Find Confidence to Print
Is it okay to use stock images when you're printing your work for shows? And this is a question in general as well, can you digitally sell your images if you're using stock photos? What's the deal there? And I have my own personal code of conduct and then there's the general acceptability. And in general, if you pay for a photo that you're using, a stock, and they say that you can use that stock image for commercial purposes then you can. You can use it, you can sell it, that's commercial use. If you're paying for something but it says for personal use or not for commercial use, or that you can't make money off of it, then obviously you cannot sell it. If you're grabbing free things off of Google, definitely don't sell it. Okay? Just don't do it. If you go somewhere and you download an image and you don't have an agreement or you're not paying for that image, definitely don't try to sell that in galleries. It can get the gallery in trouble. It can get you in trouble and people will be ...
very unhappy if they discover this. Now, is it likely to be discovered? Honestly, I don't know. And that is not a risk worth taking, in my opinion. But is it okay to use stock images? Yes! If you're doing it properly. So, yeah. this image right here. Now I had photographed a hole in the ground, when we were on location and I was really excited about it. But I just didn't quite get the right depth of field on it and it just wasn't usable. So I actually paid for a picture of just some wood splintery pieces and so those little pieces, just right there, were stock images that I purchased. And I purchased the commercial license so that I could sell these images. And for me, I said I have a slightly personal code of conduct, simply because if I am using a really large element of a stock image, I don't want to sell that. I feel like I should go out and get my own picture. And this is just personal. You can sell stock images, if you buy them. But I'd feel better about using just a tiny little aspect of it, rather than having it be a very large portion of my image 'cos that's just a little bit... causes a little bit of pause on the art buyers part if they know that you actually didn't take a very large part of that image that you're presenting. So that would be my hesitation there and answering that question of can you sell stock images. Yes, but be very wary of that process. So then how do you gain the confidence to print? How is it that you go into this process and feel really good about your work? Enough so that you invest in printing, because I promise that a lot of people are going to be looking at this whole process start to finish of creating a series and saying, yeah well it's one thing to think about it, and have an idea, and then go do a photo shoot, and then edit, and have these images. But it's a whole other thing to invest in the printing process. It's very, very costly. So when I had these images printed, this cost me 500 dollars to print these images and have them displayed here. That's a lot of money. That's a really big amount of money, to have your images displayed in a show and these aren't even framed. So you can imagine the costs really add up. So, how do you know when your ready to take the leap? One argument that I have is that, you're always ready to start printing. You don't have to print really big. You don't have to print a ton of things. But printing is going to change your perspective on your work in some fundamental way, that I think is vitally important. I think it's really great to be able to see your work in print, to hold it and the process of doing that gives you confidence, in my experience. When you start to see your work as something that's tangible and holdable that you can give to somebody else, you have this whole new perspective of what your work is like, how it can effect others, and the way that it can be a gift for somebody else. So I would highly recommend printing. But if you can't print that many images or that large, fine. Start small, print something little and start like that, and build a small little portfolio that you can give to people, that's still going to show them that you print your work, that you know the paper that you wanna use and that you're on top of your game. So I would highly recommend it. Get reactions to how images make people feel. And that's probably a really good indication of what you might wanna put into print. Now, I have certain images that are very uncomfortable for people to look at and anytime anybody says to me that they feel a little squeamish when they look at one of my images, I'm like, printing that one! Ha-Ha! Cannot wait. Because I know that it's going to have an even greater impact in print than it does digitally. And this is almost always true. Now, if I'm going to a portfolio review or if I'm going to a gallery, I want to make people feel a lot. So if somebody has a reaction to a small digital file, they're probably gonna have a bigger reaction to a large print. That's my thought process in choosing what to print, is how do you feel towards this and let's try to multiply that by ten, by putting this in print. Challenge yourself to create something new every month. This is one of the biggest arguments that I have for creating a portfolio that's worth printing. We often coast through our work. We create things that maybe are not worth printing all the time and that's okay. But if we're consistently creating something new and challenging for ourselves than it's very likely we're going to hit on something that really, really resinates with us. And this was an example of that, this image, where I had created a very similar image and then I decided to recreate it under water to see how I could challenge myself to create something that I had done before but in a really new way. And it's been really interesting for me to print those two images and see how they're so similar but one prints really well and the other one prints really terribly. This one prints really terribly. The other one, prints really well. I just wanted to point out that it's such a good idea to appreciate every small success you have. When it comes to finding the confidence to display your work and to get your work out there, you have to see every little thing as being a really big boom to your business. I do this very naturally and I accredit my very annoying tendency to see everything as being really great, as a huge part of any success that I've had. Because all print and image and even if it prints poorly I'm excited about it. I am so excited about everything. You know, I'll have maybe like a publisher comes to me and they offer me 50 dollars to put my image on a book cover and I think that's the greatest thing in the world. I don't care if I'm gonna loose money, it doesn't even matter because I'm so excited. Every little good thing that happens, will add up to something much bigger and better. So always see small successes as being really big and then learn from your failures. You know, if we get out here and we roll that printer out and it prints out a terrible print, learn from it. Do it better next time. We get so stuck on our failures that we don't realize that it's fine. It's just part of life. Who really cares that much if something fails? It's just something to learn from and I think that's really exciting. These are those two images that I was talking about, creating one versus the other and that's what I tried to do with this picture. I worked on this image until it matched my vision. I did three different photo shoots like this. The other one was extra bad, so I didn't put it in here. And then it sort of got progressively better, until I finally found a place where I felt happy with the image. Now, it's really funny showing these two images because some people are very much prefer the underwater picture, some people very much prefer the other one. It doesn't really matter though. It's my vision that counts. So I'm going to confidently move forward with printing the one that I think is better, in the hopes that I will attract people who think the same thing. That's really the whole goal isn't it? And then be excited about improving and don't dwell on weaknesses and I have to say over the course of this class and we've been on quite a journey together now in the last few weeks, I've been watching you, Sareet and how you just, you just soak in information and within a second, you're like, I'm doing it. Like you just, you just fix it. You just get it done and honestly I think that's one of my biggest takeaways of this whole class personally, has been watching you just create. It's been amazing and 'cos you do this. You're excited about improving. You're genuinely excited. I meet so many people who are just so down on themselves, like this was bad and I'm never gonna get better, but you just do it and I love that. So don't dwell on weaknesses, because weaknesses never stay weaknesses unless you allow them to stay like that. They are going to get better and better until they're a success. What's better than that, right? Then taking something that was so terrible that you did so wrong and then making it the best thing that you ever did. That's the best like, in your face, moment to somebody, right? To be like, no I can make this way better. And something to just end on here, which is that you will improve, you will. We're not stuck in the moment that we're in forever. We will necessarily evolve and nothing is bad either. We tend to tell ourselves, this is bad, this is bad. What I'm doing is terrible. This looks awful. This is so much worse than this other person's photo. But it's not. It's not bad, it's probably not even good. What is bad and good, right? There's just how we feel about our process and how we evolve from there. That's very exciting for me and that's why I wanted to talk about printing in this whole segment because printing is so important to this process, to figuring out how your work is going to evolve, how you're going to display your work for other people. Because as we've been mentioning, our art is a gift for somebody else. Maybe no one that you know yet, but somebody out there needs to receive that work. So if we can print it and we can display that and we can physically give this to somebody else, that will change their life and that is why printing is not only important, but necessary for somebody in the world. So go print your pictures people.