Guide to Marketing With Photos – Small business information, insight and resources | Thu, 14 Feb 2019 18:32:11 +0000 en-US hourly 1 157446745 Why Your Small Business Should Still be Using Flickr | 2018 Wed, 14 Nov 2018 18:53:36 +0000

We’ve been a fan of Flickr since its earliest days. Five years ago, we wrote how glad we were that Flickr appeared to be putting its house in order. But alas, things went down in a hurry. In that article, “Your Small Business Should be Using Flickr,” we wished (out loud) for the Flickr we once knew: that let us organize our photographs and use them in various ways — for both professional and personal use. We wished for the time when Flickr was a community with robust groups who not only shared photos but shared passions and help.

In April, Flickr was rescued by an independent, family business who also owns SmugMug.

Our response was like that of web-community pioneer Anil Dash:

A sustainable future

With new owners, Flickr has a promising future. For example, the owners knew that giving away a terabyte of storage (for free) is not a viable business model. (Remember, the new owners are a family business.)

Recently, they have re-defined the benefits of a “Flickr Pro” subscription and have placed a limit on photos one can store on a free account. Here are other highlights of Flickr’s new approach:

Free account | Limited to 1,000 photos or videos. New simple login (translation: not a Yahoo login).

Flickr Pro features | Less than half the photography storage cost of Apple, Amazon, or Google

Unlimited storage
Full resolution
Ad-free browsing
Advanced stats
Resolutions up to 5K
10-minute videos
Premier product support
“Partner” discounts
Discounts on Creative Cloud from Adobe
50% off a custom portfolio site on SmugMug
Peak Design gear

Pro | Annual subscription plan

Annual Plan | $4.17 $2.92/month*
*Billed annually

Pro | Monthly plan


Read the Fine Print | As we always suggest, be sure to review the details before changing your account.



New Features, Including Scheduled Posts, Will Soon Be Available for Instagram Business Users | 2018 Mon, 05 Feb 2018 14:56:35 +0000

Instagram last week announced that third-party developers (like Hootsuite) can now provide their users with new features for Instagram business profiles. The new features will allow business users of Instagram to schedule photo posts, view posts they’ve been tagged in and view other business profiles. 


These new features will start showing up in content management services that are Facebook Marketing Partners or Instagram Partners.

Content Publishing Beta

  • Post an image to feed with or without a caption.

Business Discovery

  • Discover and read the profile info and media of other business profiles.


  • Read public media that a business has been photo tagged or @mentioned in.
  • Post comments on a business’ behalf on media it was tagged or mentioned in.

What platforms will include the new features?

Look for the new features on the platforms listed in these directories:


Is it Legal to Post a Copyrighted Photo on a Social Media Network? | 2017 Tue, 01 Aug 2017 13:32:57 +0000

“Find out how to manage your rights on YouTube and learn more about respecting the rights of others.”

Supplementary Copyright Registration

On July 17, 2017, the U.S. Copyright Office (a part of the Library of Congress) implemented an online application requirement for supplementary registration. This adds more protection to copyright holders by allowing them the ability to update or clarify copyright information related to a specific creative work. The supplementary registration application may be accessed through the office’s online registration system.

Links to additional resources and information regarding copyright | Frequently asked questions about copyright

The U.S. Copyright Office is responsible for administering a complex and dynamic set of laws, which include registration, the recordation of title and licenses, a number of statutory licensing provisions, and other aspects of the 1976 Copyright Act and the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

Electronic Frontier Foundation |Legal Guide for Bloggers

The Bloggers Guide to Intellectual Property is a list of frequently asked questions regarding issues that arise when you publish material created by others on your blog.

Berkman Klein Center | Lumen 

Lumen is an independent 3rd party research project studying cease and desist letters concerning online content. Its goals are to educate the public, to facilitate research about the different kinds of complaints and requests for removal–both legitimate and questionable–that are being sent to internet publishers and service providers, and to provide as much transparency as possible about the “ecology” of such notices, in terms of who is sending them and why, and to what effect.

