This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
Photoshop for Profit
Insider strategies for making money from your Photoshop skills.
Photoshop For Profit
© Copyright 2010 New Media Entertainment Ltd. Copyrighted material. All rights reserved. No reproduction, reselling,reprinting, or republishing, in whole or in part, is permitted. ISBN-10: 1609350006 ISBN-13: 978-1609350000 There is no warranty as to the accuracy of the material contained herein and it may not be relied upon for any purpose. Photoshop is a trademark of Adobe Systems Incorporated. Neither New Media Entertainment Ltd nor the editors of Photopreneur are associated or affiliated with Adobe Systems Incorporated. THE PRODUCTS AND SERVICES DESCRIBED IN THIS EBOOK ARE FOR EDUCATIONAL AND INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY. ANY EXAMPLES AND ADVICE GIVEN IN THIS EBOOK SHOULD NOT TO BE CONSTRUED
TO GUARANTY ECONOMIC SUCCESS. DUE TO MANY VARIABLE RISKS, YOU MUST MAKE YOUR OWN INDEPENDENT JUDGMENT AS TO THE VIABILITY OF ANY BUSINESS TRANSACTION. EVEN IF YOU FOLLOW THE ADVICE GIVEN IN THIS EBOOK, YOU MAY NOT MAKE ANY MONEY AND
N e x t Pa g e
full Screen P r e v i o u S Pa g e n e X t Pa g e
INDEED, MAY SUFFER LOSSES. Cover photo: istock © Vlingva Book design by DesignForBooks.com
Introduction SELLING PHOTOSHOP PRODUCTS ON ZAZZLE AND ETSY 1
5 6 10 14 16 17 23 25 29 30 32 33 35
1.1 Creating Commercial Designs and Products on Zazzle 1.2 Selling Photoshop Art on Etsy 2 IMAGE RETOUCHING
2.1 Selling Retouching Services through a Website 2.2 Using Flickr to Market Retouching Services 2.3 Photo Retouching for Photography Assistants 3
MICROSTOCK FOR PHOTOSHOP EXPERTS
3.1 Digital Images as Microstock Elements 3.2 And Microstock Elements as Digital Images 4
N e x t Pa g e
full Screen P r e v i o u S Pa g e n e X t Pa g e
CREATING—AND SELLING—PHOTOSHOP BRUSHES
4.1 Giving Away the Brush 4.2 Charging for the Brush
4.3 Selling Brushes through MediaSlap 5 BECOMING A FORENSIC PHOTOSHOPPER
38 40 41 44 45 47
5.1 What is Photoshop Forensics? 5.2 Breaking into Police Work . . . and Defense Work 5.3 The Costs of Image Analysis Conclusion
full Screen P r e v i o u S Pa g e n e X t Pa g e
N e x t Pa g e
The rise of digital photography and the Internet have completely changed the relationship between the commercial world and photographers. Once the ability to sell licenses to use images could only be done through exclusive stock companies which took their pick of the top photographers and paid them a set royalty. Today anyone can submit images to microstock sites and receive commissions each time they’re used.
contentS full Screen P r e v i o u S Pa g e n e X t Pa g e
N e x t Pa g e
Once marketing even the most basic of photography services meant creating a physical portfolio and spending large sums on advertising. Today anyone can upload their images to a website and bring in potential clients to look at them.
Adobe Photoshop.TRODUCTION And where once only professionals could earn money from their photographic skills. just as professional photographers still exist. the standard tool for designers. artists and creative individuals. To a lesser extent. INTRODUCTION . played around with layers and created new images with Photoshop’s powerful tools. and sell them with very little effort and practically no overheads. of course. are now owned and used by millions of regular folk. But in the same way that the price of professional cameras have now fallen low enough to be affordable for images. the same thing has happened for graphic designers. Those users might not have intended to become designers but as they edited their photographs. they inevitably picked up the sorts of skills that designers have made careers out of selling. we’re going to look at a number of ways that Photoshop users are generating revenue by using those design skills. is also on the desktops of millions of keen photographers. N e x t Pa g e – + 2 We’ll begin by discussing a couple of options that allow Photoshop users to create products out of their designs. contentS full Screen P r e v i o u S Pa g e n e X t Pa g e In this ebook. and devote as much or as little time as they want to a hobby that can bring in revenues. Professional designers still exist. so Professional professional design tools are now owned and design tools used by millions of regular folk. today even part-timers can receive the full financial value of their talent.
and has some useful marketing tools as well. and even photo owners can want their portraits improved before being added to marketing material or printing them. They smooth the skin. We’ll describe how some Photoshop users are marketing these enhancement services. improve toning and complete a wide range of other procedures that turn an average image into a beautiful picture. And sell them too. It’s something that photographers do anyway before passing images on to clients or displaying their photos. remove blemishes. We’ll then discuss microstock. We’ll then talk about one very specific service that a number of photographers and designers are offering: image retouching. Photographers sometimes need assistants to do this for them. iron out wrinkles. Both of those—and more—create opportunities for people who know even just the basics of Photoshop. Microstock is really aimed at photographers but it also supplies N e x t Pa g e contentS full Screen P r e v i o u S Pa g e n e X t Pa g e – + 3 INTRODUCTION . now the simplest way for image creators to earn commissions by allowing others to use their work. Both offer opportunities for Photoshop users to turn their talents into cash. Etsy is an online store that sells handmade arts and crafts.TRODUCTION Zazzle provides designers with a wide range of products—from posters and calendars to baseball caps and mousepads—on which they can print their creations.
We assume you already know how to use Photoshop and do so regularly. for example. It’s the sort of work that can help Photoshop experts catch killers . This ebook isn’t meant to turn anyone into a graphic designer. Nor is it intended to equip you with new skills and improve your Photoshopping techniques. N e x t Pa g e – + 4 INTRODUCTION . And finally. and how you can sell the image editing skills you’ve picked up too. . we’ll talk about a very specialized. It’s not meant to guide people into new careers or encourage anyone to ditch the day job for a life of Photoshopping. Photoshop also offers a number of other specialized opportunities.TRODUCTION work created by illustrators—and with a little thought it can sell images that contain a lot of Photoshop too. and enable them to charge hundreds of dollars an hour for their services. We’ll tell you how. . Some creative types. We’ll explain what sort of work is being created with Photoshop and how they’re being sold. very interesting— and also very lucrative—use of Photoshop that some people are selling: image analysis. We’ll reveal how to break in. For real enthusiasts. contentS full Screen P r e v i o u S Pa g e n e X t Pa g e It’s simply intended to describe which Photoshop skills are currently being sold. are generating revenue selling brushes.
