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  • 6 Ways For Pro Photographers To Get Found Online

    5:00 am on November 25, 2013 | 0 Permalink
    Tags: , Photography Online Promotion, Photography Promotion, Photography Publicity, , Photography Website Optimization, ,

    Most professional photographers are always on the lookout for ways to be found online. While online publicity isn’t something that happens overnight, with the right online marketing strategy, and diligent networking –both in person and offline- you can help to increase your online presence, making it easier for potential clients to find you.

    Here are six tips for generating online publicity, helping you to be found.

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    Get a Website

    Setting up a functional, and professional looking website is one of the most important steps towards being found online. After all, without a website, you wouldn’t have a place to drive traffic! There is a lot that goes into creating a website though, more than just making it look great. You will want a website that can be easily found by people who are looking for a photographer in your local area. A website is a lot of work, but it is an important part of being found online. If you feel lost when it comes to website design, you may consider having a website design agency make a website for you.

    Social Media Marketing

    Social media marketing is the wave of the future. With more people than ever on sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Google+, having social media accounts is a must. Of course, simply setting up social media accounts isn’t enough –these accounts have to be updated with relevant information regularly in order for them to be effective marketing tools.

    Business Partnerships

    Business partnerships are a valuable networking tool -useful for both online marketing and off. By joining forces with another photographer, or setting up a referral program with other local venders that share the same target customers that you do, you can help to provide each other with new business. Try setting up a business partnership with another company where they will link to your site from theirs, and you link back to them.

    Blogging

    Setting up a blog –and updating it regularly- is an important part of helping you to be discovered. Because a regularly updated blog is more likely to be found when people search for you, it’s important to take the time to create interesting, relevant, and engaging content. Plus people will be more likely to follow your blog if there is regularly posted content.

    SEO

    Just having a website isn’t enough. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is an important way to help people who are looking for photography services –to find you. SEO involves optimizing your website with keywords, backlinks, and informative content that will help you to show up in search engine results when people seek out services that your company offers. A solid web-presence is an important way to stand out against the flood of information that is online today.

    Get Published

    Being published can help you to be found. You don’t have to be published in print -online publications are just as popular these days. Being featured in online magazines or other photographer’s blogs will help you to get your name out there.

     

     

    How do your clients find you? Share your tips for being found online!


     
  • Can't Keep Up? How To Simplify Your Photography Social Media Marketing

    5:00 am on November 18, 2013 | 4 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , Social Media Marketing, Social Media Photography,

    Social media marketing is an invaluable promotional tool for the professional photographer.

    With over 70% of people turning to the internet to find out local business information, having an established online presence is an important way to stand out.

    But with so many different social media sites at your disposal, online social media marketing can easily take up a big portion of your day.

    Here are some ways for the professional photographer to simplify their social media marketing strategy. These tips will help to make it easier for you to keep up, and keep up to date –on the latest in social media.

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    Set Your Goals

    Set your goals, and formulate doable steps to reach them. Be realistic in your goals –don’t expect to instantly gain new customers overnight just by opening a new social media account. Social media is a great way to get the word out about your company, but to be effective you will need to set goals, and create a strategy.

    Ideal goals for social media include using social media to get a feel for relevant issues and content, to determine your target market’s interests, and to get the word out about your photography services. An unrealistic goal would be to expect five new customers per week through Facebook.

    Create a Strategy

    In order to simplify your strategy, you have to have a strategy to begin with. Simply spending a spare minute or two on Facebook every night doesn’t count.

    Here are some examples of effective online marketing strategies. Yours may be different, depending on your goals, your location, target market, and the services/products that you provide.

    • Create content that people enjoy sharing and talking about
    • Post 1-4 updates on Facebook each day
    • Follow someone new every day
    • Comment on three status updates/photos per day
    • Get your timing right! Most research studies show that the hours of 8 am to 8 pm are good times to tweet and post to Facebook.

