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Frequently asked questions - sellingWhat about marketing at Photoconnect?
We want to be up front about this - there is no marketing budget in the usual sense - we deliver excellent performance in the search engines. That is where our effort goes. As far as we are aware, only by optimising your own website can you hope to match our performance - but thta could cost you somewhat more than using Photoconnect.
As we grow, this approach may change.
We encourage photographer contributors to remember that we are primarily a substitute for or a complement to your own website. We encourage you to use Photoconnect as a platform to market their own images - when photographers do this, all photographers on the site benefit indirectly. As a starting point here is a marketing email.
Libraries and agencies contributing to the site will be more focussed on the site generating traffic from search engines. You markeying efforts will be directed at your own site and Photoconnect is an additional tool to help you get customers there without the expense or upheaval that traditional search enginge optimisation can have on your own website.
What about other help you can give?
If you have a website, we will be linking directly to it from this site. You can help this site in turn build traffic by reciprocating. Our very relevant link helps boost your own 'PAge Rank' to help you gain more direct traffic.
If you have photos online elsewhere, at Alamy (say), you can link to your page there so if someone needs an image urgently you don't lose a sale. That way, your Alamy images can in effect be found, via Photoconnect, from general search engines so your sales through Alamy should be enhanced.
Why should photobuyers abandon existing sources and buy from Photoconnect?
They may or may not abandon existing sources but pressure is always on to cut costs - so they should add Photoconnect to their options. Photoconnect allows you to choose your prices and compete effectively in your market. Having stripped out commissions, if you have the images that people are looking for, have a way of displaying them (ie Photoconnect) and can deliver them in the way that they want them delivered (digital or otherwise - we promote flexibility) then they will want to do business with you.
Can buyers download "at the press of a button" high resolution images from the site?
No. Buyers contact photographers to deliver the images. However if you have images at sites such as Alamy then you may link to your images there to gain sales that you might otherwise miss.
Some buyers may only accept a digital download rather than an email. We can set this up for you for a fee of £12.50.
Can buyers use an image as much as they want once they have bought it?
This is a complex area and you need to be careful in deciding how your image should be sold. Traditional licences are more complicated to set up and monitor but will, for certain images, generate more income. Royalty-free images are relatively simple for buyers and sellers because they have no limits on most aspects of their use - but there is still not carte blanche for buyers to do as they wish. See licences for more information.
Where can I find more information on licenses?
Could I sell a CD of several of my images?
We do not encourage the sale of image CDs through this site because we believe that this undermines the value of the individual royalty free image. You are of course entitled as a photographer to sell your images in whatever format you wish, however we do not promote image CDs on this site.
What is a release?
A model or property release is a written agreement between the model/property owner and the photographer whereby the model/owner gives his/her permission to the photographer to use the photographs commercially. Releases generally permit the use of the image(s) for all purposes, with exceptions for controversial, sensitive or defamatory uses. See more here.
It is ultimately the responsibility of the image buyer to ensure all images have any relevant releases and that the images are used appropriately. However if you as a seller state that a release is in place then you must be prepared to provide a copy of that release if the buyer so requests. You should in any case make the buyer aware of any use restrictions that might apply.
Can I set my own prices?
Yes, you choose from four price bands. Assess your images carefully when setting prices. Price band A reflects the sort of prices that magazines might pay to photographers that deal direct and have been judged by reference to sources such as 'The Freelance Photographer's Market Handbook'. Price band B is higher than band A but is designed to undercut the large online agencies. Price bands C and D allow you to charge higher prices for more desirable images but be aware that you will not achieve sales in these price bands unless there is something unique or special about the image. See more information on pricing here.
How can I collect payment?
How payment is to be collected will vary from photographer to photographer and depend on the status of the buyer. It is to your advantage to have in place some means of collecting credit card payments (PayPal is ideal for many) but payments can often be made by direct bank transfer (subject to a short delay in clearing funds) or same day transfer (which is more expensive). You have to assess who you are dealing with in deciding whether to allow credit.
Remember that buyers being asked to pay in advance will also be nervous - how do they know that you are a) honest and b) a photographer (as opposed to someone who has stolen images on the web and placed them here)? Don't expect to generate confidence if your credentials are a Yahoo or Hotmail email address!
Can you help me with collecting payments?
Photoconnect can help you set up an online facility for you to collect payments in US$, Pounds Sterling or Euros. We do this by working with you to set up a PayPal account page linked into your pages on this site. PayPal allows anyone with an email address to transfer money directly to your PayPal account. You can then withdraw money from there to your bank account. You can also accept payments from anyone with a credit card.
You should be aware that there may be some resistance from corporate buyers to use PayPal and many will not make payment by credit card anyway. If the buyer demands credit then you have to assess the position on its merits.
We can set up such a page for you for £40.
What are the image specifications (file sizes, etc)?
