BetterPhoto Q&A
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Photography Question 
Deb James
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/29/2006
 

Resources


I would like the join the ranks of those of you who actually sell your images. I'm not looking to replace my income - yet, but I would like to get started. I've been reading this forum about microstock and find the information very interesting. I'm also interested in selling prints online.

Here's my question - What are some examples of good resources out there (i.e. books, websites, etc.) where I can learn about getting my foot in the door. I see Jim Zuckerman has a book "Shooting & Selling Your Photos" and I've found a couple by Dan Heller (http://www.danheller.com/photobiz-book.html).

Does anyone have any experience with any of those books? Are they worth buying?

Thank you!


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8/23/2006 2:38:33 PM

 
Kathy Radford
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/2/2006
kathyradford.com
  Deb, sorry I don't have any answers for you but I also would be interested in hearing the answers to your questions. Hopefully we'll get a bunch. Kathy in NH


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8/24/2006 5:19:20 AM

 
Einar Bo   http://submit.shutterstock.com/?ref=55947



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2/22/2007 3:32:06 AM

 
John Rhodes
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/24/2005
  Deb,I can't answer your question directly concerning microstock or references. However, I can tell you that, in my estimation, the kind of images you are currently shooting, although good quality, aren't the subject matter tha would be marketable through a stock agency. As far as selling images on line, well, that won't produce the income you may have thought it would.

My suggestion is that you begin to market your photography locally at first. Mat and bag a few of your best pieces and approach frame/art galleries where you live. If your work is up to standards, you'll likely be accepted.

Also, talk to someone who does the art festivals and see what it would take to get started with festival sales. A good resource is the art association(s) in your area. Become a member and you'll benefit from associating with other artists (not only photogs, but paint, pottery, sculpture as well).

These ideas come from my personal experience. The largest part of my income has come from setting up my booth a about 6 festivals each year. It's a perfect way to meet the public and get your name out there. For example, I was contacted this week by a young couple who visited my booth at a Seafood Festival back in June 2006. They will be opening a very nice coffee shop in a very good area. I am the only photography artist they have contacted to hang and sell in their business.

Bottom line--establish some degree of success in your hometown before you take on the world.

Best Regards,

John
www.backbayscenes.com


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2/22/2007 3:50:24 PM

 
Michael A. Bielat
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/23/2007
  Deb,
First off I looked at your gallery and your photos are very nice.

If you want to start making money in stock photography then you will have to do more supply and demand work where it may involve you getting real creative and shooting stuff almost as an assignment. For example, stock photography web sites tell you what sells and what they could use more of when you are applying for a membership with them.

You would have to get your gear and set up what it is they need.
For example, istockphoto.com says they need this:
- corporate shots
- groups and teams 2-4+ people, in suits, in casual, etc...
- concept stock
- sports
- rare artifacts
- illustrations
- holidays and seasonal items
- fashion
- textures and effects
- food and beverages

People need stock photography to buy and use for their corporation websites (most likely the corp contracts website design to an actual web design company and they buy the stock photos) and brochures or even for menus and stuff like that.

Do a search on istockphoto.com and see what they have. From there visit big name corporation like IBM, banks, etc... and such and see what they use for their site.


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2/28/2007 7:26:15 AM

 
Deb James
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/29/2006
  Thanks everyone for the suggestions. I'm not sure how this question came back to the forefront, but I asked it way back in August. Since then I have entered the microstock arena, I've formed my own company and I've submitted to a traditional stock company. I'm taking a class in commercial photography and I've upgraded my D70 to a D200. Next will be a website from which I'll sell prints. That's not high on my list of priorities right now though. Stock is my main focus at the moment.


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2/28/2007 7:44:17 AM

 
Paul Tobeck
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/19/2005
  If you are looking at selling your prints as art, check out Yessy.com (unlimited gallery, $59/yr, no fees unless they process credit cards for you) or Boundless Gallery.com (unlimited gallery, no annual fee, takes 25% commission). Both are highly rated in Google searches.
Success in your local area depends on the population and quality of the local art fairs. It can be a real gamble unless you live in or near a large metropolitan area.