    Simplify

    By cutting back on social media strategies that are less effective, you will have time to focus on things that are more important –and more effective. When it comes to photography, “the big three” social media sites to focus on are Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.

    Facebook has more users than any other social media account, making it easier than ever to do targeted marketing.

    Pinterest is the place to be for photographers, this virtual pin board allows users to “pin” things that are of interest to them –making it the perfect place for photographers to share their photos.

    Instagram is a quickly growing social media website, with over 150 million users. Instagram is a great place for photography enthusiasts –and professionals alike- to share their photos with the world.

    Automate

    Automated publishing software and new technology can help you to simplify –while still being effective. The program Buffer is an example of a great tool that you can to use to streamline your effectiveness. Buffer makes it easy to keep multiple social media accounts up to date. Buffer also helps you to choose the best times to publish your posts, streamlining both your effectiveness and efficiency!

    When it comes to competitive social media marketing, it’s important to keep in mind what’s important. Don’t lose sight of your goals. What matters most with social media is creating interest, generating traffic, and converting that traffic into customers.

    What about you? Have you found a way to streamline your efficiency with social media marketing?

     

     
  • Scaling Your Photography Business: Creating Systems and Making Profit

    3:49 am on November 11, 2013 | 1 Permalink
    Tags: , , Freelance to Business, , ,

    Are you thinking of moving from freelancing to starting a business?

    As a freelancer, your income is dependent on you working. An established business though, is able to generate income –even when the business owner is not there.

    If you are considering taking your trade from freelancer to business owner, here are a few tips to get you started.

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    Set Your Business Goals

    There’s an old saying that “If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else.” This is especially true when it comes to establishing a business. You can’t reach your goals if you don’t know what they are. Decide where you want to be, and set a plan to get there.

    Create a Business Plan

    Your business plan is your map of how you will take your company to where you want it to be. Outline your goals; and create a one-year plan, a five-year plan, and a long term plan. Include outlines of how you plan to reach your goals and detailed timelines for each step of the way.

    A business plan should also include your marketing strategy, and summarize who your target market is. It should also include your financial goals.

    Set Your Financial Goals

    Set your financial goals, and plan your pricing strategy. As a freelancer, your expenses are lower because your overhead and cost of operations are lower. Once you are in business though, there are more expenses, and you will need to adjust your rates accordingly.

    Calculate your estimated yearly expenses, and then decide how much your company will need to make in order to make a profit. Set your pricing strategy based on how much you need to make a profit, and also how much you can realistically charge for your services.

    Create a Marketing Strategy

    Your marketing strategy is an important way for you to make sure that you have a systemized plan for attracting new clients on a regular basis. As a business owner you will want to systemize your marketing in order to make sure it fits in as part of the business operations.

    Try establishing a set amount of time that you will market your company. Once your business is more established, you may want to consider hiring someone to do the marketing for you.

    Brand Yourself

    Many freelancers work under their own name without too much thought to branding, but when you take your photography to the commercial level, you will want to carefully choose your company’s name, and brand yourself with a consistent identity and look. Choose an identity that goes hand in hand with your marketing strategy -you will want a look that appeals to your target market.

    Establish Yourself Online

    Having an online web presence, with a portfolio, website, blog, and social networking sites is an important part of any established business.

    Create a Client List

    Having clients is essential for the success of your business. Building up a client list is a great way to have something to use for direct marketing if things get slow. Many photographers work on building up a client list while they are freelancing.

    Establish a Schedule

    Setting a schedule is an important part of running a business. As a freelancer, you can plan your work around your life, but as a business owner, you will need to plan your life around your business –at least in the beginning.

    Establishing a schedule is an important way to make sure that everything gets done on time. Part of your time will be spent doing photography related tasks, but many hours will also be spent on business related activities. Don’t underestimate the amount of time that you will have to spend on client interaction, paperwork, marketing, bookkeeping, and more.

     

    Making the jump from freelancer to business owner doesn’t have to be a dramatic leap. Many photographers start out freelancing, and build up their company gradually.