In the past. you’re on your own. that would have meant stacking up on white t-shirts.SELLING PHOTOSHOP AND ETSY 1 P RODUCTS ON ZAZZLE Photoshop has made it easy for anyone with any creative talent to build beautiful images. . contentS full Screen P r e v i o u S Pa g e n e X t Pa g e N e x t Pa g e – + 5 That used to be pretty limiting. printing the design on the front then hoping that enough stores took them and sold them to cover the costs and yield a small profit. it’s quite another to actually make it available for sale. But that’s all Photoshop does. It’s one thing to create a design that people might want to buy. Once you’ve completed your design. as far as Adobe is concerned.
Today. we’ll look at how it’s possible to use Zazzle to sell designer products. Creative types with sellable designs have a number of online options that let them build a virtual store and earn commissions for each sale they make. it’s all a great deal easier. N e x t Pa g e – + 6 S ELLING P HOTOSHOP P RODUCTS ON Z AZZLE AND E TSY . In this section. and Etsy to sell your art.1 Creating CommerCial Designs anD ProDuCts on ZaZZle contentS full Screen P r e v i o u S Pa g e n e X t Pa g e Zazzle lets designers put designs on products from mousepads to skateboards. 1.
But he also offers his works on Zazzle. manipulation turn up frequently on t-shirts and mugs. while other designs are the result of work with Illustrator or even free imaging programs such as POV-Ray. On a site that has no selection process—and which as a result can suffer from mediocre work submitted by part-timers looking to earn a few extra bucks—Vlad’s work stands out and provides a good example of how to make the most of Zazzle. for example. Photos with little. com. Each item costs a fixed price and artists can than add whatever profit margin they think the market will bear. a program that renders light in images. if any. and from posters and calendars to postage stamps and steins. Artists are able to choose from a giant range of blank items and allow shoppers to purchase those products imprinted with their designs. There are however a number of designers who are offering artworks created solely using Photoshop. The way the art is produced varies tremendously too and only a small portion of the works available on Zazzle’s products has been created with Photoshop. is a Russian digital artist who usually makes wallpapers and interface designs which he sells through his site VladStudio. For designers.Zazzle is an online superstore for uniquely designed products. where his mixture of naïve characterization and unique compositions have won him a following and some of the site’s design awards. S ELLING P HOTOSHOP P RODUCTS ON Z AZZLE AND E TSY contentS full Screen P r e v i o u S Pa g e n e X t Pa g e N e x t Pa g e – + 7 . The variety of formats is enormous and range from t-shirts and mugs to shoes and ties. Vlad Gerasimov. Zazzle offers a risk-free channel to add art to functional objects that people might want to buy.
not the product on which it’s printed. calendars or t-shirts. contentS full Screen P r e v i o u S Pa g e n e X t Pa g e N e x t Pa g e – + 8 He also chooses his products carefully. he’s able to give himself a brand that makes his work easy to remember. There can be a temptation on Zazzle to offer artwork on everything from ties to shoes. By carving out a small niche. The most important aspect of Vlad’s designs is their uniqueness. He’s not just another supplier offering more images of cats. Many of Vlad Gerasimov’s VladStudio. The image is the thing. Although his work is varied—a range depicting wooden Siberian houses marks a new departure for him—Vlad’s work is instantly recognizable. S ELLING P HOTOSHOP P RODUCTS ON Z AZZLE AND E TSY . dogs or flowers.com designs are also available on t-shirts. The art retains its exclusivity and therefore its value. even when it’s not really appropriate. Vlad’s work is only available as prints.
grants people with Photoshop skills the opportunity to sell their creations as products. something the site expects artists to do themselves. It’s that marketing that’s important. another store site for creative types. It certainly doesn’t market the works of individual contributors. Although Josh Elman has informed us that there are professional Zazzlers. and not actively marketing on your own. and its open access means that a Photoshop user with a range of high-quality. That might be because to achieve high levels of sales. He tags his images to make them easy to find and his About page links to his website where potential buyers can find a wider range of his works and contact him directly. discussions on the site’s forums seem to suggest that $500 a month is a reasonable target to aim for. “[A] common mistake is waiting for people to come and view. But few people are making a great deal of money on Zazzle. One complaint that turns up frequently in the Zazzle forums is that the site doesn’t market its services strongly enough.” Zazzle. “You need to invite friends. N e x t Pa g e contentS full Screen P r e v i o u S Pa g e n e X t Pa g e – + 9 S ELLING P HOTOSHOP P RODUCTS ON Z AZZLE AND E TSY .And Vlad also does some important marketing. It’s flexible and easy to use. people in your communities and start from there. Zazzle’s Head of Marketing has told us. family.” Josh Elman. you’ll also have to do a high level of marketing—something that many Zazzlers ignore. distinctive and niched designs should stand out easily. like CafePress.
Etsy will offer knitted sweaters. emblazoned with unique artworks that many people might enjoy. S ELLING P HOTOSHOP P RODUCTS ON Z AZZLE AND E TSY . contentS full Screen P r e v i o u S Pa g e n e X t Pa g e N e x t Pa g e – + 10 Etsy.9 million listed items and sales of $35 million in the first eight months of 2008. jewelry and glass—as well as artistic prints. They sell a wide range of products of the types that few people might want.000 sellers.2 selling PhotoshoP art on etsy Etsy combines craft with Photoshop Zazzle and other product sites suffer from their image as generalists. The art and the craft come first. 1. So while Zazzle will offer shoes and mugs printed with designs.1. approaches the issue of art sales from the opposite direction. the items they’re placed on come second and tend to be directly related to the craft itself. which boasts 185.
