When nature and wildlife photographer Martin Bailey began sharing his knowledge via a free weekly Photography Podcast in 2005, he received a considerable amount of "hate mail" from established pros. "They told me that I should keep my tips and techniques to myself, and not share them with others, or it would allow others to surpass me," Martin recalls. "Of course, their fear was that it would also allow others to surpass them." Martin, confident that his success was built on his unique talent and not on any one lens or closely guarded trade secret, ignored the haters. The reputation and recognition he built through podcasts and networking made his eventual transition into full-time photography smooth. In addition to his podcasts, Martin hosts a popular photography forum, leads workshops, and has had photos published in numerous publications including Popular Photography Magazine, Pomegranate, and Korean Air.
Martin dedicated a great deal of time and thought into his branding, so he was especially happy to take advantage of PhotoShelter's partnership with the WordPress theme provider, Graph Paper Press. "PhotoShelter and Graph Paper Press made it so easy to align the themes of my Wordpress Blog and my PhotoShelter pages. The integration is seamless and very easy to maintain. I love it!" The PhotoShelter WordPress plugin makes it a breeze to embed images and galleries into a blog post from his archive.
Martin was initially drawn to PhotoShelter because he wanted to take advantage of his library of images' potential as stock. Clients visiting Martin's website receive a price quote instantaneously after entering their specific usage details into fotoQuote's rights managed pricing calculator, a feature built into PhotoShelter's e-commerce cart.
If they should decide to proceed with the purchase, they can pay and download the image right there, without my intervention. If they should walk away though, I have only lost the time it took me to mail the client a link, and some sales patter. Not having to painstakingly gather usage requirements from the customer and create custom quotes is a huge time saver for me, especially in today's business climate.
For clients who require a bit more handholding, Martin can assemble a personalized lightbox of images that meet their request.
I select what they can do with the images once they're in the lightbox, as well as whether or not they can invite others to the lightbox. The client can rate images and collaborate with others to narrow down their selection, and when this process is complete, they can buy their selection directly from PhotoShelter using pricing that I can customize per client if necessary.
Martin prefers to fulfill his fine art print orders himself: "PhotoShelter enables me to do just this, creating lists of available prints for people to select, which, once bought, are forwarded to me for self-fulfillment. Perfect!"
"I can't think of a better way to make a living than creating photographs and helping others to create great photographs, too."
Martin lives by the adage "quality is king," a standard he applies to everything from his shoot setup to his final print. He has found that people are still willing to pay for the high quality results, so he never undervalues his work. "I have so far refused to join the cheap stock bandwagon, and would rather find other enjoyable ways to make money from photography than throwing my images onto a dollar stock site," he says. One particularly lucrative source of revenue is the workshops and tours Martin leads in Japan, where he has lived since 1991. "There are a lot of people out there now with expensive cameras, but need a little help using them," he has come to realize. He offers them a unique opportunity to be guided by an Englishman with twenty years of experience photographing the nature of Japan. More recently, Martin has expanded his programs worldwide, and, at time of writing, was about to co-host a month-long expedition to Antarctica:
This will not only allow me to work with an incredibly talented group of participating photographers, but I'll also have time to build on my own portfolio. I can't think of a better way to make a living than creating photographs and helping others to create great photographs, too, in a location like this.
In the six years since Martin first began his free podcasts, he has been encouraged by the increasing openness within the photography community. "Today, sharing, and surrounding yourself with other sharing and caring people will get you much further than keeping yourself to yourself and trying to make a buck the way photographers have for decades," he muses. "Things have changed."
TOP PHOTOSHELTER FEATURES
- Wordpress Integration
- E-commerce: RM Licensing
Get Our Newsletter
Stay in the know with our monthly newsletter filled with articles, new features, and discounts!