How to Use and Select Stock Photography Services

There are two main types of photography to sell, that is assignment photography and Stock Photography. Assignment photography is taking photographs of a predetermined event, and stock Photography is taking photographs in the hope that you will be able to find a future buyer. Most professional photographers take both types, the weddings and portraits take care of immediate bills, as they command a higher price, because they are generally only of interest to a limited number of people. There are exceptions like being hired for a specific assignment to photograph an Olympic Event, and then being able to sell that photograph Internationally. In general, stock photographs command a lower price, but they are more saleable to a wider base.Stock photographs’ are generally sold on the Internet through what is known as “Stock Libraries”. They generally all work on a very similar system, you take photographs and submit them to a stock library and they sell them to interested parties such as travel brochure companies, advertising agents, book publishers. This way of marketing photographs has distinct advantages, if you are a part time freelancer, or have just started your own business. Either way you are probably too busy making portfolios, and taking pictures to market them. Another factor, which makes this method of marketing advantageous, is that when you are starting you do not have the network of contacts to market your photographs. Added to that there are some people who won’t or can’t perfect their marketing skills.A downside of this marketing method is that there is a little more to it than taking photographs and waiting for the Royalty cheques to come in. Most stock libraries, will want to re-caption your pictures to fit in with their image, this can be a time consuming process and it can take months to get them online. Like many aspects of selling it is a “numbers game”, the more photographs you have available to sell the more you are likely to sell. This is a fairly general aspect of marketing, but it is more specific in this instance, as prospective buyers may look at other images, if they like one particular one. Because of the time factor of getting your work to the buyers or the public, many stock libraries, have insisted on a minimum contract, which means that they typically ask to retain your work for a minimum of two years.Some of the stock libraries are general and some are more specific. Marine Themes obviously specialise in underwater photography, and they scan and correct all their images before sale. They are then color corrected to ensure that any prints will be the best quality. All this takes time, to get the images actually for sale on the Internet. The benefit is that marine photography is highly specialised, and this process does increase your chances to merchandise your work.In the past the market was limited to buyers who were sent colour brochures and made their selection from them, now the market is expanding, as many libraries have widened their sales base by allowing customer’s to make their purchases directly on line. This factor alone has increased the numbers game the more people who have access, the more who are likely to buy. Some stock libraries are general and some are highly specific such as South African images. Some cover specialist areas such as marine photography, or nature.So how do you choose the stock library that will be the most beneficial to you? There are independent reports covering the various strengths and weaknesses. The annual Freelance Photographer’s Market Handbook in the UK features a section on stock libraries and is an excellent reference guide. Some of the stock libraries have been established for ten years. They have hundreds of photographer’s and hundreds of thousands of images. As a result of this they may be reluctant to take on new clients. However if you have a large portfolio available immediately it may be worth trying one of the older companies. However you will be competing with established photographers who have built up a client base. Many of the new companies have less than a hundred photographers and you will start by being a bigger fish in a smaller pond.At the end of the day, the choice has to be your personal decision, and there is nothing to stop you from registering with more than one library. Whilst the market is growing and will continue to grow to encompass on line sales, remember to consider that sales from a printed catalogue will be important for a while, and it may be advantageous for you to choose a library with a well referenced catalogue.Every stock library has different terms and conditions. In general most give you a straight 50% of the earnings. However some do let the images go into the hands of “sub agents”, and they will expect an additional cut from any sales. Read your contract well before you sign and beware of copyright issues. Normally when the photograph is sold the buyer is issued with a license number, which only allows them to use the image the once. You minimise your royalties if you allow a buyer to pay once and then get multiple uses out of it.All in all if you are prepared to look at your market strategy over a long period of time, stock libraries offer you an option. There are forums for professional photographers that do address the issue, and it may be worth you looking into othe peoples style and work. Here are some I recommend you look into and consider selling your stock through:- PhotoStockPlus and Photo.comThere are also available a huge number of royalty free sites. You may question why buyer’s would consider paying for an image whilst they can obtain other’s free? The answer here is that royalty free photographs don’t make them free, you do purchase them, but you have the rights to re-use the stock photos and CDs for as many different projects and clients as you wish without paying further licensing fees.