and makes good use of her profile to promote her own website.5 percent commission in the event of a sale. The site demands 20 cents for every item listed for a limited time plus a 3.php?user_id=95241) offers unique Photoshopped images. While that places some of the risk on the seller. it also means that the quality of the items on offer is likely to be higher. S ELLING P HOTOSHOP P RODUCTS ON Z AZZLE AND E TSY – + 11 . and visitors more likely to buy.com/shop. In practice though.etsy. contentS full Screen P r e v i o u S Pa g e n e X t Pa g e N e x t Pa g e Jen McCleary’s Etsy store (http://www.Etsy also differs in the way that it charges. many of the same strategies necessary to succeed on Zazzle will also succeed on Etsy.
a photographer. Over about a one-month period I had chatted with this buyer. “One thing I would do is join the chat room that the site has. Like Vlad Gerasimov at Zazzle. But Etsy also provides another very useful way of building a customer base. for example. chatrooms also appear to function as venues for S ELLING P HOTOSHOP P RODUCTS ON Z AZZLE AND E TSY contentS full Screen P r e v i o u S Pa g e n e X t Pa g e N e x t Pa g e – + 12 . At $38 for a 10” x 8” print.Jen McCleary.php?user_ id=5091552). she told me that she and her husband were interested in purchasing one of my photos.com/profile.etsy. Her website too sends visitors back to Etsy to make their purchases. describes herself as a fine artist and graphic designer. she’s also one of the more expensive of Etsy’s artists. and handmade jewelry too.” While other sites tend to use forums as way for artists to exchange ideas.” she told us. and her images are recognizable enough—and good enough—to potentially give her a loyal following. One day. That combination of unique artistry and a connection between Etsy or Zazzle’s store platform and a website is clearly very important. she’s made good use of her profile to direct users to her website where they can see her full portfolio. Her Etsy store consists of original mixed media art. at Etsy. Brandy Valdez (http://www. I was trying to network through the site for about one hour a day. told us that her first photography sale was made on Etsy as a result of careful and sustained networking in the site’s chat rooms. prints of digital collages and photos. and we always laughed about any and everything that was going on in our lives whether it be personal or Etsy-related. “At the time.
contentS full Screen P r e v i o u S Pa g e n e X t Pa g e And it should be varied so that you can cash in on every type of microstock buyer. It has to contain the right sort of images—commercial images that can be used rather than admired. Sites like Zazzle and Etsy provide Photoshop users with a simple way to sell the artworks they create with the program. Their weakness is that they rely on the seller to do the marketing. calendars or as decorations on anything from t-shirts to ties and shoes. Building a profitable microstock portfolio takes time. It costs nothing to build an online store and offer digital images as prints. That means understanding the figures the site supplies you with. It has to reflect your style so that a buyer has a reason to return to you. S ELLING P HOTOSHOP P RODUCTS ON Z AZZLE AND E TSY .sellers to meet buyers and build the sort of connections that lead to sales—even if those networks do demand a lot of work to cement. Josh Elman suggests using email signatures as another. It’s not a method that’s likely to make a Photoshop user rich. but investing in networking appears to be one of the more effective strategies. and that’s the subject of the next chapter. from creative designer to instant user who doesn’t want to do any more than cut and paste. Linking to a website is one way to do that. but it can bring in some useful extra income and in an enjoyable way. which can turn out to be the toughest part of the job. N e x t Pa g e – + 13 Once you’ve created that portfolio. you’ll need to be able to track its performance. rather than search again from the beginning next time he needs a image.
Once those sales start rolling.IMAGE RETOUCHING 2 Selling artistic creations produced on Photoshop is demanding. com. There’s no reason a talented Photoshop designer couldn’t reach the heights of designers like Chuck Anderson of nopattern. Warner Brothers and Absolut. Artists will need an idea for an artwork and they’ll need the technical skills to create it. and once the artist has a market and an understanding of what people are willing to buy. Cafepress and Etsy will then make it easy for them to begin making sales. the sky’s the limit. who sells from his own website and whose work has been commissioned by corporations as large as Nike. Sites like Zazzle. N e x t Pa g e contentS full Screen P r e v i o u S Pa g e n e X t Pa g e – + 14 That’s the sort of thing that takes a huge amount of skill and experience—it marks a movement from a seller of Photoshop skills .
for example. N e x t Pa g e and marketing know-how. But some Photoshop skills are even easier to sell. contentS full Screen P r e v i o u S Pa g e n e X t Pa g e – + 15 I MAGE R ETOUCHING .com. While the range of services themselves might be both broad and easy to identify. LilacDigital.to top-end graphic designer. montages. Just as there are plenty of creative types trying to make money out of their designs so there’ s Selling retouching no shortage of Photoshop experts selling services relies on the sort of basic retouching services that are beyond the average camera owner Photoshop skills… and are a chore for photographers. they’ll also rely on the ability of the service providers to market themselves. artwork enhancements and glamorizing. as well as photo restoration and special effects such as background changes. That’s happening in a number of different ways. Prices begin at just $45 for general retouching while detailed restoration starts at $90. services like these rely on their simplicity and speed to generate reasonable amounts of income. offers a range of services that includes general retouching such as removing red eye and smoothing skin. Clearly then. But being able to make sales even in an online store is a pretty good sign that an artist has ability. detailed retouching that might include major color correction and digital facelifts.
Creating a site like this does take some investment of time. effort and money too. is likely to bring in some business. Most importantly. Google’s AdWords. Sellers are able to list the services they offer and describe what they can do. while search engine optimization would work as well.1 selling retouChing serviCes through a Website The standard way to promote services like these is always going to be through a website. for example.com. Glenn Feron of GlennFeron. whose prices begin at $70 for retouching one image and rise to $140 per hour. Landing clients such as photographers and designers with regular needs though could reduce future work and might be attainable with some carefully targeted marketing. That can be very effective. one of the most powerful ways of creating a hands-off marketing system. an active approach that’s likely to impress potential customers. but many of these orders are likely to require specialized services and unique quotes. they can provide real examples of the difference their work can make. makes his images change as the user mouses over. But even a relatively sophisticated and professional site like Glenn Feron’s appears to lack an affiliate network. Glenn Feron demands payment in advance made through the Web. It also requires an understanding of Internet marketing.2. contentS full Screen P r e v i o u S Pa g e n e X t Pa g e N e x t Pa g e – + 16 I MAGE R ETOUCHING . a pay-per-click advertising system. That’s likely to be because retouching services aren’t the sort of thing that can be downloaded from the Internet. Even taking an order then will require effort.
