Archive for February 2011

23 Feb, 2011 | Posted by: psnotes

How Do You

Selling your photos takes more than taking good pictures.

Hooray! Your pictures have received accolades from your camera club, and from your relatives and friends.

But until they start earning checks from photobuyers, don’t consider them marketable photos.

What? In other words, they might be considered pretty photos, even beautiful prizewinners, but unless they are selling and fitting a publisher’s needs, they aren’t MARKETABLE photos.

How do you know if your pictures are marketable?

Make a comparison test.

Compare the content of your photos to pictures that have already been published in books, ads, magazines. After all, if a picture has been published, it’s proof that a photobuyer has considered it marketable.

Here’s an idea. Select a batch of the photos published in recent online or print newsstand magazines, trade magazines, coffee table books, and textbooks (exclude photos from photography magazines or art magazines).

Edit them down to 36 published photos. Display them on your monitor.
Mix 15 or 20 of your own original photos in with them.
Compare them all. Can you compete? Do your pictures blend in? Or do they jump out? How do you fare in the following checklist?
Style – Do your pictures complement the styles of the other published pictures? Do yours look like they belong there?
Composition – Do your pictures match the uncluttered compositions of the published images?
Technical – Fuzzy or out-of-focus pictures might be used in a photo art magazine but rarely in regular publishing channels.
Megs - Are your photos at least 300 dpi enlarged at 8x10?
Content – Do they suggest or tell a story? If your pictures tend to be from-the-hip, haphazard shots in content, rather than “illustrative,” you’ll find a welcome at, perhaps, a newspaper, but seldom at a book or magazine publisher.

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How did you score?
If your pictures blend in, congratulations! If they don’t, it’s “back to the drawing board.”

From this exercise you can learn new techniques by observing and utilizing the techniques that the pros use: exercising control of the lighting, selection of appropriate models (paid or unpaid), selection of what to leave OUT of the photo, effective use of background, symbols, and interaction. Observe what other photographers are doing with their camera.
It’s not against the law to refine your skills by copying techniques your competition is using. Many a musician has used the same system to refine his/her skills to get to the top. One day, your skill will surpass the mentor, and you will be selling your photos nation-wide.

Rohn Engh, veteran stock photographer and best-selling author of "Sell & ReSell Your Photos" and "," has helped scores of photographers to sell photos.

For help in how to design a marketable photo, check out “How
to Make a Marketable Photo”


16 Feb, 2011 | Posted by: psnotes

Who Are You Known As?



So, you’ve said, “I want to sell my Photos.”

You’ve always thought you could be a ‘published photographer;” now you know it.

Here’s how it happened: You bought your first digital camera and you struggled through the inconvenience of having to learn a completely (almost) new way of taking pictures, a new way of processing them, sending them off to friends and family – and potential buyers.
It worked! Except for dealing with the potential buyers at publishing houses who were also trying to learn this new process.

However, now that the dust has settled and photobuyers have learned to welcome digital submissions, you are ready to start running down the road that takes you to buyers who can use (and pay for) your pictures.

The automatic controls on cameras today make the technical side of photography much easier than a generation ago. As a result, the person with a sensitive eye finds that she or he is amassing a healthy collection of "quite good" images.

"How can I get my pictures published?" is usually the next question. And rightly so, because you've seen pictures published that were not even as good as yours.

Award-winning pictures in exhibitions and contests may earn you blue ribbons, but if you're interested in seeing your credit line in national circulation and receiving checks in the mail, here are some tips on how to shift your emphasis. It’s called “branding.”

For the purposes of marketing, the real judges of what makes a good photo are the editors at magazine or book publishing houses, who buy photos not because they like them, but because they need them.

I've been in many an editor's office where stunning calendar-type pictures are on the wall, but the editor is signing a check for a work-a-day nuts-and-bolts picture he or she needs for their current project. Like, for example, a basketball coach helping youngsters in a special learning-disabled class in suburbia, or a toddler with his father at a model railroad show. (Millions of this category of pictures are published daily –worldwide.)

If you're interested in making money from your photographic talent, you will want to follow a basic business concept: positioning. If your collection of photos is strong in, say, education, position yourself so that you become a valuable resource to editors who are in continual need of education photos. Or your specialty might be roses. Yes, the flower. Roses in each stage of growth, planting, pruning, diseases, indoor care and cultivation, and so on.

Want to read more ?

02 Feb, 2011 | Posted by: psnotes


Survival in the Digital’s Era’s “information age” is only possible if the words and pictures keep streaming along.

Historically they have been delivered in the medium called ‘print media.’ But if you look at the magazine racks where you pick up your local newspaper, you see that magazines are getting thinner and thinner. And it’s not because there’s a lack of words and pictures.

Magazine advertising has been faltering the last couple of years. In 2010 it was down 25%. Prices for paper, printing and postage are up. A deadlock? No, it’s just a hiccup in the long history of information delivery to the public. In ancient times, it was announced in public plazas and inscribed on stone tablets. In the 1800’s it was plastered poster-like on walls. The world has always been hungry for words and pictures, and even more so in these times.

To the rescue, and just in time ( the public wants information), in the form of Apple’s iPad, a machine that is made to order for displaying words and pictures. The screen display is remarkable. It’s almost better than reading the print version.
Want to see an example? –go to Zinio’s free app. You’ll find samples ranging from National Geographic to Rolling Stone. Some of the magazines even feature hours of streaming audio such as song favorites.
Are there many iPads around? Yes, right now 15 million have already been sold. And there are many more look-a-likes more coming along. So the price is sure to come down.

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What the Internet taketh away… the Internet will giveth back – do you hear that roar?… it’s twice, maybe three times the number of new magazines coming along that will be available to iPad readers (who are 15 million strong, so far) . Take a deep breath. Be ready for the upsurge.

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And just around the corner? …A turn-around of your plummeting photo sales. More electronic magazines will emerge because publishers like the idea of no printing costs, no postage costs.

What could be better for stock photographers? Get ready. Build your market list of those tech-savvy photobuyers who understand this new medium. We'll be supplying you through the PhotoLetter* and PhotoDaily** with new leads as they come along.

Rohn Engh is publisher of , and the newsletter, PhotoStockNOTES, that shows stock photographers how tosell photos and publishers how to buy photos on the Internet.