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Unread 08-01-2006, 04:27 AM   #1
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Upgraded Photographer Accounts Discussion

I am going to be opening up the paid member upgrades shortly, possibly next week.

Aside from the upgraded accounts which are mostly geared toward cosplayers and regular surfers, I have been putting together an upgraded account setup specifically for photographers. Because this has the outside potential to earn people money, these will cost more than regular upgraded accounts. Additionally you will be able to utilize Cosplay.com to announce that you are available for photoshoots at specific conventions, which, because of our traffic base, stands to connect you with quite a few people who are seeking a photographer for their group.

These accounts grant you a special, additional profile page on the site where you can advertise your services. Because this is Cosplay.com, ONLY cosplay-related photo work will be allowed, lest we wind up being inundated with photographers from all over the place just trying to get clients. You can put up your occasional modeling shot in your photographer profile, but your profile must be overwhelmingly (and that means like at least 95%) cosplay oriented. Again, this is COSPLAY.com, and I am adding things for the cosplay hobby only.

Some of the bonuses you get are as follows:
  • Photographer Profile Page (an expanded info page for photographers only)
  • Member Feedback (you can disable this, but obviously a lot of good feedback from your photo sessions will help)
  • Automatically inserted into the Photographer Keyword List (I'll explain that a bit later, but it's a good thing, I promise Those of you used to Digital Asset Management systems will love it. )
  • A little camera next to all of your posts, denoting that you are a registered photographer.
  • A special showcase gallery of up to 20 images which will go onto your extra profile page and also rotated in a registered photographer gallery.
  • Convention Listings whereby you can be inserted into a database of photographers available for photoshoots at a specific convention. Members looking for a photographer can go to that convention and see that you're available. You can do this for free, for profit, however you want to handle it.
  • Default links to your personal photo sites, OMP profiles, ModelMayhem profiles, etc.
  • Permission to list your pricing on your profile page, if you want.
  • Any private photoshoots you do may be flagged to go onto a private shoot page. These must, of course, be actual private shoots and not just collections of photos.

You also get all regular features from the normal upgraded accounts, which I will be announcing shortly to all site members.

You are still not allowed to spam or advertise your services in the forums or in actual photos. I want to keep these forums as spam-free as possible. It is my opinion that just having this new section will drive a lot of interest toward the photographers who choose to utilize it, and what you do with it from there is up to you. I will be adding the little photographer icon to all of your images and posts, and I predict the icon will become a bit of a recognizable brand here after a very short period of time.

Additionally I will not tolerate on-site competition between photographers. This means no bagging on any "competition" in advertising, or attempting to convince people why they should go with your prices instead of other people's prices, free or otherwise. You can list your prices, and your info, but you may not hard sell the members here.

What I am offering everyone is a way to utilize Cosplay.com to push their photography forward from both a creative and a business standpoint. There will be no exceptions on the upgrade price regardless of whether or not you are doing this for financial reasons. You're either upgraded, or you're not. You will be showcased on this website, and with our massive traffic base that can be extremely advantageous even if you're not doing it for financial reasons.

Each profile page WILL have a discliamer on the bottom, saying how Cosplay.com does not and cannot warrant the validity of anyone who registers as a photographer on the site, and that it is up to the potential client to do all the research, blah blah. Your standard stuff.

So anyway, let's talk a bit about this as I am open to suggestions for other things that can be added to these accounts, from a photographer standpoint. Being a photographer myself I am redesigning the galleries with photographers in mind, so that's not an issue. All extra features are not set in stone. What I'm looking for are suggestions of simple little things I can add that will make this a worthwhile feature on the site for all of you.
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Unread 08-01-2006, 09:44 AM   #2
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This whole thing sounds pretty good. Will the little camera icon (or some kind of marker identifying photographers) also spread over to whenever we post images into a regular gallery?

And lest I spoil any surprises, are you willing to drop a hint about the price we might be paying for these privileges?
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Unread 08-01-2006, 12:50 PM   #3
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The goal is to have the icon spread everywhere you post any content onto the site. So it'll appear in your posts, in every image you upload, and possibly elsewhere.

