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Pillars of Revenue

Lesson 61 from: The Outdoor Enthusiast's Guide to Photography & Motion

Ian Shive

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Lesson Info

61. Pillars of Revenue

Next Lesson: Branding


Class Trailer

Bootcamp Introduction


Storytelling with Stills and Motion Overview


Elements of a Well-told Story


Storytelling in Motion


Choosing the Best Gear for Your Outdoor Project


Gear for Drones


Gear for Motion


Inside Ian's Gear Bag


General Advice for Preparation


Virtual Scouting




Permits and Permission


Model and Property Releases


Health and Fitness




Location Scouting Overview


Location Scouting in the North Cascades


Drone Introduction


Drone Safety


What Kind of Drone Should I Buy?


FAA Part 107 Test: How to Prepare


Telling a Story With a Drone


Drone Camera, Lenses and Movements


Selling Drone Footage


Why Does a Photographer Need Motion?


Establish the End User


Identify Your Audience


Build a Production Plan


Create the Story Structure


The Shooting Script


Production Quality


Composition for Stills


Composition for Stills: Landscape


Composition for Stills: Telephoto Lens


Composition for Stills: Macro Lens


Techniques for Capturing Motion in the Field


Lenses and Filters for Outdoor Photography


Capturing Landscapes - Part 1


Capturing Landscapes - Part 2


Capturing Movement in Stills


Shooting Water, Sky and Panorama


Understanding Stock


Editorial vs Commerical


Pricing Stock


Producing Stock


Shooting for Social Media vs Stock


Choosing an Agency


Assignments and Capturing Stock


Stock Photography Market


Create A Style Guide


Stock Shoot Analysis


Workflow for Selecting Final Stills


Initial Editing in Adobe Bridge


Reviewing and Selecting Motion Footage


Keeping Track of Your Story Ideas


Script and Story Structure Evolution


Editing to the Content


Music as a Character


Business Diversification


Business Strategy


Pillars of Revenue




Partnerships and Brand Strategy


Galleries and Fine Art




The Future of Photography


Q&A And Critique


Lesson Info

Pillars of Revenue

talk about the pillars of revenue. This is a term I often use. Um, the pillars of revenue are really those things I was just talking about. You need to establish what they are for you. Um, and the pillars of revenue for me include several different things, and they're going to be very diversified. But they are the thing that create the foundation. They are the structure that holds things up. I love. This is from Tuscany was a good trip. Pillars of revenue first pillar revenue, stock licensing. We've talked a lot about it. Talk about capturing stock, talked about motion clips. It's obviously very important. These were all things pulled from my archive that led to covers that lead to future work and opportunities. Stock licensing is a revenue generator to me, of course, because this is my business. It's my first pillar of revenue, referring refer to shooting what sells and social media capturing stock classes. If you really want, understand it better. I'm not gonna go in a huge amount, b...

