Free Promotion

- - Getting Noticed

I’ve wanted to do this for awhile and my thinking on the future of photography and photo contests and other things I’m cooking up has gotten me inspired to offer everyone the chance to promote your best work for free by submitting a couple images for a slide show. There’s plenty of photo editors and art buyers who are readers and I know they will find it extremely beneficial to view a quick slide show with hundreds of different photographers featuring their best work and I can’t think of any other examples where this exists, so here we go.

There will be a bar for entry and I will edit out any photographs that are a waste of time for potential buyers to look at. I know there are a lot of top shooters who may be wary of submitting their photographs so I’m going to make sure all the work displayed is top notch. You can also remove your images at any time if you don’t think I’ve done a good enough job.

The purpose of this is to connect photographers with buyers for FREE. That’s it. No bullshit. If that doesn’t happen to anyone then the project has failed.

I have a flickr group setup here where you can enter your submission:

You can only submit 2 photos for consideration, Size: 1024 x768 pixels (1024 can be the horizontal or vertical length), Use your website url as the name of the photograph with a 1 and a 2 after it and then put your url again in the notes so people who want to hire you can find you (it will appear when people click on the photo).

The slide show will be embeddable so anyone can post it on their blog to further the distribution.

Please only submit fresh work. I’ve looked at all of your websites (yes, all of them) and really only want to see new work.

If you really, really, really don’t want to join flickr to submit to the group email them to me.

Deadline for submissions is Monday, March 31st.

There Are 83 Comments On This Article.

  1. This is very good, nobody is going to be interested in a street photographers work, no model release and what not, but what your doing here is good. Hope everyone producing sellable stuff locks on and engages. Look forward to viewing.

  2. Excellent idea. Thanks, Rob.

    Chris: I think street photography should still be saleable within certain licensing and usages, given that it is editorial.

    Concert photography falls within a similar situation, in which releases are not signed (unless one being given credentials to an event as such).

  3. Submit the last promo worthy shot you took. I’m just trying to avoid seeing the tried and trues all the photo editors have already seen in promos and on websites.

  4. wow, i was pumped about this concept until i got to the “f” word.

    how do you combine “picture editor” and the “f word” in the same sentence? there’s got to be a better way.

    great concept though; let’s hear it for democratization. but the best part is that you’ll be EDITING along the way.

    25% to the till, for every job I get!

  5. Wow

    You just saved me enough money in postage to buy another camera. Woo-hoo. But only two submissions? Oh you horrible bastard. Now I’ll be up all night playing my own version of the NCAA championship with all my photos. But so worth it. Genius idea.

    Thanks Rob

  6. you can watermark if you like. my settings on flickr don’t allow downloading so I assume that transfers to the group settings. I’ll do whatever I can to protect the images submitted. People can email me images and I’ll put them on my account as private (only invited people can see) and that would work if your not into flickr.

  7. As always – thanks for the innovative thinking and the opportunity to promote our work!

    As a flickr newbie (just signed on today) I just added my images to the “aphotoeditor promo” pool on flickr – if there is a different way to submit images please let us know.

  8. Seth Oglesby

    I have two photos taken with a medium format camera that don’t fit to the required 1024×768. Is 1024×819 ok?

  9. Rob, hope all is well. Besides shooting for everybody and anyone, i am the Director of Photography at DEATH+TAXES magazine. New music/lifestyle magazine with tons of photos. We
    are looking for people all the time. I shoot a bunch of the magazine right now in till we get are “wings” and more advertise. We just shot M.Stipe from REM for the new issue. This
    is really great and would love to be a part of it. Let me know if
    i can help.

  10. ” I can’t think of any other examples where this exists”

    A case of great minds think alike or pure coincidence, Andy Levin
    just released this:
    Not exactly the same as your(very useful) showcase idea, but another way to see many photographers work in one basket.
    No fashion or advertising, just good old photoreportage/ sans Flickr.
    Anyway,looks like a great project you’ve got there.Good to see someone selflessly promoting peoples work.

  11. I was wondering if we could post a pair as opposed to just two single images. Or better yet, two pairs! Typically I use a pair of complimentary photos in my promos.


  12. I was surprised to discover how easy it is to edit photos on Flickr. Is there even another online photo editing program? I can edit it down in a couple of hours no problem because all I have to do is select accept or deny or hold. I use it for some of my freelance photo editing and there’s no better way to show a client a group of edited photos in order of preference online and then the slideshows are easily the best available and best designed I’ve seen.

    @ 19. Doug: The slide show is a permanent resource for photo editors and art buyers. You can only submit once.

    @ 20. Seth: any size is fine that’s just the biggest it can be (I think).

    @21. ShaolinPhoto: Sure, if someone likes you’re work they will bookmark it and use you where it’s appropriate.

