Assignments and Capturing Stock
there is a important process, I think, to just seeing what we actually do in the field to actually go out there and shoot, and there's different ways to do it. There's as I've talked about in my other class, social media versus stock and how to understand the balance of those things and influence of those things. It's important. Understand what your approach is actually going into the field, and this class is going to talk about not only going out getting in the field, how to create authentic imagery, how we see those trends evolving. But I'm actually gonna take you onto a shoot, a stills in motion shoe that we conducted on Lee about a month or so ago. Maybe a little longer. Um, it was actually were the first ones of its kind, where we have paired a unique still shooter in a unique motion. Share me ah, side by side with pre released people and location and try to still keep it authentic. And when walking through that entire shoot, both distills the raw files and emotion clips and hopef...
ully you have a really good understanding of what it takes. Actually produce your own shoe And even if you're not producing the shoot, you have an understanding of what it takes to produce marketable, sellable work in the stock market place. So I'm gonna give a little free plug to the agency. This is tandem stills, emotion. I'm the CEO, founder of the agency At seven years old, it's really nice to be at the seven year mark. Um, it's been a feels like yesterday. Actually, it's amazing how fast time goes, but we're working exclusively in the outdoor genre, and so we're going to really, Obviously, this is the outdoor enthusiast guy to stills emotion. We're really going toe focus on the outdoor marketplace. But a lot of these rules and tips and tricks could apply for any aspect of the photography industry. Um, for the most part. So if you really enjoy food photography, ah, lot of the same rules really apply, and it really is up to you for mastering that. So I'm sharing with you what I've learned over send your seven years of running a company. We've had a huge presence in the market with almost 400 photographers. Um, you know, we've worked with literally hundreds of magazines and outlets over the years, ranging from National Geographic to Sunset magazine toe outside magazine, Um, are images are many places you've probably seen It never even realized it before. So I'm very proud of what we've done and proud of our incredible team. Um, and I'm really grateful for the knowledge it's given me because I went from a still shooter working on assignment to somebody who's working with the team to market images every single day. And to do that means you have to know what people are looking for. You have to get it to them quickly, and you have to get to him at the right price and in the right way. So I'm gonna share that information with you today. Assignments in stock photography eso In my opinion, one of the best ways to build your library of work is through assignments. Now, everyone I think assignments is like the dream word for photographers. I feel like everyone's like, let's get an assignment. How do we get assignment with a magazine or whatever to get to go out there? It's a little bit chicken or egg because stock photography, we'll help you build a library and The nice part about stock photography is, the more you shoot and the more you submit to photo, a photo agency would say You're submitting to tandem. We don't take everything. We think about 15% of the submissions that come in if you're over 15% you're doing really, really well with very few photographers who were up around 80 or 90%. Almost no one is 100% I 100% cause I own the agency. But no one else is 100%. I'm totally kidding. Not 100% because I pre edit my own work and I'm not even still. I still reject my work regularly. Um, but the nice part is you're having That's your first editor. That's your first experience, if that's where you start, and I think stocks a great place to start because it allows you to submit, have a professional editor edit your work and curated into a body of marketable work based on what they think is going to sell, and it allows you to then understand this is my strength. This is my style that's starting to emerge, and that is how I started. I started many, many years ago with a different agency, and I was able to have my work curated by an editor who did nothing but look at images all day long and said, This is what sells and this is what doesn't. And I realized after years of submitting and had a full time job doing my movie studio thing, and I realized one day had a couple 100 images they were selling. I saw my stuff going to sell at the magazines that always dreamed about selling at. And this was the way for me to understand my strength. To understand my identity is a photographer and for me to build up enough work to say This is who I am to shoot it and eventually landing assignment And that's exactly what happened. My stock photography got me to the point right? My first really good assignment. Photographing Mount McKinley for National Parks magazine was quite the first assignment, and I will add since had to climb the thing. But it was a great way to get in and assignments. Once you get them, they will feed your stock archive in ways you never thought possible before because now you're working 101 in the field with an editor. Not so in the field with you, but you're in the field getting feedback, possibly on a daily basis. A lot of times will send work back to an editor, depending on the extent of the project. But I'll send my work in. You get feedback. They have a writer who's already maybe been there very often times the writers been there, and they say, Here's the story so you don't even need to go into all that research has been done for you. So an assignment, if you can get it and I think it's great because there are a lot of magazines who need content. That's a lot of blog's. And journals and other Web sites who need content that can put you on the path to doing that doesn't have to be the biggest magazine in the world. Start somewhere and have a feedback loop and so assignments or one of the best ways to build your stock portfolio because you're gonna have the writing you're gonna have to list. The shot was still have a lot of opinions, and they're gonna help you guide the creative process and give you feedback on your work long before you get into the stock library, that work will probably have an embargo. If you're gonna go shoot for them, they're going to say, Well, we want to have first shot at that And so you might have an embargo. Might last three months and maybe six months could be a year to I've heard of that for really big projects. Could be a long embargo. Well, they promoted, depending on the size of the organization you're working for. But typically it's a three months, maybe 30 to 3 months, Let's say 30 days to three months for an embargo, at which time you can't use those images for anything but the end of three months, 100% yours, your copyright, your rights and you can sub licence them. However you want either yourself or given teary agency. So now you've got five days fully paid for guided, edited and ready to go for stock captioning keyword in the field, you're probably