Wednesday, June 10, 2009

My flickr Experiment




I am amazed at how resistant I am to trying new things! Specifically I am talking about using social media and the Internet. I believe in the Internet, I rely tremendously on technology, was a very early adopter of Photoshop and digital capture, and yet I still resist a lot of the new and even not-so-new developments.
I am writing this because I have just dipped my toe in yet another pool of water…flickr. I am not thrilled about the prospect of spending time learning something else that may or may not work for me (when I would rather be spending the time making my images). But I guess as part of my ongoing growth, and my determination to keep my career in stock photography a healthy one, it is in my best interests to forge ahead and familiarize myself with another part of this stock-photo-Internet puzzle. After all, Getty is mining flickr, I have encountered a number of Art Directors who peruse flickr, and certainly gazillions of people log on to flickr just to look at photos!

So I just opened a Flicker account and uploaded five images. In the beginning I am just uploading my funny anthropomorphic animal pictures. Most of these images are not with any agency, and the ones that are with a stock agency are with Kimball Stock where they are available as non-exclusive rights managed images. If I choose to license the images myself I can still do so.

Now What? I decided to do a search to see how long it would take to find one of my images. I searched under “massage” and “cats” since one of the images I upload was one of my “Animal Antics” images of one cat giving another a massage. Well, it didn’t take long! My image was the second one that showed up! It was however uploaded by someone else. It was also the fourth one, and the seventh one, and…a lot more times as I looked deeper and deeper, but nowhere was my name ever mentioned, and I gave up searching before I found the one I uploaded. Not exactly the most encouraging start to my flickr experiment!

It seems pointless to try and police my copyright in these cases…it will just use up my time and there certainly isn’t any compensation to be gained. What I did do was to leave a comment on several of my pirated images that the image in question was mine and that they could see more of my work at my website (I included my URL). If nothing else, maybe I can use the misappropriation of my images to help direct traffic to my site. Time will tell! If any of you have any suggestions about how to use flickr to promote your photography business, or how to deal with infringement of this kind, I’d love to hear it!

11 comments:

stockfotografie said...

Hi John,

thanks for sharing this experiment. Quite frightening your results. Thats why I only upload my images with my web-adress as watermark.

John Lund said...

stockfotografie,

Has flickr helped your business in any way?

Goodpoint, I forgot to have at least my copyright notice on those images!

Thanks!
John

Dan Marsh said...

There's not much you can do to totally protect your photos, once they're up on the net.

If I'm going to upload one of my better, and saleable, photos to flickr, then I'll just keep it to a small size which won't be of much use in a commercial situation.

It's also worth putting your name in the IPTC info.

Joe P. said...

John... Funny, I had the same thought last week. I, too, opened a flickr account because I'd heard the same things you had. Given a little time, there may be some $$$$.

Joe

John Lund said...

Dan,

I usually put my info in the IPTC and put my copyright notice on the front, but forgot to this time...oh well!

John

John Lund said...

Joe,

Keep me posted if you see any results...I'll do the same. Quite an adventure we are all living these days!

John

Robert Grubba said...

Hi John!

Unfortunately, I have to tell You that Your image (from that post) was probably used without Your permission maaaaany times... I checked it via TinEye - 494 hits in the internet scanned by TinEye (what about all the rest of it?). A lot, isn't it?

http://tineye.com/search/251ee57d02a10d8e6678d2baa0becf952bf2f7d2


I'm maybe not as experienced stock photographer as You are (just few years), but I do not think that RF and Micro are good ideas. An unlimited usage given by the RF licence (not only micro) is a shoot in own knee... Let's say, that buyer pays 400$ for RF licence, and he can use it ultimately in his future projects/designs.

What about micro? It's even worse - if You give something for free, like RF licence (almost free, You have few bucks from it), the buyer will not treat You seroiusly.

Cheers,

Robert Grubba said...

sorry for the micro and RF issues, It should be in previous post... I've read a lot of Your posts today, and believed it was here... ehh :/

John Lund said...

Robert,

Yeah, that seems to be a popular image...oh well!

In regards to your comments on RF and Micro...yes, I agree. The one exception is that RF can make you a lot of money, and the quandry for me is that in some cases you will make more money off an RF image than an RM image. So do you ignore that reality?

John

Robert Grubba said...

No I do not ignore that, but with my more unique shots I allways use RM licensing. Usually I set the RF license to all the images that are relatively easy to reproduce.

Cheers,
Robert

John Lund said...

Robert,

We are pretty much on the same page. However, what Tom Grill is pointing out, and what some of my own experience verifies, is that some, I repeat some, high-production value RF images can earn more as RF images than as RM images. Not all, but some.... The trick is figuring out which ones!

John

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