    What About You?

    Have you taken steps towards taking your photography pro? What advice would you offer to photographers who are starting their own business?

     
    • Paul Hassell 7:50 pm on December 11, 2013 Permalink

      My only advice is, dig DEEP. Don’t launch a business too early. Establish a brand that calls forth from the core of the identity you/your business hold most dear. An example of our branding can be seen in the video called “Why Light Finds” that we put together here: http://www.lightfinds.us/page/about/

      Great job with these posts.

  • [INTERVIEW] Fine Art Photographer Lauren Mashford

    11:58 am on November 6, 2013 | 0 Permalink
    Tags: fine art, ,

    In this Photoswarm Pro photographer world we peer into the beautiful, dreamy world of fine art photographer Lauren Mashford and learn what inspires her, how she got started and about the creative process behind her wonderfully unique images.

    Lauren Mashford Profile Photo

     

    1. Tell us a little about your past history as a photographer. How did you get started?

    I have always enjoyed art and started out as a painter. I love abstract images with evocative bright colours. For me, painting was escapism and I found it transported me to a different frame of mind. I then discovered the same kind of absorption in photography. For the first few years I only produced black and white photographs, spending hours in the darkroom, it lead me to develop bolder compositions with high contrast. I now think colour can create greater visual impact.

     

    2. How did you first come to see yourself as a fine art photographer?

    I studied Fine Art BA before going on to do a Photography MA so my influences are mostly artists. Although I am interested in fashion and the glamour it brings to an image, it is more important to me that the photograph projects an idea or a feeling that is thought-provoking and interesting rather than attractive but generic.

     

    3. Can you tell us about your creative process?

    Mostly the images are based on a story, either from a myth, children’s book, poem or rhyme. I usually extract a couple of lines and think about what they mean and how I can interpret them in a modern way. A lot of the images are connected to Shakespeare’s Ophelia and of course Everett Millais’ painting, as I am drawn to the sense of abandonment and helplessness. There is something about immersing yourself in water that I find so appealing.

     

    4. Give us an idea of the types of equipment you use while creating your images.

    I work alone, just the model and I, so I acquire or make any props and costumes needed. The models are mostly friends of mine so we discuss ideas while we do their make-up together. I have a hand-held Cannon SLR and generally just use available lighting.

     

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    5. What steps do you take in during your post processing workflow?

    I rarely have to alter anything on Photoshop, I manipulate the colours a little. I love Tim Walker because he creates dream scenes that actually exist rather than being put together digitally. This is a far more exciting and inspiring process.

     

    6. What kind of impression do you hope to leave upon other’s who see your photographs?

    I hope that they are absorbed into a dream state. My pictures are not exclusive, everybody should be able to relate. I try to create immediate visual impact with bright colours and shiny or metallic surfaces but with a darker edge that will get people to reflect.

     

    7. How do you go about getting the best out of the models you shoot?

    I always explain to them the message they are aiming to convey. Some of them are actors so they are effective at becoming a character. The results can be a bit like film stills.

     

    8. How has Photoswarm helped with what you want achieve with your photography?

    It has enabled me to present my photographs clearly and hopefully gain greater exposure to my work.

     

    9. What aspect or feature of Photoswarm do you most value?

    The simple layout and easy upload, I don’t like to spend much time on the computer and am not interested in technicalities.

     

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    10. What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

    Fashion at the Edge: Spectacle, Modernity, and Deathlinessby Caroline Evans has some interesting concepts and discusses a lot of Alexander McQueen’s ideas. It explores the darker side to fashion and its temporary state.

     

    11. Who inspires you?

    I love David LaChapelle, Sarah Moon, Tim Walker, Pipilotti Rist, Jeff Bark and Kirsty Mitchell; who all stage exciting and ambitious creations with excellent use of colour. In terms of concept, I find LaChapelle’s work very clever and interesting.

