Thursday, July 22, 2010

Google Image Search and a Wake Up Call For Photographers

A unused jetway or gangway stands deserted on the airport tarmac representing missed opportunities, missed connections and being left behind as well as a host of other business concepts (photographed in Yangon airport in Myanmar).
Will you be left behind if Google Image search, or other Internet image search engines actually become proficient at helping people and businesses find the photos they need?

Google Image Search and The Future
The new Google Image search gives us a glimpse of what might be. The new format allows for incredibly fast viewing of images and the relevancy appears to be improved as well. As Google zeroes in on relevancy I believe Google Image search will become a much more important tool for anyone looking for stock photography.

Funny Bloodhound Picture Searches
I just used the new Image search for the term "funny bloodhound pictures". One of my images, three dogs looking perplexed (one of which is a bloodhound), came up about ten times earlier than it used to. And it is WAY faster to peruse through the images.

What Does Google Image Search Improvements Mean For Photographers?
As Google Image search brings up better and better imagery more and more quickly, then those who have done the work to get their images online will benefit…particularly those photographers who have the best and most relevant images for the people searching.

A Wake Up Call

The new Google Image search is a wake-up call to photographers and image creators. Look down the road five years from now and I believe image search might just offer an opportunity to tap in to the vast market of consumers and low-end stock photo users as well as the occasional higher-end art buyer who is looking beyond the traditional agency sources. Add in technology such as PicScout's
and others that provide image tracking and licensing and the whole stock world might be turned upside down. By then perhaps most stock photo searches will be on Google…who knows! I wouldn't bet against Google figuring it all out and eventually capturing the lion's share of stock photo searches....

Check Out Google Image Search

If you haven’t done so yet, check out the new Google Image Search. It has a long way to go, but you can see the potential. The question is, as photographers can we afford to gamble that Google Image search, or perhaps some other internet search engine, won’t become the de facto method for stock photo searches?

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Who Would Hire Me?

Clouds form a question mark in the sky; one of the most powerful tools to advance your career is asking yourself questions.
Asking yourself questions can be one of the most powerful tools for advancing your photography career.

Who Would Hire Me?

Twenty years ago, when my career was at a low ebb, I took a good long look at my portfolio asking myself “who would hire me (as opposed to hiring my competition), and why?” The answer I came up with was “no one”. I realized I needed to do something to distinguish myself, to create a reason for art directors and designers to choose my book over that of other photographers, to hire me instead the other guy (or gal).

Who and Why?
Asking myself that important question led very quickly to my use of Photoshop and a rejuvenation of my career that continues to this day. Now, as a stock shooter, I frequently ask myself the question, “Who will license my stock images, and why?”

Who and How?
Another important question I ponder a lot is who will see my images and how?
Long term, that might be an even more important question.

Questions For Yourself
What questions do you need to be asking yourself?