ut obviously there's two pieces to this and that Stills and motion. Each of these is part of that same pillar right of your stock licensing. Each of those can be earning you money while you're in the field. So that's the first pillar of revenue introducing the next pillar of revenue assignments. These are some of the assignments that I've been fortunate enough to be able to do over the years to lead to a few covers. Assignments are really great. They're gonna take more work. Stock photography might lead to it. But you have editorial opportunities here. You need to figure out what the rates are. Do you have a day rate in mind? You know what your rate is? When somebody asks you when you set a meeting with a client, they say, Okay, well, what's your day rate? How much do you want? Everybody ready to answer that question? Yeah, You should No your rate. Know what? You want to see what other people are getting? Talk to people. See what? There's plenty of information out there. It's all at your fingertips. You just have to do it. But you should think about so rates of the first thing? No. With the budget to actually shoot the assignments. Gonna, because when you think about your day rate that has that include the hotel room, gas and everything else that you're gonna need or not. So make sure you know how to budget. Be reasonable in your expectations. Different outlets. We're going to pay different things. You're not going to get a cover assignment and being set. You're not going to get discovered. You're not going to become instantly famous. Somebody might see it like it. Maybe they'll buy a print, which is another pillar of revenue by that's about it. Have reasonable expectations of reason. Expectations of your stock have reasonable expectations and how often you might get an assignment. I think you can get him. I think if you're following these things and you're working at your craft, absolutely. Maybe you don't pitch The New York Times first day. Maybe you start with a local magazine newspaper. If you start in, you know a real estate place and just practice on lighting and landscape and just see what it's like to sell your work. What's it like to work with clients? Those are the things, but it's a pillar of revenue nonetheless. So now you've got stock photography, you've got assignment. You have two opportunities to make money, and they could work together. And as I talked about in the stock photography class, assignments are the best way to build your stock library. So you start to create a little ecosystem of revenue, right? Not even pillars. Almost an ecosystem. Maybe I'll rename Advertising. So could be assignment. Right, Simon? Could be an ad shoot on. Those are the best ones. Of course. Highest prices you're gonna find are gonna be in advertising. You want to think about that? I'm not talking about taking advertising for yourself here. I'm talking about getting assignments in the commercial marketplace, right? And I'm calling it advertising cause it's easier to visualize it. Outdoor ads. This is thes air stock prices. But I put them up here because I want to see how much higher they are. You know, if you want five billboards gonna cost you 1000 bucks, you want nationwide closely? At least 2000 wannabe in all advertising. These are starting prices for a year for one image, $15,000 for one year. All advertising packed print outdoor billboards. Hard to get this these days. This numbers coming down. This number's probably half this. Almost this is what we started out. But that doesn't mean it's going keep coming down. And I will tell you, people do pay this. Sometimes they pay a lot more. They want to own it outright. Rarely do you ever have to sell your copyright? Um, if ever and I wouldn't advise it, I wouldn't. I wouldn't do it. Somebody? What's the buyer? Copyright jeans are gonna wanna keep buying the license as well. So you keep that. But they can buy a right to use your image in all forms for a long time. And that's a nice chunk of change, right? Gets you going. So advertising is another one. It's gonna be really hard. The more competitive, the more money you make more challenging. It's gonna be. So you want O build up to it. You want to work up to it, right? Climb the mountain. So rates are great. These air stock rates, but day rates are also significantly higher than at least double what you're gonna find an editorial rates at least. Plus you might get usage as well. So you might get this on top of the day rate. That will be higher. They're going to more complicated. But again, they should be something you're thinking about. Who do I want to shoot for? Maybe have one commercial client, one advertising client I could tell you when I was doing on Lee. Still photography. I had only one or two commercial clients a year that I would work for. I did a lot of wineries. Actually, it's a little known fact. Enjoyed it like why? It's not bad. And I get to go out and its landscape photography at the end of the day in beautiful, beautiful places and you're out from morning until evening. And it was really, really enjoyable. And I did one a year, and it was great, great money. And it worked out really well, right? Um, you don't have to actually have them If you do them all the time. Great. You're gonna become really big. You know, you'll be the next Chase Jarvis. That's what he does. Retail products. I've plugged this stuff a lot, but I'm gonna talk to you a little bit more about it. I started very fortunate. My first book was in 2000 and nine, on the national parks, and it was the beginning of an entire chain of events. Essentially, up till today, we're now These images from the 1st 1 is actually the newest book, which was this image was shot with Creative Live, By the way, this one right here cover of my new book Have a shot in my first creative life class. The national parks and book deals air really great, and these are probably the best instead of shooting for advertising the best advertisement for you, right to make you an authority on the subject matter. Um, you know, a deal is something that it's really great. You can pitch, find small publishers. They will take your pitches. These days. It's pretty approachable for a lot of people. I mean, I even emailed some television networks, and I've had luck. You know, it's it's amazing how often people are reachable. If you have something to offer, that's tangible. I have a great pitch on email. I've got one or two sentences. I don't send them a wall attacks that they're never going to re eight. I say here, So I am. And here's what I have that makes me special and unique to you and you will find value in May. People want to make money in business. I come in and I say, Here's why you're going to do it So when I got a book, my first book deal, I had a great relationship with a non profit. They became a partner. They helped me promote it. I had an audience that had been building and so help me build success. I had a campaign or behind it. I was a former marketing executive at a movie studios able to use that knowledge to build a campaign. I offered that that got me my first book, That book performed that Got Me. And in my second book. Now I'm on number five or six. I don't know if you count these so and then the books could be diversified. And so I diversify those in a product. Cesaire. No cards. Little note cards have a journal line with photos that are inside inspirational quotes, coloring books now on pages. I know a lot of photography. I don't do these things. Magnets, cups, T shirts. They're doing those things and they're do well. They might get a one time licence to produce 50,000 magnets or whatever. You know my buddy Jeremy. He's one of our photographers On the on the roster. He does magnets in Joshua Tree National Park in a store. Good little generator for him. He's talented photographer, you know, that's his thing, you know. And now with our decor, when I say our decor, let's talk about this stuff on the walls. But there's a lot of new products that could be used. All you gotta do is upload. Your file generates revenue. Maybe the royalties are low. Sure, that might be. It depends. You might get 8 to 10%. You might see a dollar to here and there on your royalty report, you might say, Well, that's not great. Yeah, but a dollar on something that's only $5 is 20%. That's not bad. Basically got to produce the product, ship it, sell it marketed and have people running their company as well. And by the way, you're not doing anything other than take that photo up to that point. That's all the work. And now it's going to work for you while you're out taking more photos and keep it going. Reasonable expectations. If you want to have a career in this. The diversification XKE. So retail products or a large part of that, Um, books are interesting. I think it's, you know, you can do well ish. Um, you know, you're not retiring on one. I think they're a great advertisement in the making authority on it. It's harder than ever before to do a book, I think. But they're