have a ton of movies to suggest. It keeps you renting more. Everyone is happy.

So what’s the big deal? I’m not revealing any big secrets here; this is Big DATA at work and has been around the past few years. Netflix provides other retailers with your preferences and other details about you that you have agreed, in writing, to provide them.
What? You ask. How?
By providing a merchant, such as Netflix, with your preferences, you are revealing areas where you will shop. These may be hobbies, vacations, lifestyle and so on. If you like War movies, it means you lean towards subjects like history, conflict, politics, geography, travel, the military, guns, rifles, and so on.
There are many companies that sell products in these areas. They would love to know they are sending their mailers, promotions, catalogs, or on-line pitches to potential customers who welcome them.
Big Data has narrowed the selling process down to aiming at the right target, and in the process, avoiding waste and cost. Sounds all good, doesn’t it? Except Netflix is in the minor leagues when it comes to collecting data about you and capitalizing on it.


TWITTER, the airlines, Nintendo, Pinterest or Instagram are Big Data partners, which retailers call “third parties,” who collect information about you in return for the fun services they provide for you; or the Frequent Flyer miles Delta Airlines provides you to answer a questionnaire.
Wouldn’t a lot of retailers love to know you’ve been to Disney World every January for past three years?

So let’s talk about photography. How do photos fit into this picture?

Recently, a stock photo agency, GettyImages, (Seattle), has discovered the treasure trove they have in their data base of photos.

Remember, digital photos can contain vast amounts of information about photographers and their doings.
GettyImages has announced it is offering 35 million of its editorial images free-of-charge to anyone who would like to use them on any website or blog. These were images that were selling for $5 to $50 in the past. What’s the deal?

GettyImages has designed an Embed tool around the image that you might select for your blog or website, that embeds their logo, and, of course, important metadata about the website, or blog owner (you), the location, the photographer, the caption material, and other technical data.
The company reserves the future right to include advertising, also, either from them or a “third party.”

- - - - - - - - - - - -

Example: Your website needs a
golf photo. You don’t want to pay
a normal $60 annual fee that most stock
photo agencies will charge. You select
a professionally-produced picture
from the GettyImages site. In the
transaction of acquiring the image from
the GettyImages site, you provide information
about you and your site. GettyImages
now, legally, transfers this information
about you and the focus of your site
to its Big Data subsidiary, which,
for the sake of illustration, let’s give
it a mythical name: AJAX Data.

- - - - - - - - - - - - -


AJAX, will now morph over into the direct mail business. It will offer this golf preference information to all sorts of retail companies that provide golf clubs and equipment, gloves, training courses, carts, grass mowers for greens and so on. It will also barter with other similar golf data marketing companies to fatten out its golf sector with private information about you and your website.

“Location is one of the most revealing pieces of information about you,” says Julia Angwin, who has written a book on the subject of data brokering, “Dragnet Nation.” She offers tips to keep the location of your mobile devices and web browser private. Making photos and sending them throughout the internet opens an immense platform for data brokers to study and capitalize on.

Is this fair?
Yes, the Big Data companies think so. So do TWITTER, the airlines, hotels, web browsers and most all of the social media companies, because they offer their “rewards” and fun service to you free, in return for information you provide on their application form, discount cards, phone calls, or motor vehicle application.

How do data brokers make their money?

They rent your name to a retailer. A current, up-to-date mailing list rental name goes from $1 to $5 per name. The cost varies according to the target market. Jewelry buyer names, for example, would rent for more than model train hobbyists.
The data broker handles the mailing of a retailer’s promotion or program and delivers (postal or email) to that portion of their list that matches the customer’s target sector in the market place. The renter doesn’t see your name or the dossier about you. It only watches the excellent results of the promotion!

Another activity of the data brokers: They can make equal trade of names with other companies that have corresponding data points (subject matter) and integrate the names and added details into their own data set.

Another way they make their money would be if they sold your name. But that would be rare. Any child who has set up a summertime lemonade stand knows it’s not a good idea to sip away your own lemonade. But if a data broker decides to quit the business and sellout, your name goes along with the rest of the company’s dossiers to the new buyer. So much for free enterprise.

Advisory: When you join an online social network and accept a “reward” or coupon from an online company, or sign up for something that’s ‘free’, you are in effect trading your name for their delightful offering. I could say, ‘Read the Terms and Conditions’” of each of the online internet companies you deal with…” –but no one ever does. If you were to do that, you would learn they all seem to have been written by the same law firm. It all boils down to three main stipulations:
1.) They can use your information for their own promotions and also share your information with any ‘third party’ they choose.
2.) If you write (or place a video) on their site (premises) that might be construed to be defamatory or illegal, -you pay the court costs, not them.
3.) If they supply your information for a joint promotion or program to a third party anywhere in the world, they are not responsible for any negative consequences. Buyer beware.

The online photo agencies like GettyImages, stand to reap the benefits of the cyber world. Big Data has arrived. Many photo agencies as well as some retail stores will find more profits from data marketing than from their original core product. Getty Images, by offering 35 million free editorial photos to the world, has a bright future. Thirty-five million is a nice number to work with.

So it’s up to you if you want to take the risk and use a GettyImages photo, or the benefits of Instagram, or any of the upcoming social sites or sweepstakes give-aways that are sure to appear on the internet horizon. –RE

Rohn Engh
800 624 0266 rohnengh[at]gmail[dot]com

Tag example: (Golf)

Note: Click on the photo with your mouse. If a free photo symbol comes up,underneath the photo, it means it's a free photo for editorial use. No, I didn't see any Tiger or Bubba free shots in the collection. But there are a lot of famous people included.

As an editorial stock photographer you are going to find much more enjoyment when you are photographing subject matter that you like to take. Learn more about how to sell those pictures at PhotoSource International and the PhotoSourceBANK, Pine Lake Farm, 1910 35th Road, Osceola, WI 54020 USA. Rohn Engh is director of PhotoSource International and publisher of PhotoStockNotes. E-mail: info[at]photosource[dot]com Fax: 1 715 248 3800;

Tags: Internet marketing, social internet issues, accuracy,stock photography

sell photos

TAGS: sell my photos; photo buyer; data brokers; file-sharing; GettyImages; promotion

04 Mar, 2014 | Posted by: sellmyphotos


-- Getty’s Free Image Program: New Revenue Model, or a Surrender to Copyright Infringement? David Walker: “Getty Images lit up the Twittersphere with an announcement that it was making its archive available free of charge for bloggers and other non-commercial users. Some of the big questions are: What is Getty gaining by making images free to the public? How does Getty’s decision affect not only its own contributors, but all photographers? And are there any hidden costs to non-commercial users who take advantage of Getty’s free images? SOURCE:

FREE LUNCH? The stock photo Getty Goliath has been pressuring little David blogs, pursuing copyright enforcement, with demand letters claiming substantial sums of damages and intimidating some with collection agents, spoiling their credit. With one press release, Good Guy Getty has changed all this with “free photos.” How will Getty benefit by this new model? It’s no secret to data mining buffs that a targeted email mailing list can be worth as high as $5 per unique name. But let’s use $1 for this jackpot. Every time Getty gives away a free editorial stock photo and earns info about you, it earns a dollar. Thirty-five million is a nice number to start with. In its “Terms Statement” you’ll read, “Getty Images (or third parties acting on its behalf) may collect data related to use of the Embedded Viewer and embedded Getty Images Content, and reserves the right to place advertisements in the Embedded Viewer or otherwise monetize its use without any compensation to you.” That means you’ll find a Getty sticker on each photo you use of theirs - - not to mention some not-so-subtle advertising you might not wish to be associated with.
SIGH OF RELIEF DEPT: No more watermarks clouding the stock photo landscape. No more attorney fees to keep Getty from the doorstep. Authors of photos will be revealed allowing photogs to make personal direct contact with buyers for future assignments.
GETTY BENEFITS: They can fire their PR dept. which was righteously defending their pursuit of copyright infringement offenders in court. Analytics and data mining will teach Getty what kind of photos sell best to Joe Public – and produce accordingly.
Getty, of course will be losing sales, but these free photos weren’t selling in the first place. When you register at Getty Images to use your first ‘Free Photos’ –keep all this in mind. –RE

07 Sep, 2011 | Posted by: st

The Pleasures of Keyword Perfect

A PhotoSource International software review by Spencer Grant

love it or hate it…you can’t do without it if you plan to succeed with your editorial stock photography. As search engines keep improving and photobuyers and researchers increasingly rely on them for photo search, effective keywording will become a cornerstone of your photo marketing.

