Shooting for Social Media vs Stock
This is where it gets a little tricky because Social Media is having a major influence on stock photography buyers seeking new fresh sources of imagery. You would think with all the billions of images that are in the marketplace, that you have no chance of having your stuff seen. The truth is, there's not a lot of great work out there. You're seeing a lot of the same things I can. I can name three locations right now. If I never see them again, I'd be very happy. I'm not gonna tell you cause I don't want dis those places. But I can tell you now that you need to really branch out and not just photograph the hot spots that are cool and that you see on social media, you know, like the guy like I mean, I do it and it's fun. Did you start photography with the headlamp going up? We barely sell them. We barely accept him. We definitely sell him, but barely yet. If it goes on social media, you have 45,000 lights in no time at all. Just because it's popular on social media doesn't mean it's goi...
ng to sell well We have a lot of photographers who are extremely successful. Lots and lots of followers and their images know, necessarily sell the best. So you have to figure out, um, where those two things are and who your audience is, because the people who are liking images aren't, you would think are the audience right? So you would think the editors may be published more of that. But the truth is, doesn't support a story. It's just a cool image but doesn't always support a story and has to support a story. If you're writing about this trail, no one's gonna publish an image of somebody with star somewhere else, no matter how many likes it has. So it's still the relevance of your image is very important in social media. Magazines are finding images cheap on social media. I will tell you that that is the truth. We've seen it at our office. It's the reality. They're finding images, but they have challenges. Just because it's this big square and really cool doesn't mean it's worth the two page spread. They might have shot it with a very low end device, Yet you can't tell when you're looking on on social media. So that's something that's important distinction to make. Social media can lead to sales for that very reason. Ah, a lot of pro photographers are definitely getting found there, but you know, it's it's your you have a voice there and it can lead to sales for a lot of reasons, including just being, uh, having your work seen. But it's it's generally very specific. They're looking for very specific trail or a hash tag that hits their campaign. You know, whatever. Maybe a travel and tourism campaign or something like that Social media can lead to a lot of misconceptions and pitfalls has already said, because private online doesn't mean it's what buyers want filters and things like that. They come and go. Trends come and go. Be careful to know the difference between a trend and, uh, just some passing, uh, you know, gimmick, you don't want to fall for that. You want to try and figure out like, where is the direction of certain things really going? What do people need? I've never seen the Iceland trend come way, way, way early, you know, now you see everything. I have seen the same waterfall guy don't so many times it's one of the plate locations, but I saw that coming way early. I mean, had I've been shooting, I probably would have been one of the first people in there. And I saw it coming cause you started to see I mean, just coming in, articles getting written, you gotta pay attention. That's a That's a story trend. Same thing for style. Whether you like, you're not social media acts like a resume for the photographer. A lot of times you might pitch somebody. The first thing they're gonna go do is look at your social media. They're gonna look for consistency of style. That's the one thing we always look for our photographers. I don't want to see five different styles of photography out of one person to see consistent look and feel. So if they're going assignment, where they sent us a library, that it feels like it's all part of the same thing. And so that's very important to have a consistent look and feel. How much should you invest in social media to get value out of it? It I'm gonna leave this up to you. I don't really do a whole lot. I might get more out of it if I did. I find it doesn't have an equal amount of time versus return for me. I'm also established. I've been doing it a long time. I have the relationships I want to have with the people I wanna have them with. Open to new ones. But I'm busy and I'm happy. I don't need to put a lot in. You may really want to find new people. Maybe social media is a great gateway for that. It depends if you're enjoying it. Nothing wrong with it. Theon Stock photography though social work can push you to other revenues and channels forward. Yes, fine art print sales. If you have products, books, things like that. I've seen people with massive followings do very, very well, but having a print sale or some other form of revenue generating by having a good social media following. So it's immediate inhibit sales potential on Lee if you're putting up the wrong things, so just remember, it's your brand, it's you. It's your identity. Control it from top to bottom and only put the things you want everyone to see, should you charge and do a social media takeover and if so, how much? This is a new thing takeover. So much channel their page. Whatever, um, it's up to you. Usually the rates are low. People are paying for photographers to take over their social media and post X number of times a day they pay. Proposed to pay per day were maybe a flat rate to go. A lot of times they will pay a little extra if you're already going on assignment for them. Ah, lot of other times they may expect it, Um, and just say, If you want to do it, do it and you'll get more followers A lot of times the outlet you're shooting for has a lot more followers in you and you have enough. There's an upside to it. You may have another motive for doing it, building awareness so on so forth. So you have to just figure out what, what does it mean to charge? I