12 Dec, 2012 | Posted by: bswenson


WANNA BUY A CAMERA?

This one sold for $2.19 million.

An Austrian photo gallery says a camera used by a photographer who documented the life of artist Pablo Picasso has sold for a world record price of €1.68 million ($2.19 million). The Leica m3d belonged to David Douglas Duncan. The 96-year-old former photographer for LIFE magazine was a close friend of Picasso and published hundreds of exclusive photos of him.
Read more: http://www.greenwichtime.com/entertainment/article/Camera-sold-for-2-19-million-in-Austria-4066680.php#ixzz2E929gM3p
http://www.greenwichtime.com/entertainment/article/Camera-sold-for-2-19-million-in-Austria-4066680.php
PHOTO: Dieter Nagl/Getty


27 Nov, 2012 | Posted by: bswenson


NICE COMPLIMENT!
-- Photog Claims Major Designer Used Her Photo On Clothing Without Permission - - Michael Zhang: "Photographer Jessica Nichols‘ most popular photograph on her Flickr account is titled “Loads of Ranunculus” and has more than 10,000 views. Nichols got a nasty shock a year ago when she discovered that American fashion designer Chris Benz had apparently turned the photo into numerous clothing designs for his Spring 2012 line, without Nichols’ knowing and/or permission. Since July of this year, Nichols has been fighting against the infringement in an attempt to get the designer to pay up.
http://www.petapixel.com/2012/11/15/photog-says-designer-used-her-photo-on-clothing-without-permission/
Also:
http://lifestyle.topnewstoday.org/style/article/3806920/

27 Nov, 2012 | Posted by: bswenson


CATCH ME IF YOU CAN
-- California Anti-Paparazzi Law Fails First Court Challenge – --David Walker: A California law meant to impose special penalties on the paparazzi for reckless driving has been declared unconstitutional by a Los Angeles County superior court judge, according to several news reports. Judge Thomas Rubinson said the law was too broad when prosecutors invoked it against photographer Paul Raef SOURCE: http://pdnpulse.com/2012/11/california-anti-paparazzi-law-fails-first-court-challenge.html

20 Nov, 2012 | Posted by: bswenson


DO YOU KNOW WHERE

YOUR PHOTOS ARE?

Delgaudio’s nonprofit group seeks dismissal of lawsuit over use of photo – Caitlin Gibson: “Public Advocate of the United States, a conservative nonprofit organization led by Loudoun County Supervisor Eugene A. Delgaudio (R-Sterling), filed a motion Friday to dismiss a federal complaint alleging that the organization illegally used a same-sex couple’s engagement photo on anti-gay-marriage campaign fliers in Colorado.” http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/delgaudios-nonprofit-group-seeks-dismissal-of-lawsuit-over-use-of-photo/2012/11/05/bc3ab94c-276b-11e2-b2a0-ae18d6159439_story.html
Additional Info: http://kristinahill.com/blog/2012/06/28/an-image-stolen/
TOP PHOTO: Kristina Hill

20 Nov, 2012 | Posted by: bswenson


WHERE’D MY

CAMERA GO?#!&# !! ?
-- Lost Camera Discovered Around Bird's Neck - Tim Barribeau:“A cormorant managed to accidentally save a missing camera, and its photos eventually made their way back to the rightful owner. Karen Gwillim of Saskatoon came across a young, struggling, cormorant. She helped the bird, and removed what turned out to be a camera, dangling from its neck. A few days of drying out, and she managed to salvage some 200 photographs from the small compact camera, as recently as October of 2011. The images were "lots of fishing pictures, giant fish, guys with fish, mostly," said Gwillim, but also featured some shots of a wedding and houses. SOURCE: http://www.popphoto.com/news/2012/11/lost-camera-discovered-around-birds-neck

30 Oct, 2012 | Posted by: bswenson



After -- Hurricane Sandy's Storm Surge Wreaks Havoc As Its Energy And Trajectory Stun Experts. Tom Zeller, Jr.: “The storm, now called a post-tropical cyclone, slammed into coastal New Jersey Monday evening, shoving catastrophic volumes of ocean water up over flood barriers and deep into coastal communities -- including New York City, which saw a 13-foot storm surge devour parts of lower Manhattan, inundate subway tunnels and flood office buildings, among them the lobby of the New York Daily News. New Jersey's Atlantic City was experiencing dangerously high floodwaters into Tuesday morning, and officials were calling it the worst storm in the city's history. SOURCE:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/30/hurricane-sandy-storm-surge_n_2043455.html?ref=topbar
PHOTO: Associated Press

29 Aug, 2012 | Posted by: bswenson








22 Aug, 2012 | Posted by: bswenson




What Camera Do You Use?



THE MYTH OF THE DSLR CAMERA


O.K. STOP, we are not talking about commercial studio or assignment photography. The subject here is…”breaking into stock photography.”

Stock photographers can get by with a small investment in camera equipment.

Unlike the (commercial) service photographer who must be "versatile," the stock photo guy or gal can get by easily with a smart-phone camera. Yes, that’s right, “mobile” -- a marvelous tool – and getting better.
Right now, in the early stages of your editorial stock photography career, you don’t need a super expensive high-meg camera, since your pictures will be used most of the time at quarter-page size in books and magazines.
An 8-meg smart-phone camera will do very well for producing images acceptable to the publishing industry. I’ve seen photographers get started with a 4 meg camera. (We’re talking about immersing yourself slowly into the publishing industry.)
-------------------------------------------------

For the editorial stock photographer, a DSLR camera is not necessary,
especially at the beginning of your career. Of course the photo advertising
industry would prefer you to buy a high-priced DSLR camera. It’s not a
new sales concept. Back in the 1930’s, photographers were using the big
ol’ 4x5 Graphlex camera. When the 35mm Leica came along, the industry
tried to denigrate this new format as ineffective for pros. Don’t buy the
idea that you need the cumbersome DSLR camera for your editorial stock
photography. Once you’re launched in your career you may want to use
a DSLR for certain photo projects – but you’ll still be able to use your smart
phone for the majority of your work.
-----------------------------------------------------

How does a photographer break into the editorial stock photo market?
One sure-fire way is to specialize. For example, a photographer can get known (through putting photo description keywords on the Internet) for having a large collection of photos of say, snakes, and specifically water snakes. The photographer gets a call from a buyer for a photo of a water snake undergoing a medical check-up at a zoo or animal clinic.

The photographer says to the buyer, “I don’t have that particular photo right now but I can have one to you in the morning.”

The photographer then contacts a local zoo or veterinary service (they are always happy to cooperate for a set-up shot they can use in their publicity file) and shoots some pictures with his smart-phone.
He sends a selection of five views on a light-box to the buyer, and the magazine makes its selection and agrees with the photographer on a fee. Job done.

Lesson learned: You don’t have to make a big investment. It’s the same for a fine art painter who’s just starting out. You wouldn’t buy an elaborate easel, multiple costly brushes, several dozen drawing pads, a major outlay in paint supplies, at first. You would start with minimum equipment and supplies, to discover if buyers like your work -- and more important, if YOU like the work.
THEN TAKE THE JUMP


If you find you fit in well working with book and magazine editors, it’s then that you can invest in a more expensive camera with higher resolution and multiple lenses.

Check out eBay or Craig’s List for some bargains. But you’ll find you’ll still be able to successfully use your trusted mobile phone for the majority of your stock photo work. –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 your photos at PhotoSource International and the PhotoSourceBANK, Pine Lake Farm, 1910 35th Road, Osceola, WI 54020 USA. Rohn Engh is director and publisher of PhotoStockNotes. E-mail: info[at]photosource[dot]com Fax: 1 715 248 3800; www.photosource.com




14 Aug, 2012 | Posted by: st




Are You Giving Away Photos?


The grocery store gets you to come in by offering a coupon that makes you an offer you can't refuse.

COUPONS -- COUPONS

Car rental places are catching on, so are even stock photo agencies.

What could be better than free photos?
Stock photography sites are drawing photobuyers into their websites with the alluring come-on of free photos that are, in effect, coupons.

Should you resort to "coupons"?
This kind of marketing tactic is one that editorial stock photographers don't need to employ, because their editorial photos grow in value as time moves on –unlike commercial stock photos that are more closely tied to trends or conform to current design dictates, and consequently fall out of fashion.

However, there’s no doubt it’s the way of the future – giving away photos. Free.

What’s the catch? Do stock photo companies have an overflow of extra baggage that they’d like to get rid of? Or are they wisely launching a marketing technique that is sure to be followed by the $5-a-picture on-line microstock business?

The latter. Microstock companies are following a new Internet trend that has been used for years by the brick-'n'-mortar people: overstock.
When a product's shelf life has expired (it's not selling) they usher the items off to a second tier of businesses that are willing to take on the product (cheap!) and sell it to "dollar stores" or similar enterprises. Everyone benefits, including the customer.
Extra baggage in the stock industry means extra administrative time, extra storage space, and extra keywords, not to mention disappointment on the part of buyers. Depending on the category –teens, office workers, industry, etc. – Microstock pictures have a shelf life of between two to five years. After that, they are usually relegated to the trash bin.
But how does a photobuyer benefit? Well, everyone likes something for free, whether it turns out to be useful or not. The “free stock” purveyors say that this technique opens the door to many new and potential customers. Some may never have heard of the stock agency offering free photos, some may be former customers who forgot about them, and some may be window shoppers – all of whom just might go on to become long-term customers, once they have visited the website.

It's not unlike the supermarket that offers an introductory coupon ($2 off this product). It's called a loss-leader. Customers will come in the store drawn by the bargain, and look around and perhaps move beyond this back door bargain section into the front of the store.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

It works. And we can
expect that many stock photo
agencies will follow suit
and employ this strategy.

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

Now that microstock has been around for a few years, the $5-a-picture industry has come to the realization that their exquisite clichés have a limited life span. Limited shelf life in the microstock industry is a fact of life. Styles, trends, and buzz-pix become popular, then become stale, and then die. (Remember those earlier pictures of suit-with-laptop-case-in-hand, rushing down the street? Do suits still carry laptop cases, or has the style moved on to shoulder slung satchels, or backpacks?)
The pictures that are given away will be only images that have been online for at least one year, and have had no sales.

THE EDITORIAL DIFFERENCE


In our field of editorial stock photography, we see an opposite effect.


Unlike commercial stock photos
that have a short 'shelf life,’
editorial stock photos often
gain in their marketability
with age.


The editorial stock photographs you are capturing today can easily experience an increase in their marketability as the years move on. A commercial stock photograph taken in the early 2000’s may have already lost its marketability, but an editorial stock photograph of an aborigine listening to a transistor radio in the 90's will increase in its salability and become even more useable in this century.