Photographers who have placed their images on the site I MAGE R ETOUCHING . an Australian photo retoucher. Although it’s not intended to be a commercial showcase—and in fact. full Screen P r e v i o u S Pa g e n e X t Pa g e N e x t Pa g e – + 17 Flickr is a photo-sharing website. 2. a great deal of business is done through Flickr. has created a Flickr photo stream to show contentS off his work (http://www.2 using FliCkr to market retouChing serviCes Paul Palmas.flickr.com/photos/paulpalmas/sets/72157600008803921/).Flickr is one option. the site’s terms state that it’s not to be used for commerce—in practice.
have been asked to shoot ads for corporations as large as Toyota. A photo retoucher from Australia. Because Flickr’s search engine is relatively clumsy—searches are based on tags. Paul has a collection on his photostream called “Portfolio Retouching” where clients can browse through more than 60 before and after examples that show off his work. But Flickr can also be a useful marketing channel for Photoshop users with retouching skills to sell. Fail to make use of them and potential clients will be forced to wade through hundreds of images to find samples that show a photo retoucher can do the job. He even provides a link to his resume. That’s not a mistake that Paul Palmas (http://www. and seen plenty of their pictures licensed to appear in magazines and on book covers. Flickr allows photographers to organize their images into collections and sets for easy browsing. snappers with old photos that need enhancing and designers browsing for images and in need of people to help make those pictures more usable.flickr. The site is filled with photographers with large banks of images that need improving. His description makes clear that he is available for hire and includes an email address. been commissioned by Microsoft. The first is the photostream itself. that organization becomes very important. I MAGE R ETOUCHING contentS full Screen P r e v i o u S Pa g e n e X t Pa g e N e x t Pa g e – + 18 . Paul has added a few lines of text to the collection’s description— the second place it’s possible to add a marketing message. image descriptions and members’ names—for anyone looking to sell through Flickr.com/ photos/paulpalmas/) makes. Flickr provides three ways of making it clear that your skills are available for hire.
It takes time and effort but it’s possible to target carefully so that the returning visitors are more likely to be potential clients than people who appreciate good images. His email address. “You can’t just put your pictures up and leave them there. included on the profile. by stating that he is available for hire and works from home.” Rebekka Gudsleifdottir. Networking by placing helpful comments on other people’s images so that they’ll visit yours in return is one strategy. Paul indicates once again that he’s open to offers and describes how he works. lets potential clients then contact him for details. But any potential client seeing Paul’s photostream would understand what he offers and would know how to get in touch. Usually. The biggest challenge on Flickr though is getting a photostream seen. You have to drag people back to your photostream. told us. a strategy that Paul only uses on some examples.And he does the same thing on his profile. Other Flickr members include links to their websites—a valuable way of bringing traffic to more obviously commercial pages. contentS full Screen P r e v i o u S Pa g e n e X t Pa g e N e x t Pa g e “I know when I started I was very careful to go around and comment on other people’s photos. Others too may provide detailed descriptions under each image to explain how they improved a picture. an Icelandic art student who won a commission from Toyota and is one of Flickr’s most successful members. perhaps the most important marketing page on Flickr. Although he doesn’t go into detail. Paul could have gone further. successful Flickr members have to use a combination of different methods to draw in visitors.” – + 19 I MAGE R ETOUCHING .
flickr. “Before and After Photoshop” I MAGE R ETOUCHING . Some are clearly going to be more useful than others but some groups appear very helpful indeed. N e x t Pa g e – + 20 Flickr has over 400 groups that mention photo retouching.com/ photos/studiotrolliord/2580339235/in/pool-beforeafterphotoshop) won some valuable praise on the “Before and After Photoshop” group.This image by Frank Aron Gårdsø of Studio Troll I Ord (http://www. contentS full Screen P r e v i o u S Pa g e n e X t Pa g e Joining and submitting images to groups is another useful way of doing the same thing.
flickr. might not have done this deliberately for example. But they can also teach. has more than 2. Because Flickr members tend to be generous with their praise—in part because they hope to receive the same in return—submitting before and after images to a group like this becomes a quick way to add testimonials to an image.(http://www.flickr. contentS full Screen P r e v i o u S Pa g e n e X t Pa g e And groups offer one more advantage to Photoshop users hoping to market their skills on Flickr: they affect the chances that the image will be featured on Flickr’s Explore page. Groups then can quickly bring visitors to a photostream and add comments to images. has over 2. “Retouch Magic” (http://www. That suggests that any image submitted to the group is likely to receive wide exposure and plenty of comments.500 members and 152 discussion threads related to retouching. for example.com/groups/ retouchmagic). but his before and after images of a young boy submitted to the “Before and After Photoshop” group generated half a dozen enthusiastic comments of the type that could well persuade a potential client. N e x t Pa g e – + 21 Each day. Frank Aron Gårdsø of Studio Troll I Ord. for example. an algorithm automatically chooses a selection of images that are made immediately accessible through a link at the bottom I MAGE R ETOUCHING .000 images in its pool.000 members and over 6.com/groups/beforeafterphotoshop). there’s a good chance that taking part in the discussions would generate a valuable education. Professional photographers have told us that they learned everything they needed to know by asking advice and following the suggestions they picked up on Flickr groups. a Norwegian photography business. Even if posting samples to the group doesn’t generate sales.
They also have to be placed in carefully selected groups.com/groups/342504@ N24).of each page on the site. Images placed in groups with large numbers of unsafe photos are regarded as “suspicious” and suffer from a low PEP. “safe” (not sexual) and since June 2007.” Images also have to be public. the result is always a sharp spike in views and comments.flickr. include EXIF data. According to Serguei Mourachov.) N e x t Pa g e contentS full Screen P r e v i o u S Pa g e n e X t Pa g e – + 22 I MAGE R ETOUCHING . “Views have the minimal weight in the interestingness calculation [and] favorites have slightly higher weight than comments. comments and “faves” (marking an image as a favorite) that a picture has received. For the photographer. The same applies to images posted in more than fifteen to twenty groups or groups that demand comments or faves as a condition of posting (such as “Straight from Camera” (http://www.” he told us. the probability that an image will be highlighted on the Explore page (what Serguei calls “PEP”) depends on the number of views. “but we change these numbers about four to five times a year to adjust our algorithm to the current climate of the Flickrverse. a Flickr staffer and one of the people behind the Explore algorithm. a group that only allows non-Photoshopped images and which demands three comments on others’ photos for every submission.