    @ 26. Dustin: Sure pairs work as a spread. If that’s how your images work do it the only issue would be that the individual images will be smaller in the actual slide show.

  13. Fantastic.
    As an Art Buyer this will be a great resource. And I’m so glad you have stressed NEW work. As an aside- I think its a real detriment generally to have old work in your book or on your site unless its archived. Keep it fresh.
    Can’t wait!

  14. Hey all,

    I’ve been reading for a while, this offer got me into action. Thanks Rob! Looking forward to seeing you next month at the APA joint in SF.

    Rob Prideaux

  15. ” A Photo Editor wrote:
    I was surprised to discover how easy it is to edit photos on Flickr. Is there even another online photo editing program? I can edit it down in a couple of hours no problem because all I have to do is select accept or deny or hold. I use it for some of my freelance photo editing and there’s no better way to show a client a group of edited photos in order of preference online and then the slideshows are easily the best available and best designed I’ve seen. ”

    It’s all about the organizer feature. It feels like the old days when you would lay a bunch of prints down on the floor and do an edit that way. My biggest gripe about FLICKR, is people do not edit enough!

    If this goes over well enough will we see more??

  16. Another cool idea. Would be great if you did this a few times a year. Would keep things really fresh and it could be an amazing resource. Looking forward to seeing the finished thing.

  17. Just in case people are suspicious of my motivations (I know of a few who are), this is an experiment. Contests that charge for entry and have parties and publish the winners are a valuable resource for buyers. Does it work when the entry fee is free and there’s no party and the work is freely distributed on the internet? This is how you find out.

    How do I benefit from this? I’m trying to teach myself all the different ways photography can be used on the internet to serve consumers, buyers and photographers and by doing so I can turn myself into a dot com photo director. I’m also working on software projects that will not be free.

  18. What I find interesting… the numbers. 450 members of the aphotoeditor flickr pool 24 hours after Rob’s post.

    I am glad editing is easy on flickr. Going through 900 images in an afternoon does not really sound like fun to me – and I enjoy seeing new, interesting work.

    When I think about who I compete with in my business – there are times when I find the sheer numbers to be overwhelming and depressing. Other times I feel like a rutting buck and can take on all comers.

    Slightly bi-polar perhaps. I suspect it will never be easy to get used too – and I’ve been doing it for 18 years.

  19. What about the up-and-comer who doesn’t have a website yet (I know, get one), but is there an alternate contact info method?

  20. Jeremy,

    Use and point a $10 domain name in its direction. It’s better than nothing, and should be getting better shortly.

  21. With all due respect, one thing that I don’t quite understand about the overall nature of this blog is that it seems to veer back and forth in the road — one day you’re featuring Corbijn, Watts, and all the extremely heavy hitters, setting the bar very high even in the professional editorial circles, but then the next day, it seems to veer back across the road toward Flickr, which always brings out the student crowd and the beginners.

    Yes, everyone starts their career as a beginner, but it makes it hard to see where this blog fits in the marketplace.

    The goal of this database, in theory, seems to be hooking up professional buyers of photography with professional photographers. I’d venture to guess that the VAST majority of the people signing up for this database have never shot a paid gig in their life, and if they have, never for a major, serious, ass-on-the-line national magazine.

    That, to me, is where the disconnect happens. Shouldn’t there be some minimum bar to set even to qualify? As in, “do you have a workman’s comp policy in place? Do you have insurance? Could you finance a job if called for one? If you’re going to hook up these photographers, shouldn’t they be ready to work if called upon?

    Nothing wrong with being a beginner, but a beginner is not going to shoot a job for Mens Journal or Outside, or fill in the blank with the name of any national magazine.

  22. Wow, so glad I pointed my blogreader this way today.

    @ 43. Fan- I always find it interesting when pros diss less-seasoned photographers without seeing their work. Sure, maybe very few submission will be on par with some of the big names and maybe most have the lower overhead and fewer expense receipts, but maybe that also means that current working pros need to reassess what is differentiating their images from those of anyone else with a camera. Aside from that, there are many of us working in the industry who are not shooting full time yet but certainly have the ability to produce a job; at the same time there are plenty of full-time shooters who can barely pull together an available light headshot without a lot of help.

    Thanks for the opportunity, Rob, and thanks in advance for going through all the submissions. Hope I make it in.

  23. “always brings out the student crowd and the beginners.”

    “have never shot a paid gig in their life”

    Ive done very many since 1985 for high profile national companies, stopped a while ago and started again but not doing commercial work any more. Hell Ive even made daguerreotypes. The thing about flickr is the slide show is well designed, its free and Rob is switched on to it which is great.

