Why? Commercial Product Photography and Usage Rights.

Commercial product photography and usage rights. Why? Because it provides customers with clean imagery designed to help promote and sell commercial goods. Investing in commercial is not a luxury of business, it is a necessity!

Hello photography enthusiasts, professionals and buyers. Are you interested in commercial photography?

This is an article to help you understand and find the price points, costs and why It is important to protect the work that helps you sell a customers items/goods. For buyers, most of what you need to know about the process is found here.

Marketing is an essential aspect of business. It is the key investment that helps to present and promote products for sale. An image has the power to make people buy it or walk away.

Screen-Shot-2013-05-10-at-3.23.46-PM $_35

Strong image developement starts with a team skilled in color theory, knowledge of design, mastery of lighting, body language, psychology and a lot of other skills on how to market and create visualize branding. Why is it expensive? Expensive seems to be a misused term these days. It is relative to many factors, explained shortly.

I prefer to use the word value. The value of commercial photography is a tiered system calculated by the amount of time and energy spent in developing an image used to highlight the features and functions of a product being marketed to buyers for consumption.

It does not make sense to spend 1000 dollars to take a picture of a bubblegum ball that sells for a penny any more than it makes sense to spend 100 dollars on a picture that sells a million dollar yacht. It goes the other way as well. A photograph that is 10 X the value of a million dollar yacht is far-fetched, but we are not selling million dollar yachts on the shelf to everyone either. It has to do with how many items will generate a sale. A picture of an item is what get the consumer to want it. A picture gets the consumer to start looking for it. A picture helps the consumer identify it. A picture helps the consumer locate it. Pictures can tell a story that triggers all of this consumption.It can convey cheap or it can convey quality.

I won’t spend any time on the cheap road.I suggest to avoid it. Commercial photography is not valued as cheap by those who are serious about their business.

In many cases customers will invest upwards of ten times the value/cost of one individual piece for properly crafted images designed to help consumers be attracted to the piece. Well crafted pictures add value to the product that can not be generated any other way. Not all commercial photography is expensive, but it can seem that way if you don’t understand the value. Some customers might fall out of their chairs when they hear this.  I would ask them:  “If this is only for a local or regional product advertisement or catalog, why do you need the rights to China, or Mexico?  Or anywhere else, for that matter? helping them understand is part of the negotiations.

A well designed image will attract potential customers better than a snap shot photo can, in more ways than one. A well developed image will show their product, it shows its features, it shows its textures, it hides the flaws, it removes the dust, it makes it shine, it makes it look expensive and well made. The list goes on!

For those on tight budgets, there are cookie cutter image farms who create basic images for those who are on a budget. Stock agencies also carry standard items that can fill  their needs. However, if you sell custom products or things that are not average, they will require technical imagery to convey the piece to the customer.

My recommendation is to find a skilled photographer to make your product stand out from the average.

Things to think about when looking for a photographer to shoot your product;

Textures, shapes, edges and 3 dimensional perspective. They all play important factors in what an image should convey.

What your product shares space with, in an image, is also important because using your product with other branded products can cause copyright problems. I.E. You sell and app for cell phones and using branded cellphones to sell your app can require releases. A photographer who knows the legal situations can help keep the customer from ending up in a bad place.

Can a story be told that incites buyers to want what you are selling? A good photographer will research the product and know how to tell its story best.

A good photographer will have an understanding of color theory and how it relates to selling things. Miss-represented colors, bad styling and cheap flat lighting can turn a high-end buyer away. Remember, you are investing in polished work that comes at a cost. The cost can raise an eyebrow, but it also makes the person who knows style and elegance, take notice. Quality reigns supreme!

 

Now that you’ve found your photographer,  you will want to understand the fees. This stuff has already been figured out for you by professionals who have been at this for decades. Find those who know what they are doing.

 

How to charge or pay for USAGE?

I have found a great article that helps to describe the process and will share it here with you because it is a great read and pretty much covers it all.

http://www.aphotoeditor.com/2010/02/05/ad-agency-guide-to-photography-usage-terms/

 

Here is a secondary resource of information from a professional across the US by Richard Quindry Photography.

http://www.quindry.com/choosingacommercialphoto.html

 

It is rather easy to find a pre-made image at any of the world’s stock image sites. Here is an example.

It is easy to find out what one could expect to pay by using these sites. Just check the usage terms, select the ones that apply to your marketing and hit find charges.

In walks a client who designs bluejeans and is looking for an all digital contract to cover their web commerce and  digital editorial marketing.