Whether your interest area is the environment, politics, education, etc. your present pictures will be marketable not only today but also in the future. You'll even be able to pass your collection on to your heirs as an annuity.
Is this a new phenomenon? It has existed to a degree all along, but now it's getting big.

Now that the publishing industry, which includes physical markets (print markets, on-line newspapers, etc.), but also "air-space" on TV, blogs, the Internet, social media, and future channels of publishing, has realized that nostalgia, entertainment, history, and memorabilia sells. (Who would've thought just a few short years ago that there would be a history channel on TV?)

If you are following a stock photo career of taking pictures in a category you love to work in, you will become a contributor to history.
Unlike the microstock companies who consider their throw-aways as dead-weight and un-saleable, your editorial stock pictures are becoming more valuable as time moves 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 your photos at PhotoSource International and the PhotoSourceBANK, Pine Lake Farm, 1910 35th Road, Osceola, WI 54020 USA. Rohn Engh is director and publisher of PhotoStockNotes. E-mail: info[at]photosource[dot]com Fax: 1 715 248 3800; www.photosource.com




.

31 Jul, 2012 | Posted by: st





The Hidden Value Of Your Photo File


If you are a photographer who likes to travel, you have a potential wealth area you are probably not capitalizing on. It's your photo file - that collection of digital images and color prints that feature your destination sites. These photos could be reaching magazines and book publishers and electronic media markets who are, at this moment, looking for them.
Global commerce and family vacations have made the travel industry among the top ten revenue producers in business today.
A good reason you aren't making the match with travel-oriented publishers is that you don't know the contact persons or their publication dates. The photos in your file, consequently, are going nowhere, except out of date.
Cruise Lines, Hotels, Railways, Blog sites, and Airlines, all would like the world to know about the merits of their particular destinations. If their files contain current photos, they are in an excellent position to arrange free publicity. At this moment there are magazine and book publishers and other media seeking photographs of these destinations.
Here at PhotoSource International we email out daily the photo needs of publishers who are willing to pay $50 to $200 for these much needed photos for their upcoming publications. Of course, it’s not that every day the photo needs we publish would match your particular destination areas, but over a year's time, we may list several that do match for you. And each one would give you a contact you could subsequently work with directly for additional sales.

A NOTE TO TRAVEL ORGANIZATIONS


A key to successfully placing photos of your travel destinations with magazine and book publishers and other travel media, is to supply current, fresh images that portray your destination sites with a welcoming and positive atmosphere. If the photos you supply are out-dated or not up to the technical standards of the publishing industry, your efforts are doomed.
Here's how to keep your files up-to-date with little cost to your budget:
No doubt your destination sites are ones that most travelers would like to visit - and that includes professional photographers. If you can offer standard “fam tour” courtesies to professional photographers, such as lodging, meals and in some circumstances airline travel for the photographer, the photographer is often willing to barter their services.
In our newsletter PhotoStockNotes we monthly publish the itineraries of traveling photographers and their destinations. Give us a call if you'd like to see a current list of travel photographers and where they’re going. (800 624-0266)
If you'd like to see a copy of our marketletters, PHOTODAILY and the weekly PHOTOLETTER, where we list photo needs of photobuyers and send them to a select number of working photographers, write or fax us on your letterhead. As a photobuyer you would work directly with any responding photographers.



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 your photos at PhotoSource International and the PhotoSourceBANK, Pine Lake Farm, 1910 35th Road, Osceola, WI 54020 USA. Rohn Engh is director and publisher of PhotoStockNotes. E-mail: info[at]photosource[dot]com Fax: 1 715 248 3800; www.photosource.com





24 Jul, 2012 | Posted by: st






Who Are the Actors?


Who are the players in the stock photography industry?

The players, of course, are the photographers and the buyers - but they operate in two separate stock "camps," and the stock photos differ, depending on which camp they're in.

To get a clear picture of this, take a magazine and tear out all the advertisements. The photos that are left are what we call “editorial photography.” The ads are “commercial photography."

Stock photography is used in both areas, but with some big differences.

Many of the commercial photos are shot in studios and conform to the wishes of several parties: the client, the ad agency, the art director, and only slightly, the photographer.

Editorial photos meet the wishes of the editor of a magazine, book, newspaper, electronic media channel and/or, a photo researcher, but first and foremost the photo meets the wishes of the photographer.

Commercial stock photos that are designed and produced by the photographer, are geared up by the photographer to fit into commercial clients' needs, trend in the industry, and appeal to a wide audience with his/her product. These are often called generic images because they appeal to a wide audience, and can produce multiple sales.

Editorial stock photos take a different approach. Rather than appeal to the commercial needs of the client, the editorial stock photographers follows their own interest areas, their own needs, and their enjoyment in photographing certain segments of life and culture.
Examples: medicine and health, sports, social issues, travel, etc. The editorial stock photographer then researches markets to find those who need photos coverage in the select few interest areas the photographers specializes in.
-- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

There’s more consistency and
longevity with editorial buyers,
and editorial stock photographers
can enjoy strong long-term working
relationships with their buyers –
which translates to more consistent sales.

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

Buyers in the commercial field range from graphic design houses, to corporate art directors, to ad agency and pr firm creative directors. There’s much turnover in these positions, so developing consistent working relationships with commercial markets is frustrating and difficult.

In the editorial field the buyers range from photo editors at books and magazines, electronic media to photo researchers, -the people who are hired by publishers and art directors to seek out highly specific pictures.


Welcome aboard!




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 your photos at PhotoSource International and the PhotoSourceBANK, Pine Lake Farm, 1910 35th Road, Osceola, WI 54020 USA. Rohn Engh is director and publisher of PhotoStockNotes. E-mail: info[at]photosource[dot]com Fax: 1 715 248 3800; www.photosource.com




.

17 Jul, 2012 | Posted by: st






You Are The Expert


Your photobuyers will thank you




It’ll be a long while before microstock or the BIG BOYS (Getty, Corbis, Alamy, etc.) will ever surpass the community of photographers comprised of all independent stock photographers, when it comes to selling photos.

Why? Let’s take a look at what’s happening.

The scene: Can be either a large publishing house in New York or a small photo research office in Omaha. A researcher is handed an assignment on Monday morning.
The assignment reads like this: “Rail cars from either the Boston Green Line or Dallas Dart mass transit systems.”
Presumably, the photo researcher is not from Boston or Dallas. He or she goes to an on-line gallery or popular stock agency to search for the above photo.

Found it! Case closed!

No it isn’t – unbeknownst
to the researcher, that
style of rail cars was
replaced by a new design
this past summer.


Is it the researcher’s fault that an inaccurate photo appears on page 203 of the publisher’s textbook?

Probably ten years ago in the publishing industry, such a mistake was excusable. But not today. Not in the digital world of search engines.
The photo researcher would have been better off – speed-wise (not looking through tons of rail pictures) -- and accuracy-wise – by announcing his/her photo need on a daily search service like the PhotoDaily.
The photographers who respond will probably live in the city or its vicinity, and have more accurate knowledge about the subject.

Example of another photo need: “The small town of Imperial Valley, California: any local highlights, street scenes, museums, tourist attractions, etc.”

Same problem exists.
A lovely photo of this location is on a portal, available for a low fee, and downloadable.
The problem: Since the photo was taken two years ago, the local church has added a new steeple, and two new gift shops and a new City Hall have been built. Using the 2-year-old photo would be embarrassing to the publisher.
A local photographer, familiar with the area, would have been able to warn the photo researcher, as well as suggest other shots.

Here’s one: “Need for poster use: active bow hunting for wild turkeys.”

On the portals you’ll find many photos is this subject area. But are they accurate? For a photo researcher, finding a photographer who can knowledgeably advise on hunting turkeys, is safer than choosing a possibly inaccurate picture out of two dozen from a massive stock agency.

Things that can go wrong: the bow hunting equipment is illegal; the clothing worn by the hunter(s) is inappropriate; the age of the hunters is below the legal age in that particular state; the actual bow is out of style.


The average photo researcher would
not recognize these factors. Contacting
a photographer directly is a safer
method of obtaining accurate photos,
rather than ‘hoping and guessing’
using a photo-hosting site or stock
photo agency. And thanks to search
engines the contact can be made
quicker than searching through scores
of images.



YOU ARE A CONSULTANT


If you stick with a particular specialty in your stock photography, you are going to learn a lot about your subject and become an expert in that field. As such, you are an important resource to the photobuyer who needs coverage of that subject area, whether they’re in NYC or Wichita or Tokyo.

Photo researchers only have to be burned once, before they start turning to independent stock photographers to supply accurate images for their assignment. The “independent” can supply a wealth of details because she took the picture and is an expert in the subject matter.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Let your knowledge work for you. Specialize
to survive in today’s microstock world.
Publishers are willing to pay for the
additional consulting service you can provide.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


Extra note: Photobuyers like to speak directly with the author of a photo they license. The photographer will be able to answer questions about the photo. However, stock agencies will not allow contact between buyer and photographer. Why? Because too often photobuyers will subsequently go directly to the photographer for future sales and assignments, and the agency loses commissions.



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 your photos at PhotoSource International and the PhotoSourceBANK, Pine Lake Farm, 1910 35th Road, Osceola, WI 54020 USA. Rohn Engh is director and publisher of PhotoStockNotes. E-mail: info[at]photosource[dot]com Fax: 1 715 248 3800; www.photosource.com



.

10 Jul, 2012 | Posted by: st





It’s Like...


Selling Watermelons





If you were selling watermelons, which of the following scenarios would you enjoy most?
A. You start your morning with a leisurely breakfast at 9:00 a.m., load three dozen watermelons into your cart and deliver them to one customer at 11:00 a.m., and then spend the afternoon at the beach.
B. You are awakened by the alarm at 5:00 a.m.; you rush through breakfast so that you can start knocking on doors in order to sell your 36 watermelons by the end of the day.

No contest, right? Yet most stock photographers resort to the second scenario, or even a third: they wait by the phone and hope someone will call them.
In the early days of the California Gold Rush, the '49ers who proved most successful were those that panned the creeks first to locate the gold, but then took one more important step. They followed the gold back to the source and then spent their time in the mine.
Too often, stock photographers will sell a photo to a buyer and consider the sale and relationship done. The photographer goes on to look for "gold" elsewhere.

FUTURE WORTH


Successful stock photographers, on the other hand, learn how to "mine their lode." That is, they calculate the future net worth of each photobuyer. When they make a sale, they put that photobuyer into their marketing program, which includes systematic promotion to them, because they know a buyer soon forgets a photo and the photographer, unless you remind the buyer consistently of your work.