  24. Ok, I have to weigh in on the “FAN’s” comments. I am a young photographer, and it took me many years to get to where I am now working. I’ve shot my first AD campaign (I had to use all my savings), and I have regular editorial clients. I’ve even made it on Rob’s consultant contest( I didn’t win :).
    We all start somewhere, and we all are at different points in our career. Rob’s blog is a great guide of do’s and don’t, who’s hot and and why. I personally believe he shows us who’s on the top of their game, so we can see what bar to strive for. As for students reading the blog, this is fantastic. I wish this was around when I started, I could have avoided a few pitfall. I also read the initial post from Rob and he say’s he is going to edit, so don’t be afraid, that was his job. Don’t be afraid of the next young gun either, you’re working for a reason, I assume. Talent is talent, if a students work can stand next to mine and you can’t tell who’s been working professionally and who’s not, I commend them. On the the other hand if my work is standing next to the heavy hitters work and you can’t tell the difference, well hey!
    Thanks again Rob!

  25. I meant no ill will to anyone. I help young photographers all the time. Of course, any comment like this brings them out of the woodwork, with guns drawn and arrows flying. So be it.

    I simply was implying that, this is a business. Let’s not forget that. You walk out into a location with public access, and you’ve got CStands set up, and you open up yourself to liability issues. Issues with lots of zeroes behind them, if one of those CStands blows over and hits a pedestrian or a talent.

    All I was asking was, is there any other type of vetting process to ensure that some picture editor is not going to have a business mess on their hands, if they hire a photographer off this list that’s not properly set up for business. Don’t shoot the messenger; try to learn from it. Contrary to popular (hostile) belief here, it’s not only about the sum total of your portfolio. I have some clients that force to show proof of Workmen’s Comp before they’ll sign the PO. Could everyone in this database do that?

    If the job called for shooting at a private location, and the location owner required being named Additional Insured, could everyone in this database call their agenty, and within a day, pull a Certificate of Insurance for that standard two million liability? This request could be very common even in the smallest low-budget editorial job.

    If you defensive people want to forge ahead, with your ass exposed, then please do it. Just don’t say that you weren’t warned about business issues as well.

    Good luck with this database.

  26. @ 47 William:

    In terms of “using all your savings”, it’s not about that. It’s called “getting an advance before you start work on any ad project”. Just like any type of business would.

    Let the arrows fly.

  27. Fan, Rob’s A Photo Editor, if he can weed out the garbage, he’d have been in trouble a long time ago. If you’re concerned that someone on Flickr may get in and you won’t, well…that’s not his problem.

    Furthermore, I think art buyers have a duty to ask the right questions of any photographer they are hiring. If they just see something they like somewhere, call up and hire that person without learning more about them, then that is their mistake.

    I have work on Flickr, have shot for national publications, large corporations, ad agencies, and the like, and have been hired over the phone, by really large companies, based solely on the work on my old, completely out of date web site. Stuff does happen this way, it really does. Can everyone, regardless of whether or not they’re on Flickr, do what you’re asking? I’m sure the answer is no. Not every photographer is right for every job.

  28. Dear fan,
    I cannot take you seriously as you hide out in the shadows. So many of us on here post with our names, email and web contact.

    Now to generalize sites like FLICKR is a little unfair. Yes I know it is a Crapshoot. Yes there are people out there who do not know the difference between a Portrait and a Snapshot.
    But there is some high quality out there ( Patrick Shaw and Donald McPherson come to mind).

    My point is this: The dark ages of photography is over. It has now left the flat iron district in NYC and has become easily and readily accessible to everyone. I think we should celebrate the fact that photography is now being recognized as an art form more than ever! And with people like Rob out there who are not afraid to use and embrace new ways of thinking, it gives us hope.
    Stop being a buzz kill.

  29. Fan, I hope that people will look for reasons to give opportunities and not all the reasons under the sun for not doing so.

    Just before last Christmas I entered an “open” competition from a high profile respected photo organization in the UK. For them it was something important, I think they would have got hundreds of applicants – it was advertised for months. I knew I wouldn’t stand a chance but made an effort with the application in the knowledge that at least their are introduced to my work. I just received a letter stating that not only was I not chosen, but no one else was either. Really I seriously doubt that the submissions lacked quality, they may have not fitted what they want to achieve, but then why have an “open” situation if your not prepared to be “open” and find reasons to give opportunities and not put blocks in the way and or so subjectify everything you cant see the wood for the trees.

  30. Fan @43

    Do you remember being young and stupid? How about daring and creative? There are many, many folks who began by flying blind and then had to get smart quick.

    You are correct about photography being a business, and photographers who don’t wise up to this fact drop away quickly. In fact, its a great filter.

    However your “Do you have a workman’s comp policy in place” as a minimum bar for entry suggests that you are “disconnected” from the free wheeling, undisciplined, wildly creative, stupidly smart nature of photographers.

    Its all about the work. If art directors or art buyers want to hire untested talent, they certainly have the ability to offer some guidance on the minimum liability insurance policies of their agency. It can be a risky move for sure, but giant rewards (and sometimes huge disaster) are built on risk.

