Tag: money

What to do with a valuable image for publication

A question out of the blue came from a reader recently. It prompted me to start thinking about some important “what-ifs,” in terms of publication photography. Like many people who write me with questions, he had a less than fully developed question but he also knew that a fully developed answer could help him in the future. Read More

Does the photography world need more ‘pros’

I tell my students, especially those who ask me questions outside of the classroom setting, that there are group questions and there are individual questions. The former being something that when answered in front of the whole class will benefit the entire group, especially those students who will learn from my answer, even if they have yet to articulate the question. The latter usually are more individual queries and are often best answered one-on-one. They are more typically “what is the meaning of life” kind of questions. One of the students in my photo-essay class in Singapore recently asked me what seemed like an “individual” question. As soon as I started thinking about (and writing to answer her, I realized it was really a group question (and this blog is the overdue group answer.) Read More

Who owns what? Model releases and copyright

Model releases and copyright seem to be the source of more confusion than almost any other aspects of commercial photography. Though the law in both areas is quite well established, all sorts of new and insidious ideas are being bandied about on the Internet, which are to the detriment of photographers (as well as morally and legally wrong.) Read More

Onward and which way in the world of stock photography (part two of two)

Because I make my living primarily as a stock photographer I spend a great deal of time and energy trying to understand the “stock market.” (I am not referring to the one in New York City’s financial district.) Today, the market for and suppliers of stock photography cross the globe. So the more I know about the business, the more successful I will be within that growing global market. In the first part of this two-part blog entry I wrote about which of my own images seem to work better and why. Now I am writing about other concerns that any stock photographer (practicing or aspiring) should think about. Read More

Onward and which way in the world of stock photography (part one of two)

I make my living primarily as a stock photographer meaning most of my income comes from licensing the publication of existing images. This is compared to being primarily an assignment photographer or a teacher of photography (though I do plenty of both.) The stock photography business is known to be increasingly competitive, with too much supply and not enough demand, the classic signs of a declining market. A few recent experiences served to remind me which parts of the market for stock photography are still doing reasonably well and why! Read More

Taking photo contests seriously

A friend asked me if I could help her set up a photo-contest for her non-profit educational institution. I told her I do enter some photo contests, but I am quite leery of many, because they are often little more than easy ways for groups to gather imagery for their own use at little or no cost to them. I think I know a bad photo contest when I read the rules but what I really wanted to send her was resources for knowing what a “good” photo contest is, in terms of being fair to the photographers. Read More

Exactly what is “stock photography?”

I make most of my income from what is called “stock photography.” It is, according to www.stockphoto.net, “existing photography that is available for commercial use — as opposed to assignment photography, which is custom made to someone’s specifications.” Getting paid for existing images sounds like easy money, but it is anything but easy. Read More

Marketing is the key to being a professional photographer

The longer I work as a professional photographer, the more I am reminded that taking pictures is the easiest part of this job. The hardest part is marketing your work and yourself. I have tried various marketing strategies over the years, some more successful than others. All of them are built on the idea of regularly getting your work in front of the folks who will pay to use your images. So how do you find those folks? Read More