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Real Estate Photographer Gets Credit and Link From Huffington Post

November 23rd, 2010

I think special recognition is in order for Huffington Post because Estella Sneider just sent me an example of coverage that a listing she shot recently for Mauricio Umansky just off sunset strip in LA. The Huffington Post article actually has a link in the article to Estella’s website.

I’ve ranted before about the fact that the Wall Street Journal and other large newspaper sites don’t do this. They will talk you into letting them use your photo(s) and maybe mention your name but never give you an link in the text to your website for “payment”. Do you think there might be some value in having a link to your site from a PageRank 8 site like wsj.com or huffingtonpost.com compared to just having your name in the article? You better believe that Estella will get some business in the long run from this link in the LA section of HuffPo. As I’ve said before, I think when you let a site like this use your photos you should insist on a link back to your site in the credit line. Although my experience is that it’s very difficult to make it happen because newspaper sites typically don’t link in the article text. A digital editor at USA Today admitted to me that it’s just against their policy. I told her it was my policy that they couldn’t use my content unless I got a link to my site. The main reason Estella got this link is that HuffPo is not a newspaper site. It’s primarily a over-sized blog.

I was a little surprised that more upper-end homes in the LA and Beverly Hills area aren’t marketed with video as well as still photography. I posed this question to Estella but haven’t heard back from her. I would expect to find property videos in wide use in the LA area. After all this is the video capital of the world! Maybe I just haven’t found the Beverly Hills property videos yet, but I think there has to be an opportunity here.

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8 Responses to “Real Estate Photographer Gets Credit and Link From Huffington Post”

  • The phrase “talk you into letting them use your photo(s) and maybe mention your name” sounds an awful lot like you are giving your photographs away for free to the likes of the ‘Wall Street Journal’ without compensation. Really? Why would any sound-minded photographer trying to earn a buck do that? Will the “mention (of) your name” or a link will put food on your table? Are the readers of the WSJ and HuffingtonPost your desired demographic for making sales?

    You say, “You better believe that Estella will get some business in the long run from this link in the LA section of HuffPo.” I’ll take that bet. I bet she gets astonishingly little business from that link. And I dare say she receives NONE.

    I wish fellow photographers would quit getting a boner everything they see their name in lights. Getting paid for your hard work; now that gives ME a boner.

  • Have to agree with Todd on this one. A link and credit is useless. Obviously the photo has value to WSJ and Huffington Post, so pay the photographer!

    Related rant http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mj5IV23g-fE

  • I agree with Todd. I doubt she’ll get any business from those links.

    I’ve had property listing photos in the WSJ and Architectural Digest multiple times and as long as the images are used to market an active listing for sale then that use falls within my standard real estate photography terms and conditions of use.

  • I think the example that Larry cites is clearly for marketing purposes for the listing. As Aaron does, I include this sort of thing within my standard pfre license terms and do not require any sort of photo credit in these cases, although I let my clients know that I always welcome a photo credit of some sort.

  • With context given to 3rd party use or included marketing of the property within RE shoot contract, Todd is right on the money.. When I first took photography seriously, I did all kinds of stuff for free, had people wanting to use my stuff for free to “boost” my portfolio and give me that “open door” to all that future business. You know what happened? I nearly starved, had to get a 9-5 again to survive and NEVER SAW A PROSPECT ONE from that stuff. ONLY a continuing trail of freeloaders who knew I had done something for someone else at no charge. 5 years later, ALL of my clients are those whom I picked up through paying gigs and handling my business like a REAL business. I had to dissapear for several months and start over fresh to get rid of all the people wanting free stuff, credits and help building my portfolio.

    My RE photos run in the paper all the time, and most of the time no credit is given to me. I dont care. I GOT PAID by the client and the fee I charge covers incidental marketing use in the Sunday paper Homes section. If the realtor submitted my photo to huffington for marketing and it ran, great! I get a link? great! BUT marketing was figured into the fee and payment for marketing use and I was already paid so it was icing on the top. If Huffington or someone is doing a 3rd party story or something like that, then I WILL GET PAID AGAIN on the license of the images or they wont use them. I will never see one dime from a back link. sure my website’s seo just bumped up one or two places on google, but most of my clients dont find me thru google.

    The mentality of photo credits are as good as gold baffles me as much as the youth sports teams who demand 15-25% of your gross in order to shoot their T&I photos.. Sorry, not playing that game either. I look at it like this. I go to the grocery store and tell them I am an awesome photographer who blogs. Give me some food, I will go home and style it, shoot it, blog it and link back to the Wal Mart website so they will get more business, since my photos will make their food look as good as the stuff from flagship grocers at a fraction of the price. What do you think their answer will be? And dont say food is different than photos because food is a tangible object.. THAT is what made this sort of thing happen in the first place. Photographs, wether on a 35mm slide, or a 10mb file on hard disk IS a tangible object. Its the only thing photographers have to offer that will compensate for all the lighting, lenses, studio, and experience we can stir into the pot..

  • @alan.. thanks for posting that link, you beat me to it, but its the first thing I send out to persistent people who dont take the first NO as an answer to free/portfolio building work…

  • I often shoot for builders, and many times the photos end up in the local new homes and relo mags. Realtors end up taking them and use them on their websites. The whole point of purchasing “real estate photography” services is so that you can aquire great images of the product so that they can be distributed to various outlets for marketing purposes. These outlets include magazines and websites.

    I would absolutely let Huff Post use this in exchange for a link. In this case, the link was even better with anchor text. The link will help indirectly with getting better search rankings…and maybe even a little exposure. There are plenty of creative ways to exploit this situation for your advantage without worrying about royalties.

    But if you can get money out of them, it is worth a shot. I do agree that it depends on the situation. If an interior designer decided to get these from the builder/homeowner and submit to an design mag/website for an editorial, would I demand royalties? It depends on the situation, but probably not. If he/she tried to use them in a website portfolio, then I would.

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