Archive for February 2012

28 Feb, 2012 | Posted by: st





Are They Coming to You?





It’s one thing to get recognition for your photos; it’s practical and helpful to also get paid for them.

I’m not talking about the $5 or $10 you receive for generic images from an online micro-site. Photobuyers purchasing specific-content photos will pay ten times that, if they can find your photos – and they can find them, if you put keyword descriptions of them on a photo-textcentric * Internet site.

Join the photo-textcentric movement.*

Photo editors now look for the images they need by doing text searches on the Internet instead of plowing through numbers of actual photos.

They narrow their search down by using faster and precise text search, then contact the photographer for a selection of images to review.


Next time you’re on a vacation, take a lot of pictures, but also take notes. What is the name of that historic site (spell it right), that nightclub, or baseball park? What about other landmarks, scenic locations, recreation specialties, in the town you are visiting?

Using a brochure from the Chamber of Commerce as a guide, or the post card counter in the local drug store, capture your images with your digital camera. If it’s 8 megs or above, the images are eligible for magazine and book reproduction.
Again, take notes, the more the better. Who? What? Why? Where? When?

The answers to theses questions will be required as captions by many of your clients, photo editors, and researchers. And the details and identifying descriptions surely will be needed when you “keyword” each of your images to upload to your personal site, and/or to a photo-textcentric site like www.photosource.com/bank . (Hundreds of photobuyers visit the high-traffic PhotoSourceBANK every day to search for the photos they need.)

Making your photos accessible to buyers in this way (listing them on a textcentric site) is much more efficient than the former way of doing business, where you waited for a photobuyer to eventually find and view your website, on-line store, your exhibit, or Internet catalog, looking for a specific illustration for one of their projects.

If you specialize in one or a couple specific interest areas, the textcentric route is the way to go to make sales.

Commercial on-line stock photo agencies rarely accept images that may be arcane, obscure, and too specific to promise multiple sales. However, photobuyers in the multi-million dollar editorial stock photo industry are always seeking hard-to-find images for their magazines, textbooks, brochures, TV documentaries, and book publishing projects.

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Textcentric searching – which has
become the search method of choice
within the last two years -- means
the buyers come directly to you. And
you receive 100% of each sale.


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“Photo-textcentric” is not a word
you’ll find in today’s dictionary,
but next year you might. It’s a
term that's been coined recently
to capture this speedy method for
finding the source of a photo
by searching by means of text
rather than pictures.


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When you list effective descriptive keywords on a search site on the Internet, you position yourself to sit back and reap an extra revenue stream proportionate to the numbers of photos and keywords you use. For photographers with a small promotion budget, your investment is negligible.

This method of finding photos and of selling photos has become possible thanks to advances in search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing and others.

Buyers who come to you directly will be in great need of your photos and they are willing to pay $100 to $200 for one-time use of your images (all photo rights return to you). You can sell the use of your photos again and again.

The Internet has allowed the independent stock photographer market to expand. It’s not uncommon for stock photographers to corner their personal local market, and then branch out to sell their photos worldwide, thanks to this new photo-textcentric approach.

* PHOTO-TEXTCENTRIC: Search engines are at the forefront of this new way to market your photos on the Internet. Looking for a photo? For example, a photo of ‘elephants taking a mud bath in Kenya’ (a typical listing)? You need only to type a search phrase (text) using the key words of your choice into the search bar of Google or a similar search engine, plus the word “photosource”. You’ll find the photo (and the photographer) in seconds.

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Q&A


Q: You might ask, "Keywording photos is boring and time-consuming. Why should I go through that drudgery? I'm a photographer, not a librarian!

A: YES keywording is important – it brings you sales.
And there’s another prime reason that can motivate you to keep churning out those keyword descriptions (captions): they keep your images alive and saleable.
If when you retire you want to sell your collection, or donate it to a museum/university – your entire body of work will be of no use or value unless your photos are equipped with written identifiers. Even more compelling, if you want to leave a legacy through your work to your spouse or children, likewise for it to be of practical value to them, make sure keywording is part of your every day work process.
THE REALITY: In the near future, if you're not available to consult with the owner of your photos, a photo collection worth $150,000 would be considered worthless if they are not properly keyworded. Who's going to know the name of that country school house or the small creek that runs by it? -RE





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 and publisher of PhotoStockNotes. E-mail: info[at]photosource[dot]com Fax: 1 715 248 3800; www.photosource.com




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21 Feb, 2012 | Posted by: st






Does the....


Nittie Gritty Bother You?





“The bumps in the road aren’t big if you enjoy what you’re doing.” That’s how the saying goes. Can you pass the test?

I’ve been observing picture professionals and their business operations for 35 years. Many survive. But many more fail. Of those that fail, the most common flaw is their refusal to pay attention to the business aspects of their enterprise.

In other words – they went out of business not because they were not good at what they do, but because they were not good business people.

Being a good businessperson can be learned.

“But I don’t like all that drudgery associated with business,” you might say.

Yes, it’s true, meticulous record-keeping and routine tasks are involved. Record keeping. Statistics to keep. Correspondence. Forms to fill out. “Ugh!” I heard you say – and you are correct.

But look at it this way: The inconveniences associated with operating your business should pale against your rewards.

THE BEST YEARS


History shows that anyone can succeed if they’re willing to put up with the inconveniences (and “the lean years”) associated with their endeavor. Actors often talk, write, and sing about their years of struggle.

While it was happening, they say, it wasn’t pleasant. But if they survived, and went on to fame – they often comment that those years –were the best years.

Can you draw a parallel to your own efforts? If it’s any consolation, you might be passing through “the best years” right now. Enjoy every moment!

The inventor Thomas Edison didn’t “discover” the electric light bulb. He simply put up with the drudgery of testing more than 7,000 different ways to make it work. He was in love with what he was doing. When someone asked him, “Isn’t it tedious – going through all those tests?” he replied, “On the contrary, it’s exhilarating. And now I know 7,000 ways it cannot be done.”

INSPIRATION VS. PERSPIRATION


We tend to call someone a genius if they succeed far beyond their colleagues. But Edison’s famous reply was, “Genius is 1% inspiration, and 99% perspiration.”
The actor George Burns was asked how he got to the top in his profession. He stumbled with a few clichés about being lucky and working hard, and then said, “What I’m trying to say is – don’t get discouraged and quiet. If you are really in love with what you’re doing –handling all the nitty gritty details along the way won’t bother you”.
It bears repeating: people fail at their business not because they’re not good at what they do, but because they didn't apply themselves to good business practices. It’s all woven together – the major operations and the detailed business side.

There’s a prevalent misconception
in the art world that “creative people
are not good business people.” You
could not convince Shakespeare, Picasso,
or Andy Warhol of that notion.

Yes, the business side of your career can get stormy. But if you enjoy what you are doing, such squalls blow over and you sail on.






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 and publisher of PhotoStockNotes. E-mail: info[at]photosource[dot]com Fax: 1 715 248 3800; www.photosource.com



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14 Feb, 2012 | Posted by: st




Delivering Your Own



Photos by Disc




It's the dream of most stock photographers who are embracing today’s digital world.

You place one hundred of your photos on a CD and send it off to a photobuyer who declares, "Thank you! You saved me hours of photo searching, plus hundreds of dollars of pre-press charges."

But here are two cautions to keep in mind:

1.) Many photobuyers aren't interested in seeing your disc unless you are highly specialized in one area (the area they need) and can come up with one hundred blockbuster photos in that specialty area.
blank cd, blank dvd, sell my photos
Examples: Medicine, children and families, flowers, pets, etc. Why? You’re up against competition from the many high-quality royalty-free targeted discs that are now available to buyers for them to choose images from, at a very low cost.
2.) Producing the images on a CD is one task, but packaging them is another challenge. Unless you package your CD in a format and design that can compete with the RF (Royalty-Free) competition, your submission will be regarded as sub-standard. Labeling and delivery method are important.

THE NEW WAY


If you focus on some specific specialty
areas with your stock photography, you
do have the opportunity to capitalize on
CD technology. Here's how:

First, see:http://www.photosource.com/video/lesson1a.html to discover ways to find specific markets for each of your specialty areas.

On a standard CD, you'll be able to put thousands of low resolution "thumb nail" images (72 dpi dpi). This will give the photobuyer selection choices in depth.

NEXT STEP. Say, for example, you have a general specialty of aviation, and you also have a sub-specialty: antique airplanes. You can cull together 100 of your best antique airplane shots and place them on their own specialized disc. For a “How-To”: http://answers.ask.com/Computers/Hardware/how_to_put_pictures_on_a_cd

For cataloging your thumbnail photos, see: www.techsupportalert.com ;
www.collectorz.com ; www.mybusinesscatalog.com

PACKAGING. Rather than invest in “jewel boxes,” buy the paper pouches available on-line or at discount office supply houses such as Office Max. You'll also want to buy pre-cut self-apply disc labels. On your computer, design the wording for your label using one of your antique airplane images as illustration.
For a professional-looking CD cover, you can get one for $5 at www.fiverr.com.