doing well again and anybody who's right. A lot of the news stories. There's a lot of people talking about it. I think in the digital age, what's happened with books, Um, and this is why I like doing them myself as well. It's great to see your stuff in print. How many people are shooting hundreds and hundreds of thousands of New Jersey? You know how often you actually see it in print. Even if getting published all the time, you're not seeing and print all that long. It's great to see your stuff in print. In the digital age, all we do is stare at screens. I think the same reason books are doing really well. You can hold them, you can gift them. You can put him out our line, your shelves, making part of decoration. You see them in great going to grate on a high end fashion furniture store. And what do they have everywhere? Books, you know? I mean, it's great. So in a way, that kind of going through a whole new Renaissance and now, with obviously the ability to buy them online and so on. There's grab changed market creates stores for yourself. I mean your retail product. You can sell them on your website. The bigger your audience and social media, the more of them you can sell. Um, and you should be able to get a piece of them as well. You want deals where you get a retail piece, right? Don't want to do a flat rate. You do license that license my images all the time. National parks, images for books you can also my publishers able to resell the license of the book. So this book, National Geographic bought the rights, the whole book and then published in Europe. Fantastic. So there's a lot of different opportunities in their, um, and I think it's very important, but retail products or key, you want to think about it. No cards or another great one where you can If you're working local, let's hear in a small town, you know, and you've got a little strip mall with A with a local shop. It's not a big chain. You don't walk into a big chain because they have a whole buying program. You want to find somebody local. Maybe you can produce your own note cards and sell them. I know people who do that as well. They might make make an extra 100 bucks or 200 bucks a month, takes him a few hours a day to run him off on a printer. They look beautiful where they haven't produced online for 30 cents each, and they sell him for 4 99 each. That's what it takes, diversifies and its new revenue. Once there, there, there, there they sell. When they run out, you produce more. That's the pillars of revenue. This is Ah, what a book proposal Looks like. Um, I know it's super small. I'm not gonna get into the details. I also don't want to show too much of this in great detail in here. But essentially, this is my new film, Hidden Pacific. So even this I don't do a whole lot of the book proposals as much anymore. But you want to show samples of it, right? You want to show some sample photos? We'll talk about the marketplace for a book like that. If you have a publishing history, what it is bio. Maybe in here I have some praise, marketing and support. What organizations do you have? What partnerships do you have? You know, who do you work with that can help support it and what's it about? And then how many images do you have? And then what do you see? It as Is that a hard cover? How many pages? Soft cover. You have a guide to have a writer writing the guide and you're doing the photos. Those are the things you should answer. But the key pieces to take away from this is you know what it's about. It's about a film. What? That's about who your partners are, how you're gonna get it out there, who you are, what you've done in the past, why people should care and why The market says it's ready. That's what you need in a good book proposal and then sample chapters. But those are photos for most of us. So those are the pillars of revenue. I think that's where you get your money from. That's where you should see your diversity from. It's not limited to those things, but I think those are the good foundational elements that you need to think about. Any questions on that? Four. Start talking about branding. So to find the details on some of that thing, some of those things like, um, so you don't have partnerships. Okay? How do you Is it just getting out there and talking to people? Yeah, I'm pitching it. Yeah. Okay. Yeah, I'm you know, this is gonna talk more about partnerships in a minute in general because I think that there's a general way that they could help your business when it comes to a book. Specifically, Ah, partnership is really about the marketing partnerships audiences. So you might consider giving a cut or a percentage of your book to an organization you care about. So, like every book I have, there's proceeds going to at least three different organizations. I can think of off the top of my head. Um and it benefits them Nonprofits who support the conservation initiatives and things that I I believe in a lot of times you can designate that. In fact, it's probably better if you designate that. But you also wanna, you know, they also have reached, and so you, in exchange for that, they help get your book out there to right? And so you maybe they have an audience. Um, so one way to think about a partnership is, let's say you have, um, an organization of 400,000 members and you want the, uh, you want the book of obviously to be seen by all them Because they're the core group would say It's a national parks book and say the National Park Organization is 400,000 members. You know that they all love the national parks. Well, that's 400, people you can reach. Think of publishers. You be interested in that. By the way, to hit the best seller list, you'll need about 6500 copies of a photography book sold in the marketplace so it doesn't take a whole lot to get on. That list might be a little higher these days, but not more in about 10,000. So you know book is doing really well. If you're selling 3000 hardcover copies in a year, that's pretty good for photography book. So if you're walking in the door with an organization, has 400,000 members and there's a good chance that you might be able to sell somewhere, maybe they want to buy 500 advance at a discount. That's the kind of partnerships I'm thinking about for publishing now as a photographer, filmmaker, There's a lot of other kinds of partnerships. There's his ability, promote partnerships. Um, you know, you might do events studio. You might try and co brand on a product that's completely different that nobody's getting any real financial gain out of, but they're getting marketing invisibility out of, um, you know, I've had a lot of partnerships with our company over the years with local businesses. Just toe have the local community be aware that were part of it that were business. That's their you know, will host events. We pay for food and drink, and we do a movie screening or slideshow and other companies were invited and they bring in their people and yeah, I always call it the X factor. I called partnerships and a lot of these types of things the X factor in the sense that you don't have a clear and goal out of wire doing it, but by meeting more people, talking to more people and interacting into expanding your network essentially, what we're talking about. Partnerships. By expanding your network, you're starting to open the door to more possibilities and ideas that you might not otherwise have on your own. That's why you know, even things like creative life are great because you're getting so many ideas. And new new pieces of elements going to conferences are great. Getting new ideas from people, your colleagues. You know, each other in this room. I'm sure just talking together. You're learning things from each other. That's really what partnerships in my minor about. But in the term of publishing, um, so I did another book called The Art of Adventure, and I edited that book. I only had, like, two pictures, I think, in the whole thing, but it was really a book that was produced internally, Um, with me and one other in are in the company and the book. Um, we brought in Ah ah, couple different organizations to write essays. I think I brought in six, I think something like that. Six organizations and they were all magazines that you've heard of big magazines that you've heard of. And I asked each photo editor, You know, would you be interested in writing an essay to talk about why adventure photography is important to you? Keep a general 500 words. It's all I need. Sure, Why not? Would be great. My name's out there. I got a hardcover coffee table book I wrote. The essay makes them a little bit of an authority. You send them a couple free copies, etcetera. Well, guess what? When it comes time to promote the book, guess which magazines will include articles and stories about in their social media. Six magazines you included. That is a good strategic partnership and benefits everyone, um, especially the author, but includes them, too, because now they have something to show people

