Art Director: Joseph Hutchinson
Creative Director: Jodi Peckman
Deputy Photo Editor: Deborah Dragon
Designer: Matt Cooley
Photographer: Danny Clinch
Stephen Quinn, publishing director of Vogue, said: “Where once it were imagined that digital might kill print, it has instead heightened the level of engagement the reader has with her magazine of choice.”
via Media Week.
So far, Twitter has plugged the hole, in the sense that it has created an opportunity for me to talk to people on a daily basis while I’m at work. What constitutes me being at work is vast swathes of time during the week, where I am sat alone at a computer for hours and hours and hours. The furthest my intellect gets stretched during these periods is when I get to do ‘Ctrl+C’ followed by ‘Ctrl+V’.
I’m debuting a new column on APE called “The Daily Edit.” Heidi Volpe will be featuring a daily look at great editorial content: illustrations, layouts and of course photography. I will be taking a break from posting this week and next while we get this great new column off the ground.
Despite proof to the contrary, some full-time professionals still believe they are entitled to be primary image providers. It is time to stop the blame game and re-focus on the challenge – how to earn a living by making pictures. Photographers can no longer afford to hang out a shingle with the moniker “good photography at a reasonable price”. The differentiators for success are as follows: highly distinctive imagery reflecting a clear and compelling aesthetic vision, marketing savvy, sharp business skills, adaptability and persistence. Today’s professional photographer must deliver nothing less.
That book is no longer available but these guys look like they work very hard to make interesting books: TBW Books.
ImageBrief is a company that aims to become the marketplace where Image buyers and professional photographers can connect. The buyers post a brief with their requirements and the photographers respond with images that match. Seems simple what could possibly go wrong? Plenty of course. This kind of thing has existed before. Back when I photo edited for Outside Magazine there was a fax service that would send requests out to thousands of photographers. You can imagine what happened when I gave it a try. A crush of submissions with many so far off the mark you wondered if they just had a package ready to send out no matter what the request was just to get something under your nose. You end up with this volume problem where there are so many misses it’s not worth it to wade through and see if there’s a hit.
It’s inevitable that crowd-sourcing would be coming to image requests. Advertising has version’s where people create commercial videos: poptent.net, tongal.com and zooppa.com. Graphic design has Crowdspring.com where a writer for slate.com was pleasantly surprised by the results (here) after he offered $200 to design his newsletter logo. The experts he polled were not impressed but generally concluded that he got what he paid for.
It’s not clear of image brief wants photographers to shoot on demand or simply offer up existing images that meet their needs. I’m sure they’d be fine with either. If done properly this could be a great way for image buyers to connect with high quality stock that’s not currently in circulation. The key is restricting the membership so you’re guaranteed great results and attracting clients with high paying requests. I would have loved to make requests directly to photographers studios with specific needs and a price I’d be willing to pay. The problem is companies working online generally go for the masses, wanting to make money in volume over quality. I asked the co-founder of the company Simon Moss how he plans to address this. Here’s his response:
Rob, Thanks for giving me the opportunity to let you know how we plan to tackle this, because we believe it is the most fundamental part of what will make this platform a success. To be clear though – our goal is about quality and not quantity, which is why we have only approved about 30% of the photographers who have registered interest with us so far.
At the moment we are watching extremely carefully as new briefs are posted, and how different photographers respond over time. We notice that the first couple of days the accuracy is not quite as good as entries that arrive on day 2/3 and beyond. We are still in embryonic phase so this may change as we approve more photographers to contribute.
We will soon test some mechanisms to ensure a continual improvement of accuracy and also quality of responses so that the buyers who do have good money to spend will flock to the platform, in the confidence they will get a great outcome.
Some of these include (but not limited to):
– Providing the buyer the ability to rate both images and photographers based on quality/accuracy
– Our team ranking images based on accuracy and ‘fit’
– Introducing the option for moderation (ie; the customer can choose to have us moderate before images are displayed publicly)
– Introducing a reputation ranking system for photographers and having this impact the way responses are presented
– Creating an increase in commission for photographers who consistently submit high quality, accurate responses (at the moment it is 70% to the photographer – we could potentially have premium photographers on a higher rate).
From the initial feedback (we are already engaged with a number of advertising agencies and editorial photo editors) we are getting a great response – we just need to keep tweaking and listening carefully to both sides of the market so that we continue to create significant value on both sides.
I hope that all makes sense!
It will be interesting to see what happens. I see potential for this to satisfy both parties but these things tend to never play out how you expect. Hopefully Simon will steer it in the right direction.
The best part of my job is that I do have days when I DO spend all day searching for hot new talent.
Limit the number of times you send emails per month. I get emails from the same group of reps/photographers every week to every two weeks. I think once a month to every 3 months is sufficient. When emails start to come every week, I just end up deleting and not taking the time.
via Jasmine DeFoore
My post on google’s new search by image feature (Google Announces New Image Search) had a few photographers wondering what to do after discovering images of theirs had been used thousands of times online. You can refer back to the primer called Photography, Copyright, and the Law written by Carolyn E. Wright that I referenced here: What To Do When Your Image Is Stolen Online. I also found a post on this topic over on Jeremy Nicholl’s Russian Photo’s Blog called: The 10 Rules Of US Copyright Infringement. In that post he tells how in January of this year he found one of his photos on the website of a major US media company and he hired Barbara Hoffman of the Hoffman Law Firm to handle the matter. The outcome was a five figure settlement for a 468 pixel wide image used illegally on a site he’d never heard of. Here are his 10 tips:
1. Register your images at the US Copyright Office. “…the USA has a dual copyright system: major protection and zero protection.”
2. Make your copyright information visible.
3. Google Alerts is your friend.
4. Grab all the evidence.
5. Don’t contact the infringer directly. “Did they contact you before heisting your property? So why would you call to warn them you’re on their trail?”
6. Hire a lawyer. (Note: his recommended list here)
7. There’s no such thing as a small infringement. “The substantial penalties for infringement under US copyright law are meant as a deterrent.”
8. Your small-time infringer may be a bigger player than you think. “a few seconds research revealed that both sites are owned by one of the world’s largest media companies”
9. Be forensic. “Identifying repeated infringements demolishes any “isolated case” defence and shows the site infringes as a matter of custom and practic”
10. If you have an agent don’t expect them to protect your copyright.
Mr. Ai was reached on his cell phone shortly before 12:30 a.m. Thursday. “I’m released, I’m home, I’m fine,” he said in English. “In legal terms, I’m — how do you say — on bail. So I cannot give any interviews. But I’m fine.”
Before I made it to this stage, I spent many years working overtime just to get my work out and there were many times I’ve come close to being broke. It was not an easy journey, but it was definitely worth it.