Stock Photography FAQ
How can an independent photographer compete with the big agencies and market images on their own?
- Find a Special Niche: Like any business, you will need to find a special niche in the marketplace. Do thorough market research.
- Get Contact Names: Find out what types of publications your market reads, and what type of professional societies they may join. Develop a list of people you want to market to.
- Send Mailings Several Times a Year: Promote yourself regularly. Even though you may have difficulty making contact with some people, don't give up! You'd be surprised how many people DO look at promotional pieces and pass them around to others who may be in a position to hire you.
- Make Cold Telephone Calls: Don't worry, it's not you - most people hate these. Sometimes it's easier to introduce yourself through a promotional mailing before making the phone call. If you promote yourself regularly, they may be more likely to recognize your name and take the call. That's the trick to advertising! Just think of your last visit to the supermarket when you leaned toward purchasing that one item because you heard of it before and assumed it must be better. Chances are you
only heard of it because somebody shelled out a lot of money to advertise that product and put that name in your head (even if only subconsciously).
- Get Portfolio Reviews: It might take years to get in the door, but if you regularly promote yourself you'd be surprised how many of your images they'll recognize from your portfolio. If they don't ask, don't bother telling them where they may have seen it - for all they know, it might have been the cover of National
- Leave Samples of your work: If it's a new contact, leave them with samples of past promotional pieces to get them up to speed.
- Follow up, and stay in touch: Find excuses for calling them. You never know when they might need photography.