Everyone goes about doing keywording a little differently. Some photographers use their own mental vocabularies for keywording, while others consult a thesaurus. I know a photographer who has blocks of often-used synonyms he cuts and pastes into the right place.

Most stock photo agencies have developed their own in-house preferred keywording system. But what of the independent stock photographer? Is there any heavy-duty keywording software available for the individual freelancer? In my estimation, yes, there is.

My inclination has always been to get all the help I can, and the most helpful keywording “companion” I’ve found so far is a program called Keyword Perfect from A2Z Keywording in Tivoli, NY.

In a nutshell, here’s what “KP” does: As the first illustration shows, you start with uploading the pictures you want to keyword and select one or more to work on. You begin with inputting “essential keywords” in the slot up top – basic, fundamental descriptions – then hitting the Tab button to move ‘em to the adjacent slot. Multi-word descriptions are automatically bracketed, a very neat touch. You’ll also see these essential keywords shown in the description boxes below.

Next, proceed to the main page, a series of boxes with drop-down menus covering the image (BW or color, horizontal or vertical); interior or exterior; time of day; number of entities in the picture; dominant color (I usually leave this blank); photo style; location; family groups (if any); people (sexes and ages); people style (i.e., the angle of view); race; age; objects/creatures; expression/activities; emotions/concepts. Not every box must be checked, of course, but the more you check off, the more keywords you’ll get.

Inevitably you’ll come up with a descriptive word that’s not in KP’s vocabulary and you’ll encounter one of the program’s greatest assets: “keyword generators.”

You click to the keyword generator page and start adding synonyms of your choice to the word (I keep an online thesaurus handy to help with this). Once you’ve saved these synonyms, every time you use the original word, all the other words will pop up, too, so the more you use KP the more it gets “customized” to your images. Nice!

In a minute or two the boxes are all checked and you click on “process images” in the upper left under “File.”

In about a half a minute you’re on the keyword page (see the illustration).

Notice that the keywords are now available in two forms: a solid block of ‘em in the lower right PLUS the three-tier style required by Alamy and Getty, all divided and ready to cut and paste into your spot on their website[s] with multi-word keywords correctly set off in brackets. There’s no need for “parsing” by guesswork; Keyword Perfect has done the job for you.

As for the single block of keywords, they can be sent directly to the original images in Photoshop and will wind up in the caption and keyword slots under “File Info” Thus you can get both Alamy/Getty submissions and “everyone else” submissions done almost simultaneously.

Since I’ve been using Keyword Perfect I’ve found my production going up because I can service my material so conveniently. And as to keyword volume, well, let’s take this simple caption: “Caucasian and Asian girls work at writing and art assignments at a summer learning project sponsored by the University of California” and see how many keywords the program has produced:
girls class writing art school summer learning artwork education learn write educating group 5-6 years artworks Asian American Caucasian classes color image crayons desk female tween front view horizontal interior papers photojournalism schools Southern California three University of California students 3 5 years Asian ethnicity California Caucasian appearance college color image female furniture indoor marker tween girl 6 years child groups inside multicolored race South tween Asian Americans Caucasians colleges color images desks educate female tweens front views horizontals interiors photojournalism colored wax damsel minority region state university Spencer Grant teenage girl color images females indoors markers tween girls drawing ethnicity female teenager learning United States multicoloreds tweens educations girl Southwest colored waxes damsels minorities regions teenage girls lass Southland drawings ethnicities female teenagers kid lasses children teenager kids teen adolescent teenagers teenage teens adolescence adolescents people childhood

In the Alamy/Getty three-level style they look like this:


girls class writing art school summer learning


artwork education learn write educating group [5-6 years] artworks [Asian American] Caucasian classes [color image] crayons desk [female tween] [front view] horizontal interior papers photojournalism schools [Southern California] three [University of California] students 3 [5 years]


[Asian ethnicity] California [Caucasian appearance] college [color image] female furniture indoor marker [tween girl] [6 years] child groups inside multicolored race South tween [Asian Americans] Caucasians colleges [color images] desks educate [female tweens] [front views] horizontals interiors photojournalism [colored wax] damsel minority region [state university] Spencer Grant [teenage girl] [color images] females indoors markers [tween girls] drawing ethnicity [female teenager] learning [United States] multicoloreds tweens educations girl Southwest [colored waxes] damsels minorities regions [teenage girls] lass Southland drawings ethnicities [female teenagers] kid lasses children teenager kids teen adolescent teenagers teenage teens adolescence adolescents people childhood

At $249 Keyword Perfect isn’t cheap, but it does so much, so well, that the price is reasonable. In addition, creator Alexander Zane is usually available on the phone to walk a user through some of KP’s dicier details. At there’s a free-sample download allowing you to keyword five pictures. Give it a try! There is also a batch of KP tutorials at giving a realistic look at how the program operates.

