Freelance Round-Up: This month in photography

Marketing and business stuff – the essential nuts and bolts

This month I've been researching ways to improve my business marketing, and working out new and creative ways to expand my client list. Having recently relocated to Australia, I'm finding that in many ways I am starting over, and so with a new start comes a new approach.

I came across this article from the guys at Photoshelter, and it's one of the clearest and most useful starting points that I've come across so far. While you're over there, do yourself a favour and have a look at the selection of free PDF reports that they have generously put together. There's loads of useful information about harnessing the power of the internet to make your photography more profitable.

Photoshelter are a brilliant example of how creatively shifting your business approach to respond to changing markets CAN be a success. You may or may not remember when they were a stock library (in a model similar to Alamy) but in the highly competitive world of stock libraries, they were having limited success.

These days they work with photographers to help them market their own images, by providing internet-based tools to showcase an online portfolio, incorporate a searchable library of all your images, link it all up with a blog, and a whole host of other features. I don't use Photoshelter for my website, but I'm seriously considering shifting over.

In the interests of balance and integrity – because at the moment it kind of looks like I'm in Photoshelter's pocket! - I would also like to point you in the direction of the people who host my current website. Photobiz is competitively priced, easy to use, offers loads of great features including a password protected client area as well as the ability to shift your payment plan up or down, in line with the needs of your business.

Elsewhere on the internet, AphotoEditor is starting up a monthly column outlining real-life scenarios of pricing and negotiating for work. The first installment can be found here and it's a really interesting read. Sure, the job being profiled is a big dollar commercial shoot, but the various factors to be taken into consideration when quoting for a new job are always relevant, no matter the size of the shoot, or the budget.

And finally, I have literally just stumbled across this website . It's a portal to introduce photographers and clients, and while I haven't dug around the site too deeply yet, at first glance it looks really promising.

Gear review

Canon vs. Nikon. It's the debate that keeps igniting between photographers from all walks of life. For those interested in the top level heavyweights, there's a meaty review of the Canon EOS 1D Mark IV vs. the Nikon D35 to be found here. ().

Politics in photography

The Digital Economy Bill was passed this month, and photographers have once again been successful in blocking a clause that could have had a detrimental effect on the livelihood of freelance photographers.

Clause 43 was a sneaky piece of law which was going to allow anyone the legal right of unlicensed use of “orphan works” - images that are not obviously owned by anyone, or whose ownership is unable to be traced back to the holder of copyright. So, once again, well done to all the campaigners, photographers and everyone else who got involved and helped to stop this piece of legislation from going through.

Breaking the block

Feeling uninspired? Want to get out of a creative rut? This article is full of interesting, fun and useful ideas on how to get your creative motor running again. Just be careful to not get too caught up in following the seemingly endless links, or you may never move from in front of your computer again. The idea is to get OUT, and take some amazing images.


I'm not sure any news roundup of April 2010 can end without some sort of reference to the activity of a certain volcano in Northern Europe. So in case you haven't had your fill of images around this spectacular event, have a little look over here and here.

Cathy Topping l Website



27th April 2010

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