The Benefits of Getting a Photography Degree

A photography degree will give an edge to those that do not have one. The training, skills, and experience gained on top of the networking opportunities will help boost people’s careers in the field. Below are five benefits to having a photography degree.

Have the edge with a degree

Being in school allows photographers to develop a portfolio early on which will help them find a job after. Photography schools provide some of the top notch equipment for use in order to take high quality photos for portfolios.

Have access to professional quality equipment

By going to school, people have access to multitude of professional equipment. Schools are constantly updating their facility and gadgets and students have access to that. Students will be able to access these resources in school and learn how to operate them.

Get professional feedback

Photography schools will provide professional photographers as mentors to give feedback and critique work. Having a mentor, peers, and professors to constantly judge your work will help you grow as a photographer. Understanding different perspectives from different people will allow you to further your skills.

Become a well-rounded individual

Photography school will allow students to take a multitude of courses in different types of photography and other areas. Students will be able to become familiar with different concepts, styles, and techniques. This will allow students to become better rounded.

Get job placement

By being in school, there are many opportunities to get a job after school is completed. Schools may offer job opportunities to students who will be close to graduation. There may also be tons of resources for part time or internship work. The career services department can prepare students for interviews and job placements for the real-world as well.

The years people spend in college give them a mature perspective and approach to life. Aside from learning the proper way to do photography, people develop business skills that will help them become well rounded individuals. The connections and network built in school opens up connections that people wouldn’t have if they did not attend school. Some companies require a degree in order to even be considered for a job. A degree, in any discipline, is good for self-confidence, something that is vital in being successful at anything. These benefits listed above are guaranteed if students are in school. Although people may think that a degree is not necessary to be photographer, most of the benefits of pursuing a degree are the resources and network connections built while attending school.

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How to Promote Your Stock Photography Business?

Top 10 things you can do to promote your stock photography and vector portfolio.

1. Keyword your images and illustrations as well as you can, i.e. using scientific names, exact locations etc. In addition, use good titles and descriptions. This helps buyers and search engines locate your photos.

2. Create a concise and well thought out email signature that will be attached to all your outgoing emails and have links to your portfolio in it. This is also smart to do if you post in forums or message boards. These links are valuable tools for people to find your photos.

3. Submit your studio and photo links to Google. Just Google “submit URL to Google” to get the URL.

4. Submit your portfolio to related photography sites, directories and forums. You can do Google searches to find the best directories or photography resource pages for good sites to promote your artwork.

5. Create specific lightboxes or clipfolders that highlight similar images around a topic that you know photo buyers are interested in. For example you might want to create a clipfolder that relates to Christmas or New Years. Or create one that is for Sports or Food related. It is up to you. You can submit these clipfolders to search engines and also send them directly to friends, family and best of all photo buyers.

6. Add your portfolio or studio link to blogs or different websites you are a part of. On many sites you can use the “Add This” button to add your portfolio and photography to social networks that you belong to links

7. Use any websites’ referral links to drive new photo buyers and new sellers to your portfolio to find extra ways to make money while you promote your work.

8. Create highly unique, not too posed photos and do your research on what buyers are searching for and buying on different sites. Look at the information agencies give you to know what buyers are looking for and where there are under-served markets. Check out what photo agencies are looking for.

9. When linking to your portfolio try using anchor links like “stock photography” or “buy photos.” Wikipedia says The anchor text, link label or link title is the visible, click-able text in a hyperlink. The words contained in the anchor text can determine the ranking that the page will receive by search engines. This will help Google and other search engines know that your studio link is related to whatever text you use for your anchor link.

10. Use http://search.twitter.com to find out what people are looking for with regards to stock photos and connect with them. Talk to buyers about what they want and then create it for them. You can then direct them to your site/studio so they can buy it.

These tips should lead to an improvement in the amount of traffic your photography portfolio receives and at the end of the day should lead to more sales.

Selling & Submitting Your Photography At Art Shows

Starting Out

Everyones most common question – where do I start? Let’s just say that you’ve been taking pictures for a while now and you’ve received regular feed back from your friends and relations as to how well you take pictures. You may have done a couple of jobs here and there and you customers have commented a number of times about the quality of the shots. Maybe you’ve even thought about establishing a booth at some of the fairs as well. Art shows can provide a viable way to earn a living doing what you like to do, taking shots.

