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Cutting Image Production Costs

Do you find the cost of producing new photos staggering? If your answer is yes, many of today's photographers would agree with you. With the ever-increasing amount of quality images on the market, many of today's top photographers are shying away from producing new stock photographs due to the upfront costs in producing them. In fact, very few top photographers are producing new works on a regular basis and some have quit shooting altogether. The reason cited: overwhelming expenses for locations, models, stylists, makeup artists, wardrobes, props, photo assistants, caterers, permits and equipment rentals.

A great image doesn't always have to come at a tremendous expense to produce. If the cost of producing content is your obstacle here are three suggestions that could help you save on image production:

1. Trade services. Any new facility being built and wanting to expand and bring in new tenants needs images for their website. Models, make-up, hair and wardrobe stylists, etc. all need new portfolio images. Many of these groups would be willing to trade services so don't be afraid to approach them with a trade option.

2. If you have access to any screen extras or a casting guild, see what talent is available. Many of them will work for a very low wage and, in some cases, for free, if you offer to create portfolio pieces for them in exchange for work.

3. Split or offer a percentage of your commission with the people you are working with much as a stock agency pays you a commission for the images sold. Thus, you can give a percentage of each sale to the person helping you produce the photo.

These are not unique concepts at all, just ones that need repeating every so often. This is a chance to create new work, develop a new style, enhance your portfolio, and ultimately get paid for your efforts.

Now that you know how to save money on your photo shoot make sure to get your photos|images[/spin] noticed by placing your photos in several stock agencies. Most customers rarely venture out of the one or two stock agencies they typically purchase from, so by having multiple agencies represent your work you'll reach a larger customer base. Thus, by being non-exclusive, you'll increase the chances of your images getting noticed and, ultimately, having your images purchased by a greater number of people. Uploading new content on a continuous basis will also increase your visibility as an artist and your opportunities for additional sales. Most stock agencies offer a "See What's New " section of their websites that highlights the new content for the month.

So, dust off your camera, make a trade or agree to split a commission, and get shooting!