3 Photo retouChing For PhotograPhy assistants Photo retouching has become as much a part of the photographic process as film development used to be in the days of analog photography. Many are quite happy to turn over the technical Photography wizardry to their assistants. com/groups/procorner) and its “Assistants Wanted” group (http:// www. Assistants who want to increase their earning power can brush up on their retouching skills and highlight the technical help they can provide at the interview. while most professional photographers are likely to know how to use Photoshop.com/groups_members. a professional photographer and administrator of both Flickr’s “Pro Corner” group (http://www.flickr. Flickr can provide a way both to showcase an image retoucher’s technical skills and to market to precisely the sort of market most likely to need them: professional photographers. That provides a double opportunity. contentS full Screen P r e v i o u S Pa g e n e X t Pa g e assistants who know N e x t Pa g e – + 23 According to David Bean. not all of them want to use it.flickr.gne?id=39308014@N00). 2.Used carefully. And like darkroom trays. Photoshop can Photoshop experts who want to both earn money and pick up a valuable double their pay. an assistant who can also offer Photoshopping skills can charge as much as double the usual rate: I MAGE R ETOUCHING . photography education can pitch themselves to professionals.
” David’s group can be one way to find jobs like these—and it’s likely that before and after samples in the photostream would be helpful here. Other methods include networking among photography teachers and professionals.” he told us. sending resumes. contentS full Screen P r e v i o u S Pa g e n e X t Pa g e N e x t Pa g e – + 24 I MAGE R ETOUCHING . a leading microstock photographer.“In NYC or LA assistants make anywhere from $250–$350 for a ten-hour day usually. they can make $500 in some cases.) The good news is that as access for professional—or at least semiprofessional—photography has expanded. “If the person also has skills as digital tech. so has the demand for photo retouching services. Yuri Arcurs. and even cold calling and asking for an interview (although that may have mixed results. a channel that even Photoshop experts can make use of. is just one professional who uses photo retouchers to edit his images before submitting them for licensing.
Websites that allow photo buyers to download royalty-free images for prices as low as $1 have put pressure on stock prices across the board. not photographers.MICROSTOCK FOR PHOTOSHOP EXPERTS 3 contentS full Screen P r e v i o u S Pa g e n e X t Pa g e N e x t Pa g e One of the biggest changes to hit the photography world in the last few years has been the rise of microstock. The companies select images. so previous experience – + 25 . but they’ve also provided new opportunities for anyone with a camera to earn income.
isn’t necessary. work full-time and have to recoup their expenses in the same way as any other professional photographer. one of the founders of Fotolia. contentS full Screen P r e v i o u S Pa g e n e X t Pa g e N e x t Pa g e – + 26 This digital image by Alina Pavlova has sold 1.000 a year from their images. according to Oleg Tscheltzoff. If an image might sell. And some are still generating over $200. Although some professional photographers have argued that microstock prices are unreasonably low and fail to take costs into consideration—an accusation that may be true for many parttime photographers for whom any sale is a bonus—top microstock photographers. What is surprising however. At least two— Colombian-born Andres Rodriquez and Canadian Lise Agné—began their careers as graphic designers and may owe at least part of their success as photographers to the fact that they understand what designers are looking for when they buy images. is that many of those topearners were not professional photographers before they started submitting to microstock.236 licenses on iStock MICROSTOCK FOR PHOTOSHOP EXPERTS . in fact. the site will accept it.
100 licenses. MICROSTOCK FOR PHOTOSHOP EXPERTS . At least one of her images has sold over 1. contentS full Screen P r e v i o u S Pa g e n e X t Pa g e N e x t Pa g e – + 27 This background image by Anson Tsui and tagged with the term “Photoshop” has been downloaded 267 times from Fotolia. Alina Pavlova offers similar works on iStock. Anson Tsui. creates swirling backgrounds and other abstract images using Photoshop.For some graphic designers then. one opportunity offered by microstock might be the chance to pick up a camera and earn income by creating your own photos. Photography. of course. doesn’t suit everyone but microstock also offers opportunities for Photoshop experts who just like creating images. for example. and sells them on Fotolia.
they can be associated with a wide range of different terms.The success of both of these designers suggests that there is an opportunity here for creative Photoshop users. including “snow. Included in Alina’s keyword list for “Beautiful Background” was one rather telling keyword phrase that went a long way towards widening that range of buyers. . “Design Element” didn’t just describe the image she’d created.” “communications. It also described one possible use for it. 3.1 Digital images as miCrostoCk elements . Because the artworks are abstract.” Andres Rodriguez has told us. “They both sell well as there are different types of buyers.” contentS full Screen P r e v i o u S Pa g e n e X t Pa g e N e x t Pa g e – + 28 MICROSTOCK FOR PHOTOSHOP EXPERTS . Remember that some photo buyers don’t necessarily know how to process a photo. for example. But just as important as the ability to create attractive backgrounds that a market might want to buy is the ability to get them seen.” “wedding” and “holiday. they’re sellable to a diverse range of different buyers. but particularly notable is the diversity of tags associated with Alina’s images. The image shown at the beginning of this chapter. Oleg Tscheltzoff recommends linking directly to a microstock portfolio as one way to bring in buyers.” Abstract images such as these then are not only sellable as stock. was titled simply “Beautiful Background” but had 44 different keywords. “[T]here are two main types of stock images: elements and finished products. .
a single-frame version (http://www.2 . Amanda Rohde. with the profits coming in year three.php?id=732523) has sold three downloads.istockphoto. it’s worth bearing in mind that professional stock contributors rarely expect to recoup their investments in their creations immediately. Ron Chapple. The four-frame version of her image (http://www.That means Photoshop users don’t have to go as far as creating complete pictures in order to make money with microstock. contentS full Screen P r e v i o u S Pa g e n e X t Pa g e 3. . . a stock photographer with more than 25 years’ experience has talked of recovering production costs in the first couple of years. php?id=731236) has sold a further seven downloads. anD miCrostoCk elements as Digital images N e x t Pa g e – + 29 But just as it’s possible to break elements out of a picture and sell them separately. It’s even possible to break off elements from a complete picture and sell them separately. It’s enough to create a portion of an image that the buyer can incorporate into his or her own work. Sergey Galushko. so it’s also possible to combine elements and sell them as images. While neither of those figures sounds particularly impressive. has brought MICROSTOCK FOR PHOTOSHOP EXPERTS . for example. Photoshop users might not have the expenses of shoots and models to recover but they will be appealing to a smaller market and one whose demands change quickly.com/file_closeup/isolated-objects/731236-album-page. for example. istockphoto. has created an image showing multiple frames which she sells on iStock.com/file_closeup/healthand-beauty/fashion/732523-multiple-frames.