would even say charges of the right word. I would say value, How much value are you getting out of it? Getting it through audience promotion? Are you getting paid? You have to determine what the value is to you. What should I shoot? Um, for stock photography? As I said, What do you need? I hear it. I hear it all the time. What do you need? I'm going here. Don't ask if you have to ask. You lost good lost. Go walk to the airport, walk down to the end of the terminal and tell me if you don't know what's being published. There are three different magazine shops and 45 different ads. That's what's being published. That's what we need more of, that you have to research your subject matter. You have to know it very well. If it's something very, very specific and very detailed, or somebody else is looking for something that's very, very specific, maybe, but the truth is an agency like ours and a lot of other places. We already published what we need. If it's not on that list, we don't have a need. We need you to go and assume that's the trick. With stock photography is you've got to be ahead of it enough to go and shoot it so that somebody already has that need to pull it. It's like you're guessing that's what makes it tricky you're investing in the future need. So there's no crystal ball for that wish. Don't just fill in the age, create trends and differentiate yourself. It's more or less the same things that I just said. Do your research. How do your images fit in? How do you fit in? That's a really good one. When you're doing stock photography, look at what's on our site. Look what's on other sites. Look what's on. Um, look what's on in a magazine or on a cover or whatever. Does your image look like that? Do you feel like you're shooting that kind of work? If not, you need to be honest with yourself. And maybe you're not ready to compete in that space. You know? Are you shooting all the same thing? Are you shooting the same trees over and over and over again in the same place, 400 different ways. Not going to make money on that stock photography You do a little might be beautiful. He might make some, but you're not going to be making a career out of it. You have to be realistic about that needs lists or the thing that exists not all stock photography needs to be sold from an agency. This is something I want to really emphasize. You should host your own library. You should be marketing your own work. The more you market your own work and understand what it's like to work with buyers to sell from your own library, the more you understand what you should be giving to your stock agency to sell on your behalf. It will help you identify what is working and what is not. Many magazines issue needs list, which talk about editorial topics being covered in upcoming issue. A lot of have editorial calendars for the entire year. You can see what they're going to publish in December of next year, long before uh, the issue comes out or before they even start editing the issue so you can start. If you really are trying to break in, you might want to try and shoot that on spec. Asked to get on those lists. Ask, Don't harass many stock photo agencies. Air publishing their own needs lists. Take advantage is usually where we want to fill gaps in the archive. This is what our needs list looks like. Don't emails. Every male in there you can but don't, Um, unless you have something you want to cells obscure. Ah, Washington state. Colorado, San Francisco. There's a pretty generic, but these air gaps in our archive, You know, we have a lot of Montana work, but we don't have enough. We're not seeing enough new stuff coming in so anywhere in Montana, Landscape seeks lifestyle to activity. These are very These are very broad. Very, very broad. This is the 3 60 VR video stills. We're starting to see this come up as a stop request. If you're producing it, you know, let us know. Sometimes they get very specific. This is a specific needs list that we got recently. Uh, little latitude and longitude. Somebody asks us of a geo tagging earlier. There you have it. Latitude, longitude, doing any more specific than this. But this is what determines the sale. Now, you don't need to be at 0.781 Right? But you need to be on the trail, and you need to be doing something along those along those along that way. So it's a very important thing. Um, you know, being specific is part important, but also being generic enough is important to so it's a real fine balance. What about motion clips for a second time, lapses or super popular? But are they good for sales? Is when I mean of course, yes and no. We have never bone. We produce a lot of video content every year. We never really, by time, lapse as we shoot them. We use him, Um, but I don't see a huge market for them. Other people do. Other people have seen more. I think it's the clips that get you from one spot to the next. It's that little fillers, the detail shots, the leaf, the wind blow that's blowing the texture, all of those kinds of elements that people are looking for. You know, maybe stars moving overhead could work as a time lapse. Those kinds of things, passage of time. It does work there very, very popular. We get asked that all the time. Um, but really, I think it's it's a lot of other stuff. And so in the class for capturing stock, I'm gonna really show you what motion clips for us really are compelling and have the most potential for earnings doesn't mean you'll never sell time lives that probably sell very well for some people who do really beautiful work. But there is an entire world beyond that. But they're fun to do. And so people tend to do a lot of them. Rates can be per clipper per second people Bill based on parade. I'm sorry. By per clipper per second so similar to images, you might pay 75 bucks to 5500 for a clip or you may, they may pay per second. Recently, we had somebody come in and they're paying $50 per second of actually used footage. So there's three seconds $150. Um, and rates do vary, of course, like the entire industry. But like I said, the upside could be lucrative. One commercial, Clifton generate thousands of dollars if you decide to go that route