Snapped4U — A tool for photographers to sell photos

I remember seeing photographers doing this on campus when I was in college but it was before every soccer mom had a super camera. Now you can have a basic camera and a few business cards and “work the crowd” to make money doing what self timers and tripods once did.  I’m curious how well this actually works and if people will pay $4 for a jpg of themselves.  Will people they actually go and check the pictures out.

Here’s how it works:

  • You go out and shoot photos of people at some event where there are lots of people.
  • Send them to Snapped4U’s web site
  • They search for their images and hopefully buy lots of them.
  • You get paid (via PayPal) $3.50 per image they buy.
  • They get a jpg of the image e-mailed to them.

I like the idea behind this, but wish they had a print option as well. For four bucks it seems like they should get a print, but that would involve printing and shipping…unless they teamed up with Wal-Mart or Walgreens to provide digital delivery to a location near you!

Maybe the future of vacation photos will be something like this…your family is out in front of the St. Louis Arch having a picnic and some guy comes buy takes some pictures and gives you a card to Snapped4U. You get back to the hotel, check it out and buy a few copies, post them to Facebook and click on a button to have them both e-mailed to you and prints delivered to your neighborhood Walgreens Photo Center. When you get home, you drop by Walgreens and pick up your pictures to show the neighbors.

Here’s what Snapped4U says about themselves:

Snapped4U is about getting pictures of people, particularly the group shots they can’t get themselves. Watch for events like concerts, fairs, festivals, markets, and sporting events. Think of places such as parks, beaches, monuments, and scenic overlooks. Choose a venue, then go when it’s busy and work the crowd.

via Snapped4U – The Place for Photographers to Post and Sell Their Photographs.

Polaroid Instant Film is Reinvented

From http://www.the-impossible-project.com/

Polaroid Instant Film…that loveable instantly (well actually a few minutes to see the what the chemicals have been doing) gratifying invention has gone the way of the glorious past…just like 8 track tapes, vinyl records, and bell bottom jeans…yet, just like revivals of the past fads seem to occur about every 20 or 30 years, Polaroid Film is not dead yet!  Artists and hobby-ists alike are probably pretty excited about this turn of events!

Polaroid, which suffered badly since the death of its inventive founder Edwin Land in 1991, could have completely lost the instant film — a whole artistic medium, pop culture icon and technological marvel in one — had the company not crossed paths with the Impossible Project’s founder, Florian Kaps, a man described as a “crazy Austrian entrepreneur.”

See full article from DailyFinance: http://srph.it/d3Yxjr

Personally, I’d given up on Polaroid’s film and gave my trusty Vivitar Slide Printer up to eBay. Now I’m wishing I’d held on a little longer!

Read more about how The Impossible Project, tries to explain just how they’ve managed to reinvent instant analog film in a story that is part innovation, part faith, part business and part dream. Read it via Polaroid Instant Film is Reinvented, Revived and On Sale This Week – DailyFinance.

Stunning pictures of sleeping insects covered in dew

Awesome photos!

Glistening in the early morning, these insects look like creatures from another planet as dew gathers on their sleeping bodies.Captured in extreme close-up, one moth appears to be totally encrusted in diamonds as it rests on a twig.

via The stunning pictures of sleeping insects covered in early morning dew | Mail Online.

Defining a line and when to cross it is a tough call for photographers, journalists

Journalists are taught to be a “Fly on the wall” observer who records but doesn’t make the news. Well, that’s nice in theory and there are times when journalists should be just that, but there are other times when a journalist overcomes the shyness of the observer and ends up getting involved. Here are two examples…

The Sun Journal newspaper reported that photographer Russ Dillingham was credited with helping police capture 35-year-old Norman Thompson as he tried to flee from local police and federal agents.

via News Photographer Tackles, Apprehends Fugitive on the Loose –

And in the recent coverage of Haiti’s Earthquake recovery…

Several media ethics scholars have criticized the broadcast and cable news networks for allowing their medical correspondents to be shown performing emergency treatment in Haiti. via Contactmusic.com

The way I see it is that it’s more a matter of the purpose of the journalist’s intrusion into the story. If it is to get more viewers or to promote the journalist’s company or commercial interests, then I think it is completely inappropriate. If it is a human responding to a need or reacting to a situation, then I’m really quite accepting of the intrusion. It should still be reported clearly that the journalist was involved, but I don’t see this as a case of unethical behavior. I see it as human behavior kicking in. Honestly, it’s refreshing to see that journalists out there still have humanity’s reactions working in them! Remember Kevin Carter? He became notorious for not getting involved after he left an emaciated Sudanese girl under the watch of a vulture after photographing the pair in Africa. Even after winning a Pulitzer Prize in 1994, the things Carter saw especially in Africa be came too much for him to deal with and he took his own life. While I worked as a journalist/photographer for the Fort Scott Tribune, I found myself feeling like I knew the details but could do little to make a difference. Yet, those times when I did “only” write about things, the encouraging words of a reader or the public official who later told me of the response they received after an article I wrote were excellent reminders that even an unbiased report can stir people to action simply because a journalist did his or her job…informed the people. Thoughts?