When you make enough sales to that buyer to become a “regular,” you still need to continue to promote to them, to keep your name at the head of the line.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


You can cultivate long-term
working relationships with
photobuyers at markets whose
photo needs match your strong
coverage areas.


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


Determining the future net worth of an editor or photobuyer is not difficult to do. Based on photobuyers at other, similar, markets, be it a book or magazine publisher, a corporation, etc., estimate the jobs, sales, assignments and other revenue that can be transacted with the photobuyer over two to three years, and then project what potential revenues will come in.

Past experience shows that each buyer represents certain predictable variables: per-picture rate of pay, average number of pictures bought per transaction, frequency of purchases per year, spin-off to other photobuyers in the same publishing house/ad agency/ corporation.

From this, it's possible for the stock photographer to determine a fairly accurate future net worth of any new photobuyer.

As a very general guideline, the future net worth over a ten year period of a typical low-budget buyer would be approximately $5,000. A mid-range buyer would be approximately $25,000, and a high range would be about $75,000. By the way, we have found ten years is an average length of time you can expect to remain with a buyer in the publishing industry.

PROMOTION


The critical factor is promotion. You should have two main streams of promotion: one, to contacts and buyers you’ve already made and put on your database; and two, outreach promotion to gather new potential buyers.
Regards the first stream, to specific buyers, if the stock photographer does not set up a regular and consistent plan of promotion, such as an auto-responder campaign, a new photobuyer could very easily be lost.

What does it cost to promote? If you put 10% of your expected gross revenue from a buyer, to promotion to that buyer, it's easy to see that promotion costs are very workable. The critical factor is to know who you should spend your promotional dollars on.

Which brings us to your outreach promotion: how to get good leads worth a portion of your promotion dollars (panning for gold along the creek).

Obviously, the leads in your marketletter (PhotoDaily, PhotoLetter, or PhotoStockNotes/Plus) are the most cost-effective way for you to get new contacts. If you spend $375 per year on a marketletter service, and obtain 10 excellent mid-range leads (contacts) during that one year, you have a gold mine: 10 x $25,000 = $250,000 future net worth--at a cost of only $375, plus 10% to promote to them over a ten-year period. There are not many businesses that can realize that kind of cost-effective marketing strategy.

Begin today. Follow up with the photobuyers you've cultivated in the past. Start mining this hidden asset of yours.




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 your photos at PhotoSource International and the PhotoSourceBANK, Pine Lake Farm, 1910 35th Road, Osceola, WI 54020 USA. Rohn Engh is director and publisher of PhotoStockNotes. E-mail: info[at]photosource[dot]com Fax: 1 715 248 3800; www.photosource.com





.

26 Jun, 2012 | Posted by: st





The Transition




Have you been looking at any photos recently?

No, I don’t mean taking or making photos, but looking at them.

If you are over thirty, your initial reaction to a photograph is probably to expect that it’s a representation of reality – that is -- it’s documentation. It’s what the camera saw, and bygod it better be a faithful capture of a real moment!

But not so, anymore. This is a new century.

Today, some photos are “real,” but it’s common now for photos to be re-enactments, doctored up with photoshop, fiction-history fantasies, or multiple-photo manipulations.

Yes, we are in a transition. And like the motion picture industry that went through a similar metamorphosis early in the last century, we “still” photographers are looking today at photos not as pure documentation but as entertainment.

In the last century, photography captured the attention of the public, the same crowd attention that fine-art painters enjoyed. Historically, still photography first observed and recorded nature, people, and urban/rural scenes, the ‘real world.’ As camera technology improved, still photography started being used as an “art” medium.

Still photography became an “art.” Plus still photography was expected to capture the real world. Meanwhile, moving pictures, "film,” was allowed to slide into the world of ‘entertainment.”

The big change came when movie producers found that they didn’t have to follow the reality/documentary path of still photography. Film could be entertaining and fanciful.

Until a couple decades ago (when the influence of 35mm cameras came on the scene), the still photography industry continued to favor documentary photography. Photography had become rigidly attached to a set of principles of form and content that that surrounded itself with self-limiting walls.

Who was decreeing what roles photography should play? It’s anyone’s guess. It seems that the usual protectionism that exists in any creative industry was certainly at work by the practitioners and the old guard, abetted by their beliefs of what the public expected.

Then when photoshop was developed and came into increased use, we heard cries of ‘fauxtography’ from the traditionalists. Purists in camera organizations and clubs revolted. Newspaper editors looked at news shots with skepticism. Art critics frowned on “non-photograph” photos. Conservative art critics cried “foul.”

But the photographer under 30 doesn’t see it that way.

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


The new technology of photography
has provided creative people new
ways to express themselves without
the baggage of hide-bound dictums
and composition rules, let alone
chemicals and f-stops.

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


Yes, we are in a transition, and like with inevitable changing of the tides, we can expect more changes in the photography world in the coming years. Go with the flow.

Let’s 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 your photos at PhotoSource International and the PhotoSourceBANK, Pine Lake Farm, 1910 35th Road, Osceola, WI 54020 USA. Rohn Engh is director and publisher of PhotoStockNotes. E-mail: info[at]photosource[dot]com Fax: 1 715 248 3800; www.photosource.com



.

19 Jun, 2012 | Posted by: st





Building

Your

Foundation





"It's all very natural," I said to a fellow stock photographer when she questioned me about why one should specialize, in the stock photography field.

"We are all specialists, not only in our photography, but in everyday life."

Look at the magazines you subscribe to. They follow a theme, don't they? Open your garage door, or your storage area. Your belongings reflect a certain few themes -- perhaps gardening, fishing, wood working. Your clothing also follows a theme. So do your home's interior decoration and landscaping.

Same with your music and art preferences, or TV watching. They're all in a few specific themes. You specialize in your tastes.

If you look at the photos you've taken to date, they intrinsically follow some specific theme(s). You might gravitate to light and airy shots. Or your pictures might be dark with moody backgrounds.

Many beginning stock photographers start out by capturing scenics on their smart phones. Most of these scenes are not much different from typical post card views. As these photographers advance in competence, they develop a style. And it's this style that sets one photographer apart from another. It's a signature that makes you unique.

DISCOVER YOUR STYLE


Your pictures will speak to you. You have a specialized feeling for what you capture in your images.

Once you recognize your theme, or themes, it's time to refine your style and your content. But go easy on modifying anything abruptly. In some cases, you'll discover that some of your earliest photos are the best.

In regards to getting your photos “out there,” in the not-too-distant past about all that was available to you were exhibits and lectures. It was difficult to sell your photos yourself. Photobuyers like one-stop shopping, and they formerly opted for the convenience of a stock agency.

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


The Digital Age of photography and
Internet communication has changed
all of this, and allows the individual
photographer to display pictures for
the world --and photobuyers -- to see:
DVDs, on-line services, personal
websites, text-centric sites, photo
sharing sites, blogs.

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


You can be a part of it. If you focus your stock photography on a select few themes, you’ll have consistency, which will attract photobuyers who need your kind of stock photographs, due to their own theme focus, that matches yours. -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 photos 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. Email: info[at]photosource[dot]com Fax: 1 715 248 3800; www.photosource.com



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12 Jun, 2012 | Posted by: st






If the passion is there... --

The Dollars Will Come.



I have a friend who loves to play ping pong, or as she calls it, table tennis. She also loves photography.

It's a joy to watch her matches. She destroys her opponents (usually men) with an entertaining combination of ferocity and grace.

When she's not playing at her sport, she's photographing. The results are usually beautiful landscapes and rural scenics. I once asked her if she ever sold her work.

"I've tried, but no dice. If I could just make a few sales, I could pay for my photography habit," she grumbled.
"But you can make sales, many sales," I said. “You’re just putting your energy in the wrong direction."
"You mean I should stop my table tennis and concentrate more on my photography?"
"No, you should concentrate more on what you love doing most, - your table tennis.
"There are few photographers who understand the particulars of table tennis. You are one of them. At this moment, there are photobuyers looking for authentic pictures of table tennis – table tennis coaching, training, equipment, competition, tournaments, elements of good play.”

"How do I find these buyers?" She asked.

"Photo editors look for table tennis pictures two ways: sometimes and always," I said. "The sometime buyer is producing a textbook, brochure, DVD, app, etc. They might need a table tennis picture only once a year, or once a lifetime.
“The 'always' buyer is the photo editor who works for a special interest magazine, pr agency, or corporate publication that has table tennis as its focus."
"I know several of those," she said. "I never thought of supplying them with pictures."

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


"And you'll be one of their best
suppliers because 'you speak their
language.' Your pictures will reflect
your knowledge of the sport.

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


And when there's a national or international event, they'll hire you because of your experience and track record, rather than go to a local photographer who has no knowledge of the sport.

“Here’s how you find the ‘Always Buyers,’” I said. “In Google, Yahoo, or Bing, use this line as your keyword search: ‘magazine table tennis, ping pong, photo guidelines.’

“For books, substitute ‘book publisher’ where you see ‘magazine.’”

"How do I find the 'sometimes' photobuyer?" she asked.
"There are several ways, but be patient, they all take time.

Insist on a credit line whenever your photos are published. That way other photobuyers can track you down. Get yourself listed in photo source directories. Build a website and feature your specialty (not your landscapes). Build a computerized data base of buyers who use sports pictures, including table tennis. Send reminder post cards, promotional calendars and posters to them. Attend publishing and sports trade shows.

You can make yourself known as 'The Table Tennis Photographer.’ ”


Does this story give you pause to realize you may be pointing your camera in the wrong direction? If you are involved in a hobby, sport or occupation that others would find fascinating to learn about, perhaps you should consider switching your marketing efforts to an arena where you already are an expert.

As the Internet now allows photographers to expand their market areas beyond the pre-electronic world limits, start now to begin building depth of coverage in a category of great interest to you. You'll discover your pictures will be in great demand by your buyers. –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 photos 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. Email: info[at]photosource[dot]com Fax: 1 715 248 3800; www.photosource.com





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05 Jun, 2012 | Posted by: st








Take Photographic Advantage of...

Your Passion



Your photography.
Call it passion, love, desire; call it compulsion. If you love doing something, you'll put 100% of yourself into it.

How do you tell if you love doing something? Take a day and make a test by once every hour asking yourself, "What are my thoughts centering on at this moment?"

Exclude, of course, the basic homo sapiens' survival and perpetuation of the species drives (food, sex, etc.). If you find that your mind consistently wanders to thoughts of gardening, aviation, fishing, or whatever it is that you enjoy doing when you get the chance, you're investing yourself in that interest big-time.

Take advantage of it. Become a mini-expert in that field. The time you can put to it may not equal what you must put to your present occupation, but in the future, your abiding interest may become your livelihood.

