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Photographer Chase Jarvis, a long-time proponent of iPhone photography, this week announced the launch of his iPhone application, Best Camera. The simple, elegant photo editing app also allows you to share images to Facebook and Twitter, as well as TheBestCamera.com, the app’s new community photo sharing site. A master of cross promotion, Chase has also simultaneously released a new book of his iPhone photos, The Best Camera Is The One That’s With You.
In a bizarre twist on the celebrity-photographer love-hate paradigm, PDN reports that Agence France Presse staffer Yuri Cortez and freelancer Rolando Aviles are bringing a suite against Tom Brady and his supermodel wife Gisele Bundchen for an incident where their bodyguards demanded the photographers’ memory cards and then shot at them when they refused to comply and fled in their SUV.
We were excited to see the name of Istanbul-based photojournalist Lynsey Addario on the list of the 24 new MacArthur Fellows for 2009 announced this week. Each of recipient of the “genius award” will receive $500,000 in “no strings attached” support over the next five years.
Photographer and film director Richard Patterson released a new stop-motion music video for Iranian rock band Hypernova this week, which was created out of about 16,000 still photographs made with the Canon 1D Mark III and the new Profoto Pro-8 Air. Since releasing, along with a behind-the-scenes making-of video, it’s been viewed almost 40,000 times.
It’s not enough anymore to create work for one media platform, especially if you intend to raise awareness about issues or are trying to effect change. Now when I create a new project as a photojournalist or with Talking Eyes Media, the non-profit production company I founded with my wife, Julie Winokur, we have our eyes on expanded opportunities for distribution: the web, social media, books, exhibitions, T.V., lectures, workshops, academic applications, and NGO collaborations. There are undoubtedly even more I haven’t thought, of and we’re always looking for new options.
To work in this multi-platform landscape, you must develop skills beyond still photography. You should at least be proficient at gathering and editing audio, and preferably you’d also understand video and be able to handle post production to produce a finished piece.
Since Julie and I founded Talking Eyes seven years ago, we have developed a process that fluidly moves from proposal, field work, and post production to outreach and followup. With the Niger Delta work, we’re learning as we go. As usual, we’re applying for grants, but now they are in areas I’ve never ventured into before, attempting to receive funding support for educational outreach programs.
One small example of this can be seen on my blog where we posted papers written by history students at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, where my book was required reading. They were asked to pick three images and write about them, and we posted a handful of their papers with the students’ consent.
This is an important aspect of multi-platform storytelling: It can easily be disseminated to a wide variety of audiences. It also provides the means for those audiences to talk back with the photographer/producer about the work. It is exciting to being able to create a groundswell of interest in this way, by building a feedback loop between the documentarian, their subject, and the audience.
I am currently writing grants to fund a broader implementation of this feedback loop idea (really it’s a wiki, but I wanted to avoid that term). My vision is to create a new website, or augment the existing one from liveBooks, so that students in the U.S. and Nigeria (or anywhere for that matter), who are using teaching materials I’ve created around oil and environmental issues, can contribute their own comments, information, pictures, and videos to the site. So a student in Port Harcourt, in the Niger Delta, would study these issues using the texts, stills, and video from my work there (along with expanded teaching materials we plan to include in a teaching DVD) and then do his or her own reporting or just contribute personal materials to the site. In this way, they can correct, augment, and develop my work to broaden, deepen, and personalize it. More »
I’ve talked and written about how photographers need to look beyond the stock agencies to market their images. There are a host of pros and cons to these alternate business models, but the need to drive traffic to your website is always the tallest hurdle. No single approach will do. Instead, you need to attract attention, and keep it, by projecting your brand across a range of media platforms and by creating mutually beneficial collaborations. Here are some tips for how all kinds of photographers can do that.
Once you have a collection of images, see if you can create an association with other photographers to market a particular class of subjects. Photoshelter makes that easy with their Virtual Agencies, but there are several ways to accomplish the same thing. By grouping your work with that of other photographers, all of you can offer a wider selection of similarly themed work to potential buyers. My work is available alongside images from Thomas Mangelsen and David Doubilet at WILD, our virtual agency.
If each photographer does a good job of file naming and keywording, a buyer is more likely to find your image collection. Online galleries also allow you to display a larger selection of your work than an editor at an agency would allow. This is not an invitation to self-indulgence, however; show only your best or most saleable work.
I steer clear of microstock. If you can produce what the market demands in high volume, there is money to be made there, but it tends to encourage “treadmill shooting,” a mentality of “generate content” instead of creating art. Forgive me if I stick to Rights Managed and Royalty Free.
Once your collective is up and running, or even if you decide to fly solo, contact all your existing clients with the news. Buy and use lists of prospective clients, like those provided by Agency Access and other services. More »
It seems that Annie Leibovitz’s legal and financial woes won’t be coming to an end any time soon. While a New York judge granted her an extra month to respond to a $24-million lawsuit from Art Capital Group, Italian photographer Paolo Pizzetti is suing her for $300,000 for using two of his photos in the infamous Lavazza coffee ad campaign without his permission.
In RESOLVE news, editor Miki Johnson was interviewed Thursday by Cheri Amour, the ambitious young photographer who runs Young Photopreneur, an online resource for aspiring photographers and photo students. The podcast includes advice about leveraging your website and using social media to expand your photo business.
