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“Remember the Joy” by Bill Bachmann (Part 2)

June 15, 2009

Book Excerpt: Remember the Joy by Bill Bachmann (Part 2)

PhotoEdit is glad to welcome back prominent stock shooter Bill Bachmann for another informational excerpt from his newest book, Remember the Joy, which offers tips on “how to have a successful career in photography and have fun doing it.” In this second segment, Bill, who is one of the premier travel and lifestyle photographers in the world, discusses how beginning stock photographers can find the right agency to represent them and start making money while growing their portfolios.

Close-up of sliced watermelon for sale at a market in Antigua, Guatemala

First of all, make sure you take heed to my suggestion that you don’t try to make a presentation to a stock agency until you are totally READY. That does not, however, keep you–nor should it–from doing lots of research and finding out what agencies seem comfortable, and which look good to you, long before you are formally ready to make that first presentation. As you do this research, you are basically asking the important question, “Who Sells What?” Combine that with doing research on what agencies seem to be strong in what you really would love to shoot. You are getting ready to find the ones that fit best for you.

You can’t do this research without this book: it is called Photographer’s Market. Go immediately and buy it at most bookstores like Borders, or have them order it for you. It will become your BIBLE in this business, so make sure you have the latest year issue. It is produced each year and you want the newest edition because it will have the recent names, contacts, numbers, websites, what they concentrate on selling, how you submit, how many images to send for an initial submission, how much they pay, when they pay, what kind of contract they require, etc. Quite simply, it is packed with all the information you will need, and will continue to need, as you progress in this business.

Portrait of Korean boy and his Korean female friend sitting by a lake, Seoul, Korea

You should buy the book and do much research long before you are ready to make a plea to any agency to represent your work. Remember the reasons you want to enter stock: make more money from your images and SHOOT WHAT YOU LOVE. Well, here is a book that tells you if you like ballooning who actually buys that type of image, in magazines, books, and even stock agencies! That is a valuable resource.

Another reason to buy the book could be a way for you to make money soon, even before you have your stock library ready for a presentation to a stock agency. If you (or your spouse) are good at writing, you could be a great team and write articles about travel destinations, ballooning, motorcycle rallies, wineries in California, etc. This book has magazines and newspapers–with the name of the contact person–that buy stories or just photos each month or week.

Traveling to some foreign location and writing a story with photos can be an easier way to start making some of the money back from your investments. If you think they would never want you, please think again. Like hotels that have a bunch of beds to be filled EACH night, Sunday newspapers have a travel column 52 weeks a year that they need filled. If you send just the story, then the editor knows he needs to send a photographer (or buy stock!). If you just send the photos, then he has to obtain the services of a writer to finish the article. But if you send both photos and story, the editor knows he has a week covered easily. It is human nature that he would want to buy both and have one weekend project completed for the newspaper.

White senior women and White senior man drinking wine chat with each other while sitting in garden outside

Will you get rich from one story? Not in the slightest. But you are building a relationship with an editor, until he leaves for another job (which is why you buy this Photographer’s Market book each year). This editor will come to count on you doing stories, and many of today’s newspapers are also jointly owned. That means if they pick up your story, it could also run in a series of their city newspapers all over the country that Sunday (like the Parade magazine that appears in so many newspapers across the nation each week). Then you get to multiply that one fee by the number of different papers, and it becomes a much nicer total. And, on top of all that, you get a nice credit line for your growing portfolio to show other papers, magazines, etc. This is what building a career is all about in today’s need for photos, and, in this case, writing.

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This concludes the second book excerpt from Bill Bachmann for the PhotoEdit blog. We thank Bill for allowing us to offer these valuable excerpts. If you are interested in ordering Remember the Joy or any of Bill’s other fantastic books, please visit his order page by clicking here. To see Bill’s complete collection of travel, lifestyle, and other worldwide multi-ethnic images on the PhotoEdit site, you can click through to his lightbox by clicking here. Stay tuned for more forthcoming book excerpts!

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