In one of my seminars, during the image critique section, a photographer submitted several photographs of South American insects. My response to him was to say they were very excellent shots, but specializing in South American insects was going to be a tough row to hoe. Calls for insects were few and the competition would be fierce because there I found 6 photographers on Google who were known to be specialists in South American insects, and they had a lock on the marketing aspects. s.

His response: "There's going to be 7 pretty soon."

That conversation was about ten years ago. I've often wondered if he persisted with his specialty area. If he did, a ten-year build up of photos in one highly specialized area makes for a strong collection.

Once he is "discovered," he'll become known for having the kind of photo bank that photo researchers are grateful to have as a resource.

It's always enjoyable to be in the presence of someone who loves what they're doing. The enthusiasm rubs off.

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


Don't be timid about your
stock photography. Be bold.
If you love it, dive in.


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

Sure, there'll be rejection slips and the nitty gritty work that often accompanies anything that is worth accomplishing. And you might have to drive a taxi for awhile to make ends meet. Keep in mind that film actor Alan Ladd was a bartender, Rock Hudson drove a truck, and Harrison Ford was a carpenter, until they "made it" in their chosen field.

If wild horses can't pull you away from your stock photography, persist. We'll cheer you on, and the world will be watching for your credit line in national circulation. -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 photos 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. Email: info[at]photosource[dot]com Fax: 1 715 248 3800; www.photosource.com



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29 May, 2012 | Posted by: st




Unless you wanna sink . . .


Move With The Stream




It's said that it took six weeks by horseback to get news of Abraham Lincoln's first presidential election to the citizens out in Nebraska. By the end of the Civil War, information was being delivered 1,000 miles per hour via telegraph.

Then came the telephone, and radio. With so much "overwhelm" of new technology, it was hard for 19th century citizens to keep up with all the new advances making changes in their lives.

Sound familiar?

Are you getting behinder and behinder when it comes to technology? ISDN, websites, asynchronous transfer mode, Skidoo, iPads, smart phones -- all that stuff?

KEEPING UP WITH THE JONESES.


It seems that all the other guys know these buzz words. And the magazines write about them like it's all happening everywhere.
And you don't even have Skype or a cell phone number on your business card. Can you ever catch up?
Well, here's the straight story. No, you will never fully catch up. Like in 19th century America, we are confronted with an avalanche of technological "next's."

Before you learn the how-to of one software, they throw the next version at you. You finally buy that speedy hardware, only to learn two months later that the next update is available.

Don’t be intrigued by the avalanche in your in-box. All those intriguing offers are someone else’s agenda.Pick and choose wisely where you spend your time.

Change comes so quickly in today's world that right this moment innovations in technology might be outdated before they come to market.

If there's a prevalent virus in today's computer industry, it's upgrade-itis. How did all this happen? Mass marketing, robotics, same-day-delivery, competition from abroad, Facebook overhauls --all the advantages of living in the 21st century have a corollary to their benefits: we can never catch up.
We're on shaky ground. We are living in times of non-stop technology tremors. What to do?

GO WITH THE FLOW


Don't fight it. Learn a lesson from our 19th century cousins. Don't resist the inevitable -- learn to navigate within it. Move with the flow, but cautiously. There's no eye to this hurricane; it'll just keep coming.

We're all on shaky ground. Even the Joneses who appear to be ahead of you. They face the same adjustments you do.
It's nothing new. Our great-great-grandparents thought they'd never learn to cope with Western Union; our great-grandparents were in awe of the radio; and our parents still are somewhat suspicious of computers.

And now it's our turn. Our children haven't noticed the revolution. They accept it without missing a beat. We can too. Erase the old stuff. Discard it. Go with the flow.



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 photos 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. Email: info[at]photosource[dot]com Fax: 1 715 248 3800; www.photosource.com





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22 May, 2012 | Posted by: st




           

Success in Editorial Stock photography is a matter of some simple elements.

You can guess what those elements are: quality photos, sound research, marketing, a specialty, and a recognized brand.

When you put them all together, you invite another question: Just how do you put them all together effectively?


We all know that creative people can be found everywhere. Getting recognized is a separate task. Lady Luck many times plays an important role. But you can’t sit back and wait for luck. Smart marketing is the key. And that takes knowledge and effort.

Thanks to the Internet you can “get to the head of the line” much quicker if you apply a marketing strategy called specializing.

As the search engines, led by Google, become smarter, consumers (photobuyers) become more savvy, along with photo suppliers like you who become more “search smart.”

This is where specialization comes in.

Back to basics. A search engine, let’s use Google in this example, is a robot, generally speaking. It’s programmed to do what you expect it to do. Allow it to meander all over the place, it will bring back rambling results. Give it some specific directions, it will satisfy your search request.

That’s where you come in. That’s where your keywords, tags, and long tail keyword phrases come in. If you can anticipate what descriptive text a particular photobuyer might use when searching for specific photos in a particular subject area, you’re on the road to success in photo marketing.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
So, it turns out that in today’s
cyberspace era, the “best” stock
photo doesn’t end up on page 1 of
a Google search every time, but
the best keyworded (“tagged”) photo does.

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


In your efforts to reach your potential customers, do you aim your niche stock photography only to potential buyers who search the same selective environment that you service?
No, not necessarily. For example, if your specialty is Shetland sheepdogs, do you consider your target market to be just pet owners? How about veterinarians, pet food suppliers, dog trainers, dog show entrepreneurs.

These should be included in your tags, even though you have no photos of veterinarians, dog food dishes, or dog trainers. The purpose is to create activity and traffic to your site, to be considered active and relevant by the search engines.

However, don’t be tempted to photograph in these peripheral subject areas. If you do you’ll be “shot gunning” instead of using a rifle, and taking yourself back to your ‘old-self,’ spreading yourself too thin and diluting your effectiveness.

The Internet appears to let you be ‘all things to all persons,’ but unless you are a multi-million dollar enterprise, it just ain’t gonna happen.

So the rule is:
1.) Stick to and photograph a select few specialized subjects (ones that you are comfortable in and enjoy photographing);
2.) build a deep selection of photos to offer your customers; and
3.)
build links to your website by appealing (with keywords) to peripheral subject areas that would be attracted to visiting your site, e.g. the veterinarians, pet shops, dog trainers, dog food companies mentioned above.
So what are typical ‘peripheral’ subject areas?
Here are some examples:



Got the idea? In other words, yes, you specialize, but for keywords you also include ‘peripheral area’ keywords in your source code on your website, in the “tag” section, and the complementary theme articles you write in your blog or website.

This approach will promote your 'brand' and widen your “Google Appeal”, plus cause links back to your website, which will cause “Google Interest,” which will in turn attract more traffic to your web page or blog.


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 photos 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. Email: info[at]photosource[dot]com Fax: 1 715 248 3800; www.photosource.com




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15 May, 2012 | Posted by: st







Nice Try –

But It Won’t Do






In the past century , when photobuyers needed a particular photo, they would send out a request to several stock photographers and stock agencies simultaneously for “slides.”

As a result the FedEx or UPS man would arrive with several packages of submissions depending on how rare the photo request was. The buyer would choose the photo that most closely fit the bill and would return the rest of the slides. Except for photobuyer "favorite photo suppliers", the photographer would pay the delivery bill both ways.

The research for both buyer and supplier was done by hand: file drawers, Rolodex files, memos, post-it notes, slide holders, plastic sleeves. The process was tedious. Often the photo request to the photo supplier had a 7-day or shorter deadline. Everyone was under the same constraints.

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

In the publishing industry, in the past
century the task of finding the "just
right" picture was labored and
time-consuming. Today, search engines
have made that task much easier.
- - - - - - - - - - - -

When a researcher couldn't locate a specific image they figured they had "done their best" and the "second best" or even the "fifth best" photo alternative was accepted.

If you check out publications from the past, you’ll see the results. Photography used in publications back then reflects these inadequacies. Editors and art directors frequently resorted to generic images, instead of pursuing that “just right” image.

FINDING THE SPECIFIC PHOTO

The advances in today’s search technology make it possible to easily locate very specific and even obscure photos, thanks to text-centric Internet photo searching through services such as Google and others.

Ancient marketing techniques of the past are finally phasing out as photobuyers are learning to use Internet search techniques to their advantage, leading to new directions in photo-finding and acquisition.

The needs of your photobuyers are influenced by the awareness that they now have the technological resources to locate highly specific pictures. We notice the increasing use of on-target content-specific images in documentary films, coffee table photo books, biographies, apps, textbooks, iPad reports, web-style encyclopedias, --you name it.
Make sure your stock business is responsive to what's happening in the field of photo searching with the use of Web search Internet tools.



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 photos 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. Email: info[at]photosource[dot]com Fax: 1 715 248 3800; www.photosource.com




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08 May, 2012 | Posted by: st






Go With The Power

Anywhere on the Globe






Whether they live in a high mountaintop cabin in Wyoming or a high-rise in Hong Kong,...

it’s important for photographers everywhere to understand that their own influence, as photographers, and their capabilities to compete in the marketplace,are getting stronger worldwide.

They are tied to the ever-expanding Internet.
The Internet is clearly today’s image-delivery system.
Photobuyers also now are reaping the benefits that the Internet affords them for photo acquisition.

Photo editors are now enthusiastically on board the Net and utilize its search and photo-finding capabilities. Many are ten-year veterans of “Internet search.”
In history, the telegraph, the automobile, radio, airplane, and the telephone launched huge leaps in communication among peoples of the world. And now in our lifetime we have witnessed the capabilities of the amazing Internet delivery system.

But the Internet goes even farther. It affords independent single photographers the delivery and marketing power that was once the domain only of the large stock photo agencies and a handful of ‘name’ photographers.

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

You can make sales anywhere in the world,
if you can attract lots of visitors to
your website and blogs.


Buyers now are finding the photos
they need using keyword searches.
So get your work accessible to buyers
by identifying each of your images with
descriptive keyword phrases and entering
them on your website or a targeted
image-search site. *

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


As a photographer, now that your images can be both pre-viewed and transmitted electronically, you can open the curtain on a brand new horizon of opportunity for yourself.

The top dog major stock agencies are no longer, well, top dogs. In the past, creative persons, whether songwriters, musicians, photographers, filmmakers, etc., had no way of competing against the middleman agents and the large creative conglomerates.

It was near impossible to break into the ranks and get the attention of the buyers directly. Sadly, we never heard about the ‘also-rans’,unless you happened t view a local art fair or join a camera club. (Do they still have camera clubs or has FACEBOOK taken on that job?)


The Internet has changed all of this.
For example, if a major publisher is producing a book, CD, app, magazine article, iPad report, TV special, on agricultural advances in growing cucumbers in Venezuela, there would be no reason to turn to a large digital stock agency to seek the needed images.