More Examples of Public Domain Stock Photos | 2017 Wed, 14 Jun 2017 13:00:08 +0000

Always looking for legal- and free-to-use photography, we’ve previously examined sources of free stock photos and photography on Flickr that are licensed for free usage. Here’s a new source of “free for commercial use” called, appropriately enough, FFCU.

FFCU is a project of photographer Markus Spiske from the German city of Erlangen. Spiske labels all images under Creative Commons Zero (CC0) or public domain. In other words, Spiske has made the photos completely free to use for any legal purpose.

The collection already contains 1,000 images sorted by topics, and displayed in grid overviews. One click on the photo preview opens the respective image’s detail page. Here, you’ll receive some background information on the picture.

The project is another example of how photographers are using sampling approaches as a means to raise the visibility of their work in order to build up their commercial projects.

While Spiske does not require an attribution link back to FFCU, we’re happy to do that now.



How to Create a Tiny Do it Yourself Photography Studio to Make Your Product Photos Pop Sun, 12 Feb 2017 14:33:17 +0000 As we note often in the Guide to Marketing With Photos, we believe a camera is one of the most important tools those who run a small business can use to tell their company’s story and sell its products or services. There are times when you should call on the services of a professional photographer: commercial fashion, architectural, portraiture and advertising photography are a few examples. However, with the advent of ubiquitous cameras (that fit in one’s pocket or bag) and social media marketing, you can help grow your business and sell your product if you learn how to be a better photographer.

The key to better photography can be explained in one word: Light!

If you learn how light interacts with the lens of a camera, you are half-way to being a good photographer. For close-up photography, how you use light in a photograph can make-or-break a sale. Professionals spend lots of time and money on studio space and equipment with which they can control the light and color in order to capture the essence of a product.

For the rest of us, the cost of the equipment and space may make us think the studio option is out of our reach. However, the how-to video below from the web magazine The Cooperative of Photography is filled with great ideas for using free or easy-to-find low-cost materials to create a small space Do-it-Yourself (DIY) photo studio for small, medium and even large objections.

Tip | The key to improving your marketing-with-photography skills is to practice, practice, practice. Take lots and lots of the types of photos that will show off your products at their best.

VIA | The Cooperative of Photography

5 Tips for Taking Great People Photos Mon, 19 Dec 2016 15:25:39 +0000

Smartphones solved the most daunting challenge of taking great photos: Always have a camera when a photo opportunity presents itself. Yet despite having these advanced digital cameras in our pockets or bags, many of us still fail to capture a good group shot at the office or a family photo around the Christmas tree. That’s too bad as the successful use of Instagram, Facebook, Twitter all depend on sharing engaging photos, Taking candid and posed photos are becoming an essential marketing skill for all small businesses. Here are some tips from  of CardStore Studio for getting great posed photos of people, at work or at home, in a group or by oneself.

1. Always be thinking about this posing checklist

Don’t mention it out loud, but always be thinking about this checklist of posing tips.:

Shoulders – Relax & pull shoulders back (no hunched backs!)
Chin – Push your chin forward & slightly down (helps avoid double chins, and bringing your chin down will make your neck look defined & slender)
Hands – Ballet hands! Keep your hands soft and relaxed – not rigid, straight, or in a fist or claw.
Arms – Pull your arms away from your body. They’ll look thinner if they’re on your hip, in your pocket or around someone.
Joints – If it bends, bend it! Knees, elbows, fingers, waist – a little bend goes a long way.

2. Posing tips for women and men

Women – Get them to twist their body a bit and not face the camera straight-on. Get them to lean on their back hip & lean slightly forward at the waist.

Men – Keep feet shoulder width apart and shoulders square to the camera. Place their arm around someone or put their hand in their pocket (Watch their thumbs – either 4 fingers in a pocket and thumbs out, or only thumbs in a pocket and fingers out).

3. Posing a group – get in close

Tell everyone to make sure they’re always touching someone else.Tell people to get in as close as they possibly can. Then move in a little closer.

4. Don’t say cheese

Don’t bring attention to the camera — especially if children are involved. Saying “cheese” makes people go rigid and put on a fake smile.