Money for Nothing

There was a time, not too many years ago, when relationship articles were the hot topic. They still are, but they’re not the hottest topic anymore. In its place is now money and security.

One of my publishers, whose opinions I greatly respect, was talking to me about the kinds of articles that most people are reading these days and we thought that with people so concerned about wanting to meet and marry their soul mate, that they were the articles most people gravitate toward. We were wrong.

I was looking over the stats of the articles that I’ve written over the last four years (over 900 articles) and what I discovered is that relationships, which used to be the prime focus of people, has been steadily losing ground to articles about money.

People are now more concerned about financial security than meeting their soul mate. There is more of a here today, gone tomorrow, way of looking at their lives. And business articles, which used to be a big drawing card, don’t seem to have the same impact that they used to.

Today’s hot topics center around getting money for nothing. People have always been attracted to articles about getting a lot of money without having to work for it, but lately, it’s been almost a mania, as evidenced by all the people who set up gofundme websites. This concept is now called crowdsourcing. I call it panhandling or standing there with a begging bowl in your hands asking strangers for money.

I had heard a story about a lazy, spoiled, twenty-one-year-old girl, who is in excellent health, setting up a gofundme website asking people to donate money so that she can go to Japan on a two-week vacation. The hands out, begging bowl concept, annoyed me so much that I wrote an article about it. And, wouldn’t you know it, but the number of people who read that one article climbed much higher and much faster than most of my other articles.

People take a look at Bill Gates and Warren Buffett and all they can see is the billions of dollars they have and they want to have what those two men have. They don’t see all the hard work that went into accumulating that wealth, nor do they see the kind of hard work they do to sustain their wealth. They just see a lot of money and they think they are entitled to the same riches.

Sad to say, but we’re living in a lazy, selfish, society these days and we’ve lost our moral compass along the way. We need to get back to the things that are really important before our whole society comes crumbling down around us.

Connie H. Deutsch is an internationally known business consultant and personal advisor who has a keen understanding of human nature and is a natural problem-solver.

Importance of Automotive Internet Marketing

If you are a business in the automotive industry and looking to increase sales and services creating a strong online presence is a must.SEO is becoming a very competitive arena in a lot of industries, making it harder for companies to compete for top search engine results on Google, Bing, Yahoo. The good news for the automotive industry is that only 5% of automotive repair service companies are actively marketing their website or services. I personally have seen a huge growth in automotive marketing online in California, but other areas of the United States have been a lot slower to adapt. So what does this mean for automotive repair shops across the United States? A huge opportunity for automotive repair shops to beat the competition through actively marketing their website through search engine optimization and making themselves more visible on business directories online where you can rate and review shops. The world has moved away from flipping through the thick Yellowpages Book to find local businesses (more useful as a paperweight) and has moved towards Google.com. Whether on the PC, Smartphone, or tablet.So whats the next step? Do a simple local test search online to see where your company ranks among the competition. (e.g. search “your town or surrounding towns” auto repair or more specific searches “your town” alignment repair, “your town” engine repair). After doing a few test searches how does your company rank? Top of the first page, second page, bottom of the third page, not visible at all? By doing this test you should be able to get a clear understanding where you rank locally online compared to the competition. If your company is at the top of the search results great, but do not get comfortable. Stay offensive and strengthen that position by reaching out to a SEO company or attending an SEO workshop. If your business is not ranked at the top, start planning. Reach out to a couple SEO consultative companies, compare pricing and packages, attend workshops, get your self listed in online directories, join social media websites, and have customers leave reviews on review websites. SEO Packages typically range anywhere from $300/month – $1500/month depending on the local competition and the amount of heavy lifting needed to be done to get your company to the top.Key Takeaway: If you are in the automotive repair industry and want to get ahead do your homework and start planning an effective online marketing strategy. You will be ahead of the marketing curve and it will have a direct impact on revenue.

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