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

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

Getting Started and Not Stopping, the key to selling photos!

Getting Started and Not Stopping, the key to selling photos! by Frank Irwin

 

I don’t make that many sales, one here and one there and given my age of 75 the income is not important to me but, of late within the space of a few weeks I managed to make several sales.

 

A lot of you will know of course that Photo4Me aims for the wall decorative market, which is becoming more popular by the minute. The requirements for printing must be pictures which people are able to live with on the walls of their homes and offices without getting tired of them. Pictures uploaded for sale on the site must also be of sufficient resolution that they will not pixelate at the sizes to be ordered. Historically Photo4me requires them to be uploaded as a JPEG 3000 to 4000 x 5000 to 6000 pixels range and in sRGB.


Editors note: Example - If you send us an image 4,000 pixels by 3,000 pixels the biggest that will print before pixelation starts to become unacceptable is 30 by 40 inches. If you send a file for a square image that is 2,500 X 2,500 then 25 inches square would be as large as we go before pixelation. So in short - the more pixels you can send us the better however it has been best when one side of the image has been between 3000 to 4000 pixels.

 

Now then in order to fulfil the market requirements on Photo4Me, in my opinion it is essential that the photographer knows what he is doing as far as equipment is concerned. I certainly feel that as far as new photographers are concerned, a course on basic photography is a wise investment - where camera owners at a similar knowledge level, study together, the aspects of lighting, apertures, shutter speeds and of course ISO values to be able to understand the relationships between these aspects and how they work together. Leaving a camera set at “Automatic” will not help in this regard and indeed although it may well work for a lot of photograph taking, it will never work all the time. I would highlight as a good example, “contre-jour” work where some exposure compensation will be always be required.

 

Composition is a crucial factor when taking photographs for the Wall Art market.  There are rules of composition, which will stand the photographer in good stead as a starting point, in particular the “rule of thirds.”  Notice how the lighthouse is right on the 3rd line, also the horizon is on a line of thirds. 




People will always say “Rules are made to be broken” but it is my belief that before knowing when to break the rules one needs to fully understand the basics otherwise one will never know when the time is right to break them. One of the most important rules is to ensure a level horizon. Remember the sea runs neither up nor downhill! One thing that will definitely greatly decrease a photographer’s chance of a sale is when the sea and the horizon are prominent within a picture but the horizon is not level. If there is no horizon to level off of, use an object that should be vertical.



 

Levelling can be achieved either within the camera using viewfinder grid lines, live view on DSLRs or a spirit level on the tripod, but a final check and correction if necessary within software, is essential. If you’re having problems with levelling the tripod on sand or an un-even surface, a great suggestion was given recently by John Farnan is to use 3 plastic flowerpots which hold the tripod steady and prevent it from moving or sinking into sand.

 

Generally, these photographic rules make a picture look better and far more natural, with leading in lines and the attitude and direction of the subject matter being very important. It is these rules that creates the ‘balance’ of a picture which could well be what attracts a person to want to own the image after the location or subject matter has first led the purchaser to the search for it, making tagging essential.

 

See the tips in the Photo4me FAQ section: https://photo4me.desk.com/customer/en/portal/articles/652115-wording-master-class

 

After a short while, inexperienced amateur photographers will have to learn to process the pictures on their memory cards, therefore some software will be required and I would recommend something cheap and cheerful at first.  It will soon become obvious when the time is right to invest in better software like Adobe Lightroom to be introduced including the ability to also process RAW files. Basically, RAW files are needed when a picture contains a high range of light and dark, which is too great for the camera to handle. A typical subject would be a wedding on a sunny day when the dress is brilliant white and the groom’s suit is black.

 

At this time I do believe the photographer just now needs experience. This cannot be taught but comes with time - as long as the learning curve has not come to an end. There is a lot more information to be gleaned, lots of tips to be squeezed out of old photographers.  Perhaps one answer is to buy a subscription to a good Photo Magazine. A few should be sampled as they differ in content so the final purchase should be one that the photographer is comfortable with and which helps the level of photography achieved to be constantly improved.

 

 

Frank Irwin

Stop hoping and increase your odds

I've been asked a few times by members on what they need to do to be more successful in selling their pictures on Photo4me. So I thought this write up might help for those looking for that extra edge.