5. Non-posed posing – find the fun person

There’s at least one comic in every bunch. Let them do something ridiculous that will get everyone else laughing and loosened up.

VIA | CardStore Studio

GoPro Slashes Price to $200 on Hero4 Session, Its Smallest Performance Camera Sat, 05 Dec 2015 00:36:14 +0000

Less than six months after launching the super small performance camera Hero4 Session, GoPro has slashed the camera’s price for the second time. Starting out at $400 in July, the camera was cut to $300 in September. Today, the Hero4 Session is listed on for $199.*

Great reviews, not so great sales

While the small ice cube size camera received positive, even glowing, reviews, the value of its small size and simplicity has not caught on with customers who can purchase feature-packed traditional GoPro cameras* at comparable prices. The GoPro Hero lineup includes three “entry-level” Hero action cameras starting from $129.99 to $299.99, and three “performance” cameras starting from the $199.99 Hero 4 Session to the $499.99 Hero 4 Black.

Is the price now right for the Hero4 Session?

At a $200 price-point, the Hero4 Session may finally catch on as a second (or third) camera for existing GoPro camera users. At $400, the incredible features may have been too much to justify. But at a $200 price point, they may be too tempting to pass up for GoPro fans:

An ice cube | size of camera
2.6 ounces | weight of camera
1 | buttons on the camera
33 feet | maximum waterproof depth
1080p60 | wide-angle video
8 megapixel | photos
Bluetooth and WiFi | built-in
Smartphone app | compatible with GoPro app to video, edit, and share content
Accessories | compatible with all GoPro accessories and mounts


*Affiliate links

(Photos: GoPro)


How to Get Started Using Google Photos (June, 2015) Mon, 01 Jun 2015 23:12:31 +0000 Google has launched Google Photos, a major new (and free) cloud service it hopes will change the way you file, store, organize and share your digital photos and video.

The need

  • Smartphones have given us all a powerful video and still photography camera that is with us all the time.
  • Using those photos can help you grow your business in many ways.
  • The price of digital memory has become so low, photo organizing and storage companies are willing to give it away for free in exchange for gaining loyal customers for other services or in exchange for advertising.
  • Making sure all those photos get transferred from smartphone to the web can be confusing.
  • Choosing among the various solutions for transferring and storing such media can be confusing.


Previously, we’ve outlined the benefits of having a Flickr account (with its new design) to solve such challenges.

Now (June, 2015), Google has launched a new photo service that is similar to Flickr except where Flickr provides a terabyte of storage space (more than you’ll likely use, ever), Google leapfrogs Flickr, offering free storage to infinity and beyond. (With an exception we’ll touch in a moment.)

According to early reviews, Google Photos also provides some pure-magic search options inside the software that helps the user find photos based on image search—not tagging like iPhoto and other software.


You may think you are already using a product/service called Google Photos, but those were probably Google Picasa or Google+ Photos. This is something new.

The Verge’s Casey Newton had an early look at Google Photos and provides an in-depth review of it and explains some of the highlights of the service:

  • It is more like Flickr than cloud storage solutions, e.g. DropBox Carousel.
  • It is a “set-it-and-forget-it” system that automatically uploads and protects your photos and videos the moment you take them.
  • It is from Google, so you’ll see some search magic. For example, using image search, Google will organize your photos in an endless variety of ways: search “dog” and all your photos of dogs will appear, even if you haven’t tagged them.
  • Unlimited storage for free. (Fine Print: However, if a file is over 16 megapixels, it will be stored in a compressed format. To keep from storing such large files in a compressed format, the user will need a Google Drive account, a paid service after reaching 15GB.)

How to start using Google Photos

  1. To use the automatic upload features, Google Photos requires you to have an app on your smartphone, mobile devices (Android, iOS) and desktop. You’ll find links to the apps here.
  2. Take some photos on your iPhone or Android smartphone after installing the app.
  3. Open the Google Photos web app (
    1. At the top left, touch the menu icon Photos.
    2. You should see the photo you just took at the top. Try scrolling down to see what else is there.

