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How to Stop Using Stock Photos & Boycott the Stock Photo Industry

How to Stop Using Stock Photos & Boycott the Stock Photo Industry

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Commentary by Matthew Chan. How to avoid using stock photos and boycott the stock photo industry.
Commentary by Matthew Chan. How to avoid using stock photos and boycott the stock photo industry.

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Published by: ExtortionLetterInfo.com on Oct 28, 2011
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How to Stop Using Stock Photos & Boycott the Stock Photo Industry
By Matthew S. Chan, Last updated: April 14, 2009Because of my personal distaste and dismay of the Stock Photo industry which started with theGetty Images ExtortionDemand Letter, I have taken steps to personally boycott the Stock Photo Industry and advocate not using stock photosaltogether. The stock photo industry seems to be rapidly consolidating into two companies: Getty Images and Corbis, asthey buy their way into near-monopoly status with them setting outrageous rules, policy, and pricing.This article will not give you all the information necessary to entirely eliminate the need for stock photos in every situation.However, this article will give you some ideas and strategies to wean yourself and perhaps altogether eliminate your needfor stock photos. I firmly believe that if you put your intentions behind the idea, you can make huge strides towardseliminating the need for stock photos altogether.The very first thing you need to think about is whatever media project you are working on is, do you truly need a photo atall? Chances are that you are working on a website, book, magazine, brochure, news story, banner, or some other mediaproject. Alternatives to photos might be diagrams, cartoons, illustrations, and drawings that you or a graphic artist you hirecan create. Can you take your own photo to fit the need?If you hire a graphic artist to create your own artwork, do not hire anyone in China or India where there is very little respectfor intellectual property. They may be inexpensive but you can never be assured that their work is original. There is littlerecourse for their bad behavior because they are so far away. I recommend hiring graphic artists from the U.S. because asa professional community, they have a greater respect for intellectual property than their Chinese or Indian counterparts.They will think twice before using pirated material.I would avoid hiring any company that outsources their work to graphic artist worker bees. In other words, I always want todeal and negotiate with a graphic artist professional themselves, not some agent or agency that farms out graphics artwork.If you do want to use and take your own photos, I highly recommend investing in a good digital camera so that you canbegin taking your own photos. I also recommend getting to know amateur hobbyist photographers who have access togood cameras and enjoy taking photos. Very often, amateur photographers with good cameras are trying to find a way to justify the costs of their hobby. By hiring them inexpensively, you can get some great looking photos but also help theamateur photographer pay for his hobby. Make sure they understand that you are they are working for hire and that youwill have full ownership and rights to the photos.Professional photographers can be expensive depending on what you want and who you use. For these folks, Irecommend bartering with them for exchange of services if you have talents in your profession. I find many professionalphotographers finicky. They will sometimes not give you full ownership or rights of the photo even though you paid them totake a photo. They are quite protective and their thinking is aligned to many in the stock photo industry. Admittedly, this isa broad generalization and based only on my experience. I am simply not optimistic that you will get good value from aprofessional photographer but it certainly does not hurt to try and negotiate with them.Another source of quality photos is product photos from product manufacturers. Often, they are happy to have theirproducts publicized and placed in a positive light and will give you free rights to use their photos. Product companiesmostly police and control their photos because they don’t want their photos used in a manner they did not intend or in away that paints their company or products in a negative light. Many will grant you free usage of their photos if youapproach them the right way. However, large companies can be a challenge sometimes because of their size. They maybe so large that they may not even get back to you. Again, it never hurts to try. Product companies are in the businessselling more of their products, not sue people who use their product photos.If you choose to take your own photos, invest in a digital camera that can take a resolution of 4 megapixel images orhigher. You want to take high-resolution photos as your master copy. You can then “downsize”, crop, and enhance the
xtortionLetterInfo.com Article: Stop Using Stock Photos & Boycott the...http://www.extortionletterinfo.com/boycott.htm1 of 210/28/2011 3:27 AM

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