Using web search engine efficiency, a buyer can, in minutes, locate photos from independent freelancers, and save money by eliminating the middleman by going directly to the independent stock photographer.

Also important, images from a corporate stock agency are usually 'generic' in commercial style (smiling, contented farm workers – usually models – shiny new equipment, set-up landscapes, etc.). This type of photo isn’t the primary choice of most editorial buyers at magazine and book publishers, who prefer real-life, on-the-scene images.

THE ANNIHILATION OF DISTANCE


Furthermore, many agency images are at least 6 to 12 months old. (It takes that long for the corporate bureaucracy at most major stock photo agencies to acquire, edit, catalog, and process selections of images.)
The individual stock photographer not only has more recent photos, but also can in many cases, within hours, go out and take the needed photo in their local area and deliver it to the buyer, in high resolution, from anywhere in the world, to anywhere in the world.
Photobuyers are realizing it’s to their advantage to deal directly with independent stock photographers. They can dispense with the expensive middle man, and independent photographers are able to personally label their images, using vital keywords, and with the power of search engines such as Google, they can offer delivery speed to buyers.


* If you have a website or working blog, you can now increase your visitor rate by listing your images, labeling each of them with several identifying keywords. Or you can list your keywords on your own pages on a text-centric search site on the Web, such as the PhotoSourceBANK, that already receives a large amount of traffic. “Web crawlers” from major search engines then come in and capture these keywords for their database information, that buyers tap into.




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 photos 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. Email: info[at]photosource[dot]com Fax: 1 715 248 3800; www.photosource.com




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01 May, 2012 | Posted by: st








m-Commerce

…the next BIG THING for stock photographers?




What is m-Commerce? Get ready, it’s just about around the corner. Well maybe. Your pristine desktop computer may be one day referred to as that “clunky machine.”

m-Commerce is the emerging movement coming along to replace e-Commerce. In other words, you shop and do business via your ‘mobile”.

How prevalent is business-by-mobile? You’ve heard the sales reports about smart phones, tablets and the “something-new” about to break in. Yes, we’d have to say “mobile” is becoming ever more prevalent.
- - - - - - - - - - -

Walk past a construction site
at lunch break and the workers
are checking their mobiles.
Attend a wedding or a reunion.
The mobiles are there. Unhappily
they’re even in the hands of drivers.

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

But does m-Commerce work for you, the stock photographer?

No, not yet. And maybe never, in its present form. Why not? first, yes, it will work well for photo journalists. But photo Researchers for the book and magazine industry want to take a good look at the product they’re buying. Image size at point-of-purchase is important for our industry. Also, there’s a problem of bandwidth. For mobile devices it’s not there yet (which leads to frustration and remarks like “never again”).

Sure, you might buy a new lens from a trusted supplier via your mobile device. That’s what m-Commerce is all about. But in its present form, m-Commerce is not conducive for your dealings with the photobuyers you presently work with or those of the future.

So if you’re considering m-Commerce as the next big thing for your stock photography sales, hold off. It’s coming, but it’s not here yet.


TAKEAWAY: It's important for the stock photographer and photo researcher to keep abreast of the changes that continually surprise us with the "innerweb". None of us know where mobile marketing will go or land, a decade from now. For example who would have thought a magazine called "Wired" would have been better called "Wi-Fied" a generation later?



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 photos 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. Email: info[at]photosource[dot]com Fax: 1 715 248 3800; www.photosource.com






.

24 Apr, 2012 | Posted by: st





How To Submit

A Photo Story



If you’ve got a yen to write-plus-photograph, creating photo stories will appeal to you. Here are some points for you to consider.

You have a story idea:
Where to publish it ?
Which publications will use a photo story on your subject? a) Check WRITER'S MARKET and PHOTOGRAPHER'S MARKET (www.f&wpubs.com); do some research on Google; b.) Look up publications you've found, on Google or at the library or at newsstands. Study several issues. Check mastheads for correct spelling of the current photo or feature editor's name. Make sure that they haven't published your photo story subject in the recent past, nor do they have it scheduled for the near future. (To find out the latter, request their editorial calendar.)

The Slant
Figure out the angle or slant or “hook” of the article, based on your research of 1.) the publication 2.) its audience, and 3.) your personal point of view.

Your Research
Research your subject thoroughly. Illustrate it with meaningful photos.

Query
Since an email address may not be available, write a one or two-page query letter on professional-looking stationery. a.) Format: Typewritten (word processed), in accepted business letter format. Open with "Dear Mr. or Ms. Last Name," not "Dear John or Joan." Spell check, proofreading it as often as necessary, to make it flawless. One typing error or misspelled word can spoil the professionalism you want to convey. b) Content: Your first paragraph should provocatively refer to your story idea, with a question, a brief story, a quote, an event, etc…. You must grab the photo editor right away or you've lost him/her. Your next paragraph or two can explain your photo story idea in more detail. Following that, in the next paragraph, say something about yourself, your credits, or whatever else you think the photo editor ought to know to be convinced that you’re in a position to deliver what you promise. Include information about your website and where they can go to see a sampling of on-line photos that could illustrate the story. Your closing paragraph should mention that you look forward to hearing from them.

Contact and Delivery
Most editors welcome a postal query, others prefer email. A Google search of their website will generally inform you of their submission guidelines.

Send out your query letter and sit tight. Or better, continue researching and sending out other story queries. It takes anywhere from two to six weeks to hear from a photobuyer on a query like this. (No news is good news.)

The Response
When a photo editor answers: If the answer is "no," be ready with other appropriate markets to send your query off to. If it's “yes,” begin your negotiations to receive payment. If it’s "yes, on spec” (meaning on speculation, no guarantee of publication and payment, but if you send the piece they promise to give it immediate attention), you might consider taking them up on it, especially if this is your first submission to this market.

The Future
Once you have several photo stories to your credit, start a blog of photo stories you’ve already published. Make available a link that other photo editors and prospective buyers can link to.


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. Email: info[at]photosource[dot]com Fax: 1 715 248 3800; www.photosource.com





.

17 Apr, 2012 | Posted by: st






If you follow up…
   The Fortune Is There







Quick!
Name a magazine publisher who deals with automobiles -- with male fitness – with historic railroads.

And if your focus is textbooks, name a publisher that deals with college-level subjects such as engineering, or architecture.
If you focus on a few specific interest areas, or categories, in your stock photography, you can benefit in two ways:

1.) You can periodically send out informative emails to your specialized group of photobuyers, and

2.) You can offer content on your website that attracts photobuyers who are looking for photos in your specialty areas.


So, your website is up and running. Can you sit back and relax?

Not exactly.

You need to put continuing attention to adding interesting information and updates to your site on a regular basis.

The answer to your getting repeat visitors -- who will turn into repeat customers -- is to continually enter new content into your site, plus have a plan to always notify your mailing list of your new additions.

Your site is like a storefront window, and you want to make sure you have new, fresh content and products there all the time.

Getting new photos uploaded to
your specialized mailing list,
adding new content and periodically
culling out the old, are great
ways to entice visitors to come
back often.

You are making sure that visitors to your site can consistently look forward to seeing new and different material.

You are showing everyone your up-to-date work and that you continually have fresh photos to offer.

Remember, because your website and your specialized content areas match the focus interest areas of the targeted photobuyers on your mailing list, you are guaranteeing return visitors.

If you published only generic (generalized--all across the board) photos on your site, you would create no burning desire for the photobuyers on your mailing list to return.

Each time you add new photographs to your site, you can send a short email to the select number of the specialized photobuyers on your contact list, and alert them that you have recently made changes to your site.

Because your photos match the photo needs of the specific photobuyers on your list, those buyers will be genuinely interested in your site and your photography. Your marketing strategy of “following up” will eventually pay off in sales.

Photographer, Mike Karlsson, says, “Personally, I have a list of some 50 photobuyers that I know are constantly looking for the kind of photos I make. My specialty is law enforcement.

"These people get emails from me quite often with news about what I have to offer. I have another list of about 300 photobuyers that I know occasionally need my kind of images, and the people on this list get an email once every quarter or whenever I have made a major change on my site.

”I also always mention my upcoming travel, both foreign and domestic. In the "New" section of my website, I put a few words about what images I will be producing in the near future.

For instance, when I know I will be photographing traffic police, I let my photobuyers know this. That way the buyers who are planning something involving images of traffic police will make a note to contact me.


This tactic also can work to create new assignments, and here's how: by sharing what I plan to do, it sometimes will spur my regular buyers to consider producing articles or other works on those same subject lines.


Here’s another way to follow-up with your buyers:
Offer a feedback form and/or contact form to make it easy for buyers and people to get in touch with you.


Again, if you email to your lists regularly, they’ll remember you and your photo specialty. “The fortune is in the follow-up.”



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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10 Apr, 2012 | Posted by: st




Do I Need a Model Release?



No area of editorial stock photography has been more misunderstood
than the issue of model releases. Here’s some clarification.

Photo columnists, unaware of their First Amendment Rights, have been fanning the fires of this hotly debated question for decades. A wall of mythology has built up around the subject, and I'll make the first move to break it down for you. To give you a simplistic answer: No, you do not need a model release.

You may now get up off the floor and sit back down.

I'll ask you to be open to a re-programming process. First, a few questions: Have you ever seen a newspaper photographer ask for a model release? Can you picture Dorthea Lange or Henri Cartier-Bresson in mid-shootting mode stopping to request model releases?


If your photo is informing or
educating the public, you do
not need a model release.



And this is where the confusion comes in. Here at PhotoSource International we encourage you to follow the trail of the new generation of new media.

Its emphasis is the publication trade: magazines, books, and electronic media. About a million dollars a day are spent for photography in this category of the stock photography world, whose essential purpose is to INFORM and to EDUCATE.

Photobuyers in this arena rarely require a model release, unless the photo is so sensitive that it might compromise a person in some way. Short of highly sensitive areas such as drug abuse, sex education, mental retardation, you won't find your buyers asking you for a model release.

“How and why was I under the impression that model releases are always required?" you ask.

Most of the teaching and training in the USA for working photographers is slanted to COMMERCIAL photography, where you always need a model release.

As stock photography grew and became more prevalent, commercial photographers expanded into media photography, and brought along with them the rules for commercial photography: i.e. you need a model release.

Since most classic stock photography is used for commercial purposes, these photographers are right, you do need a model release if you are photographing in the commercial sector, where usage centers on promotion, advertising, and endorsement.

But you, as an editorial stock
photographer
informing, educating,
and entertaining the public, operating
a business in a free enterprise society
-- you have a powerful law on your side,
namely the First Amendment of the U.S.
Constitution. The First Amendment in
effect says you can freely photograph
in public as long as you are not
breaking any local laws, such as
trespassing.