     

    12. Tell us something about you that very few people know?

    I have insomnia and often feel like I am not entirely present, which is probably why I am so fascinated with Sleeping Beauty.

     

    13. Reflecting back, what has been the best advice given to you by another photographer?

    Only include in the frame what is important, eliminate anything that does not contribute to the picture.

     
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    Lauren’s work can be found on her pro Photoswarm portfolio and you can also read other pro photographer interviews.

     
  • How Much Information Should You Put In A Photography Proposal?

    5:00 am on November 4, 2013 | 0 Permalink
    Tags: , Photography Clients, Photography Estimate, Photography Proposal,

    Knowing how to write a photography proposal is an important part of taking your photography pro. A well-written photography proposal makes it easy for clients to know exactly what they are getting with your photography services.

    When it comes to writing a photography proposal there are a few important things to keep in mind. Keep it professional and to the point, but be sure to cover all of your bases, and include vital information.

    Here are four categories that should be included on most photography proposals. Sticking with a format helps to make your proposals professional, and allows you to easily make sure that nothing is forgotten.

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    An Introduction

    A photography proposal should begin with a brief sentence that describes the project. The introduction should also list the person who will be performing the work. It should also generally include the anticipated date of the photoshoot, and have a date by which the proposal should be accepted.

    A Description of Services

    A description of services should provide the client with a brief overview of the project, and description of the work that will be performed. It should also information such as:

    • What is the photoshoot location?
    • What is the date and time that the shoot will take place?
    • What type of photoshoot is it?
    • What is the concept?
    • If needed, who is the stylist?
    • Who will do retouching?
    • Who will provide art direction?

    Make sure you include a deadline for the finished photos so your client will know when they can expect the photos.

    Usage Rights

    Usage rights should be outlined in the proposal as well. Be sure to ask the client where the photos will be used. Will they be used for an email campaign or does the client want to purchase the rights exclusively? Usage fees should be higher for clients who want to use the photos for a large scale advertising campaign as opposed to a small-scale email promotion.

    Usage rights should also take into consideration the amount of time that the client wants to use the photos for. In many cases, you may want to specify a couple of options for the client to choose from. Listing options such as 1-year usage fees, 3-year usage fees, and buyout fees allow the client to weigh up their options and choose the one they need.

    Make sure you put a clause in the usage rights that allows you to use the photos from the shoot in your portfolio.

    The Fees

    Fees should be included on the photography proposal as well. The fees are an estimate that shows how much you are charging for the photoshoot. List all the applicable fees and don’t forget to charge for things such as travel time, extra equipment rentals, and location scouting. Even if you are not charging for some things, list them anyways as a “no charge,” so the client will know exactly what is included.

    Most photography proposal fees will include the following:

    • Creative fees/shooting fees
    • Post production editing time
    • Photo assistant fees
    • Equipment rental
    • Usage fees

    You may want to use higher-end estimates for the pricing. This will help to cover all your bases and will leave some room for you to work with in case additional expenses come up.

    Learning to write photography proposals is a work in progress. Each time you write a proposal you will think of new things to add to it. The most important thing is to include the important basics, and to keep things well-organized in a professional format. Don’t forget to print your proposal on high quality paper with your letterhead on top. Keeping it professional is important –your proposal is a reflection of the quality of your work, so make it count!

    Have you had success with photography proposals?

     
  • How To Make Sure You Can Quit Your Job And Become A Full-Time Photographer

    5:00 am on October 28, 2013 | 2 Permalink
    Tags: , , , ,

    So you are passionate about photography, and maybe you are hoping to turn it into more than just a part-time hobby.

    While your day job may seem to be in the way of your photography goals, it’s important to consider a few things first before making the leap to full-time freelancer.

    Becoming a full-time photographer is more than just professional photography. It involves starting your own business, and taking on many tasks -some that have nothing to do with photography.

    Freelance photography can be a rewarding career -but it is not for the faint of heart.