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Bonus Materials with Purchase


Ratings and Reviews


Ian was an amazing instructor.; very fun, enthusiastic, encouraging, and comprehensive. I hope to be able to return as an audience member for another of his classes. It is a privilege and a gift to have access via Creative Live to such a wealth of expertise. Thank you!

Cindee Still

Ian Shive is a dynamic speaker with a wealth of knowledge he is willing to share. He has had a magical path that led to his success. He touches on so many aspects of making, selling and creating images as well as how to market them and make an income from your work. It is so much fun to be part of the studio audience. The Creative Live staff are always so warm and friendly and they feed you like your on a cruise ship! Wonderful experience.


What a great class this has been. Thank you Ian Shive and Creative Live! Recently retired, I have set out to learn everything I can about photography and pursue this passion to capture the beauty in the outdoors. Creative Live has served as an amazing educational platform to help me learn everything from how to use my camera, the fundamental technicals, and learn about software and tools. This class brought it all together. At the end of this class my approach to photography and my images are different. Ian shares so much valuable knowledge that will change the way you go about taking a picture; from scouting a location, to thinking through the story and adding elements to an image to evoke an emotional response. My personal growth has been significant and I have changed to the way I approach creating an image from an Outdoor Landscape to an Outdoor Experience. Loved every minute of it, sad the class is over.

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