The days when a photographic image can last for years as a brand's encapsulating icon are over. The use of photographic images has hit hyperdrive as the term of "useful life" grows shorter and the demand for freshness intensifies.
Social media giants Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat are partly responsible as brands move from relying on hero images in their marketing to embracing a stream of brand value-echoing content within their social media feeds. The hero images still have their place, but they better be fresh, or forget it.
This trend has spooked photographers throughout the world. And so it should. Professional photographers have relied on long-lived licensing contracts for decades and now that game is changing whether they like it or not. But their clients aren't divesting in photography - on the contrary, they're investing even more, as they realise the power of a stream of images to convey their messaging. The challenge for professional photographers is to adapt their business practises to this accelerating world of imagery. That means shorter licensing timeframes, more affordable rates and finding ways to spend a whole lot more time out behind the lens than bogged down in paperwork.
It really begs a rethink of the systems and processes of running a photography business. Clients expect action within minutes of placing a phone call, text, or email and so the virtual office has to become a part of that mix. Immediacy and being able to deliver from your morning walk with the dog, your kid's footy match or romantic dinner are as prerequisite as having a great eye.
Embrace the lively new image lifecycle by arming yourself with technology that fast-tracks your admin and lets you spend more time making beautiful pictures.
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