Business Trends
My Favorite Web Sites For The Photo Industry

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As a photo rep and workshop instructor I have been collecting web sites that provide me with information for both the business and the marketing of photography services. In this column, I will share my current collection and at the end ask you, our readers, to contribute your favorites. Of course, inclusion in this collection does not represent an endorsement by this publication. This is my own personal collection. Note: At press time, these were the active web sites of choice.

Business Information
For those readers who have been asking for information on standard photography business forms, check out the National Press Photographers Association page, www.ibiblio.org/nppa/biz/forms
The page is a compilation of sample forms supplied by different organizations including American Society of Media Photographers. Some of these forms include:

  • Estimate and Confirmation forms for advertising, corporate, and editorial photography assignments and stock photography
  • Invoice forms for advertising, corporate, and editorial photography assignments and for stock photography
  • Delivery memos
  • Client credit applications
  • Model releases for adults and minors
  • Property releases

For those of you interested in business information on working with magazines, visit Editorial Photographers (www.editorialphoto.com), a non-profit organization dedicated to raise the level of education and business standards for both photographers and publishers. The web site helps to find and present solutions to the many questions and concerns about working in the editorial photography market. You will find:
  • Editorial assignment and stock photography business forms
  • Editorial Photographers Reviews of some of the photography contracts offered by major publishers
  • Database of magazines listing information including their web site and the photo/creative fees paid by the publication
  • Subscription to access the archive of discussions and postings

For professional portrait photographers dealing with questions on digital technology in their market, check out PhotoWave (www.photowave.com). This site includes information on training, digital products as well as discussion groups. The "Links" page is particularly well done with its comprehensive listings.

Two of the best sources I have found for business and marketing photographic organizations, clubs, forums, events, and workshops are PhotoLinks (www.photolinks.net) and ShawGuides (www.shawguides.com).

For copyright information on everything from the basics to the latest in case law, see The Copyright Website (www.benedict.com). The official Library of Congress maintains its own web site for the copyright office at http://lcweb.loc.gov/copyright/ that includes current events, general information, pending legislation, and copyright registration forms.

Self-Promotion
Creative Planet (www.planetpoint.com) has a great site for online portfolios. I like the fact they have both still and motion photography. Each has a separate section for Agents and Reps and who they represent. So if you are looking to place your portfolio online or checking out the competition, give them a look.

Though it is an Internet site for illustrators, Theispot-Showcase (www.theispot.com) gives you a very good idea of what a self-promotion site can look like and (most important) how it works. My favorite part is how easy it is to search for an artist. Check it out and when you are shopping for a web site for your portfolio, look for a similar "friendly" mechanism this site uses to search through all their portfolios. I also like the news sections "Art Talk" and "What's New."

When you are looking for anyone in the graphic arts community, check out the "Directory" section of The Workbook (www.workbook.com). They are pretty thorough and update constantly. I have always used this as my own personal industry phonebook.

For information on self-promotion of stock photography, check Photo-Source International at www.photosource.com They have been around for over 20 years and have built an impressive library of photo marketing questions and answers (see File Drawer). You can also subscribe to the self-promotion newsletters they offer for photographers.

Finding Clients
For fine art photographers, ArtNetwork (www.artmarketing.com) and ArtSupport (www.artsupport.com) are excellent sites for information on the fine art photography marketplace. You can find art marketing books that include fine art specific business forms and pricing worksheets. ArtNetwork also has mailing lists to sell that include the names of calendar publishers, book publishers, corporations collecting photography, and photo galleries (to name just a few of their databases).

If you are looking for advertising agency clients, try Adweek Directories Online (www.adweek.com) and Agency ComPile (www.agencycompile.com). Adweek Directories Online includes the titles "Adweek Directory," "Brandweek Directory," "Mediaweek Directory," and the Internet marketing guide to companies, the "IQ Directory." The Adweek information is available under various subscription programs based on your usage. Yes, these are the same as the print books in the library reference section but the online directories are updated regularly, fully searchable, and can be downloaded to create your own mailing lists. All for a price but you are saving the time and labor of research.

In the interest of saving time, you can always contact information management firms such as Creative Access (www.bigroster.com) and The List (www.thelistinc.com). They have already done the research for the databases of photography clients and can search and sort by location, industry type, and size.

Target Marketing magazine (www.targetonline.com) has lots of client research information on its site as well as access to directories and mailing lists or databases of clients.

National Register Publishing (www.nationalregisterpublishing.com) manages the Advertising Red Books, Direct Marketing Market Place, and offers access to this client information both online and on CD-ROM.

The RIT Libraries have an online resource of creative directories for the commercial arts. Most of these are directories used by clients to locate creative talent such as photographers. For this guide, visit http://wally.rit.edu/pubs/guides/creativedir.html

TrendWatch is a company that provides up-to-date and frequent industry trends based on original research with business owners and executives. They have both free and subscription services at www.trendwatch.com so you can find out what is down the road for you and your photography clients.

For More Information
For a comprehensive photo guide to the Internet, see the "Links" page under "Community" on Shutterbug's own site, www.shutterbug.net Categories include photo sources, desktop publishing, education, newsgroups, online galleries, photo organizations, and online links for information about travel, photojournalism, stock photography, and digital photography.

If you are interested in subscribing to e-mail discussion groups that are photo-specific, check out the over 50 lists at www.rit.edu/~andpph/photolists.html

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