The iPhone and Canon XTi have been competing for the most popular camera on Flickr for a while. With the launch of Flickr’s new iPhone App, the Apple phone might soon regain its throne. Check out TechCrunch‘s rave review for details on the app.
The Associated Press’s auto-feed slideshow function is causing some trouble. A controversial photo of a U.S. Marine’s last moments appeared on some news sites without their knowledge, even after they decided not to run the image. AP explains that a lot of newspapers use an AP-run feed that automatically updates content and images, which included the photo on Friday, September 4. The photo has since been removed.
When Joe McNally, a legendary photojournalist and lighting guru, stopped by the liveBooks office during some rare down time in San Francisco, I couldn’t resist setting up a video interview. (Thanks to videographer Drew Gurian.) Joe has contributed to National Geographic for 20 years and was a staff photographer for LIFE magazine. He works with huge commercial clients and produced a seminal portrait series of September 11 heroes. He’s also the author of two must-read instructional books and writes a very popular blog — which brings us to the video below.
Joe started his blog in 2008 after prodding from friends (and avid bloggers) including Moose Peterson, David Hobby, and Scott Kelby. Now the blog is an important part of his business, especially since “big pipelines” for assignments have dried up in recent years.
“Any photographer out there now is stitching together things,” he says. “Work comes now in all sorts of strange ways.” Smart photographers like Joe understand that blogs and social media are an important part of that patchwork. They bring in assignments, create buzz, and help build community with other top professionals. (If you haven’t seen Joe’s parody of Chase Jarvis’ Consequences of Creativity video, I recommend you watch that too.)
The following are ten things “not” to do to ensure your website remains listed on any search index and, most importantly, to ensure that people can find your work through search engines.
1. Keyword Stuffing: If you use the same keyword repeatedly within your website’s text or in your keyword tags, you’ll find yourself penalized and likely removed from the search results index. How much repetition is too much? Use a keyword density checker to make sure that you’re not over the legal limit. Experts say 3-7% for your major keywords and 1-2% for your minor keywords. We touched on this in our last blog post about keywording, Licensing Fundamentals: Keywording for Search Results.
2. Duplicate Content: Duplicate content deliberately tries to trick search engines into improving a website’s ranking. Search Engines have built-in algorithms that analyze pages with similar content. How much similarity are they looking for? Use this duplicate content tool to see if your pages duplicate too much information. If so, the search engines may omit your web pages or site from the search index. A good place to read more on duplicate content is the Google Webmaster Central Blog. If you need to see a more visual presentation on the subject, check out the blog posted by SEOMOZ.org.
3. Free-For-All Link Exchange Programs: There is a difference between natural link building and free-for-all link exchange programs. With natural link building, you’re linking to relevant sites or reciprocating links with partners or associations. Free-for-all linking occurs when you use software to put your links out to hundreds of thousands of sites.
Free-for-all programs are essentially spam, and if a search engine discovers this practice, they will likely penalize your website and lower your ranking (if not blacklist you). Stay honest — start a link-building program by establishing reciprocal links with relevant, reputable websites. It really is that simple. If you’d like a good online resource to learn more about this, check out this blog by SEOMOZ.org on link building.
4. Robots: Do not use a robot to rewrite your content. Such robots alter content just enough to generate a set of new, duplicate pages for search engine indexing, with the ultimate goal of increasing your search engine ranking. You may be seduced by the offer of having your website rewritten for you. Don’t fall for it.
Such robots, or programs, typically rewrite your content with very few changes. If you’re caught with duplicate content, your search ranking is likely to plummet so far that no one will ever find it. Needless to say, if you use the LicenseStream HTML code to publicize your store on your blog or personal website, don’t submit it for a robot to rewrite — not only will it affect search engine rankings for your personal website, but it could also affect rankings for your LicenseStream store.
5. Keyword Dilution: Focus on the main keywords that pay off for your online content. To get an idea of what keywords people are looking for, use the free service from Wordtracker. Plug in your keywords and see how many searches they have initiated. Focus the copy on your website and each page on a specific theme. This will naturally ensure your keywords are specific to the types of content and images that someone can find at your website. You may want to refer to the previous ImageSpan blog post about keywording practices.
For all ten tips and other helpful information, check out ImageSpan’s blog.
Ask her about technique, workflow, marketing, or anything else that’s on your mind — I’m sure you’ll be equally impressed. Leave a question in the comments section, along with your website if you have one, and she’ll respond asap, also in the comments, so others can benefit from the good advice.
As a photojournalist, I have pursued projects focusing on rural communities in Latin America and the Southeastern United States. My work has appeared in publications such as the New York Times Magazine and the San Francisco Chronicle. I earned a degree in photojournalism from the University of Missouri, where I was named one of the Scripps-Howard Foundation’s Top Ten Young Journalists.
When I stumbled upon wedding photography, I quickly traded my front row seat to world history for a front row seat to family history. Along with Andrew Niesen and Mark Adams, I started a wedding photography company, LaCour, which was named among the “Top Ten Wedding Photographers in the World” by American Photo magazine. I’m also a co-founder of ShootQ, innovative web-based studio management software designed to free photographers from the tedious tasks of managing their business.
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