Whether shooting high fashion or senior pictures, these 7 Deadly Sins of Portrait Photography are on the mark. Some are technical tips, some are advice about the relationship/interaction with your subject, but all add up to the difference between great and bad portrait photography. We at Cutcaster would love more interesting and well shot portraits, portraits that seem to tell a story- like this one:
Coming up next Monday we”ll be posting a blog featuring our winter sports lightbox, so we thought it would be a good time to have our sellers check out this blog post on how best to capture one of the hardest types of sports to shoot. Snow+Sun+Action can be incredibly difficult to shoot, but also totally worth the effort.
Don’t forget to refer your friends. We have an excellent referral program!
National Geographic has over 100 years of experience putting the best images by the best photographers on its pages. Their website has a section devoted to their present and past photography and photographers. Get inspired by their Photo of the Day archive, live vicariously through their photo blog, Proof, featuring the stories behind the international shoots, and pick up photo tips direct from National Geographic photographers.
Take the time to peruse this incredible collection of photography and think about what makes these images so amazing- so National Geographic worthy.
Here are two very short videos to help you understand how the new lightbox system works. We have a few more tweaks to make to the feature but the first video shows you how you should be
creating a new image lightbox and then second video shows you how you can add an image to a photo lightbox.
We will be releasing shortly the ability to delete lightboxes, set them to public vs private and also the ability to easily send them via the site instead of copying and pasting the URL into an email to someone. Hope these help and please pass along your feedback regarding the lightbox functionality.
It’s Monday and everyone is dragging a bit. To kick-start the week off right, Acris Design posted a great selection of Photo-shopped art that will make your eyeballs love you and your mouth water with excitement. If you need a little inspiration to kick off the week check out these 35 Photos to jump-start your creativity.
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.
For those of you who use Photoshop CS4, you will want to be aware of a “critical vulnerability” that was found in Photoshop CS4
11.0.1 and earlier for Windows and Macintosh.
Here is a short summary of the problem:
“Critical vulnerabilities have been identified in Photoshop CS4 11.0.1 and earlier for Windows and Macintosh that could allow an
attacker who successfully exploits these vulnerabilities to take control of the affected system. A malicious .ASL, .ABR, or .GRD file
must be opened in Photoshop CS4 by the user for an attacker to be able to exploit these vulnerabilities. Adobe recommends Photoshop CS4
customers update to Photoshop CS4 11.0.2, which resolves these issues.”
Having the correct and most relevant keywords associated with your files will not only get them in front of the most interested visitors but will improve your ranking in our new search engine. Here are 10 suggestions you can think about when keywording your images.
1. You only need between ten to fifteen (5-15) keywords. Twenty-five (25) is the most. More descriptive keywords means better search results, bringing in more users, which means more sales for your images at higher prices then other sites. We would rather have fewer files that have better keywords than more files with plenty of irrelevant keywords.
2. Keywords need to be separated by a comma or semi colon when you submit them with your images. Compound phrases need to be separated by a space and then surround by commas. You can remove any quotation marks.
3. You can add ONE SET of location tags. Avoid using locations as tags unless there is something in the photo that makes its location recognizable. Don’t use Kennebunkport, Maine for an image of a seagull in the blue sky.
4. Remove all the keywords that are obviously not in the images. Make them as specific as possible to what is in the image. Remove keywords that could be tangentially related, but aren’t really illustrated well by the photo. i.e. picture of an airport runway and using the keyword “pilot.”
5. Take a few of the choice words and make them far better by turning them into a phrase. If it is a popular saying use the whole phrase.
6. Don’t “stretch” your tags into irrelevancy, in order to generate more hits for an image. This can be very frustrating for our users, who tend to search literally.
7. Figures of speech, nicknames, slang and metaphors can create a ton of problems in a search engine. Please don’t use them. The reviewers will add them in if necessary.
8. Catch Phrases and Proper Names — Don’t Break Them Up with a comma. If you have a keyword that is either a very common set of two words, or is a proper name, enter it without a comma. The search engine has the ability to recognize many phrases that operate as a common term but contain more than one word, such as “hard drive,” “hot dog,” or “White House.” Just enter the compound phrase like you see in the previous sentence and don’t use a comma to separate those two words. It also recognizes the names of many public and historical figures.