I haven't finalized the price yet, but the regular account upgrades are going to be $25 per year. These will be a higher but split up to be quarterly renewals.
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Unread 08-01-2006, 04:29 PM   #4
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I really wasn't planning on utilizing this upgrade when it came to fruition, but after reading your plans and vision on what it's about I think I change my mind.

One thing I wanted to ask about was linking of photos in galleries. For instance, it may just be me, but I dislike multiple postings of the same photos. This is usually the case though when photos are posted in a photographer's coscom gallery and then a different member puts it in their gallery. Is it of any consideration to like be able to have a photographer account add the photo ID of another member into a photographer gallery if they took the photo? So it'll look like the usual thumbnails in the photographer's gallery, but when clicked on it goes to the actual member's photo so they get the traffic in their gallery. I think it's encouraging because the photographer's usually don't want to post their work here if the subjects are posting it.
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Unread 08-01-2006, 05:04 PM   #5
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Hi,

That sounds like a good idea.

Will Photographers have the ability to organize their images with sub-directories etc?

Will Photographers still be restricted to images that are no larger than 640x640 and 120Kb?

Also will it be possible for another site member to link to the image from the Photographers gallery? I think you said that you had this functionality in mind a while ago.

Thanks.

Last edited by Test Type : 08-01-2006 at 05:12 PM. Reason: Forgot to ask about image sizes
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Unread 08-01-2006, 05:26 PM   #6
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exceptional idea... i do like the icon... yes it'll catch on like wild fire here

4 tiers membership...

regular member... base rate
non-profit photographer... base X 1.5
pro-photographer... base X 10 (or X 15)
gold / life-time member... base X 25 (or X 30?)
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Unread 08-01-2006, 06:48 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Godly
One thing I wanted to ask about was linking of photos in galleries. For instance, it may just be me, but I dislike multiple postings of the same photos. This is usually the case though when photos are posted in a photographer's coscom gallery and then a different member puts it in their gallery. [...] I think it's encouraging because the photographer's usually don't want to post their work here if the subjects are posting it.
I like your idea but I think it's unfeasable from a consistiency viewpoint. Using an alias (sounds like some significant PHP / SQL work) would be nice, and would probably cut down on storage space. However, I can imagine a number of cases where this might not work so well. For one, you may want comments on composition, setting, color, contrast, or such, whereas the cosplayer probably wants craftmanship feedback or the like.

Cosplayers also may tend to like shots different than the ones the photographer likes. I put my favorites up in a gallery because I believe they're good photographs (or at least have some other particular interest). A cosplayer may choose other photos I took because they show off the costume better, or maybe just a matter of personal choice. I'm a firm believer in editing, so only the absolute best is what I try to show off. (I have a website where photos are dumped, and gallery for me to use as something of a portfolio.) What happens when the cosplayer uses a picture you just don't want to link to? People would rightly wonder if maybe it was missed, altered, or whatnot.

Personally, I don't mind if somebody alters the photo in post processing. I consider all cosplay photography I've done TFP; if it makes the subject happy to bump around the saturation a bit or such, they're welcome to do that. So it's still the "same" photo, but doesn't look quite the same. Again, there seems to be a question of consistiency here.

I'd say a good feature would just to have a dedicated space in the image metadata which would allow for photographer identification. A tag to their cosplay.com photographer's gallery. No, it wouldn't cut down on duplicate entries, but it would establish the link between model and photographer.
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Unread 08-01-2006, 06:49 PM   #8
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Most of the questions so far can be answered by explaining the workflow I've been putting together:

Say you have a few openings for Ohayocon. You add Ohayocon to your convention planner like now.

You then have the option of flagging the convention as "shoots available", which immediately lists you on the available photographers' list on that convention page on Cosplay.com (Registered Photographer Feature Only).

This links to your profile, containing your contact information, prices if you want to list them, and any past member feedback anyone may have left for you. (Registered Photographer Feature Only).

