Field Report:

The Non-Glamorous Side of Photography

Photo Metadata

With the majority of image distribution taking place on the internet these days, photographers should take steps to identify their images. One of the most important things for a professional photographer is not only to register their images with the U.S. Copyright Office, but to also tag their files with photo metadata. This serves a number of purposes including auto-populating the data fields when uploading images to stock photo distribution sites such as Alamy Images and Photoshelter. But most importantly, when you distribute the image to a client, it identifies you as the copyright holder in addition to vital photo caption info. Many photo buyers deal with hundreds if not thousands of images per day you can’t expect them to remember who each image belongs to so it is advisable to include basic contact info such as your name and website within the image at the minimum.

A number of programs such as Photoshop, Lightroom and others allow you to enter in this data but for the purposes of this post, I will include screen caps from Photoshop CS4 because that is what I am most familiar with. If you haven’t done this before, you need to go to File < File Info within Photoshop to access these screens.

Meta Data / Description Tab

Meta Data / Description Tab

Photo Metadata for Photoshop

Photo Metadata / IPTC Tab

Photo Metadata for Photoshop

Photo Metadata / IPTC Tab

Meta Data for Photoshop CS4 / IPTC

Meta Data / IPTC

Photo Metadata for Photoshop

Photo Metadata / Origin Tab

I am by no means an expert on this topic but most of these are meta data fields that I use regularly and they seem to fit within my digital workflow and current distribution methods. Though I have been doing this for several years, I wish I had known about this when I first started. There is a percentage of my image library that lacks adequate keywording, caption info, and contact info as a result. For photographers that have been selling images for longer than I have, I can only imagine how much work it would be to catch up on entering photo metadata. My suggestion would be enter in the metadata as needed, or to use a program like Lightroom 2 where you can batch large groups of similar images together.

When all of your image meta data is entered properly it makes it the rest of your work flow easier too. Check out my Downtown Los Angeles at Night photo in my Photoshelter Archive for example. All of the basic identifying info is there from my image ID#, name, caption and keywords. All I had to do was upload my files then batch select pricing profiles and place them into galleries then I was done.

February 7, 2010 Posted by | Digital Workflow, software, stock photography | , , , , , | 2 Comments

LicenseStream

I’ve been reading about LicenseStream on various blogs and photography business forums so I decided to sign up for myself. The first year is free for the standard account and then $50 afterwards. There is also a pro account which you can get 1/2 off for the first year but I am testing the standard account on myself to see if this is potentially a viable option for licensing images.
LicenseStream Stock Photo Invoice

LicenseStream Stock Photo Invoice

This image is of an invoice that I processed to myself. The price should be on there too but I whited it out before posting it online. If you are like me, that hates to do paperwork, then LicenseStream is definitely worth looking into. All I did was select the terms of use via drop-down menus and then email it to the “client”, then once I received the email, I clicked on the link to receive this invoice and payment options.

LicenseStream was touted as being fully integrated with the PLUS system hence the code under “Media Summary”. Basically how this works is that this code is embedded within your image meta data and the person who licenses the image should be able to copy and paste this code into the PLUS Decoder and get the terms of use instantly.

I personally think this would have limited use to buyers because only hardcore industry veterans would likely know enough to understand how this works. It is hard enough to get some photo buyers to understand the basic concept of image licensing to begin with. The plus side is that you can theoretically protect your copyrighted work a little better since the license would be embedded in the meta data. Given all of the Orphan Works b.s. that is happening in Congress, you can never be too safe.

PLUS License Decoder

PLUS License Decoder

PLUS Stock Photography License

PLUS Stock Photography License

Photoshelter’s payment and distribution options are pretty similar to LicenseStream’s but the difference is that the photo buyer can’t look for another photographer’s images on the site. This is a pretty big deal because whenever you send an instant license via Photoshelter you risk losing sales to other photographers if they decide to browse the Photoshelter home page out of curiosity. On the LicenseStream home page, there is no such site-wide archive search.

If you’re interested in seeing it for yourself, check out my LicenseStream gallery.

November 17, 2008 Posted by | Photo Business, stock photography, Web | , , , , | 6 Comments

Interesting Links – 9/5/08

The PLUS Coalition: Standardized Licensing Codes – DigitalPhotoPro article by Jim Goldstein. This has been a widely discussed topic in the stock photography industry for sometime now. This article aims to simplify the idea by PLUS.

My Two Most Valuable Business Lessons – Digital Exposure article by Rick Sammon.

CPA – The Holy Grail of Online Advertising? – This article examines what CPA is and compares it with the CPC and CPM ad models. According to this article, CPA is best for advertisers, CPM is best for publishers and CPC is good for both.

Marketing Moves That Sell Books – PDN

Jay Reilly Photo Blog – Some great lifestyle photography.

Mike Mclaughlin Photography – Very powerful documentary work.

Zoriah: War Photographer – PhotoNetCast. A great podcast interview.

September 5, 2008 Posted by | Weekly Links | , , , , | 2 Comments

   

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