  31. An Art Director

    Michael @ 56

    You are completely right. It is about creativity and not insurance, etc. I want to hire the person who has creative work and does whatever it takes to get the job done, someone who is passionate and will work with me.

    One thing that interests me about this flickr group – is no one pays to get in. When I look at a source book, I understand what it takes to have an advertisement printed. This might be an excellent place to expose new talent who are one step away from making it big (and affording a source book ad!). PDN 30 and other contests are another great resource too.

    I am interested to look at the flickr group! Good luck to all.

  32. @ 58, 56, 53, 52:

    You guys just keep whistling into the wind, and throwing that salt over your shoulder. Imagine if the subject of this photo shoot was a celebrity, a minor, a wife of a lawyer, or knew a lawyer. I hope you don’t own your home, or anything of value.

    Good luck in those business practices!

  33. Chris, you mentioned that people do not edit enough of flickr.

    This may be possible… if you’re using it as a stock site, or to find new work.

    However, I think most people use it for different reasons: Either as a personal photo-dump or as a place to put ALL their photographs publicly.

    For me, even though I don’t do it for a living, I often get asked to shoot events: A friend’s fashion show; a music event; my little sister’s birthday party; etc. Where do I put the pictures when they are done? Flickr. Then the link to the set can go out everywhere.

    My art, commercial, works in progress, it’s all up there. But it’s not a portfolio. My website is more like a portfolio (though I still think of it as a personal site). If someone finds something on flickr they really like, I think the best thing for the photographer to have done is to make sure it’s part of a set and make sure that set is part of a collection.

    The collections should be well named, and the sets should be well edited, by series, by date, whatever. But the overall photostream works just as well if it is all inclusive… because every person viewing a flickr account is looking for something different.

    My editor at a magazine is looking for the outtakes from a particular shoot to see if we had one where so and so was looking a certain way, or a picture they could use of one of the assistants for a bio, and my sister is looking through for pictures of her birthday party. If I geared it entirely towards getting work in the industry, then the MAJORITY of people looking at it would miss out.

    I don’t send magazines my flickr site, so if they’re looking there that’s an added resource for them, not one I take for granted.

    Overall, I think it’s cool that editors are more and more aware of it, of course.

  34. I have been lurking on the comments since Rob’s initial post. I don’t see the big deal here folks. Nothing to lose and potentially some gain here. The fact that flickr is heinous is a given but the best work will shine regardless. In an age where we have some concern about how one’s web site looks on the iphone, is flickr that bad? Hell, he has given you an out if you don’t want to go the Flickr route.

    This is about your brand and it is about one man’s (Rob H.) attempt to level the playing field and come up with some real quality images at this point in time in our industry. It costs nothing, very well might mean nothing. Lets say Mr Canon 5D gets a slot in the final presentation. The market will determine his viability as a professional. Seems to me it is all about what you have done before sending Rob your two images. Past as prologue. Does your book and website reflect a consistency and a common thread running through your work? Have you got what you need to back it up? Rob’s choices have nothing to do with that.

    As Andrew Hetherington states on Jackanory, there is going to be a lot of shite – that’s photo contests for you. As stated on AH’s blog – you think the CA panel will see any lesser volume of crapola?. What Rob edits into the final presentation will be something (in his opinion – he is the only judge) quite the opposite. Rob’s experiment is a noble one – I am in.

  35. Question-I have a series, 4 images, all vertical. Can I do what I would do in a promo card and put two up side by side per slide?

    The width would be 1024 and the height 768 total.

    2 slides.

  36. yes, a spread with 2 images is ok. haven’t decided if I’m picking 1 or 2. depends on how many make the cut. if the slideshow is too long it starts to not work as a promo and then I need to limit the selection to 1 from each photographer.

  37. I see, so my confusion was not just me!

    In a slideshow it is hard with single images from different photographers, it breaks up fast, or requires a ton of editing to get the right people next to each other. two from each helps the flow.

    I think a few people are submitting two-ups, nice part about that is that it will break up the flow within the frame and help keep things moving. A constant series of horizontal singles would be deadly.

    …well you said photographers should consider giving work away for free, nice to see you will be plowing through 2000+images FOR FREE:)

    welcome to the club…

  38. Thanks Rob for doing this!!! Can’t wait to see all the wonderful photography. Grab a six pack and have fun editing!

    It would be cool to have aphotoeditor social gathering/networking(photographers, editors,art buyers etc.) event. One in NYC and one in LA. Food for thought….Sorry didn’t mean to hijack the thread….Thanks again!!!

  39. My main worry with submitting a 1024pix size image is that that will look awfully nice printed three inches wide in a mag, or six inches wide on newsprint. (Six inches is actually quite big when you think about it!).

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