October Newsletter 2016

October Sky


Unknowingly referencing the 1999 movie about a coal miner's son, this title was more to do with the beautiful sky's and settings October has to offer. A foggy morning with a hint of frost over a golden sunrise, what more can you ask for! -- Well maybe no rain if you're out on a shoot -- that would help.

Some great pictures already starting to come in depicting this setting.

News from the community

Congrats to Nick Jenkins who has managed to sell 2 pictures in just over 2 months of being a member, one of them being The Malvern Hills. His secret to his success? He's uploaded great pictures with the appropriate keywords and descriptions. Nick also self marketed his work heavily on social media using hisTinyURL (which is found in your settings page) which also helped spur interest. Great job! 

South Eastern Trains had a competition with TimeOut Magazine for "SE Hidden Gems" this summer so Dan Davidson entered his image of the Herne Bay beach huts. The image didn't get shortlisted for the final but for some reason they used the image when advertising the shortlist. The Marketing Dept at SE Trains asked if they could use the image to display on a feature wall at the train station.  It went up in mid August and should be there until close to Christmas. Congrats Dan!

Tom Hard had a photograph appear in the August edition of Digital Photo Magazine which is sold nationally. It is accompanied by an article called 'Bucket List Locations.' It was a double page spread and the photo was taken of theWest Pier in Brighton, Sussex at sunset. Well done Tom!


James donating to great causes.

Last month we heard from Bel Menpes regarding her contribution to helping Kelly Turner raise £1.2 million to fund life saving surgery in the US. This month our attention turns to James Biggadike.


We all know James as "Airpower" and sells a lot of pictures on Photo4me. What a lot of people don't know, James puts his work and commissions toward charities and great causes.

Last year around Remembrance Day, James donated roughly £250 of his commissions from his sales of his Tower of London Poppy pictures to the RAF benevolent fund.

A few months ago, James donated a canvas of "Vulcan Farewell" to a local business called "the Sentry Post". The RAF Waddington base has been re-surfacing their runway for the past 2 years, and the owners are struggling to keep the business afloat. - As the cafe sits right at the end of the runway making it a prime sitting spot for plane spotters, the bidding for this canvas is currently at £200. You can bid on it yourself on Facebook.

James has also donated images and a number of prints to "The Peoples Mosquito" to help them raise funds to build a De Havilland Mosquito from scratch. Details of which can be found via their website.

Moreover, he has also donated a number of prints to "The Happy Gurkha", a business set up to get retired British Army Gurkhas back to employment.

Well done James!


What's happening?

To our friends in North America, there is Canadian Thanksgiving (Oct. 10th). Food, family and friends sit around to have a nice get-together, appreciate the summer past and enjoy the yearly harvest. Our American friends will celebrate their Thanksgiving a month later in November.

On this side of the pond, there are a few things going on, in and around the UK.

In London there is the NFL international series on October 2nd, 23rd and 30th. Go and take in the sights and sounds around Trafalgar Square and Regent St on those weekends.

If men in spandex running into each other isn't entertaining, try the sixth annual Bristol Cocktail Week 2016. It will take place from 17th to 23rd October at venues across the city with Bristol’s finest mixologists indulging in seven days of blending and mixing for your sipping pleasure.

In Nottingham, there is the Goose Fair which is one of Europe’s largest travelling fairs and is one of Nottingham’s oldest traditions, dating back more than 700 years. Legend has it that it that Goose Fair got its name from the hundreds of geese, which were at one time driven from Lincolnshire and Norfolk to be sold in Nottingham. -- Cheeky!

Hull will also host a fair with an expected attendance of over half a million visitors throughout its week long run. The fair starts the Friday closest to the 11th October every year.

Lastly, 

Take a weekend country break. Treat yourself to guided walks across the Isles of Scilly.

The autumn is a very special time of year on Scilly – the days are still warm, the softer hues give rise to stunning sunrises and sunsets, and of course the islands are alive with wildlife.


What could be better than Halloween? As everyone with a calendar knows (or at least checked), Halloween falls on a Monday but that's not stopping a couple of events happening around the UK. I'm sure there are others, but this is what we've come across.

Just outside of Bath, there is Longleat’s infamous Halloween Spooktacular Festival and fireworks show. - A quick Google should bring up times and dates.
 

Margate will have it's second annual "Dreamland's Screamland" 

Screams will be heard across Margate this Halloween, not from screams of enjoyment, but the scariness of Dreamland's Screamland.


What's new this month?

As mentioned in the previous Newsletter we were working on a new sharing function. This will allow you to share your images instantly (Once you have 30 approved pictures in your account) with all your followers and friends.

This will happen at the end of the uploading process, you'll be brought to a sharing page.

The tool is simple. The second you upload a picture, you can share it instantly on 3 major platforms. Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. We have implemented this function because the more you share your image, the more people see it, the better chance it can sell.  These functions may be automatically selected after you've added your account to the uploading process. If you do not wish to have these options selected, simply unclick the box. These options can be turned on and off whenever you upload next.

I know some of you are a little skeptical of Pinterest, we hear you loud and clear. The Pinterest option will only be possible through the uploading process which you will be able to select or not. We have no plans on adding a Pinterest button on the commercial site or the members site.

Unexpectedly we needed to switch servers mid-way through the month due to a technical glitch. No high res files were compromised and they still remained encrypted. We treat image security with the upmost importance. When we moved the thumbnails across, some images didn't make it so we resolved that issue which has been completed. As always, if you noticed anything out of the ordinary, email customercare with a link to the image and the portfolio and a screenshot. 

So thank you for the emails and the posts concerning the missing pictures and many thanks for your understanding and continued patience. Much appreciated.

Apologies for the inconvenience this caused.


