Recently, we introduced the Inspiration collection to clients, partner agencies, agents and to you.  The interest has been high and the feedback positive.  And so let’s give thanks where thanks are due; to the creators of the images in Inspiration, to you, the age fotostock photographers.  Without your ideas, creativity and technique, we wouldn’t have the material to create Inspiration.

One of our photographers, excited to see some of his images marked for Inspiration, commented: 
This sounds very, very interesting! I think this is a good idea to communicate images to customers like this. Would it be an idea to inform photographers somehow which of their images were selected for inspiration? It might cause these photographers, like me, to make more of these, premium quality photographs? Stimulate their learning curve, so to say?!

And that question is the perfect introduction to today’s post, the Photographers' Profiles.  The answer is yes, we do share this information with photographers.  You can see which of your images have been tagged for Inspiration (along with other cool stuff) in your Photographer’s profile. We have had these public profiles in the works for a few months now, holding off on an official announcement until we could work out some of the bugs of our “beta” version.  There might still be a bug or two left, but we feel that the profiles are ready to roll, and many of you have already created one.  Last week we started sharing a Photographer Profile of the Week via twitter, and we plan to continue sharing the profiles that have been filled in by our photographers.

The profile shows statistics on photographer activity at age fotostock, sales/viewed images activity, and also allows a photographer to present him/herself with a self portrait, a bio, “About Me,” and a selection of up to 20 images of the photographer’s choice.  You can find your profile on the website by clicking the link that appears beside the images in the age fotostock, Pixtal and easyFotostock collections.  You can enter your bio and other information and opt to hide certain information by accessing the Profile section within the Photographer’s Corner.  The images shown in Editor’s Choice are the images which have been marked for the Inspiration collection or else were at one time (past or present) shown on the New Images section of the website. 

Why we photographer’s profiles?

It gives age fotostock clients and agents interesting background on the creators of the images that they are buying. 

Clients will be able to find your profile by clicking "See profile" beside any one of your amplified photos, as shown in the screen capture below of Kristina DeWees' image of a hibiscus.

We get to know you better!

It’s another way to search out and show the best work that our photographers are doing.

Promoting you helps us promote ourselves.

It’s a great reason to tweet!


Why should you your profile?

You get to talk about yourself.

There is a lot of valuable information on the popularity and sales statistics of your images that can enable you to make a deeper analysis of what is working for you and what isn’t.

It’s another way to promote your work through Facebook and elsewhere.  Get your friends to “like” away.

If you don´t have a website (from this decade) you could even use this link to present yourself to potential clients by preparing a custom selection of relevant images in Photographer’s Choice and filling in the requested bio info.

The profile sets your images apart from the images of our image providers since it is only available to age fotostock, Pixtal and easyFotostock photographers (with at least 50 photos online).

Obviously these profiles are the best thing since sliced bread!  What are you waiting for?  Go to the Photographer's Corner and get to work!

 


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What is inspiration? Wikipedia (who else do you turn to when you need reliable information?) tells us:
Inspiration may refer to:

  • Artistic inspiration, sudden creativity in artistic production
  • Biblical inspiration, the doctrine in Judeo-Christian theology concerned with the divine origin of the Bible
  • Creative inspiration, sudden creativity when a new invention is created
  • Inhalation, the movement of air into the lungs

Well, hold the presses, there’s another Inspiration in town.  Inspiration is the new collection at age fotostock of our best creative, authentic, imaginative, artistic, relevant and all around inspiring images.  It is a collection of images chosen to awaken creativity and to inspire you.

We believe that now, more than ever, clients want to see images that are different, images that stand out from the stocky masses, images that show artistic, creative and technical excellence.  We aren’t in a utopia, we know that the market will continue to consume predictable, mediocre and unoriginal images (especially if they’re cheap), but we think that they need to find the Inspiration images too.  Up till now, those images weren’t always easy to find among the others, but now there’s Inspiration.