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3/1/2007 4:11:11 AM

 
Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/17/2005
  Hi ya Deb !! You'll probably find a lot of folks to disagree with my 2 cents worth here, but I offer this based on over 30 years as a photojournalist. For what it's worth to you, you can sell you work (which I think is quite good) cheap, or get paid it's true value. If you want to do it on the cheap and have the value diluted, use a microstock agency. Yes some people make a few bucks using them, but the people who really benefit are the corporations that find a good image and use it for marketing without paying royalties and in the meantime, the photographers often surrender their copyrights just to have an image used. I think that's dumb. Photo District News, our industry trade rag, says microstock agencies are one of the main reasons why our business value is depreciated so quickly and vastly. Quality images, like some of yours, have a much higher value than you're ever going to get paid by a microstock outfit but you have to work at it in order to get paid accordingly.

My suggestion is that if you want to run with the big dogs, you gotta get off the porch and.........find a real stock agency like Corbis or Getty to represent you. That takes work. Using your portfolio, join a professional association or two and attend meetings or participate in their dialogues like Editorial Photographers, ASMP.org, or another good one. Get a subscription to PDN and follow their website. Learn the industry business practices if you haven't already and stick with them.

And above all, don't sell yourself or your work short whether you're doing a street fair or negotiating with a publisher or art-director or even a stock house. Remember too, the first time your work is published anywhere, and I mean ANYWHERE whether in a magazine or on the net, it substantially depreciates in value to the next outfit that wants to publish it, so become familiar with those principles too and copyright usage and stock delivery memoranda.

Okie dokie?
Take it light.
Mark


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3/1/2007 11:26:25 AM

 
Deb James
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/29/2006
  Thank you, Paul for the website links. I'll check them out.

Thank you, Mark for the great advice. I am waiting to hear from Corbis on my first submission to them. Hopefully in the next few days I'll be "running with the big dogs." :)

I'm still torn about microstock. I've read many opinions that cover both sides of the fence. After playing the micro game for a few months it does seem like a lot of work for little return. There are a lot of very talented photographers and illustrators that would probably do a lot better financially elsewhere if they could just get a foot in the door. I think that's why micro is so popular. The micro sites make it easy to get accepted. I think Corbis and Getty would be doing themselves a favor by heading out to these micro sites and recruiting some of the top artists. There's a lot of junk on the micro sites, but there's also a lot of really awesome work. The junk is fine for micro. The awesome stuff is definitely undervalued.

Always taking it light...

deb


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3/1/2007 2:24:02 PM

 
Carolyn L. Fox
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2006
  I'm not at home right now so I don't have the names of the books I would recommend to you, but there are several. If you send me an email, I'll send you the names when I get home.


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3/8/2007 8:37:34 AM

 
Deb James
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/29/2006
  Thanks, Carolyn.


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3/9/2007 3:43:00 PM

 
Carolyn L. Fox
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2006
  I got your email. What online course are you taking?

Here are some books you might find helpful:

Sucessful Self-Promotion for Photographers, by Elyse Weissberg

Big Bucks Shooting Your Photography, by Cliff Hollenbeck

Sell & Re-sell Your Photographs, by Ron Engh

Photo Porfolio Sucess, by John Kaplan

Photographers Guide to Marketing & Self-Promotion, by Maria Piscopo

There's repetition is some of these books, but you might find some of the info helpful. I also have a book called Photography Focus o nProfit, by Tom Zimberoff, but I haven't read it yet.

If anyone knows of other good resources, please let the rest of us know.


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3/10/2007 7:14:19 AM

 
Carolyn L. Fox
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2006
  Paul,
Thanks for the websites. I'm going to check kthem out too.

Deb,

I took a look at your gallery. You have some nice photos. How's your business going? What stock agency did you get in with?


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3/10/2007 7:26:33 AM

 
Deb James
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/29/2006
  Thanks, Carolyn. I have an old version of the Ron Engh book, but the other titles are new to me. I'll check them out. Thanks again for the comment about my gallery. I haven't been updating it lately since I've been spending most of my time playing with microstock and the class I'm taking. Right now I'm just into several of the microstock agencies - Shutterstock, Dreamstime, Fotolia, Stockxpert, LuckyOliver and iStockphoto. I'm working on getting into a traditional agency now, but it's slow going with them.


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3/10/2007 2:55:23 PM

 
Kathy Radford
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/2/2006
kathyradford.com
  Deb, did you check out the 2 sites Paul told you about. I checked both of them out and signed up with Boundlessgallery.com but I haven't set it up yet. If all goes well I might sign up for the yessy.com one as well. I think I like those 2 sites rather than do stock sites. Kathy in NH


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3/11/2007 4:52:15 AM

 
Deb James
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/29/2006
  Kathy, yes I took a look at them, but I haven't thoroughly checked them out yet. I like the initial look of Boundlessgallery more than yessy.com. I guess it just looks more professional up front. I think I'm going to open an account with them soon. I've just been very busy (and I'm a procrastinator - lol). But selling prints has always been the avenue I've wanted to take rather than stock or portraits or weddings, etc., so I think I'm going to proceed with them. Let me know how you do with them.


