Sunday, October 6, 2013

Pay Attention To The Details

By Samuel Lewis Published in The Business of Photography
Pay Attention To The Details
Some photographers have used Pinterest to assemble inspiration boards, or as a tool for collecting information in advance of a shoot, and some wedding photographers have used Pinterest to permit their clients to begin assembling ideas for shoots. Dallas-based fashion and wedding photographer Jessica D'Onofrio uses Pinterest to work with clients. "I create a pinboard that I invite [the] client to join where she can pin her inspiration for a shoot, or for the wedding day...." D'Onofrio also uses Pinterest to attract additional clients. "While not my original intent," writes D'Onofrio, "I HAVE received solid leads from [Pinterest]. And, perhaps the fact it was not the original intent, is why it worked…I think if [photographers] just post a big display of their personal images and expect the rest of the work to be done by repins, they're missing the point. It needs to be something [photographers are] using in an interactive format that includes participation from brides, friends and other like-minded demographics. It's a dialogue, not a monologue."

Others aren't convinced that Pinterest is an effective referral source or business-generation resource. PhotoShelter cofounder Allen Murabayashi suggested on his blog that "for photographers, [Pinterest] simply isn't a good referral source because it doesn't lead to sales." After looking at statistics relating to Pinterest, and noting that the service "drives a ton of page views," Murabayashi suggested that "Pinterest is an aspirational pin board...[where] [t]he 'Likes' and 'Repinning' help to validate a user's curatorial skills. And like every social media site in the world, the service is a tool of self-expression." While acknowledging that Pinterest "is an awesome marketing tool for retailers," Murabayashi nonetheless concludes, "Pinterest hasn't shown itself to be a good referral mechanism for service-based offerings (e.g., hiring you for a wedding). And, if you compare the number of repins for the fashion category vs. the arts category, you'll begin to understand that spending time on Pinterest as a marketing activity simply doesn't pay off for photographers.

...fair use doesn't give the user the ability to grant a license to use the image. Only the owner (or an authorized licensee who has the right to grant sublicenses) of the image has the right to grant licenses.
  While Pinterest has already developed something of a following, the service isn't without controversy. For photographers, the more common debate topics involving Pinterest are whether it's skirting copyright law, whether it potentially encourages copyright infringement and whether the increased exposure to a photographer's work is worth the hassle of having one's copyrights infringed and enforcing one's rights.

Some content creators are less than enthusiastic about Pinterest because the "pinning" of content may reduce website traffic. Digital photographs can be "pinned" in such a way that the image is simply copied to Pinterest, with no link back to the source website. Thus, depending upon how the content is "pinned," the act of "pinning" may simply involve the copying of copyrightable material without the content creator's consent. In light of these issues, some content creators are understandably critical of Pinterest.
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