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					Workshop on Management of Intellectual Property by Photographers
Beijing, China, December 8 and 9, 2005

The Business of Photography
Part 1: Marketing Photography and the Role of Intellectual Property
Lien Verbauwhede
Consultant, SMEs Division World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)

PART 1
INTRODUCTION

From agent to buyer
• Old days:
– getting photos to wide public was costly and time consuming – most photographers needed to rely on employers or agencies to do sales for them

• Digital photography & Internet:
– allows to produce a lot of good quality images – allows photographers to market and sell directly to the buyer

Consequence of Internet:
• Getting noticed among the “noise” of images that buyers see  marketing has become leading competitive tool • Marketing itself has also changed

• Type of marketing method will depend on personal business model
– Assignments (travel outfitters, marriage,
portraits, fashion, business, etc) • market your services • mouth-to-mouth; reputation; local market

– Stock photography (licensing images for
commercial use or print orders) • market your pictures - marketable pictures • reach the large public; worldwide

– Combination
• OnRequest Images

PART 2
10 MARKETING SECRETS FOR PHOTOGRAPHY

1. First find your market, then create

Rohn Eng: The Buyers Are Waiting
• But: they need to know you exist • You need to supply them what they need + at the time they need it

How to market your business?

How to find your market?

Who are the buyers?
Assignments
•wedding •business •fashion •travel •portraits •ad agencies

Stock photography
•book publishers & magazines •newspapers •stock photo agencies •paper product companies •ad agencies, web designers, graphic design studios, et •art photography sales

What do they need?
Stock Photography: Marketable pictures
• Marketable picture
• Good picture is not always marketable
– Difficult to market on your own – Sell only once in a while – Place in stock agenccy

– Photo illustrations – Sells and resells and resells … – Extra income at retirement – Passes over to your heirs

• How to create marketable pictures?
– Express single idea
• simple background

– Include people
• involved in some activity (doing or observing something) • not posed portraits • showing enjoyment, unhappiness, fear, etc • model release

– Include a symbol
• brings certain idea to mind • Tractor, pilot‟s uniform, fishing pole, etc
Source: Rohn Engh, Sell and Re-sell your Photos, 2003

2. Become a monopoly

• Specialize • Find yourself: determine what you love
– animals, adventure, fashion, sports, etc

• And find buyers who need it • More chance that buyers will target their search

3. Target your audience

• Cfr your specialization
• Build personalized market list
– Directories: Photographer‟s Market – Online resources: www.photosource.com – Internet search engines – Photo newsletters

• Narrow down your market list
– Competition – Purchasing power, etc

4. Customize to your clients

• Give what the customer exactly needs to see
– Artsy images, showing your skills with camera – Images that demonstrate you know to address real-world client needs – Just showing you are out there (famous)

• Understand how customer makes choices
– Passions, social background, etc.

• Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity

5. Choose your marketing model

• Traditional (off-line)
– You may loose business opportunities – Look unprofessional

• Digital (online)
– Simply as business card or portfolio
• E.g. Picture of the month + contacts

– Platform to sell online
• Stock photography

• Own website
– – – – If many marketable pictures Create yourself? Outsource web development: ownership? Linking, using other‟s copyright material, choosing DN, etc.

• Join existing websites
– No need to design website – Profit from other‟s reputation – But: search engines usually do not index such sites – But: some sites do not allow to sell pictures – But: customer service in hands of others – But: fee

6. Choose a good domain name …
and USE it !

• Easy to remember
• Associated with you
– your name, unless difficult to read and spell – “www.abcdidier.ch”

• No trademark conflict

• Use wherever possible
– advertising, watermarks, copyright information, business cards, stationary, invoices, emails – Website should be part of your signature

• Ask others to use it:
– Publishers – When you license photos, request clients to link back to your website – If you participate in photo reviews

• Make sure people find your website
– Contact search engines – Links

7. Choose a good trademark or logo …

and USE it !

What is a trademark?
• A distinctive sign: distinguishes your goods or services from those of competitors • Exclusive rights: To prevent others from using identical or similar marks on identical or similar goods • Renewable indefinitely ! • Registration is required in most countries

• Distinctive logo or design
– Common error: obvious logo
• camera, tripod, etc

– Adapt it to make it unique – Associated with your specialization – Simple and easy to remember
• Export markets

– E.g. “Windigo” (Wendy – windsurfing)

• • • •

Trademark search Register Use it! Indicate that it is protected: ® or TM

• Can help your correspondence to start looking familiar

8.

Place a copyright notice

• No legal obligation
• Advantages
– Warning to infringers – Information who owns the rights – In some countries: requirement to get compensation for certain damages – Free advertising

• Require others to include notice
– Publishers, agencies, licensees, etc – Also electronically

9.
If you join existing website, choose carefully

(a) Photo-forum websites
– – – – Have your images onto their website Often for free Generally not possible to sell Benefit:
• No need to build own website • Benefit from their goodwill • Forums: interaction with other photographers

– Drawback:
• Many photographers: buyers not likely to find yours – Photos.yahoo.com; photos.msn.com – www.photo.net; www.pbase.com

(b) Websites that allow sales
– Upload your photos and set your own prices – Benefit:
• don‟t need to build a website • No part of ordering, printing an delivery

– Drawback
• Editing criteria: paper size, style, etc • Customer service not in your hands • Search engines rarely index such sites

– www.shutterfly.com

(c) Stock agencies
– Traffic number (ranking) – Entrance fees & royaltie split
• Long term or short term • Royalties vary from 10 – 90% of sales price

– Specialization
• Big libraries: Getty Images, Corbis • Small, specialized agencies

– How many photographers do they take
• Competition • Where are you in the ranking

– Marketing strenghts
• Can they make your images more visible to a target market segment • (beware of agencies that ask fee for promotion)

– Do they have royalty-free work?
• Can you opt out?

– Do they demand exclusivity over your work?

– Length of contract

10.

Provide big images online

• Big images encourage longer visits, more page views, more interest …so more business • High resolution: risk of „stealing‟ • Low resolution: less attractive + risk to loose opportunity

* Big enough to see in detail, but nothing that could be copied for print use * If client asks higher resolution: watermark

CONCLUSIONS

• A photographer‟s contribution doesn‟t start and end with “taking pictures”. • A good marketing strategy shows all assets: that is, photography + business sense

Thank You for your Attention.
WIPO‟s website for SMEs :
www.wipo.int/sme


				
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