A funny thing happened on the way to a client meeting today. I had just departed my office when the phone rang. A longtime client that I hadn't heard from in years. He'd found my images of Tim Russert in the Digital Railroad marketplace, where I had forgotten I had released them after a magazine cover assignment two years ago. Along with those were images of Tim and his son Luke, at a launch party for an endeavor Luke was involved in.
The client wanted to know if I had any other images I hadn't put up.
"Yes, I do", I said.
The client said "well, we're closing the book in an hour, can we see them?"
"Sure" I responded, wheeling around an intersection three blocks from my house. I knew I had about 10 minutes of buffer in my trip downtown if I was to make that meeting. I quickly located the images on my local server, using PhotoMechanic, uploaded 45 images to my archive, and sent the group of images direct to the client (and submitted the additional images to the Marketplace!). I hopped back into the truck and made my meeting on-time.
Along the way, I called the client. "Did you get the shots?"
"Yes", came the response. "I'll let you know which one the editor chose in about an hour, we are able to download them directly, I see."
Cha-ching! There's about five months worth of Digital Railroad's monthly charge covered, with one image license. And, I booked the downtown client to boot!
On another note - It's been a full 10 days for me, and one thing that came over the transom that excited me, but that I've not yet written about, is that Digital Railroad has broadly adopted the Picture Licensing Universal System (PLUS) for image licensing. They were already using it in a limited capacity, but it's now an integral part of their licensing process. (Digital Railroad Expands Its Use of PLUS Licensing Standards, 6/5/08)
I can't stress enough the importance of everyone playing by the same rule-book, and using the same dictionary. That is what PLUS is. PLUS is free to photographers to use. So to for designers who can specify the PLUS Pack they want (i.e. all commercial use, book cover, book inside, and so forth), and you know what you're licensing, and there's no confusion.
Using PLUS is so easy, ( to quote the Lenox Financial guy from his ads) "it's the biggest no brainer in the history of Earth." I am pleased to see Digital Railroad taking a leading role and joining in with the many other organizations that are bringing clarity to the Tower of Babel that was image licensing.
Please post your comments by clicking the link below. If you've got questions, please pose them in our Photo Business Forum Flickr Group Discussion Threads.