September Newsletter 2016

Schools in from summer.

Yes, it is that time of the year again. The start of Autumn or “Fall” as Mike says, that crazy Canuck, eh. The beautiful summer days are numbered, a time of year when the days get cooler, the leaves start to change colour and winter (gasp) is around the corner. In saying that, lets be positive! With this, you have a great opportunity in taking some amazing pictures of the change in season and we’re looking forward to seeing what you upload in the next month – not all that bad right?

News from the community

Lots happening this month so lets get to it shall we?
Stephen Mole is hosting an Exhibition with Paul Macro Exhibition at Blickling Hall (National Trust) from September 20th to October 2nd and yes he did receive permission. The manager even bought a picture off Stephen of the hall. (It was shot from the road side)
Liz Alderdice is opening up her Studio for the North East Open Studios 2016event where artists and makers open their studios for 8 days so that the public can meet the artist and gain an insight into the way they work. Dates are 10th - 18th  September. She can be found here.
Thank you to Roger Green. With excellent research Roger spoke with the Senior Counrtyside Access Office for Cumbria regarding pictures of the Castlerigg Stone Circle, who informed him that,

"It seems safe to assert that purposes 'reasonably incidental' passing and repassing includes such things as stopping to look at a view, to talk to passer-by, to take photographs, or to have a picnic on the verge'.

So in my view there would be two questioned to be answered, was your passing 'reasonably incidental' or had you gone to the site to take the photograph for commercial gain.

The other would and I would think the most important were you on the public right of way or had you strayed off it?"

Therefore, if you feel that above applies to you, please reply to the declined image, email a link, or just re-upload.

Bel, donating commission to a worthy cause.

Bel Menpes is going to give all commission payments from the sale of her work to help Kelly Turner raise £1.2 million to fund life saving surgery in the US.

Who is Kelly Turner?
Kelly is a 16 year old from Dover who has a rare form of soft tissue cancer. Tragically, Kelly has been told that without surgery she has just two years to live.

Without surgery Kelly will not have a chance to achieve all she had hoped to. She would like to help others by becoming a radiographer, and to develop her passion for art. Surgery could give her the opportunity to fulfill her hopes and dreams, and allow Kelly to live her life to its full potential.

Bel is trying to spread the word and help raise money to fund Kelly's surgery in the US, surgery she can not have in the UK.

Bel will continue donating her commission until at least the end of Feb

How can you help?
Please search on Facebook for getkellytotheUS for more details and a link to her crowd funding page can be found here.
Also follow the hashtag, #doingitforkelly

What's happening?

As all parents and grandparents are probably well aware of, school’s return is coming up or for some, has just begun. Last month we saw the conclusion of the Notting Hill Carnival and the amazing performances of all Olympians. Speaking of which, please let us not forget the Para-Olympic games start soon (Sept. 7th to the 18th), so please do your best to watch, cheer and support  these inspirational and amazing people.

What else is? There is the London Design Festival which goes from Sept. 17thto the 25th. Might be worth popping by to see and get inspiration for your own work.

Also in the city there is Proms in the Park (Hyde Park), which takes place on September 10th.

Moving away from London, you can test your fitness levels at the Great North Run, which is taking place in New Castle where more than 54,000 runners will pound the pavement. If running is not your strong point, I’m sure the spectating support would be greatly appreciated.

None of those your cup of tea? (Excuse the pun - you'll see why) There is the Autumn Steam Gala Beer Festival in Yorkshire (Sept. 30th to the 2nd of October) See trains and have a pint, we can think of worst things to do on a weekend. – Google the event for more info.

Not to be outdone, Blackpool will light up the Lancashire skies for “Blackpool’s Light Fantastic” where over a million bulbs will light up over six miles of Blackpool’s iconic Promenade – this runs until November. Below is a picture from Jason Connelly who took the opportunity to take a picture of the event a few years ago. I’m sure there will be some great photo opportunities like this.

What's new this month?

Due to the annual holidays it’s been a quiet time for development work over here. What I can tell you is that we're working on a sharing function for the site that will make sharing your pictures a lot easier. Bigger audience, bigger chance someone sees you work, bigger commissions down the road.

Top effort everyone!

We have found out the reason why when you share your images/portfolio on Facebook, and the image doesn’t come up as your own and your name is not mentioned. This is due to Facebook “scraping” the information from Photo4me is incomplete. To fix this issue, please go to your Settings page, at the bottom under “Commercial profile” add your own unique TinyURL. Once saved you can share your portfolio on Facebook without problems. Not only that, it will also make your link a lot more professional when sharing it among friends in print. For example,{whatever name you chose}

We’ve noticed an influx of declines because of wrapping issues/cut subject. Remember when cropping and taking your great pictures you need to give about 1cm (on all sides) of clearance on the screen to avoid a wrapping issue.

A few of you have been a little confused when we give an explanation for a declined image, which is understandable. To clarify, we are given a list from a dropdown menu, most explanations are very general, therefore, if it is not obvious, kindly feel free to ask us to clarify and we can be very specific. Now the reason why we have dropdowns rather than the need to type each reason – it’s a time saver. Imagine having to give a specific detailed explanation for every decline, we wouldn't have time to go anything else.