In my experience, people want to see a few things. If you do these things, I think it would make a difference you would start seeing results.     Working/Descriptions   A lot of people tell me about their personal stories about an area, a place or an event that happened somewhere. I then try to match that description with what they've told me. I then send that picture to the client.   I also try and find a description which makes an emotional connection with the client.   I don't know how many times I've seen, say, Brighton Pier for example, good picture but the description says "On holiday took a picture. I think it looks nice." OR someone took a picture of their dog and said. “This is Charlie, he’s 8yrs old.” It’s a lovely picture of your dog and you have that emotional connection, but I hate to be blunt, but people won’t care about your dog, they care about their dog. Put yourself in the customer shoes, work it for them.   We've stressed it many times but please be descriptive with your image. Pull on people’s emotions and make them want to buy your picture.   Sometimes, I'll send a customer 4-5 picture links which match the description the client was looking for and 9/10 times, they'll go with a feel with the picture and an emotional touch. They want to know as much information about the picture or area. Try to avoid the Wikipedia copy and paste job, people want a personal touch.     Your portfolio

http://mem.photo4me.com/Home/Index/Upload/1   Another point would be to have a strong portfolio. This idea of more is better is a complicated one.   - You want people to see your portfolio and all the nice stuff. - To much stuff leads to substandard photo's. - You want to keep all the emotional storied photos and take out the "meh" pictures.   People look at other images from that photographer. If they see great photo's and substandard photo's they question the professionalism and skill of the photographer. Never underestimate the power of your own portfolio.   Moreover, notice that those who sell multiple pictures tend to be those with great photo's? Sure you have the 1 time seller because they have a specific area and that great shot of it. But notice it's more or less the same people in the "Top sellers last thirty days” It’s because they have found that taken quality pictures, they have put in the right keywords and descriptions, and they have advertised themselves.   I would advise members to avoid pictures which don't sell often. For this reason we came up with the redundant decline. Insects/Swans/Ducks/Geese/Cats/Mushrooms don't sell often and the site is loaded with them already. This takes away from the power of your portfolio.   Planes get flagged as well from time to time, because they need to fit the Photo4me guidelines, which could be found further down the blog – http://blog.photo4me.com/post/2015/10/07/replicative-images-planes.aspx     Pricing   People are also looking for the best price. Sure some can get away with having 100% mark-up and if that works for that member, great. Keep in mind however that people are always price comparing. I'll see potential carts/dropped carts through admin and they'll have 4-5 same images and be comparing the price. Don't give your away but don't make it out of reach of a persons budget.

The current site averages are: Min: £14 Max: £157 Commission: 43% 

 No need to change the pricing per individual picture, it can be changed globally on your pricing page: http://mem.photo4me.com/Account/MyPricing


Advertise:   Try uploading one of two pictures a day, do your own picture of the day. Put ads around Facebook and twitter. Do something different. Make business cards with your link on the site to your portfolio, start your own following. Hand out flyers, get your name out there and self promote, think outside of the box, tell your friends, understand how Google Adwords works and advertise through there, use Google Analytics, family anyone that will listen, send out emails to people who might be interested.   Some people will upload to the site and think they are going to sell automatically, however with the site consistently growing, it is not like the old days when we had less than 50,000 pictures and images would be found quickly and purchased, those days are long gone. With a few thousand pictures being uploaded to the site every week, the competition to be found is always increasing. I believe that the new successful member will need to do a little self-marketing, get the right pictures in their portfolio and have the right keywords and description.   To break it down even more, if you have 150 pictures in your portfolio, and we have 350,000 pictures on the site, you have 0.0004% of the content on the site, how do you turn this into a better percentage with the hopes that someone finds and purchases one of your pictures. I don't mean to say this to dishearten you, but the opposite, to encourage you to do more and to stop you from hoping - be proactive, get your name out there, you never know what will happen!   Mike

Zoo Photography continuation - Another Perspective.

As a keen fan and supporter of Zoo Photography, I would just like to support and follow on from Steev’s couple of postings to the Blog regarding Animals in Enclosures and Enclosures and how to overcome them. Many thanks to Steev Stamford for the previous postings.

The Longer the better ;) (Keep your thoughts clean please LOL)


Having a fairly long lens (focal length) is rather important to capturing animals at the zoo and there is not a single time when I don’t have my Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 APO DG Macro Telephoto Zoom Lens on the camera body “before” entering the doors of the zoo.
The Longer the lens, the better for most animal captures at the zoo, besides a macro setting (which my lens has also, so no need to change lenses, which is also a bonus whilst at the zoo) for capturing those extreme “eye close ups” or small lizard or amphibious captures, should you wish to.

Bringing it Forward

Behind the Glass - Below is one of my most favourite shots from Paignton Zoo in Devon and this one was a shot captured through Glass, as was also previously mentioned in Steev’s other postings. Although the Cheetah was a good 20-30 odd feet away from the glass, as the title above says, I was able to “Bring it Forward”, using all of the 300mm available to me on the lens and get myself (which looks) really close to the animal, of which I was extremely pleased to get and as you can see, the details in the fur and face are amazing.


Through the Fence  - This other image below was captured at Dartmoor Zoological Park, but this time captured through a steel fence, but as has already been stated in a previous posting by Steev, the same principal applies by getting up “close and dirty” with the fence.