Publicly available space photos from NASA

NASA photo: The Space Shuttle Challenger lifts off in 1986

NASA photo: The Space Shuttle Challenger lifts off in 1986

Do you need a photo of a planet or of the Space Shuttle Challenger taking off? No need to send your friendly freelance photographer to space on some Russian rocket. You can turn to the source that American citizens have been funding for all sorts of interesting space projects…NASA.

Their easy search system, gives great access to all sorts of cool images of space ships, nebulas, planets, etc.

From what I can tell these photos are available for public use…and even for commercial use.  Here’s how NASA’s Site describes acceptable use of their images,

NASA still images; audio files; video; and computer files used in the rendition of 3-dimensional models, such as texture maps and polygon data in any format, generally are not copyrighted. You may use NASA imagery, video, audio, and data files used for the rendition of 3-dimensional models for educational or informational purposes, including photo collections, textbooks, public exhibits, computer graphical simulations and Internet Web pages. This general permission extends to personal Web pages.

This general permission does not extend to use of the NASA insignia logo (the blue “meatball” insignia), the retired NASA logotype (the red “worm” logo) and the NASA seal. These images may not be used by persons who are not NASA employees or on products (including Web pages) that are not NASA-sponsored.

NASA should be acknowledged as the source of the material except in cases of advertising.

I’d check into all the details before trying to sell them and if you have questions about using them in advertising you can see the  NASA Advertising Guidelines.
When it comes to those commercial purposes, NASA has pretty simple guidelines…

If the NASA material is to be used for commercial purposes, especially including advertisements, it must not explicitly or implicitly convey NASA’s endorsement of commercial goods or services.

NASA photo: Earthrise

If a NASA image includes an identifiable person, using the image for commercial purposes may infringe that person’

s right of privacy or publicity, and permission should be obtained from the person. Any questions regarding application of any NASA image or emblem should be directed to:

Photo Department

NASA Headquarters
300 E St. SW
Washington, DC 20546
Tel: 202-358-1900
Fax: 202-358-4333

It’s nice to see that the millions of dollars that go into space programs not only generate technology advances but provide the people with really cool photos… like the classic earthrise with the moon in the foreground or the double jet nebula:

The Twin Jet Nebula as seen by the Hubble Telescope in Dec. 1997

The Twin Jet Nebula as seen by the Hubble Telescope in Dec. 1997

PhotoJournalism: Get model releases

Mark M. Hancock gives the best description and easily understood info about model releases for photojournalists that I’ve seen yet.  This is definitely worth a read.

The biggest benefit of a signed model release is the subjects’ knowledge they signed a release. In other words, once the subject signs the release, they’re aware it exists and aren’t going to try to sue because they know they signed it.

read the whole article at PhotoJournalism: Get model releases.

What’s been your experience with or without model releases?

Don’t come back without them.

Whatever you are covering, there are three shots every photographer should bring back to the newsroom: The overall shot, the medium shot, and the close-up. These are your must haves.

The overall shot

Often a wide angle or expansive shot that provides an overall view establishing the scene. This image let’s the viewer see how the subject(s) is/are oriented in relationship to the whole scene.

Take a street festival for example…the overall shot may show the expanse of the street lined with vendor booths and crowded with people with a perspective from a high vantage point. This image lets the viewer see how big this event really is.

The medium shot

This shot is the basic story teller shot. It lets the viewer see the subject close enough to view their actions but not so tight that they are secluded from their environment or people they are interacting with.

Back to the street festival example…the medium shot may show a street vendor interacting with a customer and leaves enough environment to place the interaction at the festival.

The close up

This shot pulls out details that support the other two shots. By narrowing the field of view, it forces the viewer to come closer and, in effect, enter the scene themselves. A close up gives the viewer that personal view of even small details that make up the whole of the scene.

In the street festival, the close up may be the sticky fist of a child holding an ice cream cone and framed by an equally sticky face or the intricate carving of an artisan’s craft.

By making sure you’ve got these three covered, you’re going to have a much better chance of coming back with not just one image that “works” but getting a story in images that will help you show what you saw and keep your editor happy.