– + 30 MICROSTOCK FOR PHOTOSHOP EXPERTS . or hanging it above the horizon. Sergey offers several other images which provide a variation on the same theme. contentS full Screen P r e v i o u S Pa g e n e X t Pa g e N e x t Pa g e And the best thing about a strategy like this is that it’s easy to replicate. placing the moon behind clouds or trees. Sergey Galushko combines elements to create new pictures that he sells on Fotolia. and set them against a starry background to create an entirely new picture that has generated 43 downloads.together images of the moon and clouds.
And it’s an opportunity too for Photoshop users who want to create images. allowing buyers to add their own foreground. Microstock is an opportunity. backgrounds and elements. who can sell their vectors. contentS full Screen P r e v i o u S Pa g e n e X t Pa g e N e x t Pa g e – + 31 MICROSTOCK FOR PHOTOSHOP EXPERTS . While the relatively small size of the market might make it difficult for designers to make the same sort of income from microstock as top photographers. It’s an opportunity for photographers. It’s an opportunity for filmmakers and musicians.Even if the number of downloads for each image then is disappointing because creating additional. it is possible to supply pictures that sell thousands of licenses—and pick up some healthy revenue by playing with Photoshop. have received an additional sixteen downloads. Five of Sergey’s moon images have sold 68 downloads altogether. the income from one idea can be impressive. similar images might not require a great deal of additional effort. who can sell their video clips and sounds. who can sell their photos. It’s an opportunity for illustrators. while two images that show just the starry background.
contentS full Screen P r e v i o u S Pa g e n e X t Pa g e That can make marketing and product creation a little easier. N e x t Pa g e But elements and backgrounds aren’t the only products that skilled Photoshop users are selling to designers. It’s not an audience of art-lovers. Some are also offering – + 32 . but a market of designers—other Photoshop users trying to create images of their own. When a creator is also part of the market. trying to understand what buyers might agree to purchase shouldn’t be very difficult.C REATING — AND SELLING — 4 P HOTOSHOP BRUSH ES Creating elements and making them available for sale on microstock sites puts designs in front of a particular market.
a public photo archive.1 giving aWay the brush contentS full Screen P r e v i o u S Pa g e n e X t Pa g e N e x t Pa g e Michelle Kwajafa is a photographer. They aren’t always demanding a fee though. a digital artist and a designer with a day job at Agence France Press. 4.com. small designs that can be easily incorporated into other pictures. These include Photoshop Brushes by Centric Studios (www. Kwajafa. offers her artworks as prints but also provides a number of items for free.brushes.com). – + 33 CREATING —AND SELLING —P HOTOSHOP BRUSHES . Her artworks are a combination of photographic collages and textured backgrounds that create images that are both surreal and decorative. Michelle has created from images downloaded from MorgueFile. Photoshop brushes which centricpropaganda. Michelle’s website.
If other designers actually find the brushes helpful.000 websites. N e x t Pa g e – + 34 CREATING —AND SELLING —P HOTOSHOP BRUSHES . including many with thousands of free tools on offer. there’s a good chance they’ll be interested in purchasing other valuable tools— such as elements—and they’ll also browse the creator’s artworks. adding to word-of-mouth marketing. But they’re also extremely useful for other designers which means that a good collection of sets can give a supplier a useful position in the market. That might not be the sort of activity that’s likely to lead directly to revenue but it can be rewarding in itself. They’re simple to create and can be easily adapted from existing images.Brushes offered like this provide a couple of advantages to the people who supply them. Search for “free Photoshop brushes” on Google. Michelle herself was one of the designers invited to take part in “Photoshop Tennis: The Book” (available for sale at Amazon) and her long link list suggests that she’s well connected. help to raise a designer’s profile and build networks. and you’ll be offered almost 90. suppliers can stand out and demonstrate their quality by demanding a fee for their products. Giving away brushes might also appear to be sensible considering the level of competition. contentS full Screen P r e v i o u S Pa g e n e X t Pa g e But as always when the size of the free market makes choice difficult. More importantly from Michelle’s point of view is that they give back to the Photoshop community.
For a design brushes for a buck each—and to promote its services among company like designers. one that also offers printing services that designers might want to use. the benefit of charging for these brushes is more likely to be the chance to show work to a targeted market than the odd dollar the company might earn for a sale. contributors can provide a link to Paypal and request a donation in return for a set. But even that has a value. While there’s no way to set up a passive payment and delivery system on the site.4. allows anyone to upload their brushes and make them available for anyone to use. Microstock companies might sell single images for $1 but Centric Studios charges the same price and delivers a set of 175 brushes. this. CREATING —AND SELLING —P HOTOSHOP BRUSHES Centric Studios uses Brusheezy to sell sets of 175 Photoshop contentS full Screen P r e v i o u S Pa g e n e X t Pa g e N e x t Pa g e – + 35 .com. for example. The fees—and not everyone asks for them— are usually fairly low.2 Charging For the brush Brusheezy.