Although at Photo4Me the rules state that No Enclosures will be accepted, that doesn’t mean to say that your animal shots won’t be accepted on site if those enclosures are not in the shots. This can definitely be overcome be getting in close and dirty and as you have seen from a few postings here, we may be missing out on some terrific animal shots that you would not normally see unless you have infact captured them in their own environments and for some folk, that is not always possible and the best place for some folk to capture these wonderful animals is infact in a zoo environment.

So, don’t be so disheartened with those rules, it just means that no enclosures are allowed, it doesn’t mean No animal shots are allowed, infact, quite the opposite I would say ;)

I just wanted to show you from another persons point of view what can be achieved with animal captures at the zoo from behind Glass and Through a Steel Fence, but also still come out with some top notch animal shots that can also be very saleable ;)

Copyright ©2015 Jay Lethbridge

You can see Jay's portfolio at the following link: http://www.photo4me.com/profile/jaylethbridge

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

Emotional attachment to an image from a members perspective.

This morning I had a lovely email from Steve Purnell contact me with a great example when we mention a emotional attachment is a definite bonus.


A lot of discussion in the past has centred around the ‘emotional attachment’ behind sales.

I recently made a sale of a greeting card on another pod. The following morning I got up to find the following mail in my 'Other' box on Facebook:-
'I am the "buyer from Fairborn, Oh," lol. I wanted to tell you how your photo of the "star-crossed lovers" means so much to me. I am pushing 50, but almost exactly a year ago, my first high school boyfriend found me on Facebook. For over 32 years, we had each kept every photo, letter, momento. My health is failing and we will never be. I saw your photo a while ago when I googled "star-crossed lovers" and couldn't get it out of my mind. It is the expressions, in stone no less, but also how you so beautifully captured them in your photo. So I sought it out again to give him this card on our "anniversary" of being reacquainted. I just wanted to thank you for the breathtaking photo and thought that you might like to know how much your work meant to a total stranger.'

It is an image of a stone ornament in our garden that I never thought would sell in a million years but emotional attachment has obviously played a huge part in this.

Steve 

You can see Steve's "star-crossed lovers" Photo by going to the link below.

http://shop.photo4me.com/401472/canvas



You can see Steve portfolio by going to:

http://www.photo4me.com/profile/10630



Thanks for the email Steve!

Help! Why am I not selling?

Often I get an email from a frustrated member asking what can they do to improve the odds of selling on the site. There is a general reply I would give, although I do taylor it to their specific question if needed.


In my experience, people want to see a few things. They are highlighted below.

 

 

Wording/Descriptions

 

A lot of people tell me about their personal stories about an area, a place or an event that happened somewhere. I then try to match that description with what they've told me. I then send that picture to the client.

 

I also try and find a description which makes an emotional connection with the client.

 

I don't know how many times I've seen say, Brighton Pier. Good picture but the description says "On holiday took a picture. I think it looks nice."

 

We've stressed it many times but please be descriptive with your image. Pull on peoples emotions and make them want to buy it.

 

I'll send that picture along with 4-5 others which match the description the client was looking for and 9/10 times, they'll go with a feel with the picture and an emotional touch.


For more in depth information about this topic see my other blog post located here:

http://blog.photo4me.com/post/2015/01/15/helping-you-get-your-workings-right-for-search-engines.aspx

 

 

Your portfolio

 

Another point would be to have a strong portfolio. This idea of more is better is a complicated one.

 

- You want people to see your portfolio and all the nice stuff.

- To much stuff leads to substandard photo's.

- You want to keep all the emotional storied photos and take out the "meh" pictures.

 

People look at other images from that photographer. If they see great photo's and substandard photo's they question the professionalism and skill of the photographer. Never underestimate the power of your own portfolio.

 

Notice that those who sell multiple pictures tend to be those with great photo's? Sure you have the 1 time seller because they have a specific area and that great shot of it. But notice it's more or less the same people in the "Top sellers last thirty days" It's not on the always because of the home page.

 

Avoid pictures which don't sell often. Reason why we came up with the redundant decline. Insects/Swans/Ducks/Geese/Cats don't sell often and the site is loaded with them already. Takes away from the power of your portfolio.

 

 

Pricing

 

People are also looking for the best price. Sure some can get away with having 100% mark-up and if that works for that member great. However people are always price comparing. I'll see potential carts through admin and they'll have 4-5 same images and be comparing the price. Don't give them away but don't make it out of reach of their budget.

 

 

Advertise:

 

Try uploading one of two pictures a day, do your own picture of the day. Put ads around facebook and twitter. Others have said that part of proceeds go to a charity. Do something different.

 

 

Keep up the good work!


Mike