Aside from the camera, one of the most useful tools in stock photography is a small but very important scrawl. This signature on a Model Release form, which states that the subject of the photograph consents to being photographed, is extremely important - it can catapault your content from just the "editorial use only" sector into the full stock market of advertising, promotion, trade or product endorsement.

If you have the relevant releases your images can be used for commercial purposes, if not, what a pity! They may be licensed as editorial use only.

Understandably, at times this signature can be difficult to obtain. Sometimes it's difficult even just asking for it.  You may be shy, you may be busy, you may be in a foreign country where language barriers mean that you can barely ask for a glass of water let alone explain what it is you will happen to your images when you get home.  But we encourage you, & you´ll see it in your sales reports at the end of the month -  it's worth making the effort!

So how should you go about it?

A few weeks ago staff at age fotostock were impressed by a submission by our photographer Jorge Fernández Garcés, which included stunning images of people in Africa with complete model releases. Here follows some words from the wise:

Approaching the model:


"How I approach the signing of a model release depends on each situation and each model. My first concern when asking for a MR is if I will somehow create an unpleasant situation or mistrust, if so, I don’t try. Otherwise, if the subject is open to listening, I attempt to have someone there who speaks their language, to explain what they're really signing.

In distant countries and cultures so different to that of Western culture, I consider it essential to bring along a local guide and translator to help me to contact with people, as it is not always easy to convince someone to let you photograph, and much less for them to sign the MR. The most important thing here is undoubtedly find a guide who understands the needs of the photographer.

In my case I always ask the models to sign a paper rather than a electronic document. That’s firstly because I do not yet have a smartphone or ipad, and second because I think it is quite difficult to get anyone to sign a paper, let alone a electronic device. Although I am aware that in some cases it may arouse the curiosity of the person and facilitate the process."

Model reactions:


"There are people who are afraid to sign a paper and there are people who really do not care at all. I think it has much to do with the cultural environment. Westerners usually distrust anyone who asks them to sign a document. Other cultures that do not have so much contact with the bureaucracy do not give signing a paper very much importance.

In regards to these model released photos that I recently took in Africa,  I was traveling with my partner, along with a guide. In addition to helping with the preparation of the scene (flash illumination, etc..) she was responsible for identifying and organizing the signed MRs. For me this was very important, because sometimes we work with several models at once and things get busy - had I been alone, as I was taking the photos, probably many of the pictures would not be accompanied by MR."

Some advice?

"If you are in a foreign country, it is important to have an assistant who is in charge of organizing the MRs once obtained, especially if you are working in the street with several different subjects. And of course it may seem silly, but always carry spare MRs and a pen, as it is not always easy to find a pen when you need one!"

- Jorge Fernández Garcés

To all our photographers out there, what are your experiences of obtaining Model Releases? Any suggestions you´d like to share?


Actions: E-mail | Comments (0) |

Founded in Moscow in 2009, stock agency Legion-Media began working with the main publishing houses and advertizing agencies in Russia, growing to be a major distributor of international content in Russia in 2013. Expanding the business, they opened Dreamsfoto (www.dreamsfoto.org) a site which consists of their best stock material, based on the THP platform.

"We  were  pleasantly surprised when from the very beginning we had millions of images provided through EasyFotostock, age fotostock and Pixtal. Also we were pleasantly surprised by very simple and understandable back office and suppliers connection, as well as very good communication with THP employees, who are ready to help at anytime.

Our clients who use stock material are very happy to have this fantastic resource.  Quick  search, simple  keywording, search by collections, e-commerce - this is a partial list of the benefits that clients are enjoying.

THP is a company for people who are thinking about their business. It's a simple and quick way for increasing your sales."


- Tamerlan Gamidov, CEO, Legion-Media

Thank you for your kind words, Tamerlan! Welcome to our THP network.


Actions: E-mail | Comments (4) |

Inspired by sailors' clothing, Coco Chanel created her first nautical collection in 1917, with stripes and lines plentifully stamped on dresses and shirts. This elegant aesthetic, synonymous with casual chic Parisian style, continues to be popular in both catwalks and trend blogs today.

Spots became fashionable in the 40s and 50s due to the influence of Hollywood stars such as Marilyn Monroe, Rita Hayworth and Elizabeth Taylor, and the possession of a polka dot dress became a definite must as soon as Lucille Ball made it her staple in the hit television show I Love Lucy. Since then, dots have also taken an essential role in our wardrobe as well as in general fashion globally – just take a look at the rise in fame of artworks by Yayoi Kusama, "The Princess of Polka Dots".


Stripes and polka dots combine to create a look full of color, life and fun – an irresistible invitation that always rewards with a smile. Do you dare?


Actions: E-mail | Comments (1) |

People may think that I’m crazy for loving spam; isn’t everyone fighting spam with sophisticated anti-virus tools? I was too, until I wanted to see the commercial stock images the advertising market is using.  I concentrate on these subjects when I want to shoot commercial stock instead of wandering around taking pictures without planning, strategy or purpose. Let’s talk about taking pictures with a market segment in mind.

We all have older relatives or friends and here is relatively easy image that contains all the elements of a good seller: the right age, a frontal view, excellent modeling with a natural, self confident expression, good lighting, and plenty of negative space for text and titles.  In summary, an excellent example of an image that covers a very clear market need.  Isn’t that what stock photography is all about? Covering the needs of the market with images that are ready to be used? Otherwise it would be assignment photography...  The images in this post came to me as spam and weeks ago, before I developed my love for spam, my filter would have deleted them before I got a glance. Thank goodness that that I did…



You might think that none of your friends or relatives would like to pose for you and appear in an ad like this one. Yes, I know, people have prejudices, personal pride or are too shy to face the realities that we all have to accept… but are you going to give up so easily? Well, you shouldn´t!  Why don’t you take a more anonymous image? Below is an example of an unrecognizable senior person that fits the add beautifully, at the same time fulfilling the basics of great advertising photography with a frontal view, good lighting, carefully selected depth of field to emphasize the idea of the image, and again, negative space. What more could you ask for?


 
If you are not ready for retirement yet, but eager for a more social life, what about this one?


Here is another great advertising image. These models might be pros, but you could produce an image like this with close friends willing to pose in exchange for a weekend barbecue.  They don’t have to be a paramount example of senior beauty; they only need to be believable and healthy.  This image shows a luminous, natural atmosphere, confident expressions, and classic clothing. All in all, it’s an excellent example of an image that covers a very clear market need.

Many photographers seem to have lost direction and their only drive is to complain and give up, just because a bunch of young talents have proved that by organizing and industrializing production, they can sell masses of images at peanut prices and still be profitable. The solution is not to attack those who have accepted the challenge and profited from the digital revolution, but to change your production of images and to shoot what the market demands.  It is difficult to sell images that the market doesn’t want. See the light?  Now if you´ll excuse me, my spam filter is blinking...

 

 


Actions: E-mail | Comments (4) |

Google Translator

Calendar

«  October 2014  »
MoTuWeThFrSaSu
293012345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
272829303112
3456789
View posts in large calendar

Tag Cloud

Recent Posts

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

© Copyright 2014 age fotostock