Enter the publishing world. Large publishing houses, which spend $50,000 to $150,000 per month for photography, are vigilant about protecting their First Amendment Rights, and in so doing; they protect your First Amendment Rights.

If Macmillan, McGraw Hill,and Pearson Education, were to require model releases for the pictures they use in their textbooks, for example, they would soon go out of business, because editorial photographers would not put up with the chore of getting model releases for slews of editorial, “non-posed” pictures.
Most of the horror stories concerning model
releases that you read about have had to do with commercial photography (for ads and concerning sales and products for purchase), where YES, you do need a model release.

Not so in the book and magazine illustration field.

The million-dollar-a-day book and magazine publishing houses fill swivel chairs at long oak tables with legal advisors, who remain steadfast in protecting their clients' side of the First Amendment, which is that when you are informing and educating, a model release is not necessary.

The only exceptions would be those rare cases, mentioned above, involving highly sensitive subjects such as sex education, drug abuse, certain medical issues, and religion.

So then, this opens the window and lets some fresh air in on this issue.
- - - - - - - - - - -

If you've been relinquishing
your First Amendment rights
up to this point, I hope this
article helps you regain them.

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


Go out and photograph freely in public, in the style of Margaret Bourke-White, Dorthea Lange, and Arthur Rothstein.

It would be a bureaucrat's dream for officials to be able to say, "You can't photograph in my school, my police precinct, my park."

In reality, these people (school principals, policemen, etc.) are your civil servants. Your taxes pay for their buildings, equipment, and salaries. As long as you are not interrupting their normal course of duties you can photograph them. Just be courteous, ask permission (by rights they should give it), and take care not to interfere in any activity.

There have been lawsuits, yes. But if you examine each case, the plaintiff always goes after the publisher with deep pockets, not the photographer. We're back to the long oak table with swivel chairs filled with First Rights experts. And the plaintiff rarely wins.

The bottom line is that you should break through the wall of mythology that for years has surrounded this model release question, and go out and photograph freely in public. The world will be a better place as a result of your efforts. -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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03 Apr, 2012 | Posted by: st





The Transition



Have you been looking at any photos recently?

No, I don’t mean taking or making photos, but looking at them.

If you are over thirty, your initial reaction to a photograph is probably to expect that it’s a representation of reality –that is -- it’s documentation. It’s what the camera saw, and bygod it better not be a faithful rapture of a real moment.


But not so, anymore. This is a new century


Today, some photos are “real”, but it’s common now for photos to be re-enactments, photoshop manipulations , or fiction-history fantasies.

Yes, we are in a transition. And like the film moving pictures industry that went through a similar metamorphosis early in the last century, we “still” photographers are looking, today, at photos not as pure documentation but as entertainment.

Historically, still photography first observed and recorded nature, people and urban/rural scenes. In the last century, photography captured the attention of the public, the same attention that painters and watercolorists enjoyed. Still photography became an “art.” Still photography was expected to capture the real world. Meanwhile, moving pictures, film,” was allowed to slide into the world of ‘entertainment.”

The big change came when movie producers found that they didn’t have to follow the path of still photography. Film could be entertaining and fanciful.

Until a couple decades ago the still photography industry had not approved much experimentation. It had become rigidly attached to a set of principles of form and content that built self-limiting walls. Who was decreeing what was acceptable and what not ? It’s anyone’s guess. But it seems that the usual protectionism that exists in any creative industry was definitely at work.

When Photoshop was introduced we heard cries of ‘fauxtography’ from the traditionalists. Purists in camera clubs revolted. Newspaper editors looked at news shots with skepticism. Art critics frowned on surrealism. The conservative art critics cried “foul.”

But the photographer under 30 doesn’t see it that way. The new technology of photography has introduced creative people to a new way to express themselves without the baggage of hide – bound dictums, let alone chemicals and f-stops.
Yes, we are in a transition, and like with all change the waves are churned up now and then.

Let’s 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. Email: info[at]photosource[dot]com Fax: 1 715 248 3800; www.photosource.com




.

27 Mar, 2012 | Posted by: st




Direct Mail and

Ground Mail


Will It Disappear?



When TV became the popular medium, most advertisers thought radio was doomed.

It didn’t happen. Radio is still viable.

And what of direct mail? Has the Internet replaced it?

No. Direct mail still has a definite place in your advertising and promotion arsenal.

An effective way to keep your name and photography in front of clients is to contact your photobuyers periodically with your own direct mail campaign.

Postcards, sell sheets, calendars, and posters all can be used to advantage.

In planning your direct mail marketing campaign to photobuyers, you might want to consider what we've learned at the PhotoSource International website.

These tips can make your direct
marketing more effective:


[] By using U.S. Postal Mail to contact your photobuyer prospects (as opposed to email), you can include a Business Response Card (BRC), to give you feed-back information, gauge effectiveness, make sales, and transform prospects into paying customers.

[] Your post card, sell sheet, calendar or poster should feature a photo chosen for its sales potential. Your direct mail campaign can sometimes pay for itself through multiple sales of this featured photo.

[] Making a mailing list of contacts that are targeted to your specialty area (rather than broad-siding). This improves response quality and reduces the unit cost.


- - - - - - - - - - -


Postcards are an effective
way of communicating with
photobuyers. You can include
a sample of your photography,
plus there’s no envelope to open.


- - - - - - - - - -


[] Tailor your message and photo illustrations to your specialty audience.

[] Repeat mailings every four to six months to the same list increases response dramatically.

[] Follow-up telemarketing to your photo clients will help keep your name and your work near the top of their list.

[] If you're engineering an elaborate and expensive mailing, it should go to a tightly targeted group of high-level photobuyers.

[] It's O.K. to explore new, potential photobuyers, "testing-the-waters," but those mailings should be simpler, less expensive, and more frequent. You can expect a 2% to 3% response from this kind of direct mail roll-out.

[] Mailings should be carefully crafted, from envelope to BRC, for maximum impact, leaving an unforgettable impression.




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. Email: info[at]photosource[dot]com Fax: 1 715 248 3800; www.photosource.com




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20 Mar, 2012 | Posted by: st





Quality Time


...just a Half Hour




The successful photographers
in the stock photo industry are those who know how to cut out useless distractions that steal valuable time.

Do you enjoy your photography? Do you want to justify the time you spend at it ? If your answer is yes, then consider this:

Time, for the creative person, is more important than money. It’s something money can’t buy. If you’ve been squandering your time, you’ve been tossing away your potential profits, much like the lemonade stand proprietor who, without disciplining himself, drinks his profits.
Creative people are famous for wasting time by spending it trying to make money to support their creative habit. They spend time moonlighting at a fast-food restaurant or a construction job to gain the money to buy tripods, cameras, disks, lenses. This can be legitimate to a point, but needs to be carefully balanced. Otherwise priorities tend to get turned around, and they find themselves taking time away from their picture-taking and picture-marketing, going financially and professionally backwards.

THE SQUANDERS


Others squander their time on activities that have little to do with their mission of marketing their pictures. If you are a home gardener, did you ever figure out how much time you spend in your orchard? One hour a day for 6 months is 180 hours. What kind of solid Market List could you build if you devoted 180 hours to your Market List this spring and summer? Once you discover the editors who are out there with $30,000-a-month photography budgets waiting for your specialized orchard photographs, those golden homegrown peaches won’t be so liable to distract you from operating your own real gold-making machinery.

I’ve heard all the alibis gardeners, golfers, dog trainers, hikers, and tennis players have when I ask them why they are pursuing these hobbies rather than building a solid Market List for their stock photography. I have a three-word reply for them: “Excuses, excuses, excuses.”


SAVING TIME


And finally, there is the ambitious go-getter who moonlights as a short-order cook, in-between night classes and a full time job. “I really have no time!”

- - - - - - - - - -

This sounds like a foolproof
excuse, but consider this:
Just 15 minutes a day is
91 ¼ (that’s ninety-one and
a quarter) hours a year!
- - - - - - - - - -



In one year a person could be well on his/her way to successfully marketing their pictures, if they disciplined themselves to spending 15 minutes a day on building a Market List, entering text descriptions (keyword phrases) of their photos onto a text photosearch website, or refining their business model.

In one year they could quit that counterproductive short-order cook job (4 hours a night = 800 hours a year!) and become a valuable resource to a number of editors who have a constant need for photos in the subject areas the photographer specializes in.

The time is now to start putting time where, in the long run, it benefits you most…and the time is now to kiss excuses goodbye.–RE
* http://www.photosource.com/bank

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





.

13 Mar, 2012 | Posted by: st





Who is the Biggest?

Which on-Line Photo Source...




Ever wondered which is the largest stock photo agency in the world?

The answer might surprise you.


Did you know you are a member of the largest stock photo agency in the world? Wise photobuyers have learned to check this “agency” out first – before turning to any other stock photo agency.

When buyers seek a specific-content, hard-to-find image, they know not to turn to Getty, Corbis, et al. These agencies do a great job serving up generic and standard pictures, but for real-life specific action and location images, buyers know to go to this other “agency.”

While the familiar large stock agencies have been laboring to keyword their images for access to Internet searches, they’re woefully behind the precision and extensive nature of the keywording being done by many independent photographers.

Getty, Corbis, et al have not been keeping up. And none of them is the largest stock agency in the world. They represent only a small fraction of the number of stock photos that reside in the files of the Internet’s worldwide database of independent photographers.

The largest stock agency
is comprised of the Internet
+ Search Engines + You.





PHOTO: Brad Whitt

Increasing numbers of photobuyers are finding out they can easily locate the source of the exact photo they need by simply using a search engine such as Google, and typing in several specific words describing the photo they need. *

THE GOOGLE EXPERIENCE


You’ve no doubt experienced it: “the Google Experience.” You needed to know the name of the village where Michaelangelo was born... or the name of his father. You typed your question into the Google search bar and your answer was available to you in seconds. A text search on the Internet for photos is no different. If you were a photobuyer researching the making of violins in Italy, you would have found that Cremona is famous for its violins. But you need an aerial view. Your search request on Google or Yahoo would read like this: Cremona Italy violin aerial. Presto, the name of a photographer (or photographers) who has this photo comes up. Try it.

How large is this Internet directory of photographs?

You be the judge.
Estimate how many individual photographers now have digitized and labeled their collections and currently make them available to photobuyers via the Internet. If your calculations are similar to mine, you’ll figure there are presently at least 450 million images search-available on the Internet.. Getty, Corbis, and the other agencies can never catch up.

*Do photobuyers use Google Images as a source for images? No, they don’t. The Google Images system directs them only to sub par images, that also often present complicated copyright issues. More and more buyers know instead to use the “text-centric” option of the Google search bar, (such as the PhotoSourceBANK)and type in their photo-need description, to locate quality stock photos that offer ease of transaction.

