Friday, July 16, 2010

A Lighthouse, Contribution, and Giving Your Best

Storm clouds clear as a Keeper stands before the beacon of his lighthouse and gazes out to sea in the evening light.
A lighthouse and it's keeper looking out across the sea as the storm clouds clear is a photograph of hope and the future and appropriate for a program to improve the lives of those less fortunate.

A Photographer’s Desire To Help
Photographer Gabriela Medina recently voiced a desire to help the victims of the earthquake in Haiti. Sometimes speaking out can result in some pretty wonderful things. Lanny Ziering , CEO of SuperStock, picked up the ball and ran with it and has come up with a very cool program in which both agency and photographer can contribute and have confidence that their contributions will really make a difference.

Direct Sales, Global Distribution and Sustainable Development
SuperStock is working with Heifer International, one of the world’s most highly respected NGOs. The combination of SuperStock’s direct-sales machine and global distribution, and Heifer International’s expertise in sustainable development, can and will make a difference for less fortunate people not just in Haiti, but around the world. If you aren’t familiar with Heifer International, it has a unique program of providing needy people in under developed countries with everything from Heifers, to Lamas, to Goats, and even honey bees.  Check out their Gift Catalog…it really is an amazing program.

SuperStock, Heifer International, and Emetaworks
The way the SuperStock program works is that photographers assign Heifer International the copyright to stock photos they want to donate. Emetaworks will donate keywording services, and SuperStock will distribute the images, paying 100 percent of both the photographer and agency royalties to Heifer International. It doesn’t get any better than that!

A Lighthouse, Storm Clouds and Giving Your Best
My first contribution to this effort is the above image of a keeper standing watch on a lighthouse as storm clouds begin to clear…an appropriate image I believe for an undertaking to help those in need. The storm has passed and it is time to look to the future, to rebuild and start anew. This is an image I am proud of, and one I am confident will have an impact. When giving, it is important to give your best.

For more information contact Carolyn Nolte (, Creative Director of SuperStock/RGB.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

A Blog Experiment To Bring In More Traffic...and Customers.

This image of traffic in Beijing is a metaphor for what I want...more traffic to my web site and blog for stock photos and funny animal pictures.
A blog experiment to bring in more traffic...and customers for my funny animal photos (this traffic photo is from rush hour traffic in Beijing).

A Blog For Funny Animal Pictures
In my never-ending quest to garner traffic, and clients, for my funny animal photos (and all the various imprinted merchandise, prints and so forth that go along with that work), I am undertaking an experiment. I have started a new blog oriented for people looking for the humorous animal and pet pictures I do for my "Animal Antics" collection. Unlike this photography blog, the entries are brief, only a couple of sentences to go with the pix , and the text is not about the photography business. The blog is simply an attempt to help people find what they are looking for.if they are searching for funny animal pictures.

Google, Indexing and Pet Lovers
I have noticed that Google indexes my blog very quickly, usually within minutes. With my web site it can take months for a page to be indexed. This new blog is an attempt to both speed up the process and more precisely target the audience of pet lovers and bored business people looking for humor and killing time on their computers.

Web Sites, Blogs, and Showcasing Photos

I don't believe it is a good idea to spread your efforts over a number of sites and/or blogs, but in this case I want to keep the new effort separated from my existing web site and photo blog so that I can clearly see if the new blog, that simply showcases funny photos, will produce the desired results. Creating a blog is so ridiculously easy these days, what the heck!

Time, Top Traffic Sites and Web Success

Time is such an important ingredient in web (SEO) success that I am reasonably sure I won't have much to report back soon (all of the top traffic sites that I have investigated have been around for quite a lengthy period of time). But when I do I will share that information here. Stay tuned.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Long Shots and Making a Living with Stock Photos

A vortex of energy, a complicated and complex abstract light pattern, and cyberspace are some of the concepts illustrated by this geometric pattern of light streaks in a photograph.
This abstract light pattern representing a vortex of energy and motion is a long shot to become a successful stock image, but such "long shots" have an important place in the work of a stock photographer.
Abstract Light Patterns, Energy and Purposeful Motion
This image of an abstract light pattern is a combination, or I should say composite, of two different photos created by moving the camera during long exposures (of approximately one second). I think what, at least for me, takes this illustration to higher level than many abstract light patterns is the vortex-like shape that adds a sense of purpose or meaning to the movement. In other words, the image does not look like random motion but rather purposeful motion.

Energy, Motion and Cyberspace
I can see this image being used to add visual excitement and impact to concepts ranging from energy, motion and cyberspace to scientific research and development, as well as communications technology.  In stock photography this is where a truly creative art director or designer can work wonders…in the application of imagery (stock photos) to communication needs utilizing headlines, layouts and design elements that add a rapidly and easily assimilated connection between the visual element that captures a viewer’s attention and the message (copy or text) being delivered.

Long Shots, Fun and Judicious Image Making
Images such as this one are a long shot to pay off in stock photography, but sometimes do pay off, are fun to create, and cost only my time (which, of course, is the most valuable thing I have). It is important to create these “long shot”, images that push the envelope, are fun to do, and to keep your creative juices flowing. And if you have to make a living at stock photography, it is also important to create such images judiciously.