Tips for Photographers
Snapped4U is particularly good for selling photos of special events and fundraising, and these tips mainly address those uses. Many of the tips are for amateur photographers, but there are also suggestions for using Snapped4U that professionals may find helpful, too.
Table of Contents
- Choose Good Events
- Plan the Shoot
- Make Your Gallery Customer-Friendly
- Promote Your Gallery
- Know the System
Choose Good Events:
- Shoots arranged in advance often offer the advantage of printed and/or online publicity that can include notice of your photo op. Ask to be mentioned in advance publicity, printed programs, and follow-up articles. It's good PR for you and helpful to your customers!
- Fundraising Galleries often have good sales because customers not only get the photos, they also get the satisfaction of supporting a favorite cause or charity. Even if you volunteer your time and donate the photos, the good PR that results may well be worth your effort, and if the charity has 501(c)(3) status, you might also have the benefit of a tax deduction. (Ask your accountant.)
- Shoots arranged in advance tend to have the best results, but don't rule out last minute opportunities. Watch for events where people will be out having fun: Air Shows, Art Fairs, Apple Orchards, Baseball Games, Beaches, Bowling Leagues, Christmas Tree Farms, Concerts, Cycling Events, Derby Parties, Dog Beaches, Dog Parks, Ethnic Festivals, Equestrian Events, Fairgrounds, Football Games, Garden Club Events, Golf Tournaments, Graduations, Homecomings, Markets, Marinas, Monuments, Music Festivals, Nascar/Indy Events, Pageants, Parades, Parks, Pinewood Derbies, Political Rallies, Proms, Regattas, Reunions, Runs/Marathons, Scenic Overlooks, Skating Rinks, Sledding Hills, Soccer Matches, Softball Games, Super Bowl Parties, Swim Meets, Tailgating, Tennis Tournaments, Tide Pools, Valentine's Parties, and Water Sports.
- The natural light of outdoor venues makes good shots easier to get.
- Public places require less planning. If you choose private property, be sure to get advance permission from the owner.
- Events where most people bring their own cameras means lots of competition, so be prepared to make your shots unique.
- Occasionally very good galleries have poor sales. If your subjects aren't comfortable using the Internet, your sales will face an insurmountable obstacle.
Plan the Shoot:
Get off to a good start --
- Be friendly. Make people so comfortable they're smiling even before you ask!
- Avoid unpleasant situations. Ask permission before shooting, and don't photograph children or pets without first asking the adult with them. Don't claim to be a professional photographer unless you are.
- Explain your photos will be posted and sold online at www.Snapped4U.com. Wearing a Snapped4U cap and/or handing out business cards will help your customers remember where to look. Caps and Cards
- Shoot at a resolution that will allow you to edit and still maintain quality sufficient to produce a good 8x10. We recommend that the long side measure at least 1600 pixels. And, remember our maximum file size is 4MB, so set your camera accordingly.
- Be sure to take spare batteries and an extra card!
Take photos that you'd buy --
- Posed shots of smiling faces are the best sellers. Distant or candid shots rarely sell.
- Shooting at eye-level usually results in the shots most flattering to the subject.
- Shooting from the waist up gives people less to dislike!
- Group shots of friends or family are good because they may include a mix of people that are rarely together. Plus, you might get a shot of a camera-shy person who usually declines having his photo taken.
- People with their pets are also good sellers. Pet-owners often take photos of their pets, but forget to get photos with their pets.
- Pose people and suggest they remove their sunglasses.
- Take advantage of stairs, benches, and other natural props. Use them to avoid 'line-ups' by staggering layers of standers, sitters, and kneelers. Make sure everyone can be seen and that those on the end don't seem off by themselves.
- Take one pose from different angles, then change the pose a bit and shoot some more.
- The larger the group, the more shots you should take. Since we sell jpegs which can be easily shared, only one shot means at most one sale. Taking lots of shots improves the chance of several sales, as different members of the group may have different favorites.
- Kids and pets often don't pose well, so take lots of shots and improve your chances of getting some good ones. Using your camera's sports (action) mode can be good for kids and pets… and large groups, too!
- Consider the angle of the sun. Using a flash might minimize shadows.
- Choose views that provide the best backgrounds. Keep an eye out for distractions like radio towers, power lines, traffic signs, etc. Notice that a crowd in the background is usually OK, but a stray individual often is not. If a good background just isn't available, use a shallow depth-of-field to put the background out of focus.