More useful as an example for individual designers looking to earn income though is the approach taken by Jason Gaylor. Showing buyers exactly what they can do with your brushes can be a very effective marketing method. Judging by the comments on Jason’s blog. The prices for these are more realistic and vary depending on the designs. a designer who offers vectors.99.com. 30 Japanese foliage brushes can be bought for $14. there are plenty of designers willing to pay the price even though there are also plenty of other brushes available elsewhere on the Web for nothing. A set of fifteen Valentine-themed brushes costs $11. contentS full Screen P r e v i o u S Pa g e n e X t Pa g e N e x t Pa g e – + 36 Jason Gaylor created this design using his Japanese Foliage Set. brushes and PNG files through his site DesignFruit. CREATING —AND SELLING —P HOTOSHOP BRUSHES .99.
a kind of stock agency for Photoshop products.4. The company pays 60 percent of the sales and licensing prices to the contributor. leaving MediaSlap to handle the sales and licensing on their behalf. contentS full Screen P r e v i o u S Pa g e n e X t Pa g e N e x t Pa g e But brush-sellers don’t have to copy Jason because he has now launched MediaSlap. MediaSlap is new—it was launched at the beginning of August 2008—but the fact that it already includes brushes that have been CREATING —AND SELLING —P HOTOSHOP BRUSHES – + 38 .com. Designers are able to contribute their brush sets.3 selling brushes through meDiaslaP Jason Gaylor’s MediaSlap lets brush sellers license their work painlessly.
They require far fewer technical skills than Photoshop plugins—another valuable Photoshop product—and far more creativity. “Designs that are most likely to sell are clean illustrations of vines. photography. Until that happens.licensed for use in advertising.” he recommends. Jason says. The site even allows clients to contact MediaSlap to request exclusively licensed. entertainment and scrapbooking suggests that it’s well-connected enough to bring in high-budgeted buyers. And even though there are plenty of them available for free—one way of building a brand and a name in the design community—it is still possible to generate revenue from them. Photoshop brushes may take little time to produce and can be fun to create. and ornamental type stuff. floral designs and decorative elements are the types with the highest chance of doing well. custom brush sets. contentS full Screen P r e v i o u S Pa g e n e X t Pa g e N e x t Pa g e – + 39 CREATING —AND SELLING —P HOTOSHOP BRUSHES . Anyone with even a moderate level of Photoshop skill can do it. flowers.
involves analyzing images and film footage from crime scenes to bring out hidden details and . But there are services that Photoshop experts can offer that require a relatively high level of expertise. such as retouching. rewarding and can be highly remunerative too. In return. contentS All can be improved with marketing knowledge. will require a certain amount of creativity. N e x t Pa g e full Screen P r e v i o u S Pa g e n e X t Pa g e – + 40 Forensic image work. Others. such as creating microstock designs or brushes. they deliver work that’s important. demand technical ability.BECOMING A FORENSIC P HOTOSHOPPER 5 None of the methods we’ve looked at so far make huge demands of anyone skilled in Photoshop. Some. for example.
1 What is PhotoshoP ForensiCs? They turn up in just about every police movie. described to us one homicide case that he worked on in California. A detective looks over the shoulder of an image expert who closes in on a pixel somewhere in the picture.help the police with their investigations. He enlarges it to reveal a white blur. . the field can represent one of the peaks of Photoshop selling. Forensic Photoshopping can help you to solve murders. a strong stomach too. The reality is not so different. His story was that they parted ways in the lot and he drove away. a law enforcement officer who is also a court-qualified expert witness in Forensic Video Analysis. It can be difficult work that requires not just a solid understanding of image analysis but also a working knowledge of the law surrounding evidence and. Jim Hoerricks. But I was able to remove most of the shadow. The problem was that as they moved away from the building. . For Photoshop users willing to collect those skills sets though. revealing incredible detail. they were obscured by shadow so you really couldn’t see enough to refute his testimony. contentS full Screen P r e v i o u S Pa g e n e X t Pa g e N e x t Pa g e – + 41 “The case involved the suspect and the victim going from the casino into the parking lot. sometimes. Her body was never found . BECOMING A F ORENSIC PHOTOSHOPPER . 5. then enhances it to expose the murder weapon hidden at the crime scene.
a jury convicted him of murder. Ultimately. It provided the link between him. Jim used Adobe’s Premier Pro. the victim’s body has never been found. His workflow though depends on the source file. digital video or still image. his car.blogspot. To the best of my knowledge. “From this point. etc.” he explains. He describes the workflow on his blog “Forensic Photoshop” (http://forensicphotoshop. a print-on-demand publishing service. and he created a forensic workflow that other analysts can use to get to grips with the process.” contentS full Screen P r e v i o u S Pa g e n e X t Pa g e N e x t Pa g e – + 42 Jim was the founder in 2001of the Los Angeles Police Department’s Forensic Video/Image Analysis lab. Some images will need more or less of one thing or another so each case is unique. or large format exhibits. After those initial stages. at BECOMING A F ORENSIC PHOTOSHOPPER .” To clarify the MPEG2 surveillance video.com) and in a book available from Blurb. and the biological evidence found in the car. Then it’s off to disk and archive. Jim may then do a round of creative sharpening and deal with noise on the image. which may be analog video.“As it turned out. He first corrects for the sort of focus problems that are typical of CCTV footage. they didn’t part ways. a program whose enhancement tools have Photoshop as their foundation. I look at the output device and do a final round of sharpening. addresses color issues and lighting issues such as color casts or white balance then turns his attention to local areas of light and color to see if any improvements can be made there. it depends on the detectives / attorneys. tabloid. “I can interpolate up to letter size.
Photographers and designers hoping to break into forensic Photoshop will also need to understand the legal and ethical aspects of the work. it’s still one worth having for Photoshop users interested in doing this sort of work.” If that sounds like a skill set beyond the usual level of image manipulation. But other sorts of skills are necessary too.blurb. how it was accomplished. “I wanted to present a work that would aid the Photoshop user in looking at a workflow for processing images in a forensic science setting whilst preparing him/her to be able to testify about what was done.com/bookstore/detail/196812. plus expenses. but he also has a private practice in which he charges $350 per hour for lab time and $450 per hour for court time.” The result should be the essential technical skills that someone would need to do this sort of work.http://www. is aimed at users of all levels and teaches “a comprehensive workflow—a reliably repeatable pattern of activity enabled by a systematic organization of resources that can be documented and learned. Those are rates that he describes as about average.” Jim says. Jim himself is classed as a Police Surveillance Specialist and works for the City of Los Angeles. he says. The book. BECOMING A F ORENSIC PHOTOSHOPPER contentS full Screen P r e v i o u S Pa g e n e X t Pa g e N e x t Pa g e – + 43 . That’s because much of the pay comes not from the work itself but from knowing how to do it and being able to explain it in court. as well as the “forensics of oration and debate. and why the chosen method was the most appropriate way to go.