With all these flags, people may feel that they are being picked on – I know getting flagged isn’t fun, but it’s for the best, and no one is picking on you. Yes, you may be getting 3-4 images flagged, it happens, no sweat. Overall we get about 100 – 200 flags over a 24 hour time span, some images are from recent uploads, some are from images uploaded 5-6 years ago. If there is a problem with the image, it’s best that we know about it now, than if a customer purchases the image and we need to stall the order or cancel the order outright. Then it becomes a little embarrassing for us and the photographer because we can’t fulfill the order on something, which we should have been able to avoid.

The flag system is to keep the quality of the images on the site to the highest standards possible.

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

July Newsletter 2016

Summer Solstice

As sad as it sounds, the summer solstice has come and gone but summer is here and in full swing for another 2-3 months. Currently we’re in the middle of great events and celebrations, last month saw the annual Glastonbury Festival, the start of Wimbledon, the Queen’s birthday, the Euro’s tournament (Sorry English Fans). I’m sure I’m missing a whole bunch of other things I didn’t think of at the top of my head.

News from the community

Janet and Richard Burdon currently have an exhibition running at the Dalby Forest visitor centre in Dalby, North Yorkshire. The exhibition is 50/50 mono and colour landscape and runs until the end of July. If you’re in the area, pop in and say hi!

David Wilkins received an award this year and is listed as one of the top 30Best Wedding Photographers in the UK (no19). Congrats on the achievement David! 

Sandra Cockayne is giving a presentation at the Townswomen Guild in Low Row on Tuesday the 21st at 7pm to 9:30pm and inviting the ladies to be a judge for an evening, and will be given a transcript and guidelines to do so. Best of luck and we hope its a great success!

What's happening?

As mentioned above, it’s been a busy month and busy time of the year. For all you music lovers Glastonbury has come and gone and for the lucky people that went, memories that lasted forever. Very muddy ones but I'm sure fun none the less! Now that these emotions are still fresh, find some sort of music inspiration photography and promote like Anne Macdonald's image of Antique Mandolin. You never know who’s looking. Be aware that if you do take pictures inside festivals or venues you need permission to sell them and need to provide us with proof.

Currently “The Championships, Wimbledon” is causing a racket (excuse the pun but it was too good to foul on) with excitement and is easily the most popular ticket in The City. Now would be a good time to promote any type of photography involving tennis like David (Dai) Meacham's picture of Point of impact or racket sports due to the public awareness and again, promote to help increase the odds in selling. 

** Editors Note: Apologies for the confusion regarding last newsletter. The 75thanniversary of the Battle of Britain was last Summer/Fall, although the message remains the same regarding our commitment to replicated and air-show pictures. Guidelines can be found here.

What's new this month?

This month we have been busy tightening up the Printshop and Home Page making it look slick and fast. Moreover, we have completed an overhaul of a backend API that will help market your images throughout on various paid advertisement platforms. (This won’t cost you a penny and we foot the bill to promote your work). We’ve been doing this for a couple years but it was using old technology so a complete rebuild was in order. These new and improved technologies will also help with the SEO of Photo4me images on major search networks. It’s not very fancy/flashy that you’ll notice directly on the site, but hopefully you’ll notice in your pockets sooner rather than later. 

Although we do promote your work with paid adverts, we do ask that you also do your part in promoting your pictures to give yourself that extra exposure. The more people know, the better the chance you have in selling.

This month we have hired a new employee by the name of Liam Hind. He’s going to help with the administration of the site when Mike is on annual leave or during the busy times of the year. Please make him feel welcome, understanding and patient with him as he is still new and still learning the job. 

Top effort everyone!

Although no request this month was made to cover a part of the website, I would like to recap a couple things. 

We at Photo4me do watch the social media boards and see that there is a common concern about the “substandard” images that are uploaded. As you all know and have gone through, we have the 30 approved images vetting process. Once a member hits over 30 approved images, it goes live instantly when upload is complete. Unfortunately we cannot police all these images, we don’t have the time to do that, therefore, before you hit those “likes, loves and exceptional” ask yourself if it is wall art and it is substandard or have any technical issues. If so, flag it and we’ll take a look, simple as that and takes just a few seconds. When an image is flagged, it just means that someone wants us to have a second look, 99% of the time, within 24hours a decision will be made (on business days). Flagging an image is completely anonymous and has no effect on the commercial site. The flag will remain because we don't want to see the same image multiple times after we've seen it once.

Remember if you want to see and the site to show off the best possible pictures, we need your help in achieving that =).

Now what happens if your image is flagged and declined? Rather than write us angry emails or take to social media to start a mob, write us a nice reply, make a case, show us of examples of similar images, we’re more than happy to explain more in depth, reinstate your image and admit we were wrong or flag the other images still on the site. Remember, you catch more bees with honey than vinegar. 

As per a suggestion to cover – Rather than upload your images to the site and think you’ll win the quantity battle, it’s not so much the case. Quality will always trump quantity. ? I remember looking at someone’s profile a month ago, which had 5 images but sold 3 of the 5.

You want have pictures so that someone will stumble onto it, but it doesn’t help if you have thousands of mediocre images, make sure your images are stunning and be honest with yourself. Ask yourself, would someone buy this picture? We’re all here to sell images, lets make it the best possible outcome for the customer.

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? 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