It's important to illustrate the subject matter (in taxt or photos)of your disc on the label.

Why? Because 'general pictures' have no interest to photobuyers. In fact they are known to stand over a trash can when opening the morning mail. If you match the contents of the disc with the "theme" of the publishing house, you'll find interest from the photobuyer.

DELIVERY. Pre-arrange with your photobuyers that you will be mailing them your disc. Package each disc in a white mailing carton available at the office supply store or from MAILERS (800-872-6670).
Put one of your disc labels on the white mailing carton and put the whole thing in a Priority Mail envelope, the kind you can send from a U.S. Post Office. If you want the disc returned, include return postage. Otherwise the photobuyer, these days, will assume you don't want the disc returned.

PRODUCTION. Be prepared for your photobuyers to ask you for high-res versions of the photos they select.


THE PERMANENT FILE.
cds, dvds, cases, sell my photos
You can encourage your photobuyers to keep your CD’s in their permanent files or central image library. I espouse this “permanent file” approach in my book, Sell & ReSell Your Photos (see pages 127-128), where the photographer leaves specialized images on file at a publisher’s Central Art Library for easy review and access.

When art directors are in a bind and need a quality "filler" for a page layout, they can go to the photos in their permanent file.

The advantage of CD delivery, of course, is that because the image is “in-house,” the photobuyer can pick up the phone or email you with a request for a hi-res delivery of your image.

This permanent file system works well with publishers, and in 30 years I have not heard of any loss or any copyright infringement.



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 and publisher of PhotoStockNotes. E-mail: info[at]photosource[dot]com Fax: 1 715 248 3800; www.photosource.com


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07 Feb, 2012 | Posted by: st






Can You Use



Someone Else’s

Trademark?




Often, photographers will establish a “logo” or trademark to distinguish their business from others.

In copyright law, “fair use” sometimes allows a person to “borrow” copyrighted material for the purpose of informing and educating the public. However, the concept of fair use in copyright law does not have a direct equivalent in trademark law. If you plan to use a trademark which you suspect might belong to someone else, it’s important to understand the concept of “use.”

Under trademark law, use of a trademark generally occurs where the mark is associated with a product or service, such as your photography business.

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Trademarks are protectable
whether or not
they are registered.

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The longer a trademark has been in use, the stronger its capacity to be uniquely attached to the business of that original trademark user.

For example, if another business, especially a photographer, uses a confusingly similar trademark to yours, you have the right to bring legal proceedings to stop them from using it (an “unauthorized use”), if you’ve used it long enough for it to have a well-established association with your business.

Can a trademark be mentioned or displayed without the permission of the original trademark owner? The answer is yes, depending on the circumstances.

In order for a trademark owner to be in a position to complain, the owner must establish that the mark is being “used” by someone else as a trademark. Someone, or another business, merely reproducing the mark, would not be enough to attract the sanctions imposed by trademark law.

What would be offensive is a situation in which the mark is used to capitalize on, or “ride on the coattails” of, the goodwill of the original trademark owner. In this case the original owner of the mark is entitled to control the use to which the mark is put.

From a practical point of view, you may want to perform trademark searches to verify whether the mark you are thinking of using (for a non-commercial purpose) has been already registered. If it has, you might wish to contact the trademark owner and seek permission. If this seems impractical, an alternative might be to place an asterisk next to the mark and indicate the owners’ name as a footnote.

The concept of whether you are “using” a trademark for the purpose of distinguishing products or services from those of others is important to keep in mind. There is nothing prohibiting the mention or display of a trademark for a non-commercial purpose, or non-conflicting purpose so long as the mark is presented fairly and in good taste. For example, we are all familiar with the trademark: Since I am writing about "trademarks" this example would be "fair use."

Another example. Say my last name was Johnson and my brother and I went into the trucking business and we called ourselves "Johnson & Johnson." As long as we did not use the same type style and script as the former, we would not violate the trademark law by trademarking ourselves, Johnson & Johnson.

If you use the "Golden Rule" you will probably be within trademark law 99%! -RE



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 and publisher of PhotoStockNotes. E-mail: info[at]photosource[dot]com Fax: 1 715 248 3800; www.photosource.com





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