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photographing cats
Posted by: Maryann Dunbar (IP Logged)
Date: February 28, 2012 04:30PM

Hello!
I'm still trying to find my niche(s) in editorial stock. I am reading Rohn's "Sell and Re-Sell Your Photos" and "sellphotos.com". A lot of excellent advice and ideas! I would like to specialize in cat photography. I love cats, currently have 7 of my own, as well as past veterinary work experience. So I really know cats! In my reading, however, "cute animals" seem to belong on the Track A, or non-salable list. Would cats be a marketable subject, in your opinion? I intend to focus on more than just "cuteness".
Thanks for your help!

Sincerely,
Maryann Dunbar

Re: photographing cats
Posted by: BrianYarvin (IP Logged)
Date: February 28, 2012 04:59PM

Maryann:

To a person like yourself, cats must certainly be more than just cute. Surely, there must be other things besides their cuteness worth photographing. How about everything else from their life cycle to the lifestyles of people that are passionate about them.

There are cat magazines, cat books, cat websites, and all sorts of other media. What are they buying?

Brian Yarvin
Author, Photographer, Educator
http://www.brianyarvin.com

Re: photographing cats
Posted by: Maryann Dunbar (IP Logged)
Date: February 28, 2012 05:12PM

Thanks for the advice, Brian! I'll check out some cat websites, magazines, etc. That should give me a good idea of what's selling. I have some other ideas I'm looking at, as well.

Could I specialize in a geographic area or would that be too general?
Maybe focus more on a specific aspect of a place? Or people living there?
(separate from the cat question)

Thanks again...you guys have a great service!

Maryann

Re: photographing cats
Posted by: BrianYarvin (IP Logged)
Date: February 28, 2012 06:14PM

Maryann:

I don't know why, but Americans seem to have really bad luck with geographical specialties. In Europe, this seems to work really well.

The cat specialty is growing on me.



Brian Yarvin
Author, Photographer, Educator
http://www.brianyarvin.com

Re: photographing cats
Posted by: Maryann Dunbar (IP Logged)
Date: February 28, 2012 08:09PM

Thanks, Brian!

I checked out some cat websites and all the photos I can find seem pretty generic "cute", or an attempt at wacky humor...not that there's anything wrong with humor! I'm still considering cat specialization...hopefully there's a market!

I'm always brainstorming!

Sincerely,
Maryann

Re: photographing cats
Posted by: BrianYarvin (IP Logged)
Date: February 29, 2012 12:04PM

Maryann:

I believe that you have to go far deeper than just websites. Magazines and books are just as important and need to be examined as markets too.



Brian Yarvin
Author, Photographer, Educator
http://www.brianyarvin.com

Re: photographing cats
Posted by: Maryann Dunbar (IP Logged)
Date: February 29, 2012 12:38PM

Thanks, Brian!

I'm working on it! You're a great help to beginners like me. I'm doing a lot of research and will be doing a lot of shooting!

Sincerely,
Maryann

Re: photographing cats
Posted by: kbarrel (IP Logged)
Date: February 29, 2012 03:11PM

Hello Maryann -- Cats, cats, cats! Yuh can’t live without ‘em. We have several in the barn. As for markets, a couple more ideas: with your veterinarian background, go to Google and search for
photo guidelines magazine cat (do the same for book publisher)
and check out the varied magazines. Also substitute in your keyword phrase search: veterinarian, nutrition, hospital, kitten. You’re bound to expand your cat horizon. Also check out the “Lesson” in PhotoStockNOTES 4 weeks ago (Jan 31st). It shows how to seach for “dog” markets- Just substitute “cat”. Good luck ! Send me a tear sheet of your first published photo! -Rohn

Re: photographing cats
Posted by: Steve Heap (IP Logged)
Date: March 1, 2012 10:33AM

Hi Maryann

My daughter has a couple of really nice bengal cats, and I have had a fair amount of success selling images of them on stock agencies. On one site alone they have earned $600+ in the past twelve months. Not sure if the link to the images will be shown here, but it is: http://www.shutterstock.com/sets/6469-cats.html?rid=138433

I blog regularly about selling photos at BackyardSilver.com if you want to find out more about this way of monetizing your images.

Steve

Re: photographing cats
Posted by: Maryann Dunbar (IP Logged)
Date: March 3, 2012 01:19PM

Thank you Rohn and Steve for the great advice! I'm still in the research stage and happy for any advice from the pros. I am focusing (pun intended) on cats as my main specialization and am researching everything cat-related. I hope to get a blog up and running soon. I don't have a website yet...would like to do a lot more shooting first. Do you think a website is necessary for me to have at this early stage?

Thanks again!
Maryann

Re: photographing cats
Posted by: Steve Heap (IP Logged)
Date: March 3, 2012 07:51PM

Hi Maryann

At this stage, I don't think having a web site helps if you are purely trying to sell your images. If you have other desires - ie show off your cats to your friends, create a community around the site to do with cats, then that is a totally different question and I would say go ahead with that. Wordpress is a great (and relatively simple) way of creating a web site that you are going to add to reasonably frequently and takes maybe an hour to set up.

I have found no correlation between having photos on my own blog and having sales of the images. It could be that someone searches for a subject and comes to my blog (that happens a lot), but I've no indication that they then go off to a stock agency to license that image - perhaps they do, perhaps they just download the picture from my blog and use it, who knows!

The secret is to have fun taking the images and perfecting your technical skills and style!

Steve

Re: photographing cats
Posted by: Rohn_Engh (IP Logged)
Date: March 16, 2012 10:57PM

Hi Maryann --
since a website is sort of the flag that you set in the ground and say, "This is me. This is what I do," It would be a good idea to have one eventually. They are inexpensive these days, especially if you don't mind the advertising -they're free. In Google, just type "free website building" And you'll find a lot of popular ones.
If you have a lot of cat pictures and a variety of them in all situations (at the vets, birthing, scaveraging, mothering,in the woods, playing with other animals, etc.) a good place for you to be with your cat keywords is at the PhotoSourceBANK where photobuyers go to find highly SPECIFIC pictures.
I published a new video this week on the PhotoSourceBANK. Here's where you'll find it. -Good shooting! -- Rohn
http://www.photosource.com/psb2012e.html


Re: photographing cats
Posted by: Maryann Dunbar (IP Logged)
Date: March 22, 2012 05:13PM

Thanks for the advice, Rohn!

I am working on building up my supply of cat photos, and then I do plan to register with PhotoSourceBANK. I will most likely start out with a blog and use social media, as well. I'll consider my own website somewhere down the road.

I'm thoroughly enjoying your books...tons of great advice!

Thanks again! --Maryann




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