Tshirt Design

On Friday I like to I like to post something I recently designed.
Here's a Tshirt Design recently released by High Cotton in the Wireless Catalog. There is also a sweatshirt version.

Sign up on the business facebook page to see other releases.


40 Unique Workspaces

Here's an interesting article from the Inspiration blog, photos of workspaces, most that that you could set up in a spare room. Here is an excerpt:

I know, I know, you’ve seen these workspaces a million times before; that’s where you’re wrong! This post brings you 40 beautiful, unique offices and workspaces, combining the offices of designers, artists and even fashion/sewing workrooms. We’re showcasing the best of the very best, not just the most expensive.

We really want to know what your favourite workspace is here, what you like about it and what you’d maybe do to improve it, so please do let us know in the comments section! Enjoy! article continued...


Make Money Selling Stock Photos: Book Review

For those of you who want to take the mystery out of selling your photographs through stock houses, a new book by PeachPit Press was just released, called Taking Stock: Make money in microstock creating photos that sell, by Rob Sylvan. He explains step by step, how to sell photographs to stock houses and make money doing it.

While I am unskilled at photography, I must admit, Rob covered the topic with so much depth, and in a clear manner, I felt I could walk outside and start taking photos and selling them.

What Stock Houses Look For
He explains the business from the perspective of the buyer and he often asks us to look at what stock houses are really looking for. For example, he tells us how to avoid centering things, and rather, leave an open space on photos, so the buyer can include their own text in the photo.

What amazed me the most, is seeing what I considered simple subject matter, from a variety of photographers, who make a living doing this. Rob sold a photo of his Christmas tree thousands of times and it brought in $13,000 (see left).

Perhaps this is an unusual example, but it did get me thinking about how you don't need to be a fine artist, or beat the pavement for clients, in order to make money in the photo industry. The best part, is the investment for this type of business is minimal. You don't need to buy film, development supplies or have a darkroom, and it's free to post the images.

Rob explains how you might just need to switch gears and think more about the "function" of the photo. What is the subject matter? Who might use it? A magazine? An annual report? A pet obituary? As your photo sales grow, then you might think about paying for models or upgrading your equipment. And when I say models, I don't mean fashion models. I'm talking about pictures of people at work, children, and medical environments.

The Importance of Emotion
Rob emphasizes repeatedly how important it is for the image to communicate a clear emotion. You can't rely on just taking a "pretty picture."

The viewer should not have to "guess" what the emotion is. It should be very clear by looking at the picture, what the person or subject matter is saying, without using words. This was very familiar to me, since that is also a critical goal for the front of greeting cards.

Topics Covered
Photo stock houses are relatively new, and have become more popular over the last decade. This book covers about every possible topic a person could imagine about this business, from what kind of camera to buy, to what companies to submit your images to.

He gives clear instructions on how to use Adobe Photoshop and Lightbox to adjust an image to make it stock-house-friendly, and he points out how important it is to remove all logos from clothes, background objects and even fishing poles!

He also covers legal issues of copyrights, protecting your images, industry standards for licensing arrangements, and how to get paid. And since this book has several exercises for the reader, it could easily be used as a how-to manual for starting a business or teaching a class.

The one thing that seems to be missing from the book is a definition of what is a "photograph." For example, can I sell manipulated photos, grunge art or digital collages? What about decorative stationery borders or scrapbook images? Where does illustration fit into stock houses? Doesn't every company need a greeting card for holidays?

Avoiding Rejection
I think the section most photographers will find extremely helpful are a list of tips to avoid rejection from the image houses. He points out details such as removing dust and hair from photos, cropping styles, removing distractions, and making sure you have model releases.

Photography is Moving Online
This book came along at the right time. I know a professional photographer who recently closed her business and stated to me with confidence, "Print is Dead." Over the last several years she's watched magazines, catalogs and other print media move online.

Because of this, companies no longer need professional photo shoots, and since online images are low resolution, their in-house staff can sometimes get away with using their own digital cameras.

For photographers who have left the industry or are considering leaving, the opportunities available with image houses may be the direction to go, especially since the same image can be resold thousands of times, and the photographer can use their own creativity to pursue themes they enjoy.

You never know, there just might be people out there looking for a photo of your baby, kitten, or frying pan...but before you start snapping pictures, take a look at this book first, and you'll know how to do it correctly, from square one.

Images excerpted from Taking Stock: Make money in microstock creating photos that sell, by Rob Sylvan. Copyright © 2011. Used with permission of Pearson Education, Inc. and Peachpit Press.


Freelancers at Home: Cures to Common Problems

Here's an interesting article by Onextrapixel blog:

Cures to Common Problems

You're Too Close to Your Work
This can be something that makes it harder to feel that you can rest and do other things. If you have many ongoing projects and know they're just sitting there in your office waiting for you - it could be very tempting to go work for an hour or two. Working an extra hour occasionally doesn't hurt, but the feeling of being at work can for many be overwhelming.

Image credit: Picture by Royce Hansman

Fixing this problem can be a bit challenging. First of all you have to try sticking to set hours. Close your office door when you're done for the day and don't allow yourself to go back in there. If you feel the need to work extra, allow yourself to do this on one scheduled day of the week – but not too often. Practicing this over time will have you feeling calmer about the whole situation, but especially in the beginning this can be tricky.

You're "always" at Work
The previous point is about what you feel yourself about being in your work-environment during your spare time. This point is about what others feel. You could have people calling you after work hours or dropping by for work-related things, because you're always there. If you have the required discipline to put all these things aside until your next day at work – great! If you don't – you will feel as if you don't have much private space.

By being very specific about working hours from the start, you will gain a lot of more respect from your clients. Let business related calls go to voice-mail, don't check office mails after hours and be clear....read entire article