Author Archives: cutcaster

Conversation with Large and Informed Buyer

Recently we had a conversation with a large and very informed buyer.  We wanted to pass along these nuggets of wisdom and knowledge (these are shorthand notes to help you the reader):


Looking for more diversity with university and middle school students.  For school kids, they need different types of schools…urban, public, etc and avoid trendy clothes and looks if they take off uniforms.


Need plenty of older and younger, not a lot in the middle.


Wood working class was too posed, and needed to have safety gear.


Too many posed shots and not enough looking like they where engaged.


School kids form other cultures like South America.


Looking for more disabled, not just the elderly, but all types of disabilities with them doing every day things (not focused on the disability).


Native Americans living in every day life with demographics in keywords


Need more photos with minorities in them and to be keyworded with the word ‘minority’ because this is a popular search term.

Having trouble making your website?

Having trouble designing your very own website….fear not my brave friends, we have some nice links for you to make your website building experience fun instead of frustrating!


But first, if you just don’t have the time or don’t really care to know how to build your own and just want an easy, ready to go platform to display your lovely photo’s…we suggest you look into…


Jalbum – With this fun and free software, you will have many different themes and designs to choose from to display your own photo lovin’ website (these are called skins).  Jalbum boasts free software, free hosting and a friendly community.  So if you don’t feel like starting from scratch, you should dive in and give them a try.


Now, some helpful links for those that want a more personal approach for their website…the brave builders with their own design in mind.


We’ll start off this venture with HTML and CSS help:


Having trouble keeping your code clean…does it look unkept and messy?  Well, there is a great article called 12 Principles for Keeping Your Code Clean by Chris Coyier for cleaning up that mess!  This article provides screen shots of how to clean it up and some before and after shots of what looks clean.


I know what your thinking, yes I want clean code, but how can I streamline this never ending process!  You can stop pulling out your hair now, because Megan McDermott has created a wonderful article on 21 Ways to Streamline Your CSS.  Or if you would like a little more information about streamlining and keeping your code clean, there is also this nifty little article by Jacob Gube: Resetting Your Styles with CSS Reset.  So now that you have learned how to keep the code clean, you can breeze through the process.  What more could you ask for???


How about when you run into problems and you just don’t know how to fix them or even how to avoid them?  Slamming your keyboard and cursing at your monitor is just not fixing the problem, huh? Well maybe you should look into this blog post – Using CCS to Fix Anything: 20+ Common Bugs and Fixes.  This is only the first part of a series, so if your problem isn’t on there…it could be in the future.


Finally, you’re probably wondering what could make life a little easier…how about some cheat sheets!  Here is a comprehensive list of cheat sheets ready to print Cheat Sheets for Front-end Web Developers.  Don’t spend grueling hours trying to remember the code when you can just look it up on your cheat sheet.




Now that you have the coding in check, what about the Design of your website?



Are those creative juices letting you down?  Do you have too many ideas to narrow them down?  Or is it just taking your forever to accomplish your design?


If it’s taking you forever to accomplish your design, what you need to know are the 48+ Greatest Adobe Photoshop Keyboard Shortcuts provided by Dainis Graveris.  So stop all the mousing around and go faster with your keyboard!


Still wondering how to get things done in Photoshop?  Have an idea, but not sure how to apply it?  Well, what you need are some tutorials and Dainis Graveris is helping in that area too with 45 Photoshop Tutorial Sites.  Learning Photoshop doesn’t require a 4 year college degree when you can learn from others tutorials….so save yourself those college years.


Looking for some structure?  Not sure how to make your design strategy?  Look no further as Kathy McShea has an intriguing post Web Design Strategy Step-by-Step.  This post will give you the questions to ask yourself on how and what you want out of your design.  It will help you get organized and provide a structure for your website.


Looking for a dark website design but unsure how dark?  Need some inspiration to see what others dark websites look like?  We all need inspiration and Jacob Gube has provided and excellent blog post to help you see what dark can do: 50 Beautifully Dark Web Designs.  So check it out and watch how a dark background on your website can make your colors pop!



Wanting to check your websites usability without is costing you your first born child?


Checking your sites usability can be an expensive task, so let’s look into some cheaper options:


To help your users navigate your website without expensive testing, there is 10 Usability Tips for Web Designers.  This blog post helps you remember important components that should be added into your website for your visitors.


Wondering about your interface and how easy it is for your visitors?  Where should I put my buttons, how should I space me text, and what colors should I use?  Well, all these questions and much more are answered in 10 Useful Techniques to Improve Your User Interface Designs. 



Now you may be wondering about your hyperlinks and how to make them stand out from the rest of the information on your website.  David Hamills blog post Let your hyperlinks shine not only tells you why to have hyperlinks, but also how to make them get noticed on your website.


Wondering why people are ditching your site once they are on it?  Don’t understand what is wrong?  Then you should probably read 14 free tools that reveal why people abandon your website.  These tools will help you realize where you have gone wrong and why people are leaving.  Having a better understanding of why people are leaving your website will help you get a better understanding on how to make them stay!



Don’t worry, we’re not going to leave you hanging here…let’s get some finishing touches on that website of yours!


Times New Roman just not your style?  Looking for something a little more eye catching or wild and crazy?  You might want to check out 40+ Excellent Freefonts For Professional Design to feed your need for exciting font.


Another question that might be looming in your head is what about the color? What colors should I use and how will they affect my visitors?  Good question and Colourlovers is here to help you. They even provide color trends!  But if you’re looking for something a little more color basic, you should take a peak at this Colorchart.


