around the net 28: photo optimism

*a preview photo for next Monday's post*

*a preview photo for next Monday

It’s hard to escape the news these days. There’s a monumental election about to happen in the U.S. next Tuesday and the turbulent financial times are affecting businesses worldwide, including the photo industry. There’s some sad news but I’m also feeling more positive on the near-term outlook for my own studio, Daylight Photo. More on that in a bit.

One of the biggest photo news stories around the net this week has been the demise of Digital Railroad, the online photo marketing / licensing site that helped photographers market their own stock and editorial work. The ASMP sent out an email this past Tuesday with notification that Digital Railroad would be closing their doors almost immediately. 24 hours later an official closing notice was posted on the DR website.

You may remember that PhotoShelter recently discontinued their own photo licensing division in order to concentrate on the company’s core photo storage business. PS and DR were regarded as being very friendly and fair to photographers. It’s disappointing to see that their business models didn’t prove to be viable because there were a lot of people pulling for them.

The aforementioned ASMP memo did list optimism about two other image distributors who may be of interest to photographers: Image Warehouse and ImageSpan, a new company that promises to “power new ways to monetize digital content”. I’m interested in hearing more about them as time goes on and will share any news.

Speaking of the presidential election, I noticed Mike Fox, Photojournalist, announced a new project on his blog recently. The object is to record (in photographs) your day on Election Day, November 4. This is an important moment in history and it makes sense to record the sights of the day, something I probably would have overlooked without the reminder. Mike is requesting photo submissions for use in an online multimedia presentation. One of his other sites, Photojournalism Online, has samples of the interesting work he’s doing with multimedia.

As for me feeling particularly optimistic about my own studio, well, things are busy and that’s a good thing. But it’s also been a really “good kind of busy”. I think clients are a little shaken up by the uncertainty of the market and advertising. It’s causing them to slow down just a bit and think things through more thoroughly and deliberately, it seems.

For awhile there every job seemed like a fire drill, where we did things as fast as possible to meet nearly impossible deadlines. Now clients are concentrating on quality again, a welcome development. The reason they’re coming to Daylight Photo is because they appreciate quality and experience. It seems to be a return to value and return on investment, rather than focusing as heavily on turnaround time and cost. I hope the trend continues!

In Monday’s post I want to walk through a past editorial assignment with you (motorcycle photo above), showing how I’ve used a photo opportunity to pitch multiple story ideas and maximize income. Until then, have a good weekend and I’ll see you next week…

- Jim T.