Inspiration is good news for our clients and it's good news for you, our photographers.  This collection is made up of carefully chosen agefotostock RM and Pixtal RF images which are branded “Inspiration.” Some of you might have noticed the new green “Inspiration” mark appearing below some of your images.  Congratulations, that means you’re in.  This collection only contains the work of age fotostock photographers, so your images will enjoy a special showcase that doesn’t include the millions of photos of our image providers. 

What more to say?  How do you see which of your images have been chosen for Inspiration?  We’ll talk more about that next week.  What does Inspiration look like?  Be sure to try out the “Inspiration only” search on our new and improved homepage and take a look at this book.  Turn the page.  Be inspired...


INSPIRATION age fotostock


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Last week’s article on ways that stock photographers are missing out on sales mentioned “Imagery that is not relevant” among the top 5 reasons for low sales results.  What imagery is that?  And the moment of truth…Is your photography relevant? 

Frequently, we publish 10x10 portfolios of photographers who know how to shoot relevant images and have a clear and well defined style of shooting.   Surely those photographers that still haven’t reached those shooting levels must be analyzing what differentiates their not relevant photography to those 10x10´s in order to improve their photography, right? Wrong!

Editing today is sometimes frustrating when the “point & shoot” without the backing of relevancy is repeated time after time. If there is no idea, no intention and no reason for clients to use your images, shooting is playing lottery: you’ll shoot a lot and fortune may smile once in a while.  If there is an idea, an intention and a reason for clients to use your images, shooting is making an investment:  you’ll shoot a lot and will earn more interest the more images you have in the bank.

Admittedly, many shooters today are not trying to run a business, but even if just shooting images in your free time and placing them with a stock agency one would expect some regular sales… otherwise, why shoot images anyway?  However, if you regularly shoot images with little relevancy like these below, it is clear that your photography has room for improvement.


 
Here are some solutions though, because relevancy doesn’t have to be the lost grail!

5 Steps to Relevancy

  1. Think about what your images can illustrate.

  2. Consider whether you have seen better images of the same or similar situations.

  3. Try to analyze what your images are missing compared with other, better ones, of the same subject.

  4. Find one that you like and that is clearly better than anything you have done and decide if your photography is weakened by use of the wrong lens, poor lighting of the zone you are photographing, lack of a clear point of interest, a bad camera angle in relation to the subject or bad cropping.   Now try to take your next shot “marinating in your mind” the image you like.

  5. Try not to be a combination of Ansel Adams, Henry Cartier Bresson and Richard Avedon together in one image.  Instead, focus on analyzing and practicing one distinctive style.

The lack of a purposely practiced shooting style directly impacts the quality of the images that I see daily. I know that in the end, it triggers certain shooters to take their photos on these non-exclusive pilgrimages, from RM to RF and LBRF and then finally ending at microstock, because at 14 cents, almost everything can be sold, eventually.

Now, leaving aside the question of relevancy, image editors sometimes find another problem. Indecisive individuals with good photographic practices that use their imagination, have good technique, know what can interest clients and resolve well many photographic themes, but, ooh la la, at the last moment the photographer’s dilemma appears: which one of the 20 shots below is the good one?  Maybe my agency can resolve the dilemma for me, the photographer might think.


And there is a reason for that though, because for some portals with a few more millions of images than age fotostock (and less sophisticated searching software), the good trick is to send 5 or 6 equals because among so many millions with basically the same keywords (Italy, Venetia, dusk, blue, etc., etc.) how else will the images be seen if no miracle occurs and the photographer isn’t one sending images every week?  Quantity of equals is the key.

However, at age fotostock, 20 equal images will be returned with a note saying: “edit your work tightly…”  Therefore, it becomes just another way of delaying your images appearance on the web… which is another way of losing income. Because the faster the images go live on the web, the more sale possibilities you have.


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The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in anyway.

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