    Without any further ado, here are seven questions that you should ask yourself, before making the jump from employed to freelancer.

    Are you good enough?

    It may seem like a harsh question, but it’s important to ask before you take the plunge. There are many full-time professional photographers out there already who are great at what they do –what sets you apart? Consider the competition, and ask yourself what you can offer clients. Is your work unique? Is it In-demand? What is your specialty, your niche? You have to make sure your work is good –something that clients will be interested in.

    Do You Love the Business Side of Photography?

    A full-time photography business is more than just taking photos, running a photography business involves paperwork, client sourcing, advertising, online marketing, networking, accounting, paperwork, taxes, client interaction, estimates, invoicing, and more! Make sure you are ready for the workload that is involved with freelance photography.

    Will Photography Generate Enough Income?

    Whether or not your photography will be able to generate a sufficient income is an important consideration. With a full-time job at a company, you have retirement, medical, and some benefits -like paid vacation. With freelance photography, you’re on your own. You have to set up your own insurance, retirement plan, and save up for vacation.

    Do You Know Your Expenses?

    Add up your estimated expenses. Calculate estimated expenses like advertising costs, computer and laptop upgrades, office space, supplies, and gear. New photography gear is even more expensive once you’ve gone pro. Be sure to calculate saving a portion of your income for taxes –forgetting to save for taxes is a common mistake made by new business owners.

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    Will You Have Clients?

    Do you have a strong customer base, or are you starting from scratch? Is your customer base growing or are all your clients close friends and family members? If you are hoping to quit your job and become a full time photographer, you will need to make sure your customer base is strong. Whether you are a wedding photographer, family photographer, or commercial print photographer, having a strong customer base is an important step towards freelancer freedom.

    Do You Have a Network?

    Having a network of other creative or photographer friends can help you when you’re first starting out. Having a few friends that you can depend on for help during the early days is invaluable. Need to borrow an extra lens, or have an extra shooter at a wedding? A few photographer friends make life easier –and better.

    Will it Work Out?

    The big question: will it work taking your photography pro? Test it out by making a gradual transition from employed –to freelancer. Take the time to develop a strategy –to make sure your photography is a sustainable way to make an income. A savings plan is a good way to prepare. Saving up for about 6 months’ living expenses will give you some added financial resources to fall back on.

    As a part time photographer, you have the freedom to work on your photography whenever you want to –without having to depend on your photography to help you make financial ends meet. The last thing you want is for photography to turn into an obligation, and to become something you dread doing. Photography requires passion, commitment, and drive. Make sure that taking your photography to the next level, won’t destroy your enthusiasm for it.

    Full-time freelance photography can be tough to break into, but most freelancers who make it will tell you that they wouldn’t trade it for the world. Doing what you love, and finding a way to make it financially makes freelance photography a rewarding, and exciting career.

    Have you started the transition into full-time photography? Tell us about it!

     
    • Benny 9:01 pm on January 22, 2014 Permalink

      “Saving up for about 6 months’ living expenses will give you some added financial resources to fall back on.”

      Unfortunately that’s impossible when you live paycheck to paycheck. I have cut costs and saved for two years just to have 2 months to fall back on when I take that leap.

  • The Best Social Media Websites For Photographers To Get New Clients

    5:00 am on October 21, 2013 | 2 Permalink
    Tags:

    Most of us are always on the lookout for ways to get new clients.

    Social media websites are great places to find new clients. Whether you are selling photos or photography services, social networking sites are ideal places to promote your work.

    Here are some social media websites that can help you to find new clients.

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    Facebook

    Facebook can help you to find new clients. With 1.11+ billion users, Facebook is the largest social networking site today. Photographers who offer services, such as wedding photographers, family portrait photographers, and lifestyle photographers can especially benefit from a Facebook business page.

    Facebook’s tagging system is perfect for photographers. Upload client photos and tag away! People love to share things with their friends, and plenty of likes means lots of exposure for your photography business.