Top effort everyone!

This newsletter is going to cover a few things.

First one is keywords; now you’re going to say, “Guys! Enough of the keyword talk, we've heard it all before!” Hear us out. A lot of you get a little confused with the primary key phrase. This should be 2-3 words that describe your image. When we say “describe,” it means what would someone look up. Don’t say, “sun” or “blue” or “sea” or any general word. We also see nonsensical gibberish like "snowdonia wet sun drive." Ask yourself, “What are you looking at?” Better yet, put yourself in the customers shoes, what are they looking for and what would bring up your picture with their specific search? Rarely will we see someone in our traffic search for something so general looking for the examples given above. A customer knows what they want and they want a specific thing. Make your keywords specific then work you way to general, avoid keyword phishing.

Second topic is something that as we all know. We’re getting ready for the Christmas rush (already? - Yep!) What we need from you more than ever is that when we sell a picture, specifically, you're picture, please check the high res file on your end right away and if you notice a dust spot or any imperfection, please email us with an updated file. This will greatly help us in manufacturing and sending things out in a timely matter and ensures everyone has a happy holidays. Please make sure your images are perfect. Remember, you're picture is going on a customers wall, you don't want to be remembered as the artist with a dust spot right?
 
A couple of questions regarding copyright this month that we went over in theFacebook Group but I'll put it here. 

LEGO.

Mike contacted LEGO earlier this month who pretty much said photographers and artists can generally use them for your personal project or if nobody is making any money from it.

If it is something you would be making money off of (like selling on Photo4me), it goes against their fair play policies. Therefore, no LEGO images can be used on the site to sell, unless of course, you have permission from LEGO.
 
On the flip side of things, Mike also got in touch with the Powerboat P1 SuperStock (Powerboat water racing) which said they were happy to have people take pictures of their boats and sell them as the exposure is good for the sport. - Just remember to take pictures from public land and you'll be alright.


We’re always looking for something to report or to announce, anything that would interest the community. Would you like to write up a blog? Start a photography club in your area? Have any tips? Locations? Advice? Let us know and we’ll be more than happy to read and even put it into the newsletter.

Have a great month everyone, and thank you for being part of the community. 

Best wishes,

Jon & Mike

Use of public domain images

When posting pictures, in particular public domain images, we do ask that they be unique in their own right. Meaning:


Because anyone can take a free public domain image and upload it to the site and due to the high possibility that duplicates will happen, thus losing the “unique” factor, which Photo4Me promotes, we ask that members upload images that are in the artistic spirit and not easily replicable.


If we were to allow straight rip and upload of public domain images, the site would become over saturated with these images from free domain websites and duplicates would definitely happen + other complications we foresee.


Compilation works using free domain pictures have been fine in the past (as far as we are aware of) because it's original and made in the artists eye. These images are heavily altered and using various pictures from free domain images + the artists own work in some cases; moreover the accreditation of where these images have come from has been well represented.


Free domain images posted as compilations are subjective and will be judged upon upload.

Observations for declined images.

My observations regarding why some images are declined but in fact the reason for declining is not apparent.

Wording declines

Sometimes I will decline an image if there is a lack of wording however there is wording but it can use more work.

For example, I see a lovely image that has the description of a dog.

Description: “My dog Biscuit on the beach.”

It would be more advisable to write, “A Golden Retriever on the beaches at Watergate Bay, Cornwall. “ – Generalize, people will remember their dog at the beach, not your dog. They will have a personal connection with that moment if you can bring them there.

Avoid using the word “MY” in the description, it means something to you, but it won’t mean anything to the average customer.

Quick examples to avoid– My wife, my dog, my cat, my hands, my feet, my friend. You get the idea.


Blown Sky

Another reason for a confusing decline is a “Blown Sky” when there is no sky in the image. It could be just written as a blown object.

A blown sky is a general term, which normally occurs in the sky. However one of the most common places it occurs is during long exposure photography and to be more specific in running water. Over the course of the long exposure, the running water will dominate the sensor and the colours and come out all white. This will cause a blown effect thus bleaching the colours around the blown area.

 

Dust Spots

A word about “Dust Spots.” Dust spots can occur on the lens sensor any part of the photography process, which just needs a quick clean and away you go.

But sometimes we can’t determine what the spot is. More times than not we know from experience that the spot is in fact a bird in the distance. The average customer will see the spot and assume is some sort of problem or defect and move to the next image. Look at your image through the eyes of customer. Does it look like it’s perfect? This is why we call it a dust spot, because it is a spot on the image and the customer cannot determine what it is.


Lens Flare

The last subject is about “Lens Flare.” This is the complete opposite with the dust spot. A customer will purchase a canvas, but when the canvas is made, a 10mm sun flare is in the centre of the picture. The customer, never saw the flare and will demand a return/refund or a re-print. Therefore please be very careful with the flares and unless it is 100% visible and part of the picture it can be flagged, refunded or a re-print which causes a waste of time for the customer, photographer (fixing and disappointment) and for us.


Copyright Infringement

Although sometimes a copyright infringement is straight forward, it can be confusing. Essentially, anything that you need permission to take a picture can be flagged as a copyright infringement. For example last week we had a churchwarden email us asking who gave permission to take and post images of the church. Due to the church being “private property” they needed permission and was flagged accordingly. Please be sure you have permission to take pictures before posting.


 Accreditation

This leads us into accreditation. Closely linked with copyright. If you are at an event which credentials given out, you must have the accreditation to post. It doesn’t matter if the stadium is empty, you are still on private property and accreds are given out at the clubs/events discretion. Failing to comply can land you in some hot water.

If you do have accreditation, then you do not need a model release.


I hope this helps clarify things.

-Mike