File Naming Conventions: What Works Best for You?

Most photographers understand the importance of digital asset management for the photographer actively shooting. It’s easy to amass thousands of images in one shooting trip and that could mean possibly a hundred thousand images in a few short years.

Organizing and maintaining a good file system becomes crucial to ‘staying on top’ of things. With the introduction of Lightroom and Aperture within the last few years these programs have certainly made the job easier.

As a photographer I have spent more of my career before the digital evolution than during it and this has allowed me to look back at my image asset management during the film days and in particular, file numbering.

My very first asset management program was Phototrack, a DOS based image numbering system that in hind sight, worked quite well for such a basic system.

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Should You Seek a Stock Photo Agent?

In today’s saturated market for outdoor imagery, you should explore all options in marketing and selling your photography. Besides selling yourself, should you consider a stock photo agent? The answer depends on your area of subject specialty, the volume of your image archive, and how you wish to run your business.

What does a stock agent do? They house images, market them, distribute them, and pay royalties. Agencies are always on the lookout for talented photographers.  Stock agents want photographers who have the ability to consistently produce good imagery, lots of it, and in a new way. Today, they are wary of the photographer who shoots the usual subjects. They have plenty of imagery of flowers or the usual viewpoints in the national parks, but are eager for nature photography that illustrates today’s common outdoor and environmental themes.

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Should You Start Shooting Video?

Should we all start shooting video in addition to stills? I have asked myself the question numerous times and I think the answer is rapidly becoming a Yes. I have not found evidence of a huge demand for video clips yet beyond what has been available for many years already, but with the increasing move into multimedia that demand will evolve.

With the HD dSLR’s on the market it has become very easy to shoot stills and video. Much easier than just a few years ago when you needed two cameras: a dSLR and video camera. In years past you had to decide between the still camera and video camera when capturing that lightning storm. But with the technological evolution we are witnessing it has become much easier to shoot both stills and video of the same subject.

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Is There Value in a Photo Credit?

I cannot recall how many times I have been asked to provide a free photograph for a photo credit. More times than I can recall!

I have posted before on requests for free photography in exchange for a photo credit and in hindsight, has there been any value in agreeing to do so? I don’t think so!

Of course, I am not talking about non-profits or NGO’s that rely heavily on volunteer efforts or organizations that I might be passionate about and volunteering promotes a very important agenda. What I am really talking about is a random client offering a photo credit in lieu of a payment.

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Dialogue With A Pika

by Jay Ryser

Fall is on its way.  It’s not only evident by the aspen leaves turning gold, but the alpine tundra turning a glorious shade of red.  The change from Summer to Fall signals a change of wildlife subjects from my favorite alpine animals (pikas, marmots, and mountain goats) to the rutting elk.  Winter comes fast to the alpine zone; my favorite pika lives close to the summit of Mt Evans (right around 14,000ft), part of the Front Range of the Colorado Rocky Mountains, just west of Denver, and my access to him ends just after Labor Day.  That’s OK – I have elk and other animals in the Fall, but I miss the Pikas terribly over the 8 months or so that I can’t visit them.

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