Business Trends

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Maria Piscopo Posted: Nov 01, 2008 0 comments

Many commercial buying patterns have shifted from hiring for assignment to buying stock licensed images or royalty-free images. This shift has greatly decreased the value per image for all but the most creative or unique stock images. But it has also opened markets for still photos previously unexplored. Stock is no longer just for print use; clients are buying still images for website...

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Maria Piscopo Posted: Apr 01, 2009 0 comments

As the markets for both consumer and commercial photographers keep warping and changing, many photographers are looking for alternative revenue paths. A fine art photographic sale by a gallery always gets high interest from photographers, but what about the gallery owner’s perspective? What factors influence their choice of the photographers they represent? How do owners view fine art...

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Maria Piscopo Posted: Oct 17, 2011 Published: Sep 01, 2011 6 comments
“Day rate is not an accurate measure of photography cost, as it does not include expenses. Day rate does not transfer usage or licensing rights, the real sale in commercial photography.”

“What do you charge?” There is something about that much anticipated, yet dreaded question that causes many photographers distress. There are probably a dozen psychological reasons for this feeling. Rather than take on those feelings, which is beyond my ken and that of this magazine, I’d like to look at specific actions and steps you can take to improve your behavior when it comes to pricing and asking for money.

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Maria Piscopo Posted: May 15, 2012 Published: Apr 01, 2012 35 comments
“With any marketing campaign you need to excite potential clients so they will want to contact you, and you need to keep current clients interested and be sure they think of you first.”
—Jeff Colburn

There are so many choices today for online and social marketing. Here’s a partial list: Facebook, LinkedIn, Blogs, Online Groups, Twitter, Tumblr, Myspace, Digg, StumbleUpon, and of course your website. How effective are these new marketing scenarios in helping you sell photography services? We asked four photographers using social media to share their experiences. Thanks to Jeff Colburn, Karen I. Hirsch, Gail Mooney-Kelly, and Ian L. Sitren for their helpful opinions and advice. Please see their web addresses and visit their websites to see their work.

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Maria Piscopo Posted: Oct 01, 2009 11 comments

Today’s new technology and social media are bringing a change to the business and marketing of photographic services. The question is—how can it work for you? It is a very different means—one that you join and participate in rather than direct and control, as you often can with your traditional marketing media. New technology and the changing and developing expectations of your...

Maria Piscopo Posted: Nov 01, 2009 4 comments

Whether you are starting out, adding income to your business, or changing marketing direction, sports photography provides opportunities for creating and selling exciting and interesting images. The subjects vary between products, portraits, and lifestyle. Though Sports Illustrated magazine most often springs to mind, the clients can range from editorial to advertising and everything in between.

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Maria Piscopo Posted: Aug 14, 2012 Published: Jul 01, 2012 5 comments
Yes, there are staff jobs for photographers! Not as talked about as those who earn their living working freelance, this career path proves to be still viable today. The seven photographers interviewed for this column have a variety of job titles and work for a broad range of companies, including newspapers, big corporations, educational institutions, and hotels/resorts. Though they work in very different environments, it was interesting to me how much they have in common. As I learned, you will find that just being a technically competent photographer is not enough for a staff photography job. Also, make note of their employers’ use of freelancers. You’ll find that freelancing (working as a stringer) is one path to a staff job.
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Maria Piscopo Posted: Nov 01, 2007 0 comments

With such a strong balance of business and photographic skills, Bill Bachmann is the successful author of five books, his two newest books being Images of Woman and Send Me Anywhere. He is also a best-selling stock photographer.

Bachmann was destined from childhood to be a photographer; his mother was a photographer and writer and gave him a Brownie...

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Maria Piscopo Posted: Apr 01, 2011 2 comments

Many photographers wonder about the state of stock photography now and in the future. There are many questions and a good deal of controversy about the answers. Some of the big questions include: how are traditional stock and microstock competing? Is there still money to be made in stock image licensing? How tough is it to sign up with a stock photo agency? Nature and travel images were once the...

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Maria Piscopo Posted: Mar 01, 2011 4 comments

With new technology and more savvy consumers, the wedding photography business has seen some big changes in the last few years. The photojournalistic “fad” has turned into an established style. The proliferation of digital cameras has turned everyone’s “Cousin Bill” into a photographer and has pushed the professional to create more and better services for their...

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Maria Piscopo Posted: Jan 17, 2012 Published: Dec 01, 2011 2 comments
Editorial photography has always been a glamorous and sought-after career with many dreaming of National Geographic-type assignments. The reality of selling editorial work today is the focus of this month’s column, and as you’ll see it’s not all glamour and glitz. Finding and keeping editorial clients is hard work, requiring marketing expertise as well as good people skills.
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Maria Piscopo Posted: Feb 01, 2010 Published: Jan 11, 2010 2 comments

Editorial photography can be broadly defined as images created to illustrate a magazine or newspaper story. For many photographers it is a highly sought-after career, perhaps because of the newsstand exposure factor and perhaps because photographers invariably receive printed credit for their images. But the main reason is that photographers get a chance to do what they really want to do most:...

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Maria Piscopo Posted: Oct 01, 2010 8 comments

Next to people and products, fashion photography is one of the most popular areas of commercial photography. Images are used for a wide range of uses: to tell a story (editorial), to sell apparel (catalogs, websites), and to promote a fashion brand (advertising). Not to be confused with portrait photography, models are almost always used to achieve the highest level of focus on the products.

Maria Piscopo Posted: Aug 01, 2014 0 comments

Questions about the viability of travel photography as a way to make money are inevitable in my marketing workshops and classes. The allure is undeniable—it seems to be all about exotic places to visit and fascinating people to meet. While lots of photographers want to get into travel photography, it’s also one of the most competitive fields in freelance photography.

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Maria Piscopo Posted: Jul 05, 2011 Published: Jun 01, 2011 12 comments
There’s no question that travel photography has long been a top pick when photographers look at career paths. The promise of seeing the world, making images, and getting paid for it all is a very attractive proposition. But does reality meet fantasy here? To find out we interviewed four photographers from the travel field to get their feedback on sales, marketing, and how they feel about the changes in the travel photography business. It is not an easy road. Photographers have had to adapt to new technology, to changes wrought by eCommerce, and to the shift from assignment work to stock sales. Each of these photographers have made many changes to compete successfully in this business.


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