So what's is the difference between TIFFs and JPGs?
When it is delivered and printed in most media a JPG should be indiscernible from a TIFF unless resort is made to magnifying glasses. If however a JPG is subjected to consecutive adjustment and saves then the quality will deteriorate. TIFFs may be ten or more times the size of JPGs but have the advantage that after they are manipulated and saved, that action of saving the image does not degrade image quality. They however take longer to upload and download so they are less convenient for transmission over the internet.
While it may superficially enhance appearance, remember that image manipulation always degrades the underlying quality of the original image, whether a TIFF or JPG. Start again from a proof original if manipulation does not work out.
Best practice would be to create a TIFF original of an image and save a copy so you can always go back to it. Manipulate the TIFF as necessary to spot the image, being careful not to overdo curve and other adjustments. Your buyer may also wish to perform any image sharpening themselves - it is best to check. When everything is done save as a JPG with compression of 1% to 10% (discuss with the buyer what they would like).
The buyer should then save as a TIFF on receipt - more manipulation is likely to be necessary. The original .jpg can be retained as a backup.
For advice on scanning etc, get a good book - Amazon feed some suggestions here.
My buyer needs another copy of an image - should I charge?
Provided that the buyer is within the licence period and this does not create untoward effort for you, we would recommend that no charge be made. You can avoid this situation by suggesting that buyers make their own backup on receipt.
What equipment do I need?
The fundamentals are a PC wired to the internet and a good digital camera or a scanner.
Realistically you need ADSL or Cable Broadband. If you have ISDN upgrade to ADSL or broadband and save cash while getting much faster access.
On the scanner front, if your photography is based on medium or larger format then a flatbed scanner such as the Epson Perfection 3200 Photo will produce very large file sizes and excellent results. For 35mm a dedicated film scanner is the best bet and it should have a maximum scanning resolution of at least 2800dpi.
Why don't you use watermarks on all images on the site?
We believes that to be successful one must focus on the needs of the buyer. Buyers must be able to judge images, often under time pressure, and watermarks across the centre of an image are obtrusive and render many quality images unsalable because they cannot be viewed properly.
So can I use a watermark on my images on the site?
We accept an unobtrusive copyright notice with the photographer's name at the periphery of an image - however you must be aware that this can often be cropped out anyway so this is not necessarily a deterrent.
We have disabled right clicking on images to make them more difficult to save - this acts as a deterrent for the casual surfer who might steal an image. The drawback of this is that buyers who might buy the image cannot then easily obtain a compositional copy.
In this age photographers must accept that their images can be pilfered. You are not safe by avoiding the internet. The only way to prevent pilfering is to not have your images published at all - after all, once published in print, a high quality scan can be made of any image and illegally distributed globally within seconds.
The most likely person to pilfer an image is someone with a personal website. It's annoying yes, but they would not have bought your image anyway and are not going to make money out of it. The fact is that the vast majority of organisations of any size with websites would want as a matter of policy to stay within the law.
Since you do not use watermarks, shouldn't the images be a smaller size?
Photo buyers want to be able to judge the quality of an image and that is very difficult on a computer screen. Also some computers use high resolution monitors while others do not. Image size has been chosen such that a buyer should be able to see a portrait format image properly, without scrolling, on a 15" monitor screen. Buyers with a better appointed monitor (17" viewable area, say) will be able to see the same image at 5" x 4.5" on their screen. Is it appropriate to give such buyers (who may have bigger budgets) anything less?
Printed onto paper to produce a reasonable result this image will produce only a 1.7" x 1.4" image. None too useful for almost any commercial use.
How can I update my pages?
In the photographer's forum you will see links to allow you to amend image and page descriptions as you see fit.
If I am on a commission basis, can I switch to a commission free basis?
Yes - however:
Why are your fees so low?
Should you not ask instead why others' fees are so high?
Our cost base is very low and is scalable according to demand. Also having other photographers on the site gives the site presence and helps the site owner, Scott Hortop, sell his own images.
How will you survive?
Cost effectiveness! Photoconnect has no debts and no grandiose sales targets requiring vast marketing budgets. It will simply scale itself to match the volume of business that photographers place in its direction. Our marketing approach for images is set out above and is all about our niche position in the search engines (free) and photographers assisting to identify sales targets so we can market directly to buyers.
In the long run prices may go up - but for new pages only, not for the ones already placed here.
All photographs on this site are the copyright of the photographer. Please be aware that any use without permission will be charged at a minimum at the full market rate applicable to a traditionally licensed image. No volume discounts or other incentives shall be applicable in calculating this rate. Further, if you use without permission you accept that damages will be payable should the value of future or current earnings of an image be adversely affected and you also accept that fair time and other costs of recovering amounts due should be payable.
is an online showcase of stock photography which is available for sale direct from photographers