Start  with a photo of the product (bluejeans)  Tic the all digital platform contract for one year, follow the other instruction and it will generate the cost. In this case it is 1160.00 dollars for a media shot with blue jeans that might be used as editorial image to promote the product for all digital media. Price and Rights managed including legal protections.

Featured image

Take a look at the blue jeans in this picture, but notice they are not your brand?  Stock images might show blue jeans, but does the picture show your brand of blue jeans?

Lets assume your designer brand will be selling in a specialty market for 300 dollars a pair. If you required a designer image to help promote the sale of your 300 dollar pair of jeans, you should be prepared to pay for the value of a well designed image that helps to get the price…

It’s a marketing investment. The people who pay that price are not gonna be shopping at Walmart for your 300 dollar jeans, so please don’t use an image designed to sell a product for 30 bucks to sell your designer Branding… That will kill your image and mislead customer about the quality. Buyers see value , they see quality and they will pay for it. I.E. put a Porsche next to a Pinto.

Finding a skilled and trained image designer is also a skill that not to be over-looked. Branding identity starts with a team that is skilled in color theory, mastery of lighting, knowledge of design, psychology, body language and a lot of other skills on how to market and create visualize branding. Portfolios tell a lot about clients and craft. Learning how to tell the difference between Vogue magazine as compared to Maxim magazine will help you to find your market value.

The photography alone in these magazines is the clue and the thing that will make your head spin. Ads are a great way to decipher quality of an image. Cheap looks cheap and quality looks inviting and delicious. Ask yourself why McDonald’s hamburger ads look better in pictures than they do on the plate in front of you?

Cheap is not a word that I use to sell design and high-end products. If it should ever enter a negotiation, I walk away. Value has its levels and there is a reason for this.  It is natures way of revealing style, craft and quality.

Invest in your style and it will attract people to invest in your product. Here is a link about stock standard and extended licence information.

http://www.istockphoto.com/help/licenses

Brian

Copyright for creatives

Lets start right here and keep it simple. Respect other peoples ART! Which means it is cool to promote people and their work, but don’t use their stuff to capitalize on……Unless you pay them for their work!

KISS….. Keep it simple selfless (or stupid for the oldskool fool).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Copyrights

^^^ that link right there i am providing as a compliment to the source…. I make no money from providing you with a source of information that has been collected for you.

Please respect and it will be returned tenfold. here is a pretty simple way to be respectful….ask these questions and they will help you decide…It’s really simple, but only if people would just get their head around these.

Is it yours? Did you make it? and Can you prove it ?

That’s all everyone needs + one last thing…. It/ART belongs to the creator…… unless a contract is drawn up that releases usage of such standard legal truth.

Ad salt and pepper to taste and wallah you have shown respect and earned it.

With love

B

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Im selling on ETSY now!

images<a href=”//www.etsy.com/shop/BMorrisPhoto?ref=offsite_badges&utm_source=sellers&utm_medium=badges&utm_campaign=en_isell_2″><img width=”500″ height=”500″ src=”//img0.etsystatic.com/site-assets/badges/en/en_isell_2.png”></a>
en_isell_2-300x300

Integrity in a questionable if not so professional business environment. The Art of the DEAL

Good Afternoon and blessings, I want to start the day off with a multiple part question about the current climate of professionalism and integrity found in some, if not all creative business today. I have been noticing a shift in contractual and ethical business opportunities. The amount of research that goes into setting up proposals for free work doesn’t make sense.

Best Wedding Photography Picture about Profess...

Best Wedding Photography Picture about Professional Photographers (Photo credit: epSos.de)

What is the value of your professional business transactions and the commitment to your client and customer satisfaction?

I would like to hear from other creatives and Pro’s working the creative markets and what your take is on expectations from the perspective of a small business owner or a freelance creative. What has technology and the art of negotiation become for you as it applies to the art of the deal.

My hopes are that we can come up with some direction for the future of this ever evolving and necessary working environment.

Please be honest and fruitful with your personal view and let us see what we can discover.

GO!

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Canon 5D Mark III tethered to a new Imac 2013

Canon 5D Mark III tethered to a new Imac 2013

For a week now I’ve been on the net looking for information on why a Canon 5D Mark III would not function correctly when tethered to a new Imac using Capture One Pro 7. It was even having problems with the Canon Utility software.

It was constantly seizing up in the middle of a shoot. I tried the canon / phase one work around and it was clogging up on import. After reading and searching endlessly, while in communication with all three manufacturers, I dug into the machines System report and discovered that the USB ports are hierarchical and that the port to the closest edge of the machine was indeed the first and main port. I normally pug my Wacom tablet here! Then all other accessories follow that from left to right.

Once I switched the Camera to this port all functions and controls worked flawlessly In Capture One Pro 7.