    Tip: Make sure your watermark is tasteful. Tacky watermarks discourage people from sharing photos.

    Pinterest

    Pinterest is a newcomer to the group, but it is showing huge potential as a way for photographers to gain exposure, find new clients, and increase sales.

    Pinterest is a virtual pin board that allows users to share things they like. Photographers can benefit from a Pinterest account, as it’s allows you to share your photos with people who are interested in them.

    Tip: Some studies show that Pinterest currently drives more sales than Facebook.

    Twitter

    Twitter can help you to gain publicity, and maybe even find a few new clients. The best way to use Twitter is as an easy way to share brief content -you want to get people interested enough to follow you or check out your portfolio or blog.

    Tip: Around 50 percent of Twitter’s users are accessing the social network via mobile. This means that content should ideally be short and to the point –interesting to people who are on the go.

    Instagram

    Instagram can be an important marketing tool for photographers. With an Instagram account, you can promote your photography to a user base of about 100 million users!

    Tip: While Instagram is known for its casual approach to photography, keep the quality of your photography high.

    Google+

    One of the best things about Google+ is that it allows you to maximize traffic to your website or portfolio. Because Google indexes your Google+ posts as searchable, you can use Google+ to increase the traffic to your website –meaning potential clients will be able to find you easier.

    Tip: Google+ includes some nifty features for photographers! With high image quality, your photos will look better on Google+ than on Facebook. Google+ also has photo albums that are fun to browse through, and look great.

    When it comes to networking, you have to be friendly to gain friends. Remember to interact with other users. Following others will help you to gain followers, so will participating in discussions, and writing about trending topics.

    While social networking sites can help you to find new clients, they aren’t designed to be substitutes for a professional portfolio. You should use your social networking sites as a way to link back to your professional portfolio. Having a portfolio with your own domain name is important as well; it looks professional, and is the best way to showcase your work.

    Want to set up a free, professional portfolio? Try Photoswarm now!

    It’s fast, free, and is the perfect place to showcase your photos.

     
  • How Business Partnerships Can Grow Your Photography Business

    5:00 am on October 14, 2013 | 0 Permalink
    Tags: Business Strategy, Business Tips, Partnerships

    Looking for some ways to grow your photography business?

    Business partnerships are a great way to increase publicity –and commissions.

    It’s not what you think!

    Partnerships don’t always involve sharing ownership of your company –many times, partnerships don’t even involve other photographers.

    Read on to discover some partnership ideas that just might work for your photography business.

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    Join Forces With Other Businesses

    Professional relationships with other businesses in your area are a great way to grow your photography business.

    The wedding photography industry is an especially good example of this. Some wedding photographers are joining forces with other wedding-centric businesses in their local area. Together, along with wedding coordinators, florists, and cake designers, these photographers are staging showcase weddings, to put their creative skills on display and let clients know what they have to offer. Staging photo shoots is a great way to show off your skills to potential clients –and fill your portfolio with some great work.

    Photography is very much a local business. Partnering with other local businesses gives you a great opportunity to make connections and grow your business.

    Join up With Another Photographer

    Want to shoot weddings? Get more practice by becoming a second shooter for another photographer. Shooting in the shadow of another photographer gives you the opportunity to grow your skills. It also allows you to get some practice shooting weddings without the added pressure of being the main photographer. It is also the perfect opportunity to get some material to showcase in your portfolio.

    Business Partnerships

    Go into business with another photographer!

    Partnerships allow you to share some of the costs, and divide up the tasks that are involved with operating a business, meaning that you will have more time to focus on photography. However make sure you partner with the right photographer in order for the partnership to be a success.

    Referral Partnerships

    Look for win-win situations. You could establish a paid partner referral program with another photographer. If the photographer is overbooked, or if they get client requests that are outside of their niche, they could refer the clients to you. Each time the other photographer sends a new client your way, you pay them a commission.

