23 Nov, 2011 | Posted by: st

We’ve Come

A Long Way --

And We’re Taking Advantage Of It…

Whether the number of photos in your files is large or small, it's likely you have specific photos in your stock file that certain editors at this moment are looking for.

That makes you an important resource to those specific photo editors.

And in today’s digital world, if you utilize the Internet the right way, those editors can find you and your photos.

Thanks to the global nature of the Web, photobuyers and photo researchers no longer need to look to the stock photo agency down the street for that “just right” image.
Whether a photobuyer lives in Hong Kong or Alaska, if you have a photo they need, you can make the sale.

Can you be a successful editorial stock photographer in today’s world if you’re a generalist, with photos in a variety of subject areas, all across the board? Will your sales be consistent?
It’s doubtful, especially if you place your photos with an on-line “photo warehouse.”

What's the answer?

When you specialize (Medicine, Teens, Auto Racing, Backpacking, Children, Model Railroading, etc.), when an editor finds you -- he or she usually represents a particular special interest, and if you have a deep selection of photos in his area, you've just met a photobuyer who will be a long-term customer for you.


Today, to make your work known and accessible to buyers, you can utilize the Internet by listing descriptions of your photos in a marketing site such as the PhotoSourceBANK* (a text site used by photobuyers to find photos they need.)

As a member photographer, you have your own PhotoSourceBANK pages, where you enter keywords describing photos you have available. You then respond to the inquiries from buyers looking for the kind of photos you’ve described (keywords).

Before the Internet, stock photographers faced an uphill battle to get their work in front of buyers.
Persons with excellent photography found it difficult to publish their images on a broad scale. Yes, an occasional exhibit of their work, or an expensive ad page in a stock photo catalog or magazine, would bring in some customers -- but in most cases even those sales were lucky to be a break-even proposition.


Stock photo agencies in the past, were the primary marketing recourse. But everyone has heard of the stock agency blues. You placed your slides with a stock agency and many times they gathered as much "dust" there as they did in your own shoe box at home. And don’t forget the accompanying restrictions, restrictions, restrictions: "You may not place your photos with another agency; you may not withdraw your photos before five years; you receive 30% of the sale;” and so on.

How ‘bout on-line galleries? They work like this: Photographers are able to display selections of their pictures in a "mall" along with hundreds of other photographers. Photobuyers using search engines are guided to these sites, where they may find photos that will almost fit the theme of their current project.


However, as you can imagine, the competition is huge. Instead, develop your own website or blog with your specialized photos, and let the search engines do the job for buyers to find you and the category of photos they need.
Since your site may not enjoy a lot of traffic until you build a mailing list, it’s a good idea to consider also using the text marketing sites mentioned above, the PhotoSourceBANK, which does receive a great deal of traffic from photobuyers.

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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