Your friends' mobiles carry your next referral sale! - Dreamstime
It looks like these photos are getting better and better. Processed, pixelred, eyeemed, instagrammed or straight from the phone's camera, many of them are simply amazing. There is a certain type of photo that you don't get to see from your own DSLR. The mobile phone allows you to get closer to the model while being less intrusive and it's definitely handier when the right occasion arises. It's also a great proof that the old saying "it's not the camera, it's the photographer" is true. There is good in-camera software available beside the aforementioned post processing tools. HTC Zoe's for example starts recording 2 seconds before you click the shutter release so you can never miss that candid smile before actually saying cheese. Nokia's latest Lumia does a great job in low lighting, Iphones have stunning DOF and the list could go on. But we're all thinking that they're not a replacement for our main camera and you already know your mobile's capabilities or limits.
This however is not a discussion about the technical pros and cons of mobile shots. This is about the fact that mobile shots open the door to a new category of submitters, many of whom are your friends or family. Have you considered that? Just check and you'll see that their latest smartphones carry a nice collection of images. Why not turn them into your referrals? Ask them to create an account, using your referral link or ID of course, and give them some basic info on how to upload. Just to be on the safe side, you should also inform them briefly on terms, model release requirements, copyright issues and other relevant things new uploaders should be aware of. It is a very good idea to check the image at 100% as it may look great when viewed at small size but remember that we also sell large sizes so always zoom to avoid issues related to noise, motion blur, copyright etc.
A good referral is one that sells so take a few moments to select the best photos from their phone galleries. Here are just a few hints: go for family&friends spontaneous shots that capture genuine joy and happiness; ask them which moments impressed them so much that they could not resist taking a photo. If they were impressed, chances are others will be impressed as well; a good niche would be to pick impossible angles where big cameras would be hard to carry (the merry-go-rounds or climbing sessions for instance); go for the the mobile phone classics (crowds at the concert, an accident in the street, a strike at the airport). And another tip: the general rule is that the unprocessed will work better. But if a shot looks too dull or too noisy, you might be able to save it using a post-processing software. Pixlr is probably the best choice at this point, truly a Photoshop for mobiles. You can upload the images straight from the phone (I suggest using a FTP app such as AndFTP, you'll love it). I bet they'll be thrilled after they see their first images in action and you'll have gained a good referral.
If you've never thought your mom or best friend were much of a photographer, think again. You have the stock experience, they have the content on their mobiles and may be your next best referrals. So spread the word, phoneography IS your next referral sale!
Photo credits: Brett Critchley.
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