Lets Look At Some Important Points

Some people make the first few attempts at shows by only going to those close to home but this should be short lived and should only be a stepping stone to a bigger and more frequent attendance. You see there are bigger and better art shows out there that will reward you handsomely if only you can find it in your soul to dismiss the habit of eating a sandwich and reading a book at the standard small fair while people look at your pictures.

I’m talking about the better art shows, I’m talking about the sale of photography as a business, and in approaching it, see that people do art shows on a very professional level for a living to support their families and enjoy some wealth creation while they’re at it. The competition can produce some of the best photography you’ve ever seen. But of course you think that you have something of value to contribute. Real photography art which people are waiting in line to purchase.

You need to get these two points right if you’re planning on applying to some of the better art shows. You must understand what other photographers are selling and how they go about displaying their work. Walk through a major show and observe the competition.

Fact#1 – On a business level it’s competition for the money

Fact#2 – on a photographic level it’s the competition for the space in the show.

Why It’s Important To Have A Unified Body Of Work

There are TWO reasons;

Fact#1 – Customers hate being confused and will walk rather than ask for clarity due to embarrassment. When you have people standing in your booth thinking about making a purchase, there is a point in time where if they haven’t made up their mind, they walk away.

Fact#2 – The other is the “your booth”. Most application requirements at art shows require that you submit individual slides of your work (about 4 or 5) plus a picture of your display. Now listen carefully – the display slide will look more professional looking if the body of work is unified.

Something to consider carefully is how you will attract someone to your booth, given that they will be walking past many. I suggest that your whole booth become a show stopper. By this I mena that the them and composition should be interrelated and have exceptional impact.

Image Preparation

There’s no avoiding it, especially when you’re starting up. Printing, mounting, matting and framing all have to be done professionally.

Your materials and labor will become a factor in your selling price, as will competition from your peers. As a generalization, you can’t spend $50 to print, mat and frame a 16×20 if you plan on selling it for $100. But you can if you’re going to sell it for $300. But you can’t sell it for $300 if the other photographers are selling that size for $200.

You will need a source for framing supplies. There are multitudes of companies that sell frames. You can find some in the advertisements in D├ęcor Magazine.

It’s best to use non-glare glass with photography. That way customers can be distracted to the photograph from where evre they’re standing at my booth and other reflections don’t deter purchase. It’s a personal choice and doesn’t work for everyone. Non glare glass costs twice what regular framing glass costs. Fome cor is an acid free backing and mounting board that is widely used in the framing industry. Some photographers base their sizes on the available materials. Because mat board and fore cor are available in 32×40 inch sheets, that 32×40 sheet can be cut to produce four 16×20’s with no waste.

You can also sell unframed picture for sale. This places the framed pictures in a more up-market category and helps justify a higher price. This serves three purposes. It gives you a less expensive item to prepare and sell. It generates money, and it lets you display different images that might not have the same theme as the ones hanging on the display.

The unframed photos can be matted and mounted, just like the framed photographs, and are displayed in clear plastic bags to protect them while people handle them.

Art Show Applications

How to find an art show to start with;

Believe it or not most exhibitors hear about shows from other exhibitors. However her’s a short list to start with –

Art Fair Sourcebook, The book is published annually and is an expensive but necessary resource if you’re considering art shows as a profession. It lists the top 300 art shows in the country.

Another is Sunshine Artist Magazine, which is the closest thing there is to a trade magazine in the art show business.

Which are the good Art Shows?

Here’s a guide for the best art shows. The first being Coconut Grove Arts Festival, Winter Park Art Show

(Orlando), Oklahoma City Festival of the Arts, Old Town Art Show (Chicago), 57th Street (Chicago), Boston Mills

Art Show (Peninsula Ohio), Cherry Creek Art Show (Denver), Madison On the Square (Wisconsin), Central

Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts (State College PA), Ann Arbor (four shows to choose from), Uptown

(Minneapolis) Art Show, Longs Park Art Show (Lancaster PA), The Plaza (Kansas City), Saint Louis Art Festival

(Clayton MO), Des Moines Art Festival. there are similar shows in England, Canada, Australia, Scandanavia, Europe, South Africa and New Zealand.

One last tip;

Web Site Promotion – Use your web site URL as your business name on your booth sign. It has been found from experience that web site clients get a substantial increase in traffic after art shows if they promote their web sites properly. Your art show visitors will usually be your biggest online customers.