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Avid Photographers’ Alert: New Way to Get Noticed and Paid

Imagine your photo in a boutique hotel lobby, illustrating a magazine article or in another public place – and getting compensated.  Here’s two crowdsourcing ways that could happen.  A prospective client can find your photo on iStockphoto – or you could take a photo for a special assignment – and allow peers vote for the best one.

There are two steep drawbacks to this second approach, offered at Pixish.  Photographers are asked to work “on spec“, without a contract – and they and the client must depend on the wisdom of the crowd  – the community vote.

For photographers, the upside of Pixish (whether you win or not) is that your work can be seen by your peers – and by prospective clients who may hire you directly for a project. Another major design contest site, by the way, is 99 designs. Unlike at Pixish, all winners are paid in cash, not “just” prizes.

Speaking of crowdsourcing, see MOO’s popular Sticker Competition. With community-voting, they enabled the cream rise to the top of photo submissions. Winners got noticed by prospective clients – and a free year of Flickr Pro. Plus MOO gets a new profit center that’s also a credible company brochure: a book (you can buy) of the winning submissions.

Here’s ‘what-if” scenario to raise your group’s value and visibility:

Adapt MOO’s successful contest method for your group to use. What if your club, association, school or business sponsored a contest for best photos or tips related to your kind of work? Find a co-sponsor or two to provide enticing prizes for the winners to inspire more submissions. What if you created and sold or gave away a booklet – the collection of the winners’ contributions?  You have two news hooks for attracting media coverage:
1.    Launching the contest
2.    Announcing the winners and the availability of the winners’ collection.

That media coverage will endear you to the participants and reinforce your visibility and value in the “market” you serve.

Here’s a related SmartPartnering success story to adapt to your situation.  As you recall, last Friday was an auspicious 8/8/08.  Flickr and MOO joined forces to involve more people in celebrating that day as the annual 24 hours of Flickr. Flickr users are invited to photograph one moment of their day to share with the whole Flickr community. From those submissions, MOO created Flickr 888 Postcard packs.  Starting in late September, you can buy them.

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One Comment

  1. Posted August 13, 2008 at 10:45 pm | Permalink

    Nice article, Kare.

    That’s an interesting point about the promotional value of being able to announce the launch of the contest and then the prize being awarded to a winner – not to mention the status updates along the way.

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