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5 Things Every Photographer Should Be Doing Online

Posted By Admin: 7/29/2011 9:38:22 AM To Photographers

 

Sometimes it seems the Internet was made just for photographers. On a social level it lets us share photos with friends and families, we can get together and talk camera gear and photographic technique, and it helps a lot of us overcome the isolation that often goes hand-in-hand with a photography career.

On a professional level, it provides the means to showcase our work to Clients, access new markets and conduct the entire stock photography sales process without leaving our desks. It also offers the means to monitor trends, see what our peers are doing and see what our customers are buying.

And for all that, the sad reality is, for many photographers, the pure volume of information and options becomes more of a hindrance than a help. They only have so many hours in a day, and deciding what's worth their attention and what isn't becomes a chore, and as a result they tend to brush over the important stuff and get way-laid with the trivial.

Well if you ever find yourself in that situation, here's a bare-bones list of the 5 essential website types every freelance photographer should have bookmarked and should be using regularly.

1. Stock Photo Library

Few freelance photographers wouldn't have a stock library presence of some sort, but plenty of part-timers still leave it as something to do later when they're more established, or have more photos. These days that's just not necessary and the best way to sell photographs online is to start early and add to your stock catalog  consistently over time.

Stock photography is a long-term business though, so do take your time and find a library that suits your work and your style. Make sure it leaves you in control of your work and doesn't expect you to give up your rights, or sell your work for peanuts, just to be involved.

2. Photo Price Calculator

To that end, make sure you bookmark a good online stock photo price calculator.We al lused to manage this with hard-copy books, but things move fast these days and new types of usage emerge every week, so a live stock photo price calculator is essential.. Be warned though, most people are blown away when they first use these... simply because most photographers seriously undervalue their work.

If you've never looked at a Stock Photo Price Calculator before, I'd suggest you make a list of 5-10 of your main markets, and then list a couple of 'average' usages for each. Then open the calculator and work out a price for each usage. Keep it handy and you've got a ready-reference guide if a Client ever puts you on the spot, but more importantly, you'll get a whole new insight to the value of your photography.

3. Photography Business News & Information

If you're keen -- and you don't mind sitting at a computer all day -- you can subscribe to dozens of different newsletters and services to try and start up to date with goings on in the industry. Or you can find a single Photography/Business site that does it all for you. 

There are quite a few really good websites out there if you go looking. My suggestion is to check them out and follow a couple until you find one that does the job right for you, your field of work, your interests, your location etc. The good ones will give you all the important stuff in a nutshell, the include links for more information if you need it, so you can stay up to date and get all the info you need, without the information overload.

4. Shopping & Auction Sites

It's no secret, photographers are gadget-junkies! We're always searching for that next piece of must-have camera equipment that we simply cannot function properly without. The fact we've already functioned quite alright for years without it doesn't matter... once we know it's out there we have to have it. Sound familiar? 

The flip side is, quite often we've got just as much gear we should really get rid of... and again, if the internet was made for us then I'm sure the creators of eBay are either photographers themselves, or they have a few in the family. So bookmark it and use it. If you have a cupboard of old gear that's not been used in years get it out and post it, while it still has some value!

5. Online Photographer Community

Freelance photography is often a solo career so the ability to interact with your peers online should not be taken lightly. We all see hundreds of images on any given day, but to be able to look at new images and talk about them with other photographers is priceless. Pre-Internet, it was something that only happened at Camera Clubs or waiting around at the Pro-Lab ... but the online forums and portal sites now give working photographers to ability to interact with their peers, share ideas and information and really grow as artists. And if you're not making good use of them, you're quite possibly stagnating!

Well that's my top 5 must-bookmark website types. The internet offers us the opportunity to 'round-out' our photography businesses in ways we never could before, so make sure you are getting maximum value from the time you spend online... and remember all work and no play, makes for a boring photographer!