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Friday, 22 June 2012

Business

Red Canoe in Algonquin
Red Canoe in Algonquin - Click for larger

(Above image published in the Summer 2012 issue of ON Nature magazine)

It's not always the fun part, although I love getting paid for what I do. The business aspect of photography takes up the majority of our time. If it were just clicking the shutter this would be a very simple business. It is a lot of hard work and grueling hours at the computer. Phone calls, emails and dealing with clients can eat up your day. Not to mention, backups, processing and adding the captions, keywords and other metadata. Labrador Iceberg
Labrador Iceberg - Click for larger

(Above image selected as Editors Choice, National Association of Photoshop Professionals June 21, 2012)

It's not why we got into this. It wasn’t for recognition or the money. It was for the shear joy of capturing a moment, a slice of time that inspires and shows the wonder of the world. But eventually, you have to sell to keep doing it. Publish or perish.

I remember the first time I had a nature image published. It was very exciting. I think I got $50 for it. It was a cow moose from Algonquin. That image is no longer in my database of images. I probably still have it somewhere but it is not as good as the moose images I have now. Still, it was the beginning and holds a special place in my memory. I'm still a regular contributor to that magazine 20 years later.

There is an energy that is released when you get published. It's validation and yes; it helps the ego although it is best to keep that in check. You must remember there are so many great images out there. I am just a very small part of a very large industry. St. Lawrence River
St. Lawrence River - Click for larger

(Above image published in the May 2012 issue of Canadian Geographic Travel magazine)

I often don’t get to see my published images. If they are sold by one of our many agencies, we get a quarterly statement and a cheque. The statement indicates what image sold, what rights where sold and how and where geographically it was used. It does not list the company or publication. So we rarely see most of our images in print. If we sell it directly to a client, we ask for copies. However many of our sales are through an agent. Killarney Provincial Park
Killarney Provincial Park - Click for larger

Many years ago, a photographer friend of mine saw the above image in the United Airlines in flight magazine. Photographers often read the credit line. He noticed my name and grabbed several copies for me. He knew it was very important to have examples of published work and I'm grateful that he sent them along.

We continue to establish new clients on our own: Meadowlark

(Above image published in the October/November 2011 issue of National Wildlife magazine)

Getting and keeping new clients is what it is all about when it comes down to business. That takes time and hard work. There is no way around it.

Selling your work changes the dynamic of your photography. In some ways it takes some of the fun out of it. In other ways, it adds joy and a sense of accomplishment.

Dinosaur Provincial Park
Dinosaur Provincial Park - Click for larger

(Above image published online at: National Geographic Travel Trip Ideas)

Whatever you do, there is a cycle. The cycle of photography is not really complete until you show the image somehow. Whether it is published or printed and hung on the wall, it all starts with your eye and what is in front of you.

After all these years, the process is still fun, challenging and rewarding.

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1 Comments:

Anonymous Marta said...

I think it must be very rewarding to open a magazine, for example, and see your work in it. Congrats on the recent one and here's to many more in the future!!

23 June 2012 at 15:56  

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