Sunday, September 30, 2012

September 30, 2012

I try and shoot at least one subject a week. Sometimes I shoot more, but other times life's barriers interfere with my goal.  My normal routine is to shoot and then upload those images into Lightroom and then do a quick 1st edit.  But not today. I am feeling a bit overwhelmed by the amount of time we use downloading, editing, cropping, color correcting, captioning, key wording, etc...  This takes away from the satisfied feeling you had while you were creating your images. You begin to think more about what you will have to do to your images on the computer and not on the subject you are photographing. Why shoot and explore your subject when it just means more work when you get back to your office?  That is no way to enjoy photography.  So this afternoon, I will wait a bit and enjoy just the making of those images and not the rush to get them before an editor. It is nice sometimes to just think about what you photographed instead of the instant knowing what you photographed.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

September 29, 2012

As Autumn begins in the Northwest I can't help but remember as a child how fun it was to play in the fallen leaves.  We knew exactly where we wanted to go and we would get on our bicycles and tear down to Woodland park in Seattle. We would then go crazy making huge piles of the fallen leaves and then have leaf fights.  That is one of the great things about the Pacific Northwest, the changing seasons.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

I have been thinking lately concerning the tit for tat of micro shooters versus the professional photographers.  We have our own definition of what a micro shooter is and what a professional shooter is and these labels interfere with what is truly happening in the Stock Photo Business.  For me, there is no difference between the two when it comes to the imagery produced.

How many times do we hear these same old cliches;  the "professional" trying to convince the micro shooters that they are destroying the stock image market,  they say maintaining a higher price structure will in turn stabilize the photo market place for everyone.  We should be paid a decent wage for our photo efforts. not give our hard earned images away for pennies.  You micro shooters better watch your backs,  prices are dropping even further in your arena and the studio production guys are jeopardizing your future sales too.

From the Micro stock perspective...What are you guys talking about? Price stability in the photo market place is a joke!  There is no price structure anymore.   Why would a magazine pay for your travel image when the locals are shooting thousands of images and posting them to their social media sites on a daily basis?  All these images can be bought and published for basically a credit line on the image.  With the amount of choices and the new mega pixel phones, the image tsunami is getting bigger and the client's choices are expanding. We (micro-stock shooters) feel we are getting a fair price for our images and it is not as if you professionals haven't compromised your own pricing structure.  We all have to compromise.  The micro studio shooters are eating the professionals lunch too.  Rights Managed shooters are saying how great it is to have control over their images, when the agencies are selling your RM images for peanuts. The RM pricing scheme doesn't seem to protect you.

The new market place doesn't care who you are behind the image.  The Image is King. You can sell it for pennies or dollars, give it away, or just be happy to have captured a moment that relates to your life and the interest of others.  It is your choice and we have to get over the illusion that any image we shoot has a high value because of the license model we choose. Pricing structures adapt to the market place and you have to adapt accordingly.  That doesn't mean I will jump ship and start shooting for one of the micro sites.  I don't want to chase the proverbial penny through high volume productions.  I like the slower pace of committing to a subject and exploring it more thoroughly.

Good imagery is good whether it is in a micro collection, a Royalty Free collection or a Rights Managed collection.  You have to feel comfortable with how you shoot and what kind of a business you want. If you shoot for a micro site then you hope that volume makes up for the low fees.  And sometimes they do.  But for me I feel more comfortable having my images in Non-Exclusive Rights Managed Collections.

As we argue the same old cliches about each other, we miss the real point of photography.  Photography is your chance to express yourself in a unique way that can impart to the viewer a new level of seeing this world. Your image can trigger in the viewer something unexpected, something jarring or innocent or inspirational.  The Stock Photo Business is no longer a business model that makes any sense.  If you focus on the imagery rather than getting frustrated with the $ returns then you will have made a leap of faith that eventually your images will sell to a client that sees their worth and is willing to pay a decent price for your unique perspective.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

September 15, 2012

Summer is ending and school is beginning.  We can already feel the change in the morning up hear in the Great Northwest. Some fun summer photos to keep us going as winter comes steamrolling along.