Become an...


The only interesting thing about the down economy we all...
(well, most of us) are floundering in..

is that it will be fun to tell out grandchildren about it, and how we were able to survive.

That’s the future. How ‘bout right now?

As stock photographers, there’s definitely some things we can do.

Getting a local day job isn’t the answer. But getting a global day job is.

“Global day job?” Yes, as the world is becoming flatter, and communication is becoming swifter, doors are opening for us srock photographers.

In the past, these global doors were closed. Too many roadblocks discouraged us from trying to open them:
Language barrier. You found a good prospect, but you don’t speak Japanese.
Time: The photo request was ideal, but they needed the image in two days. Cumbersome delivery. Remember trying to send 100 transparencies to Brisbane? Administration. Which drawer is it in? You know you have the picture but you’re behind in your filing system.
Postal mail, telephone and faxes were costly or cumbersome to use for promotion.
The art directors and graphic artists at publishing houses would lose your work. Attorneys were making the most money in stock photography in those days.

And then came along the Internet and digital photography.

It took a decade, but thanks to the Internet the above barriers have all disappeared. If you are still trying to market your talents “the old way,” pay attention.

The new way is to consider the world as your market –but target only a few dependable markets, and they aren’t down the street. They are as close as your computer, your software, and Google. If you play your cards right, you can survive nicely.

No, you won’t be a small fish in a big pond --actually, the reverse.

Specialization is the key in the world of global markets. Someone in Lisbon needs your talents right now. Also someone in Albuquerque. And they are searching the Internet right now. If you haven’t positioned yourself correctly, they will pass you by. Just like they did yesterday.

And these “someones” aren’t necessarily everyday photobuyers. They might be a corporate assistant given the task of locating a certain kind of picture for their new office in Cleveland. Or a housewife looking for a birthday present for her husband. But your major markets will be “theme” publishers and advertisers worldwide, who are building lists of expert photographers worldwide who “speak their language,” who can communicate in the niche area the photobuyers represent and are known for.

You see, it works the other way, too.

Customers (photobuyers) will look for companies (you) that offer the products (stock photos) they are looking for and buying. And the Internet will lead them to the right supplier. Distance, language, and all the other barriers mentioned above won’t matter.

We live in a new era.
Buyers can be coming to you. So what are you doing to position yourself to be found? (Hint: One strategy is to enter keywords that describe your specialization photos you have available, on your own website or a photo search (text-centric) website such as the PhotoSourceBANK, which gets scores of hits per day globlly from photobuyers seeking certain special photos. Check it out at

As an editorial stock photographer you are going to find much more enjoyment when you are photographing subject matter that you like to take. Learn more about how to sell those pictures at PhotoSource International and the PhotoSourceBANK, Pine Lake Farm, 1910 35th Road, Osceola, WI 54020 USA. Rohn Engh is director of and publisher of PhotoStockNotes. E-mail: info[at]photosource[dot]com Fax: 1 715 248 3800;

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