- - - - - - - - - -


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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06 Mar, 2012 | Posted by: st







Do You Have It…?

What Do They Need?



To stay with the flow of the Internet river, you may find you want to re-structure your marketing methods. Here are some points to consider.

How many times can you photograph a snappy young business-type on a cell phone? Or healthy senior citizens bicycling along a scenic roadway? Or the Eiffel Tower, or the Lincoln Memorial?

In the past decade we have seen a proliferation of these generic pictures available on the Internet, and you’d think an art director at Getty or Corbis or twenty other stock agencies, would say, “Hold it!– We have enough!”

If you think this type of stock photography represents success, be prepared to make a detour

MAKING THE ADJUSTMENT

At the end of the last century, the focus was on building files of general, generic photos, and the selling and buying processes for photographer and client in the stock photo industry involved these tried-and-true techniques:
· portfolio presentations
· direct mail campaigns
· pr telemarketing
· posters
· rep visits
· magazine ads
· sell sheets
· news releases
· post cards
· file cabinet magnets
· calendar reminders, etc.


In the past decade we’ve all seen these “hot” marketing methods give way to more efficient methods utilizing the capabilities of the Internet.

Unfortunately, some veteran stock photographers are still holding on to former ways of marketing. Some are still taking generic photos, and as a result have relinquished their hold on the market.

Their sales are dwindling and they declare, “Stock photography is dead or dying.” This prophecy can certainly become true for those photographers if they continue to be generalists and to promote their work using out of date marketing models.

REACTION MARKETING


What has died, or is dying in the stock photo arena, is the age of the “name photographer.” The old model was to “sell yourself” and to build your reputation, in order to make sales.

But no longer do you need to have a big name to attract buyers for your work. The Internet has leveled the playing field.

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


What’s important is what the prospect needs.


The stock photographers who will succeed in the coming decade are those who focus on having deep coverage of a select few specific subject areas.

Those who specialize will be able to “speak the language” of their targeted buyers. They will, in effect own a monopoly in their niche markets. And they will sell their photos not at micro-payment prices, but at rights-managed fees.

It’s important to assess what you are selling.

If it’s generic pretty pictures of covered bridges and seagulls, sunsets and hot air balloons, then be prepared for a lot of competition. Everyone has those pictures, even my grandmother and your neighbors

All the world is specialized –medicine, legal matters, agriculture, education.

We all turn to the ‘specialist’ when we want the latest information and technology.

If you have a passion for a few particular special interest areas that you like to photograph, you’re lucky. Capitalize on it.

Why?
Because you separate yourself from the masses of competition who are still trying to sell across-the-board generic images.

----------------------------------------------
Buying and selling principles haven’t changed since the days of Marco Polo, who traveled in the Middle Ages east to Asia for spices, silks, jewels, and perfumes.

What has changed, for stock photographers, is the selling model.


Internet marketing says, “Why waste valuable printing, mailing and phone costs on ‘shotgun’ marketing (and get a 5% response), when the Internet model can find who your target markets are at almost zero cost?”

In today’s Internet environment,
we have a much better chance of
learning what the customer wants.


It’s called Reaction Marketing. At least, that’s what I’ve come to call it. You use search engine power to get the reaction of your prospect, first -- before spending any energy or dollars on marketing.

Whether it’s Marco Polo or you attempting to sell something, the age-old marketing approach remains the same: target your market, understand what the customer wants (ask them), gain the trust of your client, keep all the promises you make.

This is easier than ever to do, thanks to the Internet.

And what are the new processes the Internet has created for us for marketing? Here’s a sampling: AdWords; Ebay; search engine optimization; joint ventures; Reaction Marketing; Amazon; Facebook; Twitter; MySpace; PR no-cost press releases; YouTube; e-Books, to name a few.

If you haven’t heard of some of these, type the words into Google or your favorite search engine and go from there. See how the process can fit into your new marketing strategy.

NEW TOOLS, NEW HORIZONS, NEW SALES

We are discussing here about the winning strategy at the heart of American business.

Reorganize and win. Follow the trail almost to the edge. Whether it’s a small business or a huge corporation, those who continue to survive have applied and adapted the new Internet capabilities to their business. They have not resisted change.

All of this implies a re-structuring of your marketing working model, and selling strategies. It means the effort of having to re-tool to go with the flow of the Internet river.

Is it worth it? If what matters to you the most is continuing to successfully have fun with the challenge of doing something you love doing, the answer is yes.






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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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.

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

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.


- - - - - - - - - - -


“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.


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


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.

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


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.

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


Trademarks are protectable
whether or not
they are registered.

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

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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31 Jan, 2012 | Posted by: st






Are You Mining

The Gold?



In the early days of the California Gold Rush, the '49ers who proved most successful were those that panned the creeks first to locate the gold, but then took one more important step. They followed the gold back to the source and then spent their time in the mine.

Too often, stock photographers will sell a photo to a buyer and consider the sale and relationship done. The photographer goes on to look for "gold" elsewhere.

Photographers who succeed in editorial stock photography are those who develop long-term relationships with publishers whose subject focus, or “theme,” matches the photographer’s specialization area.

FUTURE WORTH


These stock photographers learn how to "mine their lode." That is, they calculate the future net worth of each photobuyer (and the market he/she represents) and put the buyer into their marketing program, which includes systematic promotion. A buyer soon passes a photographer by, unless you regularly remind the buyer of your work.

- - - - - - - - - - -


You can ensure consistent checks
if you cultivate long-term working
relationships with photobuyers at
markets whose photo needs match your
strong coverage areas.


- - - - - - - - - - -


Determining the future net worth of an editor or photobuyer is not difficult to do. Based on photobuyers at other, similar, markets, be it a book or magazine publisher, a corporation, etc., the photographer estimates the jobs, sales, and other revenue that can be obtained from a photobuyer over two to three years, and then projects what potential revenues will come in based on past performance.

Past experience shows that each buyer represents certain predictable variables: per-picture rate of pay, average number of pictures bought per transaction, frequency of purchases per year, spin-off to other photobuyers in the same publishing house/ad agency/ corporation. From this, it's possible for the stock photographer to determine a fairly accurate future net worth of their new photobuyer.

The future net worth over a ten year period of a typical low-budget buyer is generally in the neighborhood of $10,000 over the 10 years ($1000 in sales to such a market over the course of a year, each year). A mid-range buyer is approximately $50,000 over a ten-year period ($5,000 in sales per year), and a high-budget buyer would be about $150,000 ($15,000 in sales per year over ten years).

By the way, in the editorial stock field, ten years is the average length of time you can expect a working relationship to last with a buyer in the publishing industry. Individual situations may last even longer.

PROMOTION

The critical factor is promotion.

If the stock photographer does not
set up a regular and consistent plan
of promotion, a photobuyer could very
easily be lost as a client...


What does it cost to promote? If your costs to promote were just 10% of the expected gross revenue from a specific buyer, it's easy to see that promotion costs are well spent. The critical factor is to know who you should spend your promotional dollars on.

Which brings us to how to get good leads worth your promotion dollars (panning for gold along the creek). Obviously, the leads in your marketletter (PhotoDaily, PhotoLetter, or PhotoStockNotes/Plus) are the most cost-effective for you.

If you spend $375 per year on a marketletter service such as PhotoDaily, and obtain 10 excellent mid-range leads during that one year, you have a gold mine: 10 x $5,000 (average sales to one mid-range market in one year) = $50,000 for one year, times ten years equals a future net worth of $500,000 for all ten mid-range markets over a ten year period. This at a cost of only $375, plus 10% to promote to the markets over a ten-year period. (And much of your promotion will be no-cost electronic communication.) There are not many businesses that can realize that kind of cost-effective marketing strategy.

Begin today. Follow up with the photobuyers you've cultivated in the past, and your leads from the PhotoDaily or PhotoLetter or PhotoStockNotes/Plus.

Start mining this hidden asset of yours.


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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24 Jan, 2012 | Posted by: st




Follow Your Dream

There’s A Lot Of Room For You




In the world of “art,” fads and crazes come and go. History shows us that all aspects of creative expression go through these phases as styles and public preferences change. Whether it’s in women’s fashions, men’s hairstyles, or photography, as the ability to gain new information speeds up, thanks to the Internet, we'll see art preferences change even more rapidly.
Here at Photosource International our photobuyer-customers require photos that reflect (in a real-life way) the world around us. We aren't photojournalists, whose customers are usually news blogs, TV, and websites that pay high fees for disaster pictures (the kind we see on the nightly news); nor are we paparazzi who get paid for photographing celebrities and their doings.
DROWNING IN WISHFUL IMAGERY

And especially we are not commercial stock photographers who specialize in wishful imagery (the world according to Getty, iStock, and Corbis).

The Internet is now drowning in this kind of imagery. Check out any of the on-line bright blue sky with white clouds agencies. They're all there: the generic lovely blonde with green sunglasses; a suit throwing documents into a briefcase; day-glow chartreuse tennis balls; a close-up of a wind-swept fashion model; and of course, the smartphone guy. Ho-hum, yawn.

Is this the kind of subject matter that attracts an emerging photographer to the field? In the majority of instances, people decide on a photographic career because of their love of capturing something meaningful or poetic with their camera. They win a prize, they take a photography course, and then they search for ways to make money with their talent, to provide for themselves and their family.

Eventually, they encounter a fork in the road. They learn about microstock, Royalty-Free, and Rights-Managed images. They embark on a career of supplying generic images, copying the current style and content favorites of the major stock houses.

If the photographer takes the copycat approach, most commercial stock shooters have found that the effortless way to produce a bunch of commercially-acceptable stock images is to capitalize on the ideas of the leading stock houses that have done the market research and have anticipated the trends. Are these generic stock images the easiest pictures for emerging commercial stock photographers to take? Yes, next to snapshots, they are.

This has always been the formula for the fashion industry, the music industry, and most other industries where taste and trends guide production. The recipe in the commercial stock photo industry (as opposed to editorial stock photographers) is to keep the current successful image concept the same, but add favored locations, clothing, hairstyles, etc.

Am I being too critical? I hope not. I'm asking, "Is this how you want to spend your creative life?" It seems to me that this kind of photographic activity takes not much more talent and creativity in photography awareness, than photographing fireworks, or hot air balloons, or sunsets and rainbows.

Here’s a test: check out the advertising photographic awards of the year before last, or ten years ago—this'll give you an idea of the shelf life of such commercial stock photos.

- - - - - - - - - - -

Dig deeper. If someone can
easily copy your idea, then it's
not much of an idea.

- - - - - - - - - -

Don't be the stock photographer who wakes up one day and asks, "What have I been doing? Have I been shooting to please myself – or someone else?”