9. You do not need to type in ‘car, cars’ to cover the singular and plural versions of a noun. Type in only the one that is more accurate for your photo. If there is only one car, type in “car.” Your image will come up in a search for both car and cars, but it will be ranked higher if the plurality matches what the buyer searched for. If there are multiple cars in your image you can write car and cars.
10. Be as literal as possible. Describe just what is in the images.
Other decision factors:
* Does your image have people in it? If yes, then describe the people specifically. Use keywords to explain gender and age.
* Is there a color that is predominant? Only use colors if this is important to the image. An image of a red hat on top of a woman should not have the keyword “red” but could have “red hat”. If the image is a “pink flower” use the compound phrase “pink flower” with a space and no comma and NOT “pink, flower”.
* What objects are prominently included in the picture – ONLY use key subjects of the picture, not items in the background. Don’t list insignificant details. Think about if you did a keyword search for a keyword you have included in your keyword set, would you want to get that specific image in your results. If it is maybe then think real hard about adding it because it may turn off buyers who don’t want or weren’t expecting that results.
* Are you using a special angle or other technical points worth mentioning? Panoramic, low angle etc.
Uploading from Photoshelter is easy!
First you need to go to your upload page: http://www.cutcaster.com/upload
There you will find your studio ftp information. From here you can input your info into the Photoshelter FTP transfer page:
Most importantly here, you must put your personal path or FTP folder ID number in the space provided.
Your username and password are both anonymous.
That’s it! You are set up and ready to upload to Cutcaster.
1. Take the time to properly keyword your photos and clipart with concise and descriptive words. Use scientific names or exact locations if relevant. In addition, use descriptive titles and unique descriptions for each file. Try not to just cut and paste the metadata. This helps buyers and search engines locate each photo you have in your portfolio.
2. Link to your Cutcaster portfolio from your website, your blog or your email signature on outgoing emails. Create a concise email signature that will be attached to all your outgoing emails and have links to your portfolio in it. Adding a signature to your username is also smart to do if you post in forums or message boards. These links are valuable tools for people to find your photos.
3. When linking to your portfolio try using anchor text links like “stock photography” or “download photos.” Wikipedia says,
“The anchor text, link label or link title is the visible, clickable text in a hyperlink. The words contained in the anchor text can determine the ranking that the page will receive by search engines.” This will help Google and other search engines know that your studio link is related to whatever text you use in your anchor link.
5. Use the Portfolio “Share” button to add your portfolio and photography to social networks that you belong to. Just click on the “Share” button on your studio page or any page that has an image that you like at Cutcaster and add it to the list of social networks.
6. Submit your portfolio studio and lightbox links to Google. This helps Google find your portfolio and index your content faster. You should submit your unique Cutcaster portfolio link that you can find on your studio page to the the major search engines. In Cutcaster’s case we would submit, http://www.cutcaster.com/studio/pub/874219924.
Here is the address to submit those links. http://www.google.com/addurl/
7. Submit your Cutcaster studio page to photography and vector related portfolio sites, directories and forums. You can do Google searches to find the best directories or look at our Photography resource page for good sites to promote your artwork.
8. Create specific photography lightboxes that highlight images around a topic that you know photo buyers are interested in. For example you might want to create a lightbox that relates to Christmas photos and clipart or New Years’ photos with 20 or more of your best photos in it. Or create one that is for Sports photography or Food lightbox related. It is up to you. You can submit these lightboxes to search engines and also send them directly to friends, family and best of all photo buyers.
9. Do your research and create great photos. Look at the information agencies provide you to know what buyers are looking for and where there are under-served, niche markets you can target. Check out what photo agencies are looking for or what is requested by photo buyers in things like ProjectRequest.
10. Use http://search.twitter.com to find out what photos, images or clipart people are searching for or having a hard time finding. Try simple searches like “stock photos” “stock photography” or “find image” and play around with the keywords to find different conversations and searches people are having. Find the buyers and talk to them about what they want and then create it for them. If you have what they are looking for, you can then direct them to your Cutcaster studio page so they can buy it.