h-a.co. which might need someone who can learn the ropes and supply the service. especially without good connections but there are some private companies offering image analysis services. is a UK-based forensic analysis firm whose services range from DNA and Drugs and Toxicology to Fingerprints and Firearms. for example. is likely to be difficult. both important for understanding what’s on the screen. They’re assigned to their work by their police command. either as an analyst or an expert witness. Hayward Associates (http://www. Winning private work then. anD DeFense Work According to Jim Hoerricks. They’re also likely to understand lensing and optics.5.” The company has a handful of scientists on its staff and also employs external consultants to cover other specialties. contentS full Screen P r e v i o u S Pa g e n e X t Pa g e While there are unlikely to be too many firms like this willing to take on image analysis experts on a consultancy basis. it is possible to learn something from the firm’s marketing.2 breaking into PoliCe Work . Become an expert witness for law firms. Many people who do forensic Photoshop though have no experience at all.uk). N e x t Pa g e – + 44 BECOMING A F ORENSIC PHOTOSHOPPER . photographers and designers are well suited to forensic image work because they tend to have a good knowledge of color and light. . . They also offer “Electronic Forensic Sciences and Image Analysis.
but rather at law firms looking for expert witnesses. skills that can be learned with the help of Jim Hoerricks’ workflow. contentS full Screen P r e v i o u S Pa g e n e X t Pa g e Working out the cost/benefit ratios of studying and traveling however is fairly simple. we provide a comprehensive and confidential service to members of the legal profession and to others who may require the services of a Forensic Scientist. specialist work that can take time and may involve travel. Advertising to lawyers may be a much easier model for Photoshop experts to follow than asking a Police Chief if he needs any imaging work done.” Jim Hoerricks warns. The level of expertise has to be high.” BECOMING A F ORENSIC PHOTOSHOPPER .Hayward Associates doesn’t to aim its advertising at police departments.” says the company’s website blurb. Analysts need to know how to handle an image. especially on a freelance basis. But it comes at a price. “It’s not a Rambo movie—it’s a real dead person. 5. Harder to estimate is the effect that looking at images of crime scenes can have on someone’s health. “Established in 1984. of course. N e x t Pa g e – + 45 “Police images can be very disturbing.3 the Costs oF image analysis Image analysis is likely to be one of the highest paying services a Photoshop expert can provide. They also need to know how to present what they find in court.
Image analysis is clearly skilled work. For advanced Photoshop users though—and for those serious about joining them—it does provide an opportunity to make serious money out of serious work. he adds. Jim says. A good support structure is vital for your creativity and your sanity.Ignoring the effects of looking at police images. can lead to “Vicarious Trauma” or “Compassion Fatigue” which in turn can cause post-traumatic stress disorder and even depression. it’s not something that the average Photoshop user will be able to market easily. contentS full Screen P r e v i o u S Pa g e n e X t Pa g e N e x t Pa g e – + 46 BECOMING A F ORENSIC PHOTOSHOPPER . Without some careful training and abd understanding what’s involved.
And amateur photographers and camera owners are able to make use of a top-of-the-range image editing program that’s an essential tool for professional designers. we’ve looked at five of the ways that Photoshop users are doing just that. contentS For those who invest time in learning how to use that program. Zazzle lets them place . N e x t Pa g e full Screen P r e v i o u S Pa g e n e X t Pa g e – + 47 We began by looking at two online services that provide creative types with a platform to sell their works. Photoshop can open up all sorts of money-making opportunities. In this ebook.C ONCLUSION One of the biggest changes to affect the commercial world in the last few years has been the professionalization of what were previously considered hobbies. Weekend strollers beat the pavement in professional hiking boots. Home cooks now chop their vegetables with chef’s knives that cost hundreds of dollars.
Vlad Gerasimov. For more commercially-minded Photoshop users. microstock can let them cash in on the same opportunity that photographers have been enjoying for several years. He has also been able to drop his graphic design work and do nothing but create wallpapers on Photoshop. where the services can be aimed at photographers and image users— exactly the sort of people most likely to need them. it is possible to use them as additional revenue sources. Paul Palmas has told us that as a result of showing his portfolio on Flickr. While it’s unlikely that either of the services will bring in the sorts of revenues that will allow a Photoshop user to drop the day job and focus on their artworks. he has received work from ad agencies and print production companies around the world. These are marketed through websites that can demonstrate clearly the difference the retouching makes but also through Flickr. They can do that by creating complete images that buyers can use without further manipulation CONCLUSION contentS full Screen P r e v i o u S Pa g e n e X t Pa g e N e x t Pa g e – + 48 . Etsy lets them sell their designs as works of art. We then discussed how Photoshop users are selling one of the most common—and most demanded—services supplied by image experts: image retouching. who sells his designs through his own website earns about 10 percent of his income on sites like Zazzle. And we also pointed out that adding Photoshop skills to the sort of help provided by photography assistants can double the assistant’s pay while still giving him the sort of on-the-job training that will lead to bigger and better things.their designs on usable objects such as mugs and t-shirts.
work. But for anyone with Photoshop on their desktop. These are often given away free as a form of marketing but they can also be sold. An alternative way to help designers though is by offering brushes.or by offering elements that let designers build their own images. including traditional graphic design—the reason most professionals use the program. a practice that might now become a great deal easier thanks to MediaSlap. contentS full Screen P r e v i o u S Pa g e n e X t Pa g e N e x t Pa g e – + 49 CONCLUSION . Both methods. small ready-made designs that can be easily incorporated into larger images. of course. we’ve been told. This is difficult work that requires a skill set both broad and specialized but for those willing to acquire them. a kind of stock site for Photoshop brushes. There are plenty of other ways of earning with Photoshop. the rewards can be very high indeed. these five different options represent five different opportunities to make the most of their professional image tool. And finally. we discussed what’s likely to be one of the highestpaying Photoshop-based services: forensic image analysis.
com Available from Amazon .Featured Titles from Photopreneur www.photopreneur.
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue reading from where you left off, or restart the preview.