Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Dealing with Stock Photo Anxiety...And Flying Pigs!

When Pigs Fly is a funny lol animal stock picture illustrating the concept of doing the impossible.
The Swine Flew! Nothing makes me feel better than creating an image...especially one that brings a smile to peoples faces!

Social Media, The Declining Stock Photo Market, and Anxiety!
One thing I am having a hard time doing is separating the anxiety from my work. Anxiety-inducing stimuli seem to be everywhere…at least for me. The ubiquitous and never-ending bad news about the decline of stock photography is obviously one of those factors. There are many other such stimuli constantly assaulting me as well…everything from social media to the economy to image theft.

Images on Facebook, Google Formulas and Exploding Video
Just this morning I was reading an email exchange in which the fear of posting images on facebook was being debated. Geez…I have been posting some of my blogs, complete with images, on facebook…gulp!  I also just finished reading about how facebook is going to change advertising…will I get a share of that…will my images be used…or is this another step towards oblivion for advertising photographers? Anxiety!  At any moment Google can change their formula and presto chango…two years of intense work might be gone! Eeek! Speaking of Google, I read this morning that they are predicting that 50% of all online ads will have video by 2015…OMG…I really have to get on the video bandwagon! It goes on and on…relentlessly.

 Stolen Images, Flickr and Policing My Work
What got me thinking about this was a forum post I just read in which the person posting was requesting ideas about how to “go after” someone who had stolen his images, posted them on flickr and was offering free downloads of them. I can certainly identify with this as many of my funny animal pictures are all over the web and offered as free e-cards, screen savers, prints and more. I don’t believe many of these cases of theft are worth the effort to go after. The people infringing aren’t really making any money…and often I can’t even figure out how to contact them! If I really try to police my work it will take up every second of my time…anxiety!!!

 Dealing With Anxiety
At any rate, after reading that person’s post I suddenly became aware that I was in a rather intense state of anxiety…and I certainly don’t want to live my life in a state of anxiety. The best ways I have learned to deal with my own doubts is to first become aware that I am in such a state, secondly, take a deep breath and relax a bit, and thirdly, if I still need to do something to get to a better place, do one of three things. First, I can do some exercise…preferably something fun like a good fast-paced game of Ping Pong (I kid ­­you not…I LOVE ping pong!); Secondly, I can review my plans to stay successful. It really relaxes me to know that I have a plan in place…it gives me a sense that I do have at least some influence on my own destiny. And finally, make an image! Today, once I recognized I was in a state of anxiety, I stopped doing everything else and made the image at the top of this post. It is a photo I have been planning on doing for a while and it can work both as a stock image and for inclusion in my series of funny animal pictures. Perhaps most importantly, it makes me smile!

Think of all The Photos I Could Make!
Of course, another way I could deal with my anxiety is to stop listening to the news, reading forums and checking my e-mail.  I could get rid of twitter and delete my facebook account. Wow, think of all the images I could make then!­­


Syv Ritch said...

> At any moment Google can change their formula and presto chango… two years of intense work might be gone! Eeek!

Actually according to Matt Cutts, the ONLY! real reference about Google[1], Google changes their "algorithm" 2 to 3 times PER DAY! But you haven't noticed it. They track 200 different signals. The signals include:

* How long you've been on the web
* The links, and their qualities
* What. Google prefers HowTos
* The web page formatting and the HTML code.

Google has published most of the factors and how you, the web person, can use them. Here's the link to the document published by Google: http://www.google.com/webmasters/docs/search-engine-optimization-starter-guide.pdf

You MUST download it from Google ONLY. There are many other versions, modified with errors by unscrupulous people, claiming as their own.

[1]: http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/ Who's Matt Cutts? He's the head of "Quality Control" at Google. He's the guy that head the department that sets the "algorithm". He makes sure that people do not "mess around/cheat" with Google's quality of results.

Syv Ritch
The Business Of Being A Photographer

John Lund said...


Thanks for the post...all good info!