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Decisions about photos - the funcrunch files


Apr. 21st, 2014 11:04 am Decisions about photos

I'm trying to decide what to do with my professional photo galleries. I officially stopped taking on new clients in August 2012, but said I would continue licensing my photos and doing some photography projects of my own choosing. I have done so, but only to a very limited extent. This article a friend forwarded me today reminded me of all of the reasons I quit this business and have no wish to go back to it.

As I have taken few new photos and not promoted the existing ones, I've barely made enough sales to justify keeping my Zenfolio galleries online. A hundred dollars a year is more than reasonable for unlimited storage and good customization options, but I'm not sure what I'm even storing the photos for at this point. I haven't even updated my name on either my Zenfolio or Funcrunch Photo web sites because I feel like they are in my past. I should investigate how to update my name with the copyright office, but then I need to be willing to make the effort required to file a copyright infringement claim, should things come to that. And then put up with all the accusations of greed and hubris for asserting the legal rights to my own work.

I still have photos at the Alamy stock agency, which costs me nothing, but I'm competing with 46 million+ other images there. As most of my photos are of people and not model-released, they are of no interest to those just looking for royalty-free use. And many newspapers and such are crowdsourcing free content from readers with smartphones rather than licensing the kind of editorial images I've created.

I'm tempted at this point to just back up my Lightroom catalogs and RAW files and find a new off-site storage location for those, then delete all of my professional online galleries. I can't do anything about the photos that have already been disseminated throughout the Internet, and it's not worth my time to go hunting for unauthorized use. But it seems wrong to still have pro galleries up when I'm not making any real sales and don't consider myself to be a photographer anymore. It's a painful part of my career history. I'm still glad that I tried it, but it was a really bad idea to try to make a career out of this particular hobby.

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