    You could also establish a referral program with other local businesses that share your target market. With a mutual client referral program, you can refer clients to the other business, and they can recommend you as a photographer to their clients. A client referral program is beneficial for both you and the other businesses.

    Partner with a Charity

    Partner up with a charity. Not only does this allow you the chance to give to a good cause, it also gives you a great opportunity to get some free publicity for your business.

    Most charities have auctions, or fund-raising events. These provide you with the perfect opportunity to introduce yourself.

    The best approach is to ask the charity if you can help them with one of their projects. Being willing to help is a great way to make contact and makes a great first impression. It also means that the charity may be more open to some of your ideas later on.

    Helping a charity puts you into contact with potential clients, and also increases the chance of getting some exposure –maybe even through the press!

    Try to choose a charity whose supporters are part of your target market. This will help to increase your chances of actually gaining clients from the partnership.

    Hopefully some of these tips have inspired you to look out for partnership opportunities in your area. Remember, a good partnership has the potential to grow your business to levels you may never have expected.

    Have you had any success with business partnerships?

    Let us know in the comments below!

     
  • The Benefits of Listing Photos Under Creative Commons 2.0

    5:00 am on October 7, 2013 | 0 Permalink
    Tags: Creative Commons, Flickr,

    Creative Commons licensing is a set of standard licensing agreements that has revolutionized photography copyrighting.

    Creative Commons licensing allows creatives and photographers to easily share their work with others. Depending on which license is used, the photographer can choose to make their work available for others to use, share, or even edit.

    While this ‘free for use’ licensing allows photographers to easily make their work available for others, and has helped to standardize the way online photo copyrighting works, it has also seen its share of debate. While some photographers enjoy the publicity-and even sales- that have come as a result of listing photos under Creative Commons licensing, others argue that Creative Commons devaluates a photographer’s work, and ultimately amounts to nothing more than giving photos away for free.

    Can a photographer benefit from listing photos under a Creative Commons license? Or does that fall under the umbrella of “giving work away”? Is Creative Commons licensing really a good idea?

    In this article, we help to answer these questions, and take a look at some of the benefits of listing photos under a Creative Commons license.

    Increased Publicity

    As Creative Commons licensing grows in popularity, more people and companies are searching out for images listed under this licensing. This means that if your photos are under Creative Commons licensing, it increases your chances of being found. Creative Commons licensing allows your photos to reach an audience that you may never be able to reach otherwise. By getting your name out there, you will become more familiar to more people. The more people who see your photos -the better!

    Link Backs to Your Account

    The Creative Commons licenses state that “attribution is required.” This means that when someone uses your photo, he is supposed to link back to your account. The more people who use your photos, the more traffic your account will receive.

    Reach a Wider Audience

    Reach a wider audience with Creative Commons licensing. In today’s tech-saturated, user-friendly world, people want to find and share photos easily. Most search engines allow searches for Creative Commons licensed photos, and people who need photos often use these search options.

    Potential Sales

    Creative Commons licensing gives you a chance to gain publicity, and may even lead to photo sales. While some people argue that Creative Commons licensing means giving photos away for free, you can combat this by listing your photos in a slightly lower quality format. If someone likes what they see, they will be willing to pay you for the original, high quality, photos.

    You Control the Licensing

    By listing photos under Creative Commons, you still retain some of the licensing rights. You can choose from several different licensing options; which allow you to choose if you want to allow your photos to be used commercially, and whether you want others to be able to edit them. Read about the different licensing options.

    Collaboration Leads to Creativity

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    By allowing people to use your work -or even edit it- you allow your photos the chance to gain more recognition. In a way, it’s free promotion for your photos. By sharing your work, and allowing others to recreate it, you allow your photos to take on new life in a different way, surely better than keeping the photos locked away where no one will ever notice them.

    Should You List Your Photos Under Creative Commons?

    That’s ultimately a decision that only you can make. Your photos are your creations, and you are the only one that can decide if the benefits of listing them under Creative Commons outweigh the risks.

