Friday, August 22, 2008

Globalizing your stock images

In RF stock photography where the royalty rate is low the name of the game is multiple sales. Internet marketing has made this a breeze for photographers who put their images with agencies or outlets having global distribution schemes. Giving your images a non-specific country look can serve to increase sales globally.

Including any language in a photo is a sure way to localize it. So try to avoid the presence of words. For instance, when photographing a school scene with a blackboard, it would be far more generic to have math problems written on the board.

Check out uniforms, a European nurse’s uniform might be different than an American uniform. Perhaps all you have to do is modify the nurse’s cap. Pay attention to clothing styles and hair styles everywhere, and select your wardrobes accordingly.

Whenever I travel to a foreign country, I make a habit of visiting several large department stores to see what people there are buying and what images advertisers use in their displays. You might learn that including something as simple as a home phone in your photo is a quick give-away that the shot was done in the USA and not Europe, thereby hurting potential European sales of the photo.

Much of this seems obvious, but is often over looked by the stock shooter. Always try to imagine the end use of your images, and keep in mind that the use may be in a completely different part of the world. The more universal you keep the image, the more you increase your chances for multiple sales.

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