Delivering Your Own
Photos by Disc
It's the dream of most stock photographers who are embracing today’s digital world.
You place one hundred of your photos on a CD and send it off to a photobuyer who declares, "Thank you! You saved me hours of photo searching, plus hundreds of dollars of pre-press charges."
But here are two cautions to keep in mind:
1.) Many photobuyers aren't interested in seeing your disc unless you are highly specialized in one area (the area they need) and can come up with one hundred blockbuster photos in that specialty area.
Examples: Medicine, children and families, flowers, pets, etc. Why? You’re up against competition from the many high-quality royalty-free targeted discs that are now available to buyers for them to choose images from, at a very low cost
2.) Producing the images on a CD is one task, but packaging them is another challenge. Unless you package your CD in a format and design that can compete with the RF (Royalty-Free) competition, your submission will be regarded as sub-standard. Labeling and delivery method are important.
THE NEW WAY
If you focus on some specific specialty areas with your stock photography, you do have the opportunity to capitalize on CD technology. Here's how:
First, see:http://www.photosource.com/video/lesson1a.html to discover ways to find specific markets for each of your specialty areas.
On a standard CD, you'll be able to put thousands of low resolution "thumb nail" images (72 dpi dpi). This will give the photobuyer selection choices in depth.
NEXT STEP. Say, for example, you have a general specialty of aviation, and you also have a sub-specialty: antique airplanes. You can cull together 100 of your best antique airplane shots and place them on their own specialized disc. For a “How-To”: http://answers.ask.com/Computers/Hardware/how_to_put_pictures_on_a_cd For
cataloging your thumbnail photos, see: www.techsupportalert.com ; www.collectorz.com ; www.mybusinesscatalog.com
PACKAGING. Rather than invest in “jewel
boxes,” buy the paper pouches available on-line or at discount office
supply houses such as Office Max. You'll also want to buy pre-cut self-apply
disc labels. On your computer, design the wording for your label using
one of your antique airplane images as illustration.
It's important to illustrate the subject matter (in taxt or photos)of your disc on the label.
Why? Because 'general pictures' have no interest to photobuyers. In fact they are known to stand over a trash can when opening the morning mail. If you match the contents of the disc with the "theme" of the publishing house, you'll find interest from the photobuyer.
DELIVERY. Pre-arrange with your photobuyers
that you will be mailing them your disc. Package each disc in a white
mailing carton available at the office supply store or from MAILERS
PRODUCTION. Be prepared for your photobuyers to ask you for high-res versions of the photos they select.
THE PERMANENT FILE.
You can encourage your photobuyers to keep your CD’s in their permanent files or central image library. I espouse this “permanent file” approach in my book, Sell & ReSell Your Photos (see pages 127-128), where the photographer leaves specialized images on file at a publisher’s Central Art Library for easy review and access.
When art directors are in a bind and need a quality "filler" for a page layout, they can go to the photos in their permanent file.
The advantage of CD delivery, of course, is that because the image is “in-house,” the photobuyer can pick up the phone or email you with a request for a hi-res delivery of your image.
This permanent file system works well with publishers, and in 30 years I have not heard of any loss or any copyright infringement.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org Fax: 1 715 248 3800; www.photosource.com