Trust:The Photographer - Photobuyer Relationship

by Rohn Engh - Date: 2006-11-30 - Word Count: 588 Share This!

In these times of rapidly advancing technology, it's more important than ever to communicate with the photobuyers you have worked with over the years. You may be able to help guide them on some sticky Internet or search engine questions, like how to choose keywords for a search in Google. Be prepared to advise, but not to lecture, and your assistance will eventually be rewarded.

Know the special interest areas of your photobuyers. Do your homework to pinpoint what content they need and see what their website and print publications look like. Use a major search engine to research the publishing house(s), magazines, and special interest(s) they represent. Here are nine suggestions on how to build a good relationship with your photobuyer contacts.

1. Present a "give" list. Don't be a "gimmie." Don't contact photobuyers to ask questions to help yourself -- help them. Let them know you can provide them with photos in such and such areas (the areas you've found out are the focus of that particular buyer) and that you are in a position to be a regular supplier of such photos. In the course of your conversations, you draw out what specific current needs the particular buyer has, all the while emphasizing what experience or qualifications put you in a position to be an important resource for the photobuyer and his/her publication(s).

2. Introduce yourself cheerfully. The way you open the conversation will set the tone for the entire exchange and impression.

3. Be open. Be candid. Evasiveness or ambiguity won't work. Beforehand, clarify to yourself your purpose for the call, the points you want to provide to the photobuyer, and then straightforwardly go for it. For example, don't use the excuse, "I am updating my database."

4. Be enthusiastic. Exude a sense of confidence. A positive attitude will encourage your buyers to want to see various ways they can use your services. Yet don't be overbearing or confident to the point of arrogance.

5. Be complimentary. A well-paced, well-meaning compliment about the photobuyer's publication, a recent layout, insightful coverage, etc., will serve you well.

6. Interest. Briefly bring up one or two current topics related to the photobuyer's area of concern. The more social you are, the more likely you'll elicit a favorable response. Of course, don't overdo it! The photobuyer will appreciate your awareness that he/she is busy and has deadlines.

7. You might share with the photobuyer some bits of information you have learned from other sources in the field. However, be certain not to betray anyone's trust.

8. Be charitable. Allow that 75 percent of photobuyers don't have time to return phone calls from unknown (to them) prospects, especially after a deadline has passed. Solution: It's nothing personal. Maintain equanimity and sail on. Persevere with new submissions for new needs, and you'll score at some point.

9. Understand model releases. Even though model releases are not required 99 percent of the time for editorial usage (illustration purposes in books and magazines), this subject strikes fear in the heart of many photobuyers. Some seem to think they need model releases to protect themselves and their jobs. They're not fully aware of their or your first amendment rights. When photos are used to inform and educate and entertain, model releases are not required. If the magazine or book photobuyer you're speaking with requires releases, it's a signal to you to politely end the conversation and move on to the many markets who know their first amendment rights; that is, who are aware that for 99% of their needs they don't need model releases.

Related Tags: attitude, house, positive, usage, publishing, photobuyers, supplier, compliment, deadlines, editorial, release

Rohn Engh is director of PhotoSource International and publisher of PhotoStockNotes. Pine Lake Farm, 1910 35th Road, Osceola, WI 54020 USA. Telephone: 1 800 624 0266 Fax: 1 715 248 7394. Web site:

Your Article Search Directory : Find in Articles

© The article above is copyrighted by it's author. You're allowed to distribute this work according to the Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs license.

Recent articles in this category:

Most viewed articles in this category: