Here’s Why You Should Shoot Stock and Assignments

Nature photography is a tough business and for many the need to keep seeking new markets and revenue streams is for most, task number 1.

The traditional business model for nature photographers has always been publishing a book, teaching on the side, and licensing images to large print industry of calendars and cards, posters, magazines, and more.

None of these markets are dead, but some are just hanging on and photographers who once relied on them are challenged to find new income streams in the wake of the diminished markets, lower license fees, and fierce competition.

Some outdoor photographers have photographed assignments for magazines and businesses for decades, but have you? Here are some reasons why shooting assignments makes sense.

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Six Remarks on Composition

No one is an artist unless he carries his picture in his head before painting it,
and is sure of his method and composition.
Claude Monet

Composition is an important aspect of good photographs. I have written about it at length in my books and my essays, and I continue to do so.  Here I want to offer some remarks about composition that I wrote recently.  These are not organized the way my essays or book chapters are.  Instead, they are simply numbered and they are not necessarily related to each other.  Read it as a loose list of items written as they crossed my mind and that I wanted to share.

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How to Safely Photograph the Biggest Bears on Earth

by Joseph Classen

“Lions and tigers and bears…oh my!”  I can’t say much about lions and tigers, but being within close proximity of brown bears that can weigh over 1000 pounds can certainly make one say, “Oh my!”  Few other creatures in North America summon forth such fear, wonder, awe, and respect as the mighty bears that inhabit such places as Alaska. For many photographers, capturing an image of a monstrous, furry beast in the wild is a once in a lifetime chance. Such a coveted opportunity can create a disciplined, calculated approach to making the most of a rare experience, or, it can tempt one to engage in some very, very dangerous and life threatening actions …to one’s self, and ultimately the animals.

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Eiko Jones Beautiful & Unique Underwater Photography

Editor’s Note- Recently I saw a +1 post about a beautiful image appearing on National Geographic’s website which led me to Canadian underwater photographer Eiko Jones. He has an amazing approach to underwater photography so I asked him if he would tell us about himself and his photography.

Please tell us how you got started and how long you have been in the business.

I started  my journey into UW photography first in 1993 for a couple years. Then in 2011 I went on two diving expeditions in Mexico. First to Isla Guadalupe to see Great White Sharks and then to the Socorros Islands to be with Giant Manta Rays and many species of Sharks. This was the catalyst that really got me back into UW photography.

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The ProFolio of Alaskan Photographer Joseph Classen

My love of the natural world began literally before I can remember. My parents have many pictures of me as a smiling, rambunctious toddler trying my best to explore the wild frontier of the back yard, or a local park. My admiration and attraction to the great outdoors grew just as fast as I did, perhaps even faster. The love-affair I had with all of creation as a child has remained a life long passion, and my greatest source of peace, comfort and inspiration.

Nature and wildlife photography actually began as an off-shoot of my other favorite outdoor activities: fishing, hiking, hunting and camping. About ten years ago I began to notice more and more that during my time in the wild I was constantly saying to myself, “Darn! I wish I had a camera! Look at that!!!”  And so, even though I knew essentially nothing about photography, I bought a decent camera and had it with me at all times while on my many outings.

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isle royale national park michingan lake forest wilderness photograph photography

5 Business Tips for the New Year

2012 was an interesting year and while I had hoped to see nice growth in a recovering photo economy, it did not seem all that obvious.

2013 is here so it is time to get busy with this year’s strategy. Now’s the time to set solid goals for the year and ones that can be obtained. More importantly, goals that are effective to the success of your business.

Start by taking some time and write down all the goals you would like to achieve. Keep in mind that your personal goals should drive your business goals, but effective business goals will provide your personal goals.

These should include business goals and creative goals. Where would you like to travel and photograph? What gear do you want or need? What sort of income is required to meet the business and personal goals?

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