Friday, March 14, 2014

Stock Photos, Leveraging Assets And An Email Campaign

An elephant at the bar...and an email campaign to promote my stock photography.

Leveraging Assets
I often find myself wondering why the world needs any more stock photos, and lamenting the fact that so many of my images have disappeared both in terms of visibility and in terms of sales.  It has occurred to me, frequently, that I might be better off leveraging those old assets (stock photos) rather than just creating new ones. I have actually been working to that end in my efforts to get more traffic to my website where almost all of my images can be found. But I have decided to up the ante a bit by actually promoting my work. To that end I have signed up with AgencyAccess and have put together an email campaign for the next year. I actually made my first mailing a few days ago…I sent out 4700 emails to mostly art directors and art producers with ad agencies, in house art departments, and a smattering of magazines. I will report the results in my next blog post and will report my overall progress here as things develop.

Focusing On Humorous Animals
As part of this same project I have also changed my website a bit. I have focused the home page gallery and the portfolio section on conceptual and humorous animal imagery. If some one searches using the search window or the “Stock/Categories” all of my imagery is available. Probably 90% of my images are handled by agencies, primarily Blend Images (of which I am a part owner) and Getty but also with SuperStock and Corbis. It is a slow process, but I am linking each image to the agency that handles the work. If that linking has not been done yet then when someone inquires about licensing an image the query comes to me, otherwise the interested party ends up at that particular image on the stock agencies site. I am also having a light box added but that may take another week or two to be implemented.

Google Image Search
The vast majority of people finding my images on the Internet don’t end up on my home page but on the individual picture page via a Google image search.  But I think by focusing my home page on the funny animal pictures I can get more links that should raise up my imagery as a body of work higher in the search order of the various search engines. At least I hope so!

Licensing And Assignments
In the worst case scenario I will be out a couple of thousand dollars, I will know one more thing that doesn’t work, and I will be better able to focus on finding what does work. On the possible (and I hope probable) up side I hope to get some good licenses and perhaps even an assignment that fits my situation. In addition, if more people come to my site, find images they are interested in, and then go on to license them from an agency, then those images will also start to rank higher in the agency searches as well…hey…at least the theory is good! I firmly believe that the biggest challenge facing photographers today is getting our work seen, and that sitting back and waiting to be found is not the best route to success.