Make Your Gallery Customer-Friendly:
- Galleries are automatically identified by the photographer's name. It is up to the photographer to provide other pertinent information so that the photos will be found when a customer searches.
- Choose a concise description to serve as the gallery's name.
- For tags, carefully choose descriptive words. When customers search by a keyword, the results will include galleries with that word in the description as well as those with that word designated as a tag.
- Large galleries can be difficult to search. Limiting a gallery to about 300 photos keeps it customer-friendly. If necessary, find a good way to divide your photos into multiple galleries.
- Make your photos easy to search. Photos will appear in alphanumeric order within your gallery. Your camera or computer assigns filenames in chronological order, and that is usually the best order for customer searching. If you edit, rename edited versions by simply adding a suffix to the filename to preserve chronology. If a customer's photos are scattered throughout the gallery, they will be difficult to compare, or worse, not even found.
- To use a favorite shot or jpeg message as the gallery icon, copy it and name the copy '0000' so that it will appear first. Then upload both the copy and the original so it will appear first and chronologically, too.
- If you shoot an annual event, consider reposting the gallery the following year. People often appreciate old photos even more than new ones.
- Remember that all editing must be done prior to uploading, including rotating for correct orientation. Your galleries will have a nicer appearance and be more customer-friendly if your photos aren't sideways!
- Before uploading, review your photos. Keep your gallery's quality high and more appealing to your customers. Delete bad shots and enhance others with basic editing such as straightening and cropping. Name edited versions by simply adding a suffix to the original filename so that they maintain a logical position in the gallery display.
- Look for photos that can be made more flattering by cropping at the waist or shoulders for instant weight loss. Don't upload unflattering views!
- Many customers are unfamiliar with photo editing, so posting different cropped versions of one photo gives your customers more options.
Promote Your Gallery:
- Photos must be found to be sold. Be sure your customers know the photos will be sold online at www.Snapped4U.com.
- Whenever possible, choose events with a website or Facebook page where you can be included in advance publicity and then also post reminders following the event.
- As you shoot, explain how to find the photos online. Offer to email a reminder and keep a list of anyone willing to share their email address.
Handing out business cards and wearing a Snapped4U cap can help customers
remember where to find your photos.
(Check out our Caps and Cards.)
- Create and post your gallery immediately after shooting to avoid missing the earliest customer searches. When this isn't possible, create your gallery in advance and use the message box to tell customers they've come to the right place and to check back soon. When an empty gallery is posted, the gallery icon will say, "Coming Soon!"
Know the System:
- Photo Price: The Photo Price is set at $4 for our Event Galleries. Photographers choose the Photo Price for Photographer's Choice Galleries and Fundraising Galleries. The Photo Price applies to all photos in the gallery and may not be edited.
- Photo Subject: Event Galleries are exclusively for photos of friends and family out at special events. Photographer's Choice Galleries allow the photographer to choose any subject compliant with our Terms and Conditions. Fundraising Galleries are exclusively for photos of fundraising events or for other events and occasions when proceeds from the photo sales will be donated to a school, church, or charitable organization. No "Prohibited Content" is permitted even when the gallery is a password-protected Private Gallery. Terms and Conditions
- Posting Fee: There is no posting fee for Event Galleries and Fundraising Galleries. For Photographer's Choice Galleries, a posting fee of $4 is charged for each 2-month posting period. Payment is made when the gallery is posted and marks the beginning of the posting period.
- Posting Period: All posting periods are 2 months. At the end of a posting period, the gallery is automatically taken offline, but the option to Renew Posting appears and remains available for a period of 1 month. (For galleries designated as Annual Events, the Renew Posting option remains available for 11 months.) When the Renew Posting option expires, Snapped4U will permanently delete the gallery. Never use Snapped4U as a place to store your files!
- Sales Commission: The sales commission is $0.50 on photos priced $5 or less and 10% on all others.
- Account Balance: Sales are immediately credited to the Photographer's Snapped4U account. Photographers may view their account balance at any time. The balance in their Snapped4U account is paid to their PayPal account on the 1st and 15th of each month. If the Photographer's PayPal account is tied to a bank account, withdrawals can be made without a fee. Contact PayPal's Customer Service for information related to PayPal.
Questions and comments are always welcome!
And, please email us with more tips to share!
No inappropriate use of Snapped4U is permitted. See the Terms and Conditions for a detailed description of inappropriate use and Prohibited Content. Please report any content you find offensive to abuse@Snapped4U.com.