gonna walk out hopefully with hundreds of images on a multi day assignment. I would think that's a great way to start now. Not all those images necessary to get accepted, but it's a great way to quickly build your library and your archive. But be careful of the embargo. You really want to be careful about posting on social media during an assignment. It could violate your agreement. Most will want you to post these days. Most will say you're on assignment for us. Won't you do an Instagram takeover? Just don't put any of your best shots necessarily upper like your Shiro heroes, but, you know, maybe peppered in or shoot mobile brunch of different ways to do it. But just make sure you know where you're going with that, even if its editorial try and get releases as often as possible. If you're shooting on assignment, you should be thinking about stock you're out. Capturing stock on someone else's dime is essentially how it works, so if you're shooting it, you don't necessarily need releases for a magazine. But if you can get them, they become more commercially viable, as we talk about in the other class, social media and stock. So you want to make sure you get releases whenever possible. You want to make sure that's not work for hire. If you get a contract. Know what you're signing? Read it. Look at it. You don't know. Get a lawyer to look at it. Read it. Google it. But make sure you know what you're doing. You don't want work for hire. You work for hire. You don't own the work they do, and then they will be making money by licensing your work on stock sites. If you're a full time employee of a company and they may own any photos you take even when you aren't actively on the job, check your employment agreement. Be amazed how often this happens. I know universities do it. I know a lot of federal government positions. Do it. You want to make sure you understand whether you own the rights to put the work you're capturing up, out on for sale. So these are really important things. So you want to make sure you understand your employment agreement? Looks like, um, you some tips. But assignments are going to be a great way to get yourself up and running in. Stock photography usually have to start a little bit to get to the assignment phase. But once you get going, it's gonna give you some real rhythm Make the most of a trip. Are you on your way to camp? A national park? A few things we should be considering. I want to reiterate these things covered him in the other class about, uh, social media and stock photography. But you want to make sure that you're capturing everything along the way. I cannot emphasize this enough. And in the analysis I'm gonna do at the end of this class or most of this class is the analysis, To be honest with you, Uhm, I'm going to really show you how a lot of these things are done now. We didn't do the road trip pieces, but we definitely included the campfires and the group community and all that kind of stuff into the work. So pets, all of that stuff became part of the shoot. So you want to think wide, Always think Why no, have a narrow focus out in the field in North Cascades National Park, I tell you, you need to think, Why do you take the whole scene in you do the same thing when you're thinking about what your shot list is when you're capturing stock authentically generic It's my favorite phrase. When it comes to stock photography. Keep it as riel, but as neutral as possible. Or better yet, get it both ways. For instance, you photographic campground make it look like anywhere. USA any campsite anywhere with trees or desert. There you go. There's your two options, right? Avoid landmarks, license place or anything that screams that. It's from a specific location. And at the same time, if you've got a Nikon or specific location or something that really says, Hey, I'm in New Mexico, you have red chili peppers or something hanging. Include them because now you have two different opportunities to sell. You have the generic. I'm gonna go camping anywhere. USA or I'm going to go camping in New Mexico are now New Mexico newspaper. Generic magazine is going to buy my image, right, so same photograph putting icon on the frame and show us where it is. So this is the case with anything. This is a very broad way of saying this, but there's always two ways to do it. You know, I remember really on when I was learning. If you wanted to capture like a subway train a lot of stock photographers. And there's nothing wrong necessarily with. If you're making career stock photography and you're comfortable with digital manipulation, that's okay. I mean, if that's what you're going to dio and it feels real and authentic. If that's your path, there's not all right. We're wrong. Doesn't have to be everyone's way to do it. I don't necessarily subscribe to that for nature photography. But if I were photographing a subway in New York City, for instance, and I might go down and see the sign and it says, um, Broadway and and 31st Street under the subway sign, I would probably photoshopped that. So it just says downtown. Now it's a subway in New York or anywhere else that there's trains or subways or says anything about travel. It's not super specific, and I wouldn't in that case do that one both ways. I probably leave it pretty generic unless, of course, I'm on assignment for New York or something like that. But it's that idea. It's about balancing that generic with this specifics of it all. Danger areas and etiquette already covered this as well. But I just want to reiterate this because as you set out to capture stock these air some quick things that you need to really be aware of. Make sure you have model releases and property releases private property. You're going to need property releases as well. If you're working in federal lands, you may need a permit. Make sure you understand that stuff. Understand trademarks, logos, iconic buildings. One of the things going to do If you want to make your from your images commercially available, you want to be careful as often as possible for logos for motion. It may be inevitable. You might want to tape over them, hide them, whatever, but and you might not be able to completely control it, but also the same time. Don't want a local right here on the hat. We're right here on the T shirt you wanted to be. If it could be a logo may be more inconspicuous. You see him a lot on like sneakers. You can't do much about it, right, But in general, you want to be really careful about having logos for commercial. If it's a still image, you should scrub them in photo shop if you want them to be commercially available. Um exercise Common sense when shooting people in public. Just because it's legal doesn't mean you should get in front of someone's face and start shooting away right, so etiquette is very important. E list HDR as a danger area only cause if it's hdr and it's good, it's not a problem, because I don't know it's HDR to me. Eight years, only a problem when I know it's HDR and it will. I've seen them sell. I won't live. Seen themselves for sure. I think some people editors might be lazy and they just buy it, and that's the end of it. But honestly, they don't sell, and we don't accept him as a lot of people who don't accept him as well. So you wanna be really careful with that.