Helpful Tip: Bookmark these links related to Google Photos (May, 2015)


There is a popular quote among users of the internet (at least that’s who Apple CEO Tim Cook attributes it to) that goes like this: “When an online service is free, you’re not the customer. You’re the product.” When Google is willing to give away an unlimited amount of something for free, how do they expect to turn us into a product? (The obvious answer is the way in which they do already: through connecting users and advertisers.)

Google is a great search company. However, they’ve failed twice at being a great photo storage company. Is the third time the charm? Let’s hope so.

Flickr Now Offers Even More Options for Legal-to-Use Photography Tue, 31 Mar 2015 14:43:04 +0000 In the past, we’ve shared information about sources of photography where small businesses (and anyone) can find photos they can use legally for blogging and other purposes if they adhere to copyright laws and the web-era effort to update usage rights for sharing intellectual property, Creative Commons.

One of our favorite sources of such photography is Flickr, that started letting users designate various types of Creative Commons options for sharing photos a decade ago.

Now, even more good news: They have added two more ways photographers and others (museums, state archives, etc.) can designate photography they share to be free of any restrictions—photos that are in the public domain. Previously, even the most generous licensing option through Creative Commons required some form of attribution to the license holder. Why would someone not want attribution? There are times when the license holder does not want to be credited for reasons ranging from privacy to government regulations. And there other times when the person who shares the work is not really the license holder, for example when a more accurate designation would be “public domain” for various reasons.

Because of that, Flickr has added two more options its users have to grant permission for photography usage with “no rights reserved”: the Public Domain designation and the Creative Common’s CCo license. (The default option on Flickr accounts remains “All Rights Reserved.” You must indicate any other preference for your default setting in the settings panel.)

“Many members of our community want to be able to upload images that are no longer protected by copyright and correctly tag them as being in the Public Domain, or they want to release their copyright entirely under CC0,” said Rajiv Vaidyanathan, a product manager at Flickr.

logo of creative commons public domain

The Creative Commons CCo license

CC0 enables scientists, educators, artists and other creators and owners of copyright—or database-protected content—to waive those interests in their works and thereby place them as completely as possible in the public domain, so that others may freely build upon, enhance and reuse the works for any purposes without restriction under copyright or database law.

In contrast to CC’s licenses that allow copyright holders to choose from a range of permissions while retaining their copyright, CC0 empowers yet another choice altogether—the choice to opt out of copyright and database protection, and the exclusive rights automatically granted to creators—the “no rights reserved” alternative to our licenses.

creative commons public domain designation

(Read more about the CCo license on the Creative Commons website.)

(Photo CCo: The photo is found on Flickr and was placed in the public domain by SpaceX Photos. It was shot just before sunset at 6:03pm ET on Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2015. It is the Falcon 9 lift off from SpaceX’s Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. and is carrying the Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) satellite on SpaceX’s first deep space mission.)

Amazing Smartphone Camera Tricks to Help Your Small Business Photo Marketing Wed, 27 Aug 2014 12:46:59 +0000 While they’re called “smartphones,” the devices most small business owners and managers are walking around with in their pockets and bags these days may as well be called “smart cameras with a phone.” The technology now packed into iPhones and Android phones make them capable of capturing high-quality images in all sorts of conditions and situations. (One smart phone, the Sony Xperia Z1s, can even shoot photos underwater.) Taking and sharing photographs is quickly becoming a significant and valuable marketing activity–we call it photo marketing–for many small businesses, so becoming a better photographer is an important skill to develop. (That’s why we make photo marketing tips a regular topic on

It helps also that there are lots of talented photographers who are always trying to push the envelope on what someone can do with a smartphone camera. Exhibit 1: Lorenz Holder (website|instagram). In the video below created for The Cooperative of Photography, Lorenze demonstrates some tricks for doing things with a smartphone that seem like magic, or at least end up with magical photographs. After seeing it, you’ll doubt there’s anything a smartphone camera can’t do. (We’ll get to those in another post.)

(via: The Cooperative of Photography)