Sure, some of the major stock agencies call attention to real-life editorial images, or even historical images. Getty Images, for example, features the TIME-LIFE Magazine collection; Corbis features the Bettmann Archives. But these are not contemporary images.

Contemporary "editorial photographs" are usually interpreted as disaster pictures or photos that are newsworthy. This is commercial stock or journalism. Everyday-life photographs are left to be produced by individual photographers and street photographers who choose to interpret the world around them, void of any influence by art directors or monetary pressures.

Would Getty Images, in today’s stock photography climate, accept work from Margaret Bourke-White, the famed photographer of the ‘40’s? Probably not. "Too narrow, too focused in subject matter…" an art director would say. "Incapable of ‘selling product;’"
“not our market;” “too down-beat.”

IS THERE AN ALTERNATIVE?


Can you wear two hats? That is, take meaningful, memorable photos, and also engage in stockschlock to put bread on the table? Probably not. A few have tried, but speaking two languages at the very same time is near impossible.
dark colored cowboy hat
But you can make money in editorial stock. Worldwide, $900 million is spent annually for "editorial stock photography." Three fourths of that is actually "commercial editorial" stock, and about a quarter of that is what I define as true-life editorial stock, with around $60 million spent for it annually. That translates to about $10-$11,000 a day spent on non-commercial editorial stock.

YOU HAVE A CHOICE


Some publishers (of coffee table books, textbooks, etc.) spend $150,000 a month for photography. They're not interested in inexpensive microstock images. They need appropriate editorial stock that reflects the quality of the word content in their projects, and they pay the higher prices these photos demand.

In short, if you follow the big money trail in stock photography you'll find there are plenty of outlets for your kind of editorial stock photography. There are plenty of alternatives in today's visual society. The choice is yours. You can follow your original dream.


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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17 Jan, 2012 | Posted by: bswenson




GONE -- Eastman Kodak Files for Bankruptcy. Michael J. De La Merced: “Eastman Kodak said early Thursday, January 19th that it had filed for bankruptcy protection, as the 131-year-old film pioneer struggled to adapt to an increasingly digital world. As part of its filing, made in the federal bankruptcy court in the Southern District of New York, Kodak will seek to continue selling a portfolio of 1,100 digital imaging patents to raise cash for its loss-making operations. Founded in 1880 by George Eastman, Kodak became one of America’s most notable companies, helping establish the market for camera film and then dominating the field. But it has suffered from a variety of problems over the past four decades.” SOURCE: NYTimes.
http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2012/01/19/eastman-kodak-files-for-bankruptcy
TAKEAWAY: So long, good ol’ yeller. Time marches on.


17 Jan, 2012 | Posted by: st




The Copyright Law


Does it Protect You?



One of the benefits
of producing your stock photos
for the editorial field
as opposed to the commercial field)
is that it’s rare that you’ll ever hear
of a “stolen photo"
by a magazine or book photo editor.


Photobuyers in the editorial field are a group of professionals who perform photo research and purchase either as staff members of publishing houses or as freelancers.

It’s a tight community, and “nicking” photos is not a practice that is condoned – nor would it come with any monetary reward or advantage.

In the advertising world, however, yes, the possibility of theft does exist. But again, not in the fraternity of photobuyers in the editorial field.

So how does the Copyright Law protect you?


According to the Copyright law:
Your copyright protection comes automatically when an original work of authorship (your photo) is fixed in a tangible medium of expression (i.e. you click the shutter on your camera).

That's it.
By clicking your camera shutter,
you have gained copyright on the picture
you just made.


Registration of your photo with the Copyright Office is optional (but you do have to register a photo before you file an infringement suit).

The use of a copyright notice © is optional for photos distributed after March 1, 1989. However, if you feel safer marking you photos with a copyright notice, it can take any of these three forms:

* © followed by a date and name.

* "Copyright" followed by a date and name.

* "Copr." followed by a date and name.

Although the Berne Convention no longer requires that a copyright notice appears on or in your photograph to be fully protected, here at PhotoSource International we recommend that you mark your images with a copyright notice in the photo metadata available to you. If you choose to use an alt tag to display your copyright notices, check Google to learn different opinions on this practice.

Copyright for your photos is free.

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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10 Jan, 2012 | Posted by: st




The Arithmetic...

of Stock Photography





Editorial stock photoresearchers and photobuyers who list in and subscribe to our photo listing service...know that the fees paid for editorial photos requested on our PhotoDaily marketletter average between $100 and $300 per photo.

Using the mid-range of $200, it is interesting to compare this fee with the fee per image a commercial stock photographer ends up with from sales through agencies such as Getty Images (Getty) or Corbis Media.

These two giant companies take sometimes more than 80% of the sale price.

That’s right, for a $200 sale, the photographer with photos in these agencies receives $40. In contrast, the freelancer subscriber to our PhotoDaily, for a sale through the PhotoDaily, receives the full $200 (100% of the sale).

This low return from agency sales may be the reason why many commercial stock photographers receive most of their income from sources other than stock, such as annual reports, assignments, fashion, social media, catalogs, weddings, portraits, etc.

Pure editorial stock photographers are rarely full-time pros. Although they have what it takes to be a pro, they are frequently pros in other fields: education, medicine, sales, technology, law, transportation, etc. In their avocation or side-line business of editorial stock photography, they are able to devote their skills and talents to the select few specialty subjects of their choice, and realize the long-term promise of the extended value of their photo files.

THE REAL PAYBACK


It’s possible that a commercial stock photographer could sell three times as many photos through an agency than an editorial photographer sells directly to a select group of photobuyers within his or her editorial specialty area.

However, there is another
important factor involved here.


Placing images in a stock agency requires photographers to shoot what the agency needs (e.g. guys running while cellphoning). Working for yourself as an editorial stock photographer, you shoot what you want. As one photographer told me, "In commercial stock, the agency drives you. In editorial stock you’re the driver – of your own wishes.”

Yet another major factor: the long-term value of a photographer’s body of work. Many editorial photographers who were shooting editorial subjects back in the 80’s and 90’s, such as environmental issues, personalities, politics, schooling, social issues, etc. have told me that these pictures, for their historical value, are now making them more money than when they were originally shot.

These photos are used in books, magazine articles, CD collections, training courses, in ads, and in PBS and commercial TV series.

I haven’t heard of any commercial stock photographers who consider their commercial photos of twenty or thirty years ago to be marketable today. The “lifetime” value of a commercial stock photo is generally considered to be three to five years at most.

THE INFLUENCE OF EDITORIAL STOCK


A testimony to the importance of editorial stock photography can be seen by browsing a special edition of Life Magazine put out several years ago that featured what they termed as the important photos of the 20th century.

All of these photos can be considered to be editorial stock. The same holds true for the photography featured in the prime PBS TV program on the impact of photography on our lives in the USA.

Editorial stock photography has
a way of significantly influencing
our lives, and has staying power.


Am I saying “Mothers, don’t let your sons and daughters grow up to be commercial stock photographers?”
No, but most photographers are attracted to the vocation by the presumed opportunity to express themselves and to share their talent and knowledge with the world.

Because of the need to earn bread for the family and pay off the mortgage, they often find themselves lured into an aspect of the profession they didn’t expect, conforming to the dictates of the commercial world.

I like to put in a plug for sticking with the editorial arena, where that original goal can be fulfilled, in spite of sometimes facing financial constraints.

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





AN AFTER THOUGHT: Probably one of the most influencial photography magazine in the USA is PhotoDistrict News. In the upcoming issue(February 2012) the PDN's director of the pdN-sponsored PhotoPlus Expo 2011 lauds the evennt's success and its strong attendance interest in wedding, portrait, nature/landscape, and fine art photography. There was no mention of editorial photography.
I thought that to be curious because when I made an assessment of all the photographs in the current upcoming February issue, I found this. Of the photos in the February PDN magazine, 24 were portraits, 51 were for advertisements, and 81 were editorial photos. Should PhotoPlusExpo do something to attract editorial (stock, documentary, street, journalist) photographers to it? Also important to note is February was their annual portrait issue. Check it out. -RE


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03 Jan, 2012 | Posted by: st





Become an...

ASSET



The only interesting thing about the down economy we all...
(well, most of us) are floundering in..

is that it will be fun to tell out grandchildren about it, and how we were able to survive.

That’s the future. How ‘bout right now?

As stock photographers, there’s definitely some things we can do.

Getting a local day job isn’t the answer. But getting a global day job is.

“Global day job?” Yes, as the world is becoming flatter, and communication is becoming swifter, doors are opening for us srock photographers.

In the past, these global doors were closed. Too many roadblocks discouraged us from trying to open them:
Language barrier. You found a good prospect, but you don’t speak Japanese.
Time: The photo request was ideal, but they needed the image in two days.
Cumbersome delivery. Remember trying to send 100 transparencies to Brisbane?
Administration. Which drawer is it in? You know you have the picture but you’re behind in your filing system.
Communication. Postal mail, telephone and faxes were costly or cumbersome to use for promotion.
Legal. The art directors and graphic artists at publishing houses would lose your work. Attorneys were making the most money in stock photography in those days.

And then came along the Internet
and digital photography.

It took a decade, but thanks to the Internet the above barriers have all disappeared. If you are still trying to market your talents “the old way,” pay attention.

The new way is to consider the world as your market –but target only a few dependable markets, and they aren’t down the street. They are as close as your computer, your software, and Google. If you play your cards right, you can survive nicely.

No, you won’t be a small fish in a big pond --actually, the reverse.

Specialization is the key in the world of global markets. Someone in Lisbon needs your talents right now. Also someone in Albuquerque. And they are searching the Internet right now. If you haven’t positioned yourself correctly, they will pass you by. Just like they did yesterday.

And these “someones” aren’t necessarily everyday photobuyers. They might be a corporate assistant given the task of locating a certain kind of picture for their new office in Cleveland. Or a housewife looking for a birthday present for her husband.
But your major markets will be “theme” publishers and advertisers worldwide, who are building lists of expert photographers worldwide who “speak their language,” who can communicate in the niche area the photobuyers represent and are known for.

You see, it works the other way, too.

Customers (photobuyers) will look for companies (you) that offer the products (stock photos) they are looking for and buying. And the Internet will lead them to the right supplier. Distance, language, and all the other barriers mentioned above won’t matter.

We live in a new era.
Buyers can be coming to you. So what are you doing to position yourself to be found? (Hint: One strategy is to enter keywords that describe your specialization photos you have available, on your own website or a photo search (text-centric) website such as the PhotoSourceBANK, which gets scores of hits per day globlly from photobuyers seeking certain special photos. Check it out at www.hard-to-locate-photos.com

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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