Photo Notes

February 20, 2011

Looking For Work?

Filed under: Looking at Photographs,Marketing — John Siskin @ 7:36 pm

For Aids Walk, Los Angeles

Here are the shameless plugs at the beginning of the blog. My book Understanding and Controlling Strobe Lighting: A Guide for Digital Photographers is on Amazon.com. The wonderful folks at Shutterbug magazine are printing a 3 page excerpt in the current issue. Please pick up the magazine.  Here is a sample chapter from the book. Of course I still hope that you will consider purchasing my fine art book B Four: pictures of beach, beauty, beings and buildings. Frankly purchases of this book mean a lot to me, and it is also a fine gift for any occasion. As you know I teach for BetterPhoto.com. I really hope you’ll sign up my class: An Introduction to Photographic Lighting.

Shot for a breeder.

Sign up are very good this month!

Recently I’ve been having a conversation with a couple of people on the discussion board at BetterPhoto.com. We’ve been discussing selling photographs. One of the problems that a person has as he/she becomes a more committed photographer is that she/he needs some sort of validation. Many people will participate in contests, but often the judging of

Shot for Ramada South Bay.

a contest is capricious or even insane. Selling photography can seem like a much better way of getting validation, and it might even buy you some new gear. Heck, it can even turn a hobby into a tax write off.   If you want to sell photographs you need to look at the photographs that get bought, rather than the photographs you want to take. I have been selling photographs for almost thirty years. I started out photographing backgrounds for the Chipmunks: Alvin, Theodore and Simon. The last job I did was photographing a concrete

For Aids Walk, Los Angeles

pour for the footings of a new building. In the middle I’ve done work for General Motors and Aids Walk. Almost every photograph I’ve ever sold I sold to a business or a magazine. These are markets that need a lot of photographs. I’ve already done 6 jobs this year for one client. You can see some of the work I’ve done for this client at www.beelerbuildsembetter.com. Families don’t need a lot of photographs, would you do a family portrait more often then every other year?  People don’t have weddings frequently, at least most people don’t. I’ve seen a lot of bad photography that got paid for, because the clients needed the images. If you want to sell photographs look at the businesses

For Rhythm Child

that buy photographs. Also get the Photographer’s Market. The Photographers market lists ad agencies, magazines and publishers. It even lists art fairs. It also tells you how to approach various kinds of businesses.

I have the 2010 version of Photographers Market right now. If I were going to do a major push for new accounts I would go get 2011 version. While there may be new markets, and that is important, the key thing is that you have up to date information on who the buyer is in a particular company or publisher. I found the publisher for my current book, and my next book, in Photographer’s Market. I sold to the New Yorker because of Photographer’s Market. What is not to love?

It is difficult for emerging photographers to understand that

For West Wind Studios.

they need to develop a broader definition of what a photographer does. You might want to look at my website: www.siskinphoto.com, to see the many kinds of photography I do to make a living. Oh, and I also teach at BetterPhoto.com. The pictures this week are images I’ve made for clients.

On a related note, I am really interested in what people are sending out as digital portfolios. If you have a digital portfolio, and you don’t mind, could you send me a copy? If you want I could add a link to the portfolio here in the blog, or not. Of course if you could tell me how the portfolio is targeted, and how you send it, that would be great.
Thanks, John Siskin

I hope you’ll suggest my BetterPhoto class An Introduction to Photographic Lighting to other photographers you know, or perhaps you’d like to give it as a gift? Amherst media sent me the cover for my second book, you can see it here, of course you can still look at my first book at Amazon . Also if you look at the current issue of Shutterbug you’ll find a three page excerpt form my book. I am so pleased that they did this.
BetterPhoto.com, The better way to learn photography

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