Suggestions on getting exposure, selling pictures, and copyright information?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by KissingTheDark, Dec 16, 2005.

  1. KissingTheDark

    KissingTheDark TPF Noob!

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    Hey!

    I'm brand new here, just found this site earlier today. It looks like there's a lot of people here and a ton of helpful information, so I thought I'd post. :) First off, I'm a nineteen year old female who became interested in photography in October of 2002 when I got my first digital camera. Since then I've been taking pictures of everything, indoors and out, and I've really come to love photography. I'm also an animal lover, and several months ago I noticed that my local animal shelter's website was sadly lacking in decent pictures of the pets up for adoption. I began considering the idea of approaching them with some of my animal pictures to see if they'd be interested in hiring me to take the pictures for their site. Turns out I never did ask them about it, but I did get as far as collecting all my animal pictures into one folder, and I was really quite amazed at how many I had and how much I liked a lot of them. That got me thinking, maybe I could do something more with this than just taking pictures for my own enjoyment. Maybe I could actually do something with these pictures I've been taking. Now obviously, I know I'm a total amateur and I've never even taken a photography class, but I truly love a lot of the pictures I've taken and people tell me I could sell some of them.

    So now I'm wondering where to go from here. Last week I was in an art store and there were matted pictures for sale just leaning up against the wall, clearly by some unknown photographer. That also got me thinking...what does it take to get into an art gallery and try to sell some pictures? Again, I know I'm an amateur and my pictures are far from perfect, but I am really starting to think I might be able to do something with this. So can anyone suggest what steps I might begin taking to be able to at least start displaying my pictures somewhere, or do any of you know of any websites with good information about that? I've read that libraries are a good place to start, just to get exposure. Has anyone here participated in any gallery displays like that? One huge thing that's stopping me from actually going into a library or art store yet is fear of having my pictures "stolen"...if I were to display/try to sell my pictures, is there something I should do to protect them from being stolen or printed by someone else? Also, the same question goes for putting pictures online, which I'm really nervous about.

    Any suggestions or advice would be greatly appreciated! Thank you so much!

    ~ KissingTheDark
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Welcome to the forum.

    Firstly, it's great that you are getting into photography, it's a great hobby/past time etc.

    I don't think you should have to worry too much about image theft. It can be a problem but there are so many images out there...it's far and few between. Any image you take it automatically owned by you...you can register them with the US copyright office (or something like that) but I wouldn't worry about that just yet.

    I'm not sure the best way to get into galleries and get your work seen. Some people go to school for years and then struggle for many more years to get to that stage...a better way to make money would be to cater to the public...like doing weddings or portraits. Pet portraits are getting popular in some areas.

    There are some books & publications out there...try a search for "making money with photography"...that should return a few good places to start.

    Have fun here at TPF :D
     
  3. MotorPsycho

    MotorPsycho TPF Noob!

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    It is an intersting question... how does one get started in the world of proffesional photography? and I am not talking about your local portrait or wedding photographer... I'm talking about the people who shoot for the big magazines... national geographic, sports illustrated.


    Taking wedding shots would never draw me away from what I currently do, but the thought of traveling the world, taking pictures of it, and getting paid is very alluring. How do these photographers get started? Is there some sort of comon college or technical degree that most have? some sort of old world apprentaceship system? a bit of both?

    I'm really just curious...
     
  4. Silverpenguin

    Silverpenguin TPF Noob!

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    I wouldn't worry about putting pictures online and being stolen too much. If you keep them small enough the resolution wont be of any use to anyone wishing to print them etc. Still stick a copyright on though just so everyone knows they are yours :)

    Welcome to the forum by the way from another newbie, always good to see another animal photographer :)
     
  5. jcharcalla

    jcharcalla TPF Noob!

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    I've been curious about this myself and have been considering just taking some photos to some local shops / galleries and asking if they will sell them for me. I'd even be willing to give them a few for free and if they sell they can call me up for more and I would discuss my fee's with them. Of course I havent done it yet and I'm not sure anyone would go for it but it's worth a try.
     
  6. digital flower

    digital flower No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Exactly. Worry more about showing them to the people that would want to buy them. Competition is fierce from what I have seen (which isn't that much). There sure are a lot of talented people out there. A web site is important as that makes easier for you to get people to look. Like galleries, stock agencies, editiors and the like. They can usually say this what we like or not. I think you really have to put some work in order to start selling.
     
  7. KissingTheDark

    KissingTheDark TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for all your responses! :) jcharcalla, what you mentioned is exactly what I thought of doing - just going into a little art gallery and showing them some pictures to see if they'd be interested in selling them. But the copyright/stealing thing is what's stopped me.

    What's to keep a business, or even a buyer for that matter, from stealing/reprinting/claiming my photos as their own? :meh:

    ~ KissingTheDark
     
  8. digital flower

    digital flower No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    No offence KTD but that sounds a bit like an excuse. How long do you think a gallery would stay in business if they ripped off the artists? They need those people to stay in business. I am sure this has happened before but around here it is not a regular occurrence. The galleries I have been talking to have many, many more artists than they could ever possibly use. I guess if you are that worried about being ripped off you will probably not going to sell a lot of photos (we probably won't be seeing them here, either). In the digital age just about anything can be copied. I think there is software that you can use to track your images across the internet but it is expensive. I guess it comes down to the choice of keep your images at home and safe or getting out there and selling!
     
  9. merlinphoto

    merlinphoto TPF Noob!

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    Hi,

    Im in a similar position to you, Ive been into photography for a while now, and recently I started thinking about selling some of my images. After some looking around Ive decided on two approaches.

    Firstly im going to start selling prints of my images, Im lucky enough to know several people who sell at craft fairs, and town markets. so I will be able to get an outlet for my work there. Simple white frames can be bought from craft shops very cheaply and look really professional.

    The other way is through stock agencies online, Ive had good sucess with two of them. http://www.fotolia.webhop.net
    and shutterstock

    Doug
     
  10. craig

    craig TPF Noob!

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    Sounds like you are motivated and that is a strong start. Always be studying photography. Like any thing knowledge and experience is key

    Rights are very particular. Make sure that everyone is clear on the terms before money or what ever is exchanged. Copyright mishaps are generally a misunderstanding as opposed to someone being ripped off.
     
  11. KissingTheDark

    KissingTheDark TPF Noob!

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    If I were trying to make excuses to keep from getting my pictures out there, I wouldn't be here trying to get help. ;) I just want to make sure I take the proper precautions, since I know nothing about the legal/copyright side of things. I want to get my work out there, but I don't want to be too eager and end up making a stupid decision.

    Yeah, I'd definitely make sure to discuss it and probably get something written and signed before anything was official. Thanks!

    ~ KissingTheDark
     
  12. Rob

    Rob TPF Noob!

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    I worried about this a lot when I created my website and when I started out in Photography.

    Actually, if a company or organisation mis-used your image against the terms of copyright you'd be laughing as you could pretty much charge them whatever you deem reasonable. This is why they don't tend to make mistakes (deliberately) often!

    As has been mentioned, you'll do best to confine your concern to self-promotion and creating sustainable business from your images - this is far far more important than anyone stealing an image.
     

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