Object Series: The Mason Jar

Created in 1858 by John Landis Mason, the Mason jar's initial purpose was to preserve foods for long periods of time. Mason's design swiftly beat out his competitors, with its revolutionary airtight seal and the transparency of the glass which made the contents look visually pleasing. With its mass production in the early 20th century, the jars became symbols of the agricultural world. Farmers who lived in areas with quick harvest seasons used Mason jars to keep their jams and pickles in ideal conditions, to showcase their recipes at county fairs, and to give as gifts during holidays. The heyday of the original use of Mason jar's ended with the widespread adoption of refrigerators, migration from the countryside to the city, and drastic improvement in transportation. As optimum food preservation moved from canning to freezing, the jars were no longer used as much. 

Photo by: Clara Park

Photo by: Clara Park

Seventy years later, the Mason jar is experiencing a resurgence in popularity. With people becoming more and more aware of the economic and environmental costs of transporting food around the world, there is a return to farm-to-table ideals such as locally grown produce and canning procedures. Furthermore, the Mason jar has become the king of the DIY world, which has taken the web by storm. If you Google "ways to use mason jars," there is an overwhelming amount of information on all of the ways they can be repurposed into drinking glasses, candles, lamps, soap dispensers, terrariums, planters, and so much more. 

Photo by: Sarah Gale

Photo by: Sarah Gale

Curiously enough, the Mason jar has become a symbol of gentrification. Many trendy bars and restaurants serve fancy cocktails in Mason jars and 7-11 recently launched a line of the Mason jars to hold slurpees. When Mason jars are used in such a way their original context diminishes, that of frugality and practicality, and transforms them into an ironic object, void of meaning. Many people do not know the real meaning of the jars but they feel a sense of shared nostalgia of simpler times that the jars evoke. Chew on that the next time you dish out $14 to drink a beer out of a Mason jar at your local craft brewery!

Whether you love or hate them they are here to stay. The jars have ultimately been able to stand the test of time by being reusable, visually pleasing, and durable. Even though it seems like the jars are being overly commodified, around 70% of sold jars are still being used for canning. Even if the jar eventually loses its "cool factor," it will make its reappearance soon enough- it always does. 

Photo by: Kelly Hieronymus

Photo by: Kelly Hieronymus

Photo by: Rebecca Hodges

Photo by: Rebecca Hodges

Including Mason jars in your photo composition makes for relevant and desirable imagery that are sought after by photo buyers. If you have any images of how you use Mason jars in your day to day life or images that evoke a rustic way of life, submit your photos to our new photo challenge Rustic Living

 

We Just Got Accepted to One of the Top Accelerators in the US !

Snapwire is excited to announce that we have been accepted into the notable Alchemist Accelerator! This is a great opportunity for Snapwire, as the Alchemist is one of the top accelerators in the country according to Tech Crunch

 

Start-up accelerators help entrepreneurs get on their feet and grow successful companies. The Alchemist Accelerator is a venture-backed initiative focused on accelerating startups whose revenue comes from enterprises (not consumers). Seeding around 40 start-ups each year, they have backed companies such as Wise.io, Dropbox, UPSHOT, Neoreach, and CryptoMove. Investors in the Alchemist Accelerator program include Citrix, Cisco, Founders Fund, Redpoint, Salesforce, Voyager Capital and Lowe’s. 

Snapwire is 1 of 17 companies that was accepted into the highly selective six month program. The program provides $36,000 of investment, an association of high potential founders, sought after mentors, customer development, and a structured path to fundraising. The numbers from graduated companies show that the program can be very beneficial. Alchemist accelerators have seen over 80% of the companies they work with go on to close an institutional round within 12 months of graduating from the program. 

One of the most exciting parts of the program is Demo Day, an event in which a founder from each company pitches a room of venture capitalists. The objective is to impress an investor and receive a round of growth funding. 

We're honored to be in the program and think it will be extremely valuable to us as we gear up to scale and grow. We wanted to thank everyone in our community who believes in our vision. We can't wait to see what the future holds!

April Visual Trend: Drone Photography

On each month's "Visual Trends," we explore what we've noticed is turning heads and changing the game in the creative world. This month we are focused on drone photography. The rise of drones offers a new opportunity for photographers to create unique imagery with new perspectives of our natural environment. Before drones, photographers would need to rent helicopters, planes or even skydive to get these shots. Now it's easier than ever. 

Since these images showcase perspectives that photographers have never been able to capture before, they stand out in stock photo libraries. Think about it, everyone has the same view of the Golden Gate Bridge from Baker Beach, so a shot from higher up gives an entirely new feel. 

If you have some amazing shots from your last drone adventure make sure to upload them to the "Drone Photography" photo challenge. Photo challenges are a way to level up and make some quick cash! 

For inspiration check out some of our favorite drone photography on Snapwire:

Photo by: Rick Theis

Photo by: Rick Theis

Photo by: No Anchor

Photo by: No Anchor

Photo by: Marcus  Cederberg

Photo by: Marcus  Cederberg

Photo by: Daniel Casson

Photo by: Daniel Casson

Photo by: Petar Fourlinski

Photo by: Petar Fourlinski

Photo by: Attila Adam

Photo by: Attila Adam

Photo by: Lee Yik Keat

Photo by: Lee Yik Keat

Remember to check with your local air safety authorities for particular rules associated with drone use in your area before you start flying! Happy Drone-ing! 

Pick of the litter: X

We often get asked how to succeed on Snapwire and there is no simple answer. The best advice we can give is take great photos, but that is also subjective to the viewer/buyer. Pick of the Litter is a monthly feature of our community of photographers who are finding success on our platform. These are photographers who have been churning out great work that have been placed  in our featured marketplace. Take some inspiration from the work of these photographers if you find that your photos are lacking originality or creativity!

Jean Marie Biele 

Policas Art

Will Milne

Kara Mercer

Merve Bayar

If you would like help finding a specific image you have seen above do not hesitate to contact us or the photographer. 

Festival Season is Upon Us!

With the turn