No More Hangups!

A lil shiny I learned was that if you want to use the Canon Utility that came with the camera so that you have more control over the camera, you can point capture one at the utility capture folder and Hot Folder it for all the goodies that both offer!

Not one discussion on the internet for the past 5 months covered this issue.

So before you go asking the pro’s whats up please plug your system in the above discribed order of input.

Camera goes in slot one, Wacom in slot two and all other accessories you might be running should follow off to the right.

I hope this help others discover the wonderful world of tethering to your Canon 5D Mark III to your IMac.

Please share this with the world!!!!!!!!!

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Commercial Usage of Photography

There is a problem out an about in the world today when it comes to using Photographers and images for potential commercial usage. I think most people are happy claiming stupidity and or ignorance when it comes to such things.

The advent of digital cameras has created a plethora of uneducated and self-proclaimed professional photographers who don’t understand the business of photography.

Some chose to shoot and hand over their images for free and think that they do so in trade.

Lots of start up companies want to use images to create wealth at the cost of a photographers personal copyright and many are ill-informed about the choices being made with respect ,or lack there of, when it comes to image development and protections.

here is a link and story that may open a few eyes and it will help to get this conversation going. Please Do not underestimate the value of usage and the art of photography.

http://www.aphotoeditor.com/2012/03/27/perhaps-many-photographers-dont-understand-the-value-of-usage/

For Portfolio usage does not also mean for commerc$al usage …….!

There is a hurtful thing happening all around the internet in the photography, art and fashion business. Legal usage and copyright rules are being purposely ignored. It’s time to unleash the Black Unicorn of fury.

Dollar Sign in Space - Illustration

(Photo credit: DonkeyHotey)

I can’t believe the amount of disrespect and or playing dumb that occurs in this world of get me mine….using other Peoples art to make money with. There is an assumption that Trade for use in portfolio is equal to trade for use in commercial. I’m sure that some businesses in the creative world are also using trade as a tool to come uppity. Thinking its easier to get over on artists who may not know the difference. Part of this is driven by all the newbs on both sides of the business.

What I am alluding to is that many….many so called professional business people are ignoring copyright and the usage of imagery for personal gain…… Blatantly ignoring information or not knowing what is right and wrong. There is no excuse for taking work from others and using it to sell your products without giving the creators some sort of compensation for the creation of said art. NONE

No-one is doing anyone favors by cutting another person out of the commercial cost of doing business… its not as if a creative person…… who does all this work …..is a middleman who does nothing…. yet gets paid. In the end if you get paid for that persons work … you should share it with them as well. Also If you think you can use a point and shoot to get imagery that helps to sell your goods, then by all means do the work and take the credit… Don’t use and abuse creative talent for your commerce. Remember this…………. The Public can tell the difference between bad image design,  good image design  and Great image design and how they shows investment.

As a small business owner in the 2012 era, one should be responsible for knowing where the lines are drawn. It’s not hard to find out the info, but it is much easier and lazy to ignore it if you are that kind of person……?…… Are you that kind of person? One who will use others to come up..$monetarily$… one who will ignore copyright and usage rules? One who thinks you’ve done nothing wrong and will claim ignorance of such rules? Everyone can be forgiven, but why go to the distance when respect is the professional way…… right?

If you continue reading….. then you will know what the rules are ……..and you will no longer be able to rightfully claim ignorance. I’m gonna take a brief moment in time to show and explain portfolio usage and commercial usage $. The Purpose of this exercise………is to expose the one distinct and unforgettable factor ($) that separates the two and makes it easier for all involved to get along and play fairly, professionally and respectfully.

We all know that there are those who don’t have this skill set and prefer not to do the right thing….. It’s ok, They stand out like a sore thumb and wont last long in the industry! It’s much easier to avoid this mess than to try and clean up after the bomb has trashed our community. We also know that there are  many factors which help confuse the issue. This makes it hard for most creative start-ups to find the important info required to be protected from the problems that can, and do, arise from playing bad-boy with other peoples art.