In conclusion, we hope you find all this information helpful – so now it’s time to get to work!

New Image Ideas for your new year shoots

At Cutcaster, we have been speaking with more and more with the magazines out there and are hearing from quite a few that they are working on their spring issues. This is a great time to think about upcoming shoots. Here are some ideas we heard kicked around from our calls.

1. Spring Break travel spots/Concepts
2. Kids activities inside or outdoors
3. Fixing up the home/Home Renovation
4. Diet/dieting concepts
5. Upcoming fitness season
6. House/Spring cleaning
7. Home Gardening
8. Moving Season

Lets kick around some ideas here and see what new shots we can come up with. I will make sure it is seen.

Beware of the Doghouse, Cutcaster Men ;-)


Great video from JCPenny on “the Doghouse.” We have all been there. I’ll probably be sent back there again by the time the year is over ;-) Will bring a smile to your face. Have a great weekend and go get your holiday presents.

Full Credits
Client: JC Penney
Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi, New York
Chief Creative Officer: Gerry Graf
Executive Creative Director: Amie Valentine
CD/Copywriter: Josh Rubin
CD/Art Director: Jason Musante
Head of Digital Production: John Swartz
Integrated Producer: Kwame Taylor-Hayford
Senior Producer: John Doris
Director: Bryan Buckley
Production Company: Hungry Man
Executive Producer: Kevin Byrne
Producer: Mino Jarjoura
Post Production: Big Sky
Editor: Chris Franklin

The PLUS Coalition. Your thoughts?

I had a conversation last week with Jeff Sedlik from PLUS about using their licensing framework at Cutcaster. How many of you have heard of PLUS?

If you don’t know about PLUS it is an international non-profit initiative on a mission to simplify and facilitate the communication and management of image rights. So what does that mean in English…well, PLUS is a system of standards that makes it easier to communicate, understand and manage image rights in all countries.

What are peoples thoughts on using PLUS as an option for licensing images on the site? What do you feel are the pros and cons? I want to open this up to discussion because this site is as much yours as it is ours.

I think some really interesting news for people who are selling their images is that “three major publishers have called for the adoption of the PLUS (Picture Licensing Universal System) standards by picture archives, photographers and all other image suppliers. Representatives of McGraw Hill, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, and Pearson each announced that they will adopt the PLUS Picture Licensing Glossary definitions in their contracts, and that they encourage image suppliers to begin embedding PLUS license metadata in all images within one year.” Personally I think more will follow and this will be a good opportunity for contributors to Cutcaster but we are all ears here so let us know what you think.

For the latest news on PLUS to see what they are doing check this out.

Photographers Unite

More great news out of Getty ;-)

Photographers are suing Getty Images over a subscription pricing plan. The group of stock photographers has filed a class-action lawsuit which asserts that by including rights-managed stock images in the Getty Images Premium Access subscription product, Getty violated copyright and broke its contract with rights-managed contributors. The suit says Getty’s product makes rights-managed images available under royalty-free license terms for unreasonably low prices.

According to the class action suit, Getty is paying photographers a pro-rata share of Premium Access fees when their images are downloaded through the program. Payments have been as low as $2.08, according to the lawsuit – substantially lower than a photographer’s share of a traditional rights-managed stock sale. “In Premium Access, Getty essentially allows its customers to set the amount of photographers’ royalties themselves,” the suit says. “Not surprisingly, this results in royalties equal to a tiny fraction of the commercial value of the photographers’ photographs.”

Makes me sick. Getty is undercutting the market and destroying the value of these images even more in the future. Here is to Photographers flexing their muscles, demanding change and expecting a fair shake. This is a great step and development.

Happy Halloween

Hope everyone has a great today and dressed up. Happy Halloween.

I thought I would throw up some of my past costumes. I’ll add some more as I can find them.

That is me with the white shirt in the back and the sword.

Thats me in the backrow as the Nerd. And again below.


That’s not me but thought it sort of looked like me. hahahaha.

I’ll try to dig up some other funny ones.

Controlled Vocabulary at Cutcaster

Well, I am back for a moment from the Wild wild west of keyword-land and wanted to give you a quick update from the front lines.

First, I want to say thank you to the contributors who have gone back in and refined their keywords to describe just what is in the images and vectors and also add the commas back in. It is a big help and your continued help is very much needed.

While going through the keywords and getting them as descriptive as possible and in line with the searching tools we are about to unleash, you will notice that some of your files will now have the option to edit keywords locked on your media details page. You will not be able to re-edit these files’ keywords. You will still be able to edit everything else about the file but the keywords are now locked and you must send us an email if you would like to add or take out keywords now going forward. This is so we can get some control over the keywords that are being used in the database and also make our search only return relevant results.

Here are some things to help you that relate to controlled vocabulary.

“Think Like a Buyer:
Buyers are looking for images that clearly represent the subject matter of the images without your interpretation or guesswork. For example, an image of a child at the beach eating a dripping ice cream cone clearly conveys summer. A studio food shot of an ice cream cone does not necessarily imply the same concept or meaning. A buyer who specifically has ice cream in mind to represent summer will use search terms to find “ice cream cone”, not summer.

-Apply keywords consistently. If windsurfing should alternatively be keyworded as; wind surfing, then ALL of your windsurfing / wind surfing images should contain both versions of the word.

-Do not apply human attributes and emotions to images of animals; For example; love, smiling and happy are ok if used with images of humans, but “smiling dog” is likely to confuse a researcher.”

We are going to be introducing our new “controlled vocabulary” very soon which will help everyone and are excited to get our keywords under control. If you have any questions please post below and I will be more than happy to explain.