Dear Photographers!

age fotostock has been developing a new image collection called SnapMobilefoto: fresh pictures shot with mobile devices.

As our CEO Alfonso Gutiérrez explained this last week in Yammer, the private social media platform for age photographers:

“It’s an opportunity to submit your Smartphone/tablet devices images, your photos made with the electronic tools that we all have at hand and use daily. The collection will be formally announced soon, but before making it public we wanted to share the concept with you, our photographers, so that you can take a part in developing it with us”.

Mobile device photography calls for a more conceptual and experimental photography rather than the descriptive and straightforward typical shooting style that is abundant. With mobile devices, you have at your fingertips hundreds of filters and shooting possibilities, you are free to be unpredictable and surprising in your personal interpretation of the reality that you have in front of your eyes. Imagine, experiment, change your style, get wild and shoot, shoot, shoot….  

Images submitted are currently internally tagged as coming from mobile devices. When this category becomes substantial and popular enough with both photographers and clients, we will launch it as a separated collection.

These images can be submitted as RF, and therefore need to have MR/PR´s, or as RM as "editorial use only" when MR/PR´s are not available.

We contemplated for months over whether to have an Android or iPhone submissions app that could be accessed by anyone with a smartphone, but as we are not expecting the category becoming an uncontrolled crowd sourced one, we decided to keep to the submission standards that are already in place.

When seen online, thumbnails of the images will display the SnapMobilefoto icon, a little camera, on the top right corner.

We hope that you will try it out soon. We’re looking forward to hear your constructive opinions, and to seeing your on-the fly pics!


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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?


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This month's photo submissions call is for images that will be in season in October - that means fall & halloween; crunchy leaves, scarves, red and orange colours, mystery, harvest time. For those  photographers out there with images you haven't yet submitted from last fall, please do so now!

If you just can't resisting shooting your pumpkins, keep in mind that a creative photo with an interesting approach or angle will make your image stand out from the masses.

 

Pumpkins epitomize both harvest and halloween - but please don't feel that the squash is the limit. We're also in need of new & different halloween themed images.

 

Take for example this photo that Emilio Ereza submitted a few years back, which is one of our favourites.

Are any of you other photographers' out there keen to photograph an image equally mysterious, atmospheric and captivatingly halloweenish?


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To quote a photographer in age fotostock's photographers' chatroom:

"To produce great images, money isn’t the main necessity. It´s imagination, conceptualization and being able to use available resources that are the most important things"

Words from the wise - it’s true! We’re finding that photographers don’t need to break open their piggy banks for a photo shoot with top models in the Caribbean in order to make images that sell. They needn’t even leave their neighborhood. With a general shift in image trends, the world of design and publicity is tending towards images that mix creative flair with real life moments, images that give us a unique way of seeing the most ordinary things.

Photographers, look around you - there’s a high chance that your best photos can be taken in exact spot in which you’re standing. Attention to detail, a creative angle, willing friends that will sign a model release (hey, this is one of the only times it’s suitable to say “shoot your children”), people going about their daily lives, in natural locations – with a little imagination all of these make excellent ingredients for images that can quite simply knock your socks off. Remember, gold is not the only thing that glitters…!


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To wrap up our month on stock photography productions, we would like to feature the lifestyle images of age fotostock photographer, Stuart Pearce.  Since he moved from the front of the camera (as a model) to the back (as a photographer), Stuart Pearce has been shootings families, couples, business and more in his island home of Mallorca.  His images of people are relaxed, happy and warm;  as though he was photographing his family...  Stuart's specialties also include yacht and travel photography.  You can see more of Stuart's work at age fotostock or at www.stuartpearce.com.

 

Q: Choose 3 words that describe you.

A: Imaginative, Loyal, Spontaneous

Q: Why did you choose to be a photographer?

A: As a child, my family and I were often used as models in the very early days of stock photography. When the opportunity arose to be behind the camera instead, I knew I’d found what I’d always wanted to do, made better by not having to smile for 8 or more hours a day.

Q: Was it a good decision to become a photographer?

A: It was the only choice, photography has given me freedom and taken me to the 4 corners & 7 seas of the planet. I’ve met some amazing people, some famous, some just very funny and many less fortunate, but nonetheless happy. I’ve shot countries, yachts, houses, food and people and still enjoy the great variety of my work today as much as the day I started.

Q: Are you more technical or intuitive in your photography?

A: Much more intuitive, it took me years to get the hang of the technical side and I’m sure there’s still a great deal that I could learn.

Q: What’s your favorite lens and why?

A: Canon 24-70mm f2.8, not too wide, not too long and has always been my workhorse.

Q: How do you achieve the warm and natural feeling which characterizes your lifestyle images of models?

A: I try to find models that can act as well as model; this helps add authenticity to my images.  Although directing models has never been easy for me, I know what I want, so I direct the first few shots and then usually there’s a lot of adlibbing from there on, which produces the best and most natural shots. The lighting I use is an unusual amalgamation of hmi, halogen, natural light and flash, arranging them all so that it’s not too noticeable. On exterior shoots, I only use natural light, much easier!

Q: How do you get your subjects to sign model releases?

A: I have always paid my models and the precondition is for them to release their rights to my images.

Q: Why did you choose age fotostock to represent your photography?

A: I choose AGE over 20 years ago because of Alfonso, who has always been passionate about our industry, as well as supportive and fair.

Q: What is the best or worst photographic advice that you have ever received?

A: Best advice shooting interiors; “smack it with flash and leave it open for a fortnight at f8.”

Q: If you weren’t a photographer, what would you be?

A: I’ve been a photographer for a long time so I’m probably unemployable, but I do like observing people, so perhaps a freelance window cleaner.



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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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