Bob and Jim contact you about setting up a shoot, you meet up and do the shoot, come home, develop pics, etc.

When you create a gallery, you can flag your gallery as a "private shoot" gallery, which will automatically put it on a private shoot page listing all private shoots from registered photographers on the site. (Registered Photographer Feature Only)

You can upload a header image to appear in your gallery, for design purposes. (Upgraded Member Feature)

You enter Bob and Jim's user ID's into your "People" keyword list for the gallery. This will automatically associate every photo in the gallery with Bob and Jim's accounts. You can, of course, do this on a per-photo level as well if you choose. (Upgraded Member Feature)

If Bob and Jim are upgraded members, your gallery will appear in their gallery list as well. (Must be a Registered Photographer for your gallery to show, and they must be Upgraded Members for it to show. They also have the option of turning this off.).

Your gallery is rotated on the main images.cosplay.com page if you flag it to do so. Each upgraded photographer can choose any of their galleries to rotate on that page. The number of times you appear on that page is based on how many photographers have upgraded. So if we have 25 registered photographers, ONE of your galleries you have flagged will appear on the front page of images.cosplay.com every 25 times someone loads that page. And that page is loaded a LOT. (Registered Photographer Feature Only)

Your gallery is automatically inserted into the gallery list on Cosplay.com's convention page. (Registered Photographers are listed above regular member galleries).

So in the end, this takes care of the problem of members re-posting your work, since you can upload an entire gallery and simply have the photos appear in theirs. Incidentally, you can flag non-private-shoot images on a per-member basis and if they're upgraded members, your images will show up in their gallery with a link to your profile. So if you want to go through your convention pics and link them to members on the site who appear in the photos, it's easy enough. Upgraded members will also be allowed to request this, making it a bit easier for you since simply accepting the request will pop the image over.

For fear of getting too confusing with so much un-illustrated detail, I'll move on to a couple of other questions.

Filesizes - I'd like to go up to 800x for photographers, yes. This would only work if we pop the images into a fitted popup window. I can do even higher but I've never personally seen the need for images higher than about 800-900x on the long end. If anyone can convince me of a reason to go higher, I'm all ears.

Treylon - for pricing, I need to keep non-profit and for-profit photographers in one group. There is absolutely no way for me to tell if someone is non-profit other than taking their word for it. While I'd love to trust everyone, we get a lot of random photographers shuffling through here who had never heard of cosplay until one week prior and would just look at that as an opportunity to get some clients on the cheap.


I'm hoping everyone sees this as a way to really push cosplay photography here from a photographer standpoint. Up until this point the site has been geared toward cosplayers just uploading images they grab from wherever they can find them, and I'd really like to showcase the fact that there are some very exceptional photographers in the ranks who deserve a bit more notoriety as well. Not to mention the fact that there are a lot of unknown photographers who would do the hobby a great service if only they had the means to promote themselves a bit. This makes it easier for everyone, and hopefully a little more fun in the process.

Last edited by Admin : 08-01-2006 at 06:51 PM.
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Unread 08-01-2006, 07:09 PM   #9
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Oh and as for an ETA on these accounts - I would like to have them up in the 2nd half of August. There is a chance I will have regular member upgrades up and running on Sunday, but I'll be out of town from the 10th through the 16th. Since the photographer accounts are much more technical in nature, I'd like to hold off on them until I'm back in the grind.

Additionally, I look at these sorts of things as evolving. Much like the member accounts will have more and more features added over time, I will always be open for suggestions on ways to improve the photographer accounts as well even after they go live.
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Unread 08-01-2006, 07:23 PM   #10
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Talking

Quote:
Originally Posted by Admin
Treylon - for pricing, I need to keep non-profit and for-profit photographers in one group. There is absolutely no way for me to tell if someone is non-profit other than taking their word for it. While I'd love to trust everyone, we get a lot of random photographers shuffling through here who had never heard of cosplay until one week prior and would just look at that as an opportunity to get some clients on the cheap.
::nods:: agreed... since a simple banner ad running... around $150/per month on some site... with all the traffic here at cosplay.com - it a good exposure / cost-effective advertising for the "for profit" photographer's business.

