Archive for February, 2009

Buyer survey!

Friday, February 27th, 2009

PhotoShelter has done an important survey of buyer attitudes and preferences when it comes to your website. They have very kindly offered to share the results with everyone. You can get them here (yes, you have to enter your email address, but it is worth whatever marketing they may do).

One small think to keep in mind as you read the report is that PhotoShelter asked buyers who were generally more stock buyers than assignment buyers. Overall, I think their data matches up very much with what I have learned in my own surveys of assignment buyers, but the two notable exceptions are that a page full of thumbnails is not very well liked for assignment buyers, and you shouldn’t (generally) put your assignment prices on your site.

Fresh Air

Thursday, February 26th, 2009

The “Fair Use” Obama Hope poster debate gets some good airtime on Fresh Air today. You can listen to it online (but note that this URL will probably be inaccurate after Thursday–just find Thursday’s show at

One big thing, when you listen, listen to both sides. Try not to judge (hard, I know!!), but instead learn what the opposition is thinking and trying to assert. This will help you to understand why so many people don’t see any problem with the things they do appropriation-wise. 

When you learn what the others are thinking, when you can see it from their side, then you can figure out better ways to lead them in the right direction.

Pay particular attention to what the law professor says. It is a complex issue in the courts and the better we understand that (and get away from saying things like “it should be…” and instead see things as they are) the better we can fight.

Get Smart!

Thursday, February 26th, 2009

Okay…this is some creative thinking and Maxwell Smart would be proud.



Don’t just watch the video…there are instructions on this site to make your own!

Email marketing

Thursday, February 26th, 2009

Interesting study on consumer email marketing. Yes, it’s consumer and not B-to-B, but I think that human behavior will tend to trend similarly regardless of category. In other words, it seems that when consumers opt-in to receive emails, they act on them and appreciate them and we can extrapolate that business targets probably feel similarly.

The big thing to note is that these are opt-in targets. Also, the emails sent offer additional action–coupon, see new products, something. So how to make that work for your business? Give people the option to opt-in to your emails (on your site and any social media you use, and print promos) and when you send email, give them something more than just an old photo and a link to your site.  Make it new/fresh work and how about linking to a new “portfolio” of similar work? Or offer a link to an article that will help your targets. Or connect them with your stock images so that they can license directly from you if they want to use your kind of work but don’t have the budget to shoot. 

Think about what your targets need–I bet you can come up with other ideas!


Wednesday, February 25th, 2009

This morning I received a wonderful email from a photographer thanking me for something I wrote. In it he mentioned how he had been struggling mentally with The Big Question: should I keep at this or bag it?

His timing couldn’t have been better as I had been struggling a bit myself lately. Between school and trying to keep up with the industry not to mention any personal life and, well, I had been a bit melancholy. Not that I was about to quit or anything, but the work has not been easy lately.

But his thanks reminded me of why I’m going through all this–because I want to help creatives and get no greater satisfaction than when someone says “thanks.” I’m totally revitalized now and excited about my long day of classes today. Yea!

Enough about me, though, and back to The Big Question. We all face it. Everyone, from CEOs to stars to the parent trying to get her/his kid to do homework (etc.), hits that wall. It’s normal to question “why am I putting myself through this hell?!” especially when things are tough. 

And for many people, they are mighty tough these days.

But don’t let that wall stop you. Don’t let the wall win. Look inside and see if you still love something about what it is you are trying to do–my guess is that there is still that passion there. Just like the frazzled mom/dad who feels like throttling the kids while they misbehave in public, or the photographer who gets another “offer” to shoot a job for practically nothing–at that moment it is hard to remember the love that brought you to this place in your life. 

Take a moment and find it again. When you do, that wall won’t seem so impossibly high anymore. It’s still something you have to get past, and that will require work, but now, I bet, you’ll find your way to finding a way over, under, around, or even through it (as Judy Herrmann says so well).

Tiny Art Director

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

Okay, most of you who know me know I’m not a big fan of the “easy cute” of kids. This guy, however, has really found a great twist on the meme. Enjoy.

Oh, and this kind of original thinking is what breaks through the clutter. I got this from a tweet from an advertising friend. 

(Thanks Jane!)

So what can you do to break through?

Dream Big

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

I rather like this post from HuffPo about dreaming the “impossible” dream. I think she makes some good points and, while some of you will get hung up on the flakier aspects, try to look at it as a series of suggestions and make them fit your own worldview, rather than rejecting them.

Getty trying to pull a fast one

Monday, February 23rd, 2009

This is just smarmy of Getty–they are changing the terms to their latest contract, claiming typo. It’s another reason to market your own stock rather than have them offered by Getty. 

Hat tip to Rob at

They’re back (hopefully)

Friday, February 20th, 2009

Hopefully, the system is back online, the files will work, and you can now buy my books again!

Here’s a direct link to buy Tell the World You Don’t Suck in print or PDF:
Support independent publishing: buy this book on Lulu.

And another for Business Basics:
Support independent publishing: buy this book on Lulu.


Remember, Tell the World… is also available in print only on Amazon (but not the other). 


Thanks to all of you who have been so patient in waiting for this situation to get resolved. I really appreciate it!

ASMP stuff and posting

Thursday, February 19th, 2009

Just for the record, I will not post any comments supporting the ASMP referendum. I refuse to let anything that even smacks slightly of the evilness of that one man who has made it his mission to bring down people I respect. 

I won’t even utter his name here. 

Some people may say I’m not being fair. I’m not. And I don’t care if people want to hold that against me in this case. This is my blog and my position. Get over it.

Oh, and if you’d like to read a good post on the issues and the facts, go here to Joe’s blog.

I have seen good people slandered and hurt by the vicious words and implications. These are people whom I deeply respect and who are being forced to defend themselves against comments that are the equivalent of “When did you stop beating your wife?” political attacks. It’s just crap and I won’t give the supporters (even though many of them are well meaning and just terribly misled) any space here to repeat the lies.