Previously on Stockland Martel Blog Brings You Highlights From “Multi-Platform Editing: Presenting Your Work to the New Media Landscape”:
Vaughan Hannigan photo rep Joe Pritchard offered advice for photographers who are editing their books: Don’t get attached to images “that SUCK,” he said, genially but seriously.
Photographer Chris Owyoung offered advice for those who are setting up an iPhone portfolio: “You need to have a thought process and workflow that works with the platform,” he said.
Moderator Stella Kramer said a Sports Illustrated photo editor told her she was not expecting to commission specifically for new platforms like the iPad, though imagery will play a vital role in the magazine’s use of those platforms.
R/GA art buyer Erin Rabasca said she can usually tell from a photographer’s book what kind of work they prefer to shoot. “Nine times out of 10, it’s the strongest image in the book,” she said.
And Time Out New York photo editor Roberto De Luna explained that he often needs photos that can work on both print and the Web but that he’s always looking for print quality, texture, and color.
Here in Part 2, the panelists discuss self-promotion, ways to respond when someone takes an image from your site or blog without asking, and whether it’s time to ditch your Flash site.
“Technology is supposed to work for you,” said Alex, who acknowledged that it can be daunting. “Figure out the creativity first, and use the technology that’s true to you. If it’s not making your life easier, find the technology that does.”
And at that moment, it did seem like everyone in the room was feeling daunted and overwhelmed. Photographers are trying to stay in touch with their creativity and be all dreamy and artist-y, but they’re also trying to be smart businesspeople who have a pan and clear goals and know how to market and budget and so forth. It ain’t easy.
“The point is self-promotion,” said Chris, by way of easing the tension. “We’re here talking about all of these things that are new, but I’m not there yet. It’s not there yet.”
He suggested setting small goals or tasks for yourself, like making sure your homepage has your contact info (turns out many photographers’ sites don’t). Rethinking your homepage if it’s Flash only. And here he explained that if your site is built entirely in Flash, then Web crawlers basically see one file when they traverse your site. Not good if you want to show up in search results. At the very least, you need to have an HTML backend, which apparently is how liveBooks—which took a few shots in the discussion for being Flash oriented—does it for its clients.
“I’m not saying trash your Flash site that you spent a lot of money on,” said Roberto.
“I am,” said Erin.
“Have a sister site,” Roberto suggested, meaning something on Dripbook or Flickr or some other means of site that shows your work and that is viewable on mobile devices, etc.
“Go to the root code of your website and put a link that says, ‘If you’re on a phone, go here,’” said Alex, explaining how to include a link to your alternate portfolio at the fancy Flash page of your main website.
On the subject of image theft, Alison Zavos of featureshoot.com noted that there are services now where you can do a reverse search on your image to see where it’s been posted online. One such service is TinEye.
“It’s better to satisfy the needs described here [by the art-buying panelists] than to protect your work,” said Erin. “Don’t hinder [art buyers].”
Chris also noted that you can add your metadata to each image file you upload consisting of your name, the copyright, and your contact info. He said that even if somehow your image did find its way into, for example, a magazine layout, most production managers will see the metadata and flag the image for removal or ask the photo editor to get your permission.
“The point is to appeal to clients and not to worry about the nickel-and-dime [infractions],” he said.
One music photog in the audience noted that fansites often pick up her work without her permission. Instead of asking them to take the image down or pursuing compensation, she asks for a prominent photo credit. She knows the fansites have no money—and that the exposure they offer her is valuable.