THINK AHEAD. Most magazine photo editors work six months ahead. Take seasonal pictures today, process them, and then be prepared to market them in a couple of months for publication next year at this time.

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Four Ways To Market Your Photos

Retailers know that consumers usually choose price, brand, and quality when it comes to shopping. The Internet has shown that another factor is important to customers: convenience. With the existence of today’s regional and specialized stock agencies, you, as a freelance stock photographer, have four ways to market your photos: 1.) you’ll send your commercially-oriented generic stock off to an automated, digitized giant (Getty, Corbis, Alamy, etc.) ; 2.) you’ll send targeted stock images to smaller, specialized agencies; 3.) you’ll place some of your pictures with a microstock service, such as shutterstock; and 4.) you’ll market your highly specific editorial stock photos yourself, to special-interest buyers whose needs match your personal coverage areas.

Here are the advantages of this “four-tier selling strategy:”

Number 1 and Number 4 will pay the bills. The photos you produce for Number 1 will go stale after five or six years, but you’ll continue to keep on top of the fads and pump photos out that will fit Number 1 needs.

Number 2 will enable you to anchor yourself to something other than an email address. You’ll give personalized service and receive first-name attention from the specialized agencies.

Number 3 and Number 4 will allow you to photograph in the areas of editorial stock closest to your heart (environment issues, developments in education, Native American issues, the homeless, rodeos, gardening, stock car racing and so on). These latter photos will eventually become of hostorical significance, and you can pass their monetary value on to your heirs if they are properly keyworded.

The Digital Age, with its electronic communications and marketing tools, now allows you more flexibility and freedom in marketing your stock imagery, than ever before.

As an editorial stock photographer you are going to find much more enjoyment when you are photographing subject matter that you like to take. Learn more about how to sell those pictures at PhotoSource International, Pine Lake Farm, 1910 35th Road, Osceola, WI 54020 USA. Veteran photographer Rohn Engh is founder/director of PhotoSource International and specializes in helping photographers sell their photos. Email: info@photosource.com; Fax: 1 715 248 3800; www.photosource.com