i meant reducing a lot of the stated above "photographer" benefits of the 'not for profit' photographer as well as the cost... anyhow... iíll just wait until you post the price
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Unread 08-02-2006, 05:47 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trelyon
::nods:: agreed... since a simple banner ad running... around $150/per month on some site... with all the traffic here at cosplay.com - it a good exposure / cost-effective advertising for the "for profit" photographer's business.

i meant reducing a lot of the stated above "photographer" benefits of the 'not for profit' photographer as well as the cost... anyhow... i’ll just wait until you post the price
The only problem is cosplay photography doesnt make money. Period. A 750/day rate is cheap. Show me a cosplayer ready to pay that here?

The problem is, cosplayers arent looking for pro photography work, theyre looking for affordable, good photography.

Any pro photographers that come here, are here because they enjoy cosplay. (OR, perhaps aren't completely pro, charging pro rates.)

I charge far (FAR) less for this work than I would for even a discounted pro job for a client.

Bruce

(Edit: To make it clear, I'm likely to use this service because I would like more opportunities to shoot cosplay photography, and this service will be priceless in that regard. But in the regard of using this service as a means by which to make your living as a photographer would never work, as I'm sure we are all aware, so to charge a semi pro and pro rate wouldnt work, as admin said. Even the pro photographers that choose to shoot cosplay, are probably only covering expenses when they shoot it. Sometimes I don't even cover my expenses, and surely not my time. So the pro photographers doing this for money, are likely only to be making an amateur rate on it, and aren't making a living from it, ala professional. Thus, one rate for photographers makes prety good sense.)
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Last edited by staereo : 08-02-2006 at 07:27 AM.
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Unread 08-02-2006, 01:05 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ollie
I like your idea but I think it's unfeasable from a consistiency viewpoint. Using an alias (sounds like some significant PHP / SQL work) would be nice, and would probably cut down on storage space. However, I can imagine a number of cases where this might not work so well. For one, you may want comments on composition, setting, color, contrast, or such, whereas the cosplayer probably wants craftmanship feedback or the like.

Cosplayers also may tend to like shots different than the ones the photographer likes. [...] What happens when the cosplayer uses a picture you just don't want to link to? People would rightly wonder if maybe it was missed, altered, or whatnot. [...]
Even though Admin already addressed the answer to this, I just wanted to answer those questions from what I was thinking, Ollie. My thought wasn't to 'automatically' assign photo links from members to your gallery (that wouldn't seem possible anyways). I purely meant if you WANT to, then you can link a member's photo to your gallery so it shows up there but the link from your gallery goes to the actual photo in their gallery. This should answer the questions of like comments directed to the photographer and photos that the photographer doesn't like. It's up to the PERSON to decide what photo to link. No reason why they'd have to link all their photos. Same for altered photos. You don't have to link to it if you don't want to. However, I think it's common courtesy for the members to note that they altered the photo from it's original form anyways so it's not a big deal. I have yet to see a cosplay photo that was altered get any complaints from the person that took it. Hell, lots of established photographers here release their hi-res's.

In any event, it looks like this feature is being done anyways in a fancier fashion.
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Unread 08-02-2006, 01:25 PM   #13
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I am excited to see this in action. It sounds like it was very well thought out.
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Unread 08-02-2006, 03:56 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by staereo
The only problem is cosplay photography doesnt make money. Period. A 750/day rate is cheap. Show me a cosplayer ready to pay that here?
(Edit: Thus, one rate for photographers makes prety good sense.)
Bruce - very true... i agree completely... also i know how much my g/f paid for the materials for her costumes... so aye... she would rather spend $2200 on more cosplay materials than for a pro photoshoot... ::snickers::

- Alex
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Unread 08-03-2006, 03:29 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trelyon
Bruce - very true... i agree completely... also i know how much my g/f paid for the materials for her costumes... so aye... she would rather spend $2200 on more cosplay materials than for a pro photoshoot... ::snickers::

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Exactly.
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