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If you are a creative director, art buyer, graphic designer, blogger, print media publisher, printer, or web designer, Cutcaster‘s fast search engine will find the content you’re looking for: blog pictures, PowerPoint images, book covers, clip art, advertising images and web design thumbnails, all for as little as $1. Register for free to browse, buy, bid on, and download images.
If you make graphic illustrations, creative photographs, or other artwork, join our community of creative contributors and submit your work. We will help you access millions of creative buyers worldwide, turning your creative content into cash.
It feels like déjà vu all over again, doesn’t it?
Fall seems to be the season for falling commissions. We’ve seen it in the past with the big boys, and now even the smaller players are dropping photographers’ commissions without a second thought. Is it because companies are in dire financial straits? Or are they simply indifferent to the contributors on which they rely? Do they have so much supply that pissing off a few photographers won’t affect the behavior of the majority? Are venture capitalists swooping in to squeeze money out of their investments at the contributors’ expense? Or is it just good old-fashioned corporate greed?
I am frustrated and mad. I have many friends who sell photos, and who are negatively affected by declining commissions. I also own a business that is trying to succeed in an industry where agencies seem to operate behind a cloak of secrecy, while photographers passively accept changes that suck for them. Commissions are falling, agencies are lowering prices to compete, and supply is inflated. The industry has grown stagnant as a few companies monopolize it, leaving little room for smaller companies to compete. Most photographers are uncertain about what, if any, course of action to take.
But we must not cower in the face of uncertainty. We need change and we need to act now. Here are some ways to get started:
1. Remove links to sites that reduce payouts without notice or to sites that keep details hidden in confusing press releases. Don’t market sites that don’t care about YOUR bottom line.
2. Do link to sites from your blog, website or portfolio site that pay higher commissions, even if they have less sales for you. These sites need your help getting links in order for them to affect positive change in the industry. Don’t stand idly by while the established players lock you into a worse future.
3. Stop referring buyers to your lower paying commission sites and start sending them to sites that pay you better commissions.
4. Start an upload embargo for 6 months to a year. Don’t upload new or exclusive content to sites that decrease payouts without notice or discussion.
5. Upload to sites with lower payout thresholds and commit to keeping those limits low.
6. Don’t go exclusive with one agency. Only go exclusive with certain new uploads that you know sell better at certain sites, and only with sites that pay you a high commission.
7. Delete your portfolio from sites that do not clearly explain their commission and pricing strategies.
8. Explain to buyers how royalty drops hurt your individual business, and let them know that they can get the same images for the same prices at sites that help you by paying higher commission. Most photo buyers do care about you and about the photography industry; they need to know that you are getting unfairly screwed and that they can help reverse this at no extra cost to them.
9. Commit to a new agency that you trust on a non-exclusive basis. Support them with your uploads and, if you choose, a small amount of exclusive content for them to market. Write a blog article or post in a forum about the agency and why you chose it.
10. Convince fellow photographers to act with you, taking concrete steps TODAY towards improving your situation.
Photographers and photo buyers have strength in numbers. It takes a cooperative community of people to affect lasting change. If you feel commission drops are unfair and non-transparent, ACT. Your actions will speak for themselves.
Please comment below with any suggestions or ideas that we can add to the list. Your ideas can help change the industry!
If you are like us you don’t like advertisements. In fact, the majority of the people really despise adverts. They can be misleading, annoying and lack creativity. But if you can use humor, wit and intelligence to get your point across that people get, then you have got yourself a winner. We know a great ad when we see one. They make you take notice and talk about it when you are with your friends. You might even share the ad with friends and not even think its an ad because it is so humorous or smart. Check out these ads below to see how the creators avoided making the advertisement intrusive, deceptive and boring and used humor to get their point across.
For more funny, gruesome, sexy and bizarre ads that will inspire you check out these 30 hilarious print ads.
Understanding multiple revenue streams in today’s economy can give you a leg up over other photographers competing in your industry. Over at the Virtual Photography Studio blog, the writers posted an interesting article on expanding your photography income so you are not relying on only one source of income to pay all your living expenses and retire on. It’s more common for less experienced photographers to only have one source of income and not diversify their streams of income. This could potentially set themselves up for money troubles if that revenue stream dries up one day. The article talks about setting up multiple streams of income so that as a photographer you can have several sources money coming in, thus making it more unlikely that all your cash will dwindle to zero because you have been relying on one source to supply you with all your money. If you are a photographer, who is just starting out or need a few ideas for how you can make more money with your photography this is a great way to educate yourself on other money making options your photography skills can bring you.
Here are the top three extra sources of revenue that we found to be the most interesting for our readers.
1. For obvious reasons- Stock/Microstock
As you are shooting an event or a portrait, why not spend a little extra time creating stock images? Microstock may not pay well per image, but add it up over time with a bunch of different images selling well, and you’ll quickly have a very effective stream of income.
Why not teach your clients how to use their digital cameras better? Or bring them in for a fun craft project involving their portrait experience? Great add-on sale with a portrait experience.
Many different product and service businesses offer partnership opportunities where you make a commission if you bring in a sale. While it may not be much, every little bit helps. And if you end up bringing in $100 from to different partnerships every month, it quickly becomes a pretty significant part of your monthly revenue.
Photographer Lissy Laricchia recently photographed a series of different fairy tale characters getting sucked back into their respective books while flying through the air. We are digging the concept and dream-like atmosphere that the images give off. Check out the “Get Back In Your Book” by Lissy Laricchia over at DJ storms blog and watch out your don’t get sucked in yourself.
If you are in need of a template for some legal contracts before you sell your work check out the PACA website for a legal guide. It includes NDAs, Collection of Claims, Contributor Agreements, Distribution Agreements, any Website Agreements, Copyright Registration Forms, Infringement Letters, Litigation Forms and Release Forms. Just about every contract or “put you to sleep” material you could ever want in one place.
While you have to be a member to access the database, which costs a bit of cash but it might be worth it depending on the size of your archive and the number of employees you have. A good person to speak with is Nancy Wolf. Or you can copy and use the Cutcaster agreements if you want. We don’t mind