First I will give the definitions of Portfolio and commercial:

port·fo·lio

noun \pȯrt-ˈfō-lē-ˌō\

plural port·fo·li·os
1
: a hinged cover or flexible case for carrying loose papers, pictures, or pamphlets
2
[from the use of such a case to carry documents of state] : the office and functions of a minister of state or member of a cabinet
3
: the securities held by an investor : the commercial paper held by a financial house (as a bank)
4
: a set of pictures (as drawings or photographs) usually bound in book form or loose in a folder
5
: a selection of a student’s work (as papers and tests) compiled over a period of time and used for assessing performance or progress

com·mer·cial

adj\kə-ˈmər-shəl\

1
a (1) : occupied with or engaged in commerce or work intended for commerce <a commercial artist> (2) : of or relating to commerce <commercial regulations> (3) : characteristic of commerce <commercial weights> (4) : suitable, adequate, or prepared for commerce <found oil in commercial quantities> b (1) : being of an average or inferior quality <commercial oxalic acid> <show-quality versus commercial cattle> (2) : producing artistic work of low standards for quick market success
2
a : viewed with regard to profit <a commercial success> b : designed for a large market
3
: emphasizing skills and subjects useful in business <a commercial school>
4
: supported by advertisers <commercial TV>

Next I will explain some ,but not all, of the Usage info possible. there are many great tools for discovering usage fees and one of the best is Getty Images. Please learn how to use this important tool!

http://www.gettyimages.com/creativeimages

In the ART, Fashion world…… pictures are used as tools to sell products or to help show the details of those products or to tell stories of lifestyle.. If you have arrived to this part of the discussion… you have seen this symbol ($)… at least 6 times in this blog. It is the one and only separating factor that everyone in the industry needs to remember when thinking about how the usage and application of a picture can be displayed by anyone in a business environment. To simplify the concept I will only focus on internet usage for the moment, this can be applied to storefronts as well. For internet use;

If an Image is on a page with a dollar sign $ or a monetary figure with intent to put in a shopping cart…….

then the image is being used to sell a product and therefore falls under commercial usage. If there is a dollar sign on the same page as the image then It’s that simple… Commercial fees apply!

Lookbooks are a different beast and do cause confusion………….remember it all depends on its linkage to commerce.

If the image is on a page that directs you to price-tags and commerce (the shopping cart) than it is a portfolio piece that can fall into commercial usage as well… if an image directs you to a portfolio of other similar pieces and does not have any directory to the commerce of the products in the image……. then it falls under portfolio and can be used responsibly to show potential customers your work. The Big difference is the $ sign and it should be common sense from this point onward.
Posters, Coffee table portfolios, etc…. as long as they are not for sale…. can be used as portfolio pieces that show people to the style.
Protect yourself from future demise by respecting the boundaries set forth by a hundred(?) years of practice and professional business law. Ignorance of the differences wont help!
From one of my Favorite companies Hurley I will post some screen caps to show what is considered a portfolio image and then the commercial usage of images in the same site..

These first two images of the kid with the Hurley stickers link you around the site where you can find more stories and lifestyle like stuff about Hurley. This is the opening page of the Hurley site.
These next two pages clearly have shopping carts and are links into the pricing catalogs for Commerce. That makes the image a money generator and puts it into a different category of usage rights usual contract for time limits or outright usage. Remember that if it has a dollar sign or monetary value anywhere on the page it is now a commerce generating image and should be respected as one. If you have unregistered images on pages that generate you money… you should address the issue with the copyright holder.

Remember If you Use this Symbol ($) along side of Imagery that shows what a person is buying, then it is that imagery that is selling the product and you should pay for the proper contracts that allow for such usage…. You will suddenly find out why…. Why advertising is expensive……… but worth its weight in gold. When you neglect the artist creatives, you are rightfully stealing. How would it feel if those creatives came into your store and cleaned you out? Be Truthful about this!

Now go eat some sushi and ponder the choices that create the world in which we make of it.

Namaste!

Shooting at the beach can be very rewarding, but it comes with lil demons of Dammed!

Severe sunburn and blisters on a shoulder, thr...

Severe sunburn and blisters on a shoulder, three days after a significant exposure to sun without sunscreen. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Taking It to the beach…. Dreamy and dirty all at the same time. First put on Sunscreen before you leave for the playa, I will explain why a little later. When the shoot is a wrap………….. Make sure to clean all equipment and bags immediately after returning from the Playa. Small silt will find its way into your gear if you are not diligent about this one MAJOR task.

Vacuum all dust and sand from your equipment. Do not use dust off or forced air on electronics. It can force the particles in deeper and it can damage other fragile parts found in digital equipment. A good strong vacuum with a soft brush on it will get the job done. OK to the part about the sunscreen…….. If you put on the sunscreen before you have to do this task you will not be sitting in pain while having to finish off a very long day of playing in the sun. It makes the task of cleaning not so bad and you can get to the cocktails and dinner party quicker. Plus you get to avoid that picture…..IK!

Order some steak and pineapple quesadillaz with a peach margarita

and for your Viewing pleasure check out this lil gem   Sophie Vlaming Excites in May’s Grazia France, Shot by Richard Bernardin.

B

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