Of all the keywording methods I’ve used, Keyword Perfect is by far the best. I really wonder how I got along without it.

Spencer Grant is a longtime editorial
stock photographer; 949-248-0767; spencergrant[at]cox[dot]net;
Keyword Perfect is located at

TAKEAWAY: What’s the next step? As an independent editorial stock photographer you will build a rich database of this information and be able to locate images swiftly by keyword. The keywords can also be imbedded in each of your digital photos themselves, (photo metadata) along with vital information about you, the photographer, plus location information. A pioneer in disseminating information about the metadata process is David Riecks, < <
Can Google or other search engines “crawl” the imbedded keywords (photo metadata) in your images? At present the technology to do this (an independent editorial stock photographer’s dream) does not exist. But, the day will soon come. For an excellent explanation of this subject:

11 May, 2011 | Posted by: st

Facebook For Photographers – John Lund: "What particularly caught my eye in the new survey by Photoshelter 'What Buyers Want From Photographers...' were two statistics. First, 61% of buyers search Google for images, and secondly, 87% go to stock agencies for images. Think about it. If your images are not on your site, and your site isn’t optimized for the search engines, you are missing out on the chance of getting your work in front of 61% of image-licensing art buyers.

REPORTER OR ARTIST? -- Charlie Borland: “Why The Debate Over Image Manipulation Is Mostly a Waste of Time."
The debate over whether or not image manipulation should be done and whether it is ethical or not rages on and in my opinion, much of it is unnecessary. The opinions vary widely over disclosing what is real and what is not and some question whether any digital photograph can be believed. There are now even attempts to set ethical standards for digital photography manipulation..”

THE SUM OF THE PARTS -- Tips for a Smooth Photoshoot - Kate: “Whether you are running the show yourself or you hire a producer, here are a few simple tips that may help you run a smoother production.
TAKEAWAY: Thanks, Kate. And another presidential quote (President Teddy Roosevelt) and another point to add, “Speak softly and carry a big stick” All the great Hollywood movie producers seemed to have this attribute. -RE

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

-- Ed. Note: If you’ve been thinking about becoming a fulltime stock photographer here’s a report that might cause you to reconsider..
Scott Baradell: “Stock photographers are up in arms. The latest round of fury has been triggered by Getty’s decision to change its contributor agreement. Most notably, these changes allow Getty the right to include all royalty-free content in its subscription package.
They also remove the right for contributors to block Getty selling any of their images on a royalty-free basis. ;SOURCE: BlackStar Rising
TAKEAWAY: A Fable. Gulliver is gulping his children and soon he won’t have many left to chew on. Where did they all go? It’s tomorrow or 2012. The tide has reversed. These picture-takers escaped to the Internet corridor that has long been blossoming behind the screen, beckoning them to the new freedom. The time has come. Gulliver’s castle is crumbling and integration of labels like rights-managed, crowd-sourcing, microstock, macrostock, and royalty free, are floating downstream, flowing into the Internet stream to be separated into distinct branches of their liking. These are individual, independent photographers each opening their own specialty shops, big and small, each gathering their own faithful followers. These photosuppliers use their own personal marketing giant, the Internet, who broadcasts photowares to be delivered with speed, far and wide, to awaiting clients. And yes, these emerging picture artists are enjoying this new dawn of photomarketing, free from the bonds of Gulliver. -RE

- - - - - - - - - -

The Shpilman Institute for Photography Announces First Research Grant Winners (The SIP) is pleased to announce the recipients of its inaugural Grants Program for research in philosophy and photography
and for general research that advances understanding of photography’s practices, theories, and history. Paula Amad, Associate Professor, Department of Cinema and Comparative Literature, University of Iowa was their top prize winner. “The Earth’s ‘Lost Archives’: Rethinking Memory Through Aerial Photography,” $15,000. SOURCE: Romi Mikulinsky.