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3/11/2007 9:11:08 AM

 
Kathy Radford
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/2/2006
kathyradford.com
  Deb, I'll keep you informed how I make out with that site. Kathy in NH


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3/11/2007 12:06:30 PM

 
Carolyn L. Fox
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2006
  Kathy,

Please let me know how you make out those sites as well.

Thanks,

Carolyn


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3/11/2007 2:42:44 PM

 
Kathy Radford
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/2/2006
kathyradford.com
  OK Carolyn F, I'll let you know how it goes. Kathy in NH


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3/11/2007 4:22:52 PM

 
Deb James
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/29/2006
  Thanks, Kathy!


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3/11/2007 4:26:31 PM

 
Ruth S. Ueland   A good beginner micro stock is:
Buy & Sell Photos at CanStockPhoto.com


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7/2/2007 6:48:57 PM

 
Kathy Radford
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/2/2006
kathyradford.com
  Hi Deb,
I went with yessy.com. I sold two note cards during the 14-day free trial but haven't sold anything since although I am getting a lot of hits on the site. I've only been on there a few months.
Kathy in NH


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7/3/2007 3:59:54 AM

 
Deb James
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/29/2006
  Thanks for the update, Kathy!


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7/3/2007 7:18:59 AM

 
Barbara V. Hinton   Here my main online art gallery...which enables one to sell pricey print..which you make squat off of...totaly would not suggest you do that I just did cause well I was starting off. BUt you can see my work there....also I have links on there to my other 4 online art gallerys.
http://o-x-o---nika---o-x-o.deviantart.com/


Heres what I do suggest- check out my picture books for sale they are all SELF published through lulu.com.(5-28$)Which is what I suggest other visual artisits so. SELF PUBLISH...online. If you like this helpful info please buy one of my books from lulu.com and maybe make some from them also. Thank you. ~Nika

Here they are: (way cheaper/better than devart)ALTHOU dev art prints are much better. (pro quality)but you dont make hardly anything off them is the main problem.

.......................
Nikas Photomanipulation Art Vol. 1 book
Published on Lulu.Com 2006
http://www.lulu.com/content/585134
By OXO Nika OXO

A book of 24 of my best photomanipulations todate. -10$ hardcopy; 5$ for download

.....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................

And Nikas Print Art Volume 1 (88 of my digital art pieces)
Published on Lulu.Com 2006


Nikas Print Art Volume 1
http://www.lulu.com/content/579672
By Barbara Hinton

A compilation of 88 of the best visual print art work that I've created digitaly over the last couple of years. Landscapes, photomanipulations and photos. -28$ hardcopy and 10$ for a download
............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................

Nikas Landscapes Book
Published on Lulu.Com 2007

Nikas Landscapes
http://www.lulu.com/content/927845
By OXO Nika OXO

17 Landscape Photomanipulation Digital Art pieces by Nika -10$ hardcopy and 5$ for a download

..............................................................................................

Nikas Fractal Art Vol 1
http://www.lulu.com/content/939357
5$ downloadable ebook
10$ Hard copy

Published June 17 2007

..............................................................................................

Nikas Fractal Art 2008 Calendar
http://www.lulu.com/content/948089
15$

Published June 20 2007
..............................................................................................

Please note you can also download these picture books straight to your computer for half the price of a lulu printed,bound and shipped copy. So what chu waiting for! I'll be your best friend? Giggles.

Also note that I hardly make anything off of selling these hard copy picture books.(only like 15% about on hard copies and 80% off of downloads) I just think its awsome that I can do it thou....online all by myself (meaning no preveiwer middle man/editor) and so quickly too. And so can YOU.

If you've ever wanted to publish a book but thought it too involved you should give lulu a try. ~Nika

A messege from Lulu.Com:

Lulu.Com provides the creators and owners of digital content with control over how they use and share their work. Individuals, companies, and groups can use Lulu to publish and sell a variety of digital content, including books, photos, images, and music.

~Nikahinton@yahoo.com


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7/3/2007 9:17:12 PM

 
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