We moved into our current house back in April of 1997. About 2 blocks from the Halifax River near Daytona Beach, Florida, it wasn’t long before I began daily dog walks down to the river and discovered that you never know what you might see.
Over the years I’ve been accompanied by 2 different dogs, for a few years they overlapped and there were two dogs along for the stroll. Me and my canine friends have seen: rabbits, snakes, herons, egrets, manatees, porpoise, a gator, hurricanes, 100 degree heat, freezing, icy weather, space shuttle blast-offs, local people, tourists, dog-lovers, dog-haters, wind , rain, lightning, dark clouds, baking sun, cats, dogs, lizards, trees and flowers, majestic sailboats and grounded houseboats. Like I said, you never know what you’re going to come across on these daily outings.
So, over the years as digital photography was introduced and quality cameras became smaller and more portable, it finally dawned on me a year or two ago to carry a camera along on these walks. After all, I am a photographer by occupation! And, after 15 years, I’ve decided to start a little ongoing photo project: Scenes from the Daily Dog Walk. This gallery can be viewed by clicking here.
I’ve never bee one for organized ongoing projects, given my short attention span and lack of organizational skills, but my intent will be to add regularly to this collection, whenever I come across something that catches my eye. These pictures will be taken with everything from my iPhone, myCanon Elph 300 HS, my Panasonic Lumix GF1 and, on more ambitious days, one of my Canon EOS DSLR ’s.
So, with the assistance of my walking partner Willow and in memory of my late and sorely missed companion Layla, I present: Scenes from the Daily Dog Walk!
This week sees the launch of another new product forom BCpix.com: A gallery of wide, narrow royalty-free photographs designed to be used as website mastheads, page-wide horizontal blog content photos, and photos to be used in internet banner advertisements!
Click here to view Web Banner Galley
As you can see from these examples, the pictures are unique selections from the photo archive of Florida-based freelance photographer Brian Cleary which lend themselve to long, low cropping, often incorporating areas within the frame ideal for dropping in text, logos, etc.
The images are sized at 1200x250 pixels, wide enough for any web page and, of course, down-sizable to fit your specific needs. Priced affordably with a royalty-free license at $35 dollars per image and, of course, royalty-free means buy it once, use it in multiple placements whenever you like for as long as you like!
Click here to view Web Banner Galley
As always, the Photoshelter platform at bcpix.com provides for easy, searchable browsing, purchase and download of all the banner photos. Check back often, as new images are being added daily!
With the over-saturated stock photography market that the advent of digital photography and the ever-improving line of digital cameras has created, many of us photo veterans, who date back to the days of film, are having a hard time coming to terms with ultra- low commissions that the microstock houses are paying.
With that in mind, have somewhat limited options when it comes to marketing our work at prices with which we are comfortable.
One route is to build your own online archive and portfolio at places like Photoshelter, where I house an ever-growing collection of rights-managed and royalty-free photography. One problem with this approach is that it is extremely tough to even get noticed in the sea of photography that is now online, which makes it very difficult to attract enough traffic to build a steady income.
There is another interesting option that has been around for a few years that I have recently discovered.
There are now several sites out there where merchants can sell their digital downloads, with the site proprietor taking a percentage of the sale price. While many people use these sites to market e-books, mp3’s, software, etc, it is also a viable platform from which to sell royalty-free stock photography and royalty-free video clips.
The site with which I am currently experimenting is the German=based Tradebit.com.
There are several things I like about the Tradebit model:
1) Tradebit is highly ranked with Alexa (as of today, 2381st in the US), ensuring a built-in traffic flow. While not all of these visitors will be looking for stock photography, at least you have a chance to get your tagged, keyworded files in front of thousands of potential buyers.
2) Tradebit offers several ways to get the URL of your homepage in front of the visitors to their site.
3) You can set the price for your offerings at whatever you want. If I’m not comfortable accepting the 30 perc ent of $1 sales that many of the microstock sitesw are offering, I can post the same photo at Tradebit at any price I wish. I may not make any sales, but I can always adjust the price as I see fit and don’t have to be frustrated at seeing my work being used while I pocket a 30 cent commission!
4) There are no monthly fees involved in dealing with Tradebit. Amazingly, you do not pay for them to house you uploads, they work only for a percentage any sales.
5) You are your own editor. There is no long curation process, where you are often told that your work is not suitable for sale on a particular site. You decide exactly what you want to post for sale, upload it and it is online, usually within a day and often almost instantly!
6) The offerings on Tradebit show up very quickly and competitively ranked in google searches.
7) Buyers on Tradebit are not required to maintain a user account. They simply find what they are looking for and download it, paying via PayPal. I’ve always felt that the easier it is for someone to buy something, the more likely they are to buy it.
8) You can easily create a variety of embedable widgets from your projects and place them in blog posts, on web pages, etc. (see example below):
So those are a few of the Pros to the Tradebit model. Are there any Cons? Of course. The Tradebit platform is sort of a self-serve process for both buyers and sellers. While the owner, Ralf, is very helpful and responsive to questions, it is often a process of feeling around the site to make things look and work the way you’d like. I’ve discovered a few amazing little hidden perks in my exploring (the ability to insert a clickable-to-my-site banner on my pages, for example).
Tradebit is only one of several options for merchants looking to do business on one of the digital download sites, and I selected it due to its traffic ranking and favorable reviews that I was able to find online.
The jury is still out on the effectiveness of marketing royalty-free stock photos on Tradebit, as I’m only about a week into my experiment, but could this be the new wave for photographers to battle the online microstock mega-sites?