• Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012
Whether you are a buyer or a contributor of stock photos, or just someone who likes viewing pictures, you might not know it but you are a part of the World’s largest stock photography agency, an agency that is far more popular than any other that just one mention could already flick up a mental picture for the one you are talking to.
There are many stock photo agencies that provide services for photographers to host their work and make them accessible to the buyers, and this makes life much more convenient for people who are searching for generic images or just looking for standard pictures that they can use for their projects. But when someone is searching for a picture that is rather different from the common searches, or an image that depicts a specific action or location that the individual is looking for, sites like Getty or Corbis might not be the best place to search for. Luckily, there is one “agency” that is always available and ready to help you out, and you already know what it is. The largest agency is composed of the whole internet, where the pictures can be organised into a list by search engines, and of course the most important is you, the user.
While the familiar stock photography agencies are good enough for standardized pictures, and while their content is easily accessible based on generalised keywords, they can, in no way, be as precise as how individual photographers use keywords to label their own works. While they are fairly large websites in their own right, they are no match for the service that the internet in its entirety can provide. The Google Experience is probably the most helpful and can give people exactly what they want. Even whole sentences can be used to label an image, and Google can help you look for an image that matches that sentence.
You have probably felt the Google Experience before. Maybe you needed to know the distance between the Earth and the Moon for an assignment, or there is specific news that you missed and would like to visit. Simply type in your queries in the Google search bar and press enter, and the answer that you are looking for will be served to you within milliseconds. The same principle applies when searching for photos. If you are looking to buy a picture of a vintage car and want it in an aerial view, you can search in Google Images and you will instantly be provided with thousands of images that are available in the internet, and you can click on the photos to be brought to the site where the picture is being hosted so you can easily transact with the photographer who uploaded it.
Take note that photobuyers won’t rely on Google for products that they will be using for professional projects though, since most searches could lead to subpar images or those with watermarks. The stock photo sites like Getty and Jupiter are more appropriate websites to look into if you are looking for quality images.
• Thursday, May 17th, 2012
Getting into stock photography isn’t really that hard, so if you already have the skills to take photos in good quality, then you have to consider selling your stock photos online because you can potentially earn a great deal of money from this sideline. There are many companies and individuals in need of quality images for use in printed and electronic publications, and you photographers can sell their works to the consumers directly or market their products through stock photography companies. This career is just recently being explored online so there are still many opportunities to take, but first you will have to create your own portfolio.
The very basic thing is to take your own pictures. Investing in a DSLR is always a good idea for aspirers since quality is very critical to get your images accepted in stock photography websites. They are often used in magazines or ads and thus they will need their materials to be of high-quality. Use the highest resolution setting in your camera because images in high resolution can be shrunk and look even better, but pictures that are enlarged could look blurry. After taking a few pictures that you think would do well enough to pass standards, the next step is to build your own portfolio.
People who are looking to buy stock photographs on websites and will always expect them to be in an organised manner so they can easily access it and see which shots they would like to use in their projects. In the past, professional photographers are specifically asked by the companies to produce pictures that they need, but things are different now: they will look through portfolios to see if you have the photos that they have in mind. There are many websites whose services are focused on stock photography, and many companies and individuals can both benefit greatly from them. You can be a contributor but first you will have to submit your sample photos so they can see if you can become a part of their community. You can also sell your pictures with your own website. These two options both have their own advantages and disadvantages, so you can choose which one suits you more.
The next thing that you should think about is your target audience and how to make them look through your work. Make your stock photos accessible by attaching keywords that are related to the images that you have and organise them in such a way that they are easy to view and easy to get. Also, think about what kind of pictures they be looking for, because companies usually buy pictures that will reflect their own businesses. Being professional is one very important thing in stock photography, and you should always think that you are working for men in suits because they are the ones likely to be looking for photos to buy them on the internet anyway, and they wouldn’t want to have experimental materials on their own projects.
• Wednesday, May 16th, 2012
If companies are always going to hire professional photographers to take pictures for use on creating brochures, postcards, and basically any product that needs images, the cost would have been too large and if there are any good alternatives they would surely go for it. Online stock photography websites are the place to go through to acquire photos now, and many companies and photographers are trading benefits to each other. There are however, limitations as to how extensive you can use the pictures that you buy or sell on online portfolios, so read on to know the common licensing information about stock images. Licensing reserves original works only to the creator’s name, meaning that credit goes where it is due. Almost every photo distributed online is protected by some form of copyright that will prevent the unauthorized usage, redistribution or modifications to the product for a set period of time.
For image licensing, there are four main types that are commonly used for the individual who generated the photos to have control over their works and choose how people can obtain or purchase it. One is Rights Managed copyright licenses, where the picture that you acquired from a stock portfolio becomes exclusive to you or not depending on the agreement, and you can only use your purchased product for one project. New licensing agreements will have to be made for other uses and it could be expensive depending on the size of the image as well as its usage.
Another copyright license is Royalty Free which will allow you to use the photo for more than one project, and you only have to pay for the image once. RF images allow the user to utilise it for as many times as needed and for no limit in terms of time. Even though these kinds of photos can be used more extensively, there could still be some kind of restrictions that you must be aware of by reading the guidelines of the website where you obtained the photo. Again, the prices of these images vary depending on size and resolution, but some of them could be found and attained for the very low price of free.
Yet another licensing technique is the Creative Commons license which is usually used by artists to publicize their works for free and is used just to prevent the costless photos to be “stolen” by other people and receive the credit for the products, or even sell them as their own property. Flickr is one such website that offers hosting for creative commons photos and is home to thousands of free pictures that can publicly be viewed and enjoyed by internet users. Lastly, the photos whose copyrights have already expired or were not copyrighted in the first place are referred to as Public Domain, and such photos have been used by individuals and even government websites over the internet with confidence of not committing any violations. Licenses may be confusing, but understanding them will surely help you in the long run.