    Creative Commons allows your photos to be shared on a wide scale basis. Of course, anytime your photos are online you run the risk of piracy -or people using your photos without attribution- but keeping your photos locked away isn’t an ideal solution. While it’s true that increased publicity can potentially lead to increased piracy, the risk of someone using a photo without your permission is nothing compared to the risk of your photos remaining in obscurity.

    What about you? Do you license your photos under Creative Commons? We’d love to hear your thoughts!

     
  • 7 Blog Post Formats for Pro Photographers

    5:00 am on September 30, 2013 | 0 Permalink
    Tags: Blogging, ,

    The right blog post format can help a blog post to stand out.

    The goal of any blog post is communication, which is why it is important to format your blog posts in a way that communicates the information in them most effectively.

    While the ideal blog post format varies depending on the subject and nature of the post, the best blog post format is one that allows a professional photographer to present their content in a way that is sure to get noticed.

    Read on to find a blog post format that’s perfect for your next blog post.

    The Tutorial

    Teach your readers something new, or make things easier for your readers. Tutorials, and how-to posts can help to teach your readers a new Photoshop technique or show them how to master a camera setting. Apply your expertise and explain a new concept, your readers will love you.

    The List

    The classic list post is a sure winner. List posts are a great way to present information in a format that is easy to read. Used time and time again, list posts are catchy, and easy to share.

    The Negative Spin: What NOT to Do

    Don’t be negative! But writing blog posts with a negative spin can occasionally be a good thing. These posts are especially effective when they address common concerns, or problems. By helping to steer your readers away from common pitfalls, these “what not to do” posts are both interesting, and helpful.

    Some examples of negative spin posts:

    • The 5 Worst Mistakes to Make as a Professional Photographer
    • Avoid These Settings on Your Camera
    • Stop Wasting Time With Post Processing

    Interview Posts

    Interviews are a great way to increase reader interest in a blog’s –and they make a change from the usual, standard blog formats. Readers love variety -as long as it is on topic- and interviews can provide just that. Interview posts are especially effective when done in a question and answer type format. Try interviewing bloggers, industry professionals, or other photographers.

    Check out some of Photoswarm’s fascinating interviews with professional photographers:

    Interview: Aviation Photographer Brodie Winkler

    Interview: Documentary Photographer Patrick Ward

    Interview: Surf Photographer Alex Callister

    The Insightful Post

    Insightful posts are designed to get your readers thinking. Insightful posts include forward-thinking articles on the future state of your industry, and articles that take a deeper look at things, or offer advice on a more philosophical level –as long as it is still ties in with your blog’s content.

    Some examples for insightful post titles would be:

    • Is Street Photography Unethical?
    • The Future of Professional Photography
    • Wedding Photography: Will the IPhone Make This Career Obsolete?

    Insightful posts also have the potential to spark debate and can lead to interesting discussions.

    Slideshow Posts

    powered by photoswarm

    Use slideshows to add extra interest to your blog posts. Slideshows make great blog posts on their own, but they work especially well when combined with another blog format such as a how-to post, list post, or curated post. Slideshows are a perfect way to showcase a collection of photos. Ideally, slideshows should have a pause button, or an option to flip through the slides.

    Photoswarm can help you to create beautiful photo slideshows. Our photo hosting services include automatically generated slideshows. Simply copy and paste the slideshow code into your blog post for an embedded photo slideshow.

    The Curated Post

    A curated post is a collection of content surrounding a certain theme. These posts provide valuable information to your readers, in a categorized format.

    Since curated posts link to content that is found on various websites, these posts can help to build relationships with other bloggers and businesses that you highlight in your posts.

    There’s nothing wrong with combining blog post formats! For example, if you are doing a post that is highlighting a series of photographers- you can format your post to be both a curated post and a list post. Add in a slide show and you have a post with three formats in one.

    The key is to use formats that effectively support your content.

    What are some time-tested blog post formats that you enjoy using?

     
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