Cash From Your Camera – Top Five Ways to Attract Photo Buyers and Editors

In the old days of film photography it was difficult to get an editor or photo buyer to view your images. Besides the tedious task of creating the prints, mailing them and then hoping an editor would go through your envelope, the chances that you would make the final cut were slim. So the costs got greater and your hopes dimmer. With the advent of technology this has all changed.

Email, websites, photoblogs and a host of other ways allow the possibility of editors and photo buyers viewing your images. The chances of an extremely busy editor viewing your photos are far higher than the days of film and envelopes. So what needs to happen in order for you to attract the attention of the right people?

1. Great quality

Nothing will get the attention of an editor more than an image of really outstanding quality. That’s the bottom line with any artistic venture. It needs to be of such a high quality that it stands out from the crowd. With so many images vying for the attention of the buyers and editors yours need to catch the eye and say look at me. This can only be achieved by quality. Low quality means no sales. It’s a buyers market. They determine whether you will sell or not.

2. Great subjects

If you want to get the attention of anyone then choose your subjects carefully and wisely. Remember that you are trying to attract the attention of someone. If you have great subjects of outstanding quality you catch the eye of the editor so much more quicker than a mediocre subject of outstanding quality. You only have one chance of making a good impression. Once you have the eye of a buyer they are more open to seeing what else you have to offer.

3. Great concepts

Marketable images these days need concepts that will sell a product or service. If you can shoot an image that is of a high quality, has a great subject with a great concept then you are almost home dry. Take a quick look through any magazine and see how many of the adverts are pushing a concept of love, power, success, status or great health. If you can shoot a concept in a unique way that nobody else has thought of, I can guarantee buyers will come knocking at your door.

4. Great portfolios

If a buyer or editor is attracted to your images you can bet your bottom dollar that they will be looking for more of the same. That is, more great quality with great subjects and concepts. They will ask to see your portfolio so make sure that it lives up to their expectations. If you can deliver more of the same you will attract the buyers to your images.

5. Great websites

This one is coupled to the previous point. It is of no value displaying great images on a poor website or photoblog. Make sure that the editor is not hindered by a slow, outdated site that isn’t attractive. It doesn’t need all the bells and whistles of flash, bang, whiz. Editors are busy and are looking for simple and clean that will give them what they want quickly and easily. Don’t distract with animations and flash introductions. They have no time for that. Give them what they want front and centre and they will come back for more.

These are just a few simple ways to attract the photo buyer and editor. Put them into practise and you will be on the road to photo success. Happy shooting!

Top 7 Free Photo Editing Software Programs For Windows

Many of these free photo editing programs aren’t lousy or lacking in features. Some of them are industrial grade (e.g. GIMP) and some are geared towards simple, online photo edits (e.g. Fatpaint). In this article, I’ll introduce you to seven of the best photo editing software programs for Windows.

1. The GIMP
The GIMP is a great free, open-source image editor that brings high-end photo editing to users for free. The interface is a bit complex to pick up, but it is very powerful. If you’ve used Adobe Photoshop before, you’ll find many of its functions available in the GIMP. For a free piece of software, it has an amazing repertoire of functions.

2. Fotoflexer
Fotoflexer is a web-based photo editing application that has casual and prosumer appeal. If you’re a novice, you’ll be able to go in, do some simple edits and be done. If you’re a more advanced user – you’ll be spoilt for choice in terms of what this tool can do. We’re talking about blurring, comic, retro, animatinos, distortions and even layer support – all done online with your photo.

3. Paint.Net
Paint.Net has been around for some time and boasts an easy-to-use interface and a huge array of effects. If you don’t need to use the full power of Photoshop and simply want a quick and dirty tool, Paint.Net is a good bet.

4. Picasa 3.5
Owned by Google, Picasa is a very pretty and top notch photo editing program. You need to install a desktop client in order to use it. However, it’s interface is very clean and has cool tools like geo-tagging, great sharing support, web albums and name tags. Picasa gets my vote as one of the best in this list – it’s a terrific, easy, and free way to edit and organize your images.

5. Picnik
Picnick is another photo editing tool that is web-based and has been around for some time. It’s quite powerful in the photo editing options it offers – although it’s not as full-featured as Fotoflexer, in my opinion.

6. Windows Live Photo Gallery 2011
Microsoft has jumped on the photo editing bandwagon too – with Windows Live Photo Gallery 2011. It gives you face recognition and retouching capabilities and is in fact a very good alternative to Google Picasa or Apple iPhoto.

7. Fatpaint
Fatpaint is an online and free, graphic design software and photo editor. It’s one of the newer tools in this list – you can create page layouts, paint and draw vector images, logos and illustrations very easily.

As you can see, there are many choices available when you’re picking a good photo editing software program for your Windows machine. What I’ve shown you are 7 of the best and free tools available out there. Be sure to check them out. For more serious work, you’d of course want to use a commercial package like Adobe Photoshop Elements or Corel PaintShop Pro X4.

Until next time, happy photo editing!

Photo Software – Which Do I Need For My Photo Editing Tasks? – Help!

Photo editing software or photo software allows you to create and modify bitmap graphics and photographic images. Photo programs can be used for tasks such as painting and drawing, colour correction, enhancement of photos, creating special effects, conversion of images from one type to another, adding text to graphics etc. Some of the most popular software tools available today include Irfan View, Photoshop elements, Photoshops’ CS suites and Aperture for Apple Mac: as well as Gimp and Inkscape – open source alternatives.

IrfanView is a piece of photo software that lets you open and edit images. If offers an exhaustive list of advantages and features such as speed, a compact image viewer, being simple to use especially for beginners, support for many media formats including multimedia, multi-language support, thumbnail option, options for painting and very controllable slideshows. Moreover it is free for individual use and is very user-friendly in terms of the GUI it presents to the user.

The major disadvantage, is that it does not offer some of the very advanced imaging capabilities and also it is not available natively on the Mac. Among the photo programs, it is an excellent choice for people who need to work quickly, avoid a very steep learning curve and simply want to balance, crop and save an image for the next step in their work. It probably isn’t a good choice for a professional photographer, except as a very quick form of software photo editing.

Photoshop Elements is an adaptation of Adobe Photoshop and is available for as low a price as USD $99. Nevertheless, it has a strong set of software tools. The user interface is simpler than Photoshop while retaining the core photo editing functions. Thus Photoshop Elements is like a scaled down version of PhotoShop. It focuses on digital photography and on an RGB workflow. Some of the more complex photo editing features such as Curves, Channel Mixer, and Color Balance have been disabled, making the GUI more manageable, with a friendlier learning curve. The major advantages of Photoshop Elements include: an easy GUI structure to navigate and that it is cheaper than Photoshop. The only disadvantage is that some of the higher-end features are removed.

Adobe Photoshop CS is a set of software programs for image editing that is considered to be the industry standard for graphics professionals. Although meant for professionals, it is also available for students at a fraction of the original cost. The main features of Photoshop as a photo editor, are the flexibilities it offers for media creation, editing and authoring. The file format is compatible with any of the individual programs that are available in the suite. As the de facto king of the photo programs, it has many tools for advanced photo editing, including a bewildering array of special effects services. The disadvantages of this suite of photo editing programs include: features you will never use; highly expensive and it takes massive processing power from the computer system.

Aperture is Apple Mac photo editing software. The Mac enthusiasts claim its advantages are; that it includes an all in one Inspector to consolidate the projects, adjustment panes, quick image search, accelerated performance, advanced photo editing capabilities such as superb color fidelity, etc. The disadvantage of Aperture is that it can be used only on Mac operating systems. Among the photographers that I know personally, this photo software is growing in stature amongst popular photo editing programs.

The Open Source movement is also muscling in on the act with Gimp (which is gaining recognition amongst photo editing programs) and Inkscape; (a vector drawing program) which is very good indeed for developing plans, maps and other graphics that need to be drawn. I haven’t yet got to grips with Gimp as a photo editor, but I have used Inkscape regularly over the last year and it is a fully featured graphics software. I recommend that you give these new open source graphic softwares a good look before spending hundreds on Photoshop or Aperture photo software. In terms of value for money; like Irfan View, they are incomparable. Amonst the paid for photo editing programs, Photoshop Elements is going to be a more than adequate for anything that you need to do for the web unless you are going down the road of becoming career graphic designers. For these individuals and for professional photographers the photo programs of choice will almost certainly be Photoshop CS for PC based workers and Aperture if you are on the Mac platform.