Sunday, February 13, 2011

Online Security-Behind A Stock Photo Concept

Binary numbers, 1s and 0s, pour out, or tumble in, to a Bank Vault in a stock photo about online security and the protection of digital assets.
Creating concept stock photos about online security, digital asset protection and computer viruses.

Internet and Online Security, Computer Viruses and Identity Theft
Internet and online security is obviously a hot topic and a growing problem as more and more of our lives, financial and otherwise, are conducted through our computers, our mobile phones, our tablets and so forth. The more we conduct business over the Internet the more our fear of problems such as identity theft, asset theft, computer viruses and worms, and the disruption of our financial lives beset us. That, in turn, creates both opportunity and need, the need for products and services that protect our online presence and the opportunity for those who provide such products and services to market themselves as such. 

Digital Asset Protection and Stock Photo Opportunities
This also brings up opportunities for content producers, stock photographers if you will, to create images that can be used for those marketing and advertising efforts. There is obviously a need for images that can serve to promote digital asset protection. But how do you show the concept of “digital asset security” in an image?
How do you create an image with the ambiguity necessary to provide for a large range of applications, but also has both the attributes for specific messages and the visual appeal to capture a viewer’s attention?

Online Protection, Bank Vaults, and Making Icons Your Own
One process I use for coming up with stock photos for popular or needed concepts by looking at the traditional iconic markers that apply. For example, if you are looking for concepts based around security I would begin with things like locks, chains, guards, and, yes, bank vault doors. Next, ask yourself what you can add to that icon that will take it the next step. How can you make it your own and add even more ambiguity and impact and still retain a strong concept specific message? How can you make the safe door of a bank visually compelling and applicable to digital assets, online applications, and Internet security?

Digital Assets, Binary Numbers and Online Security
In this case, for me, binary numbers is one possible answer. I think it is pretty universal that people now know that computers speak with 1s and 0s. Binary numbers are the language of the Internet, of digital assets, and of the online world. By combining two iconic symbols, binary numbers and a steel bank vault door, an image that speaks of online security, Internet theft prevention, and digital asset protection is created.

Binary Numbers, Iconic Visuals and Online Security
By having a mass of binary numbers, 1s and 0s, tumbling past the open door of a bank vault the headline or copy can use the image to describe moving one assets to a secure place, or the siphoning off or loss of such assets with inadequate safeguards. Because the image utilizes familiar iconic visuals a target audience immediately grasps that online security is the subject of the message, and if it is a message they are concerned about they will look further, the desired goal of any stock visual. This photograph of numbers and a bank vault can be used to advertise or promote a wide range of services and products for computer security, for online transactions and even for the secure content of social media and networks.

Digital Asset Protection, Stock Photos, and Maximizing Revenue
Because there are so many potential users of this stock picture of digital asset protection, including the editorial and corporate markets as well as advertising, I believe the revenue potential is best maximized by placing it as a Royalty Free image. I am always faced with my bias towards Rights Managed, and yet in examining my history of stock photo sales I have found that in many cases the right image in RF distribution will out perform an RM image in terms of total revenue.  I certainly hope that is the case here as I have somewhere between two and three days of work tied up in this one photograph…and that doesn’t even take into account the original photography of the bank vault (thought that was done ages ago for a paid assignment). To further insure that I get a sufficient return on my investment I went on to create several more versions of the bank safe for other uses including monetary security (the protection of cash and other liquid assets), and asset loss in general both with and without a “management” element.

Ambiguity, Specificity, and Multiple Concepts: A Stock Photo Strategy That Is Paying Off
This series of “security” images is a good reflection of my approach to stock photography. Find a need, create a visually interesting and compelling image that has the desired qualities of ambiguity and specificity, and place it in the appropriate distribution channels. In the last couple of years I have also payed a lot more attention to creating multiple concepts rather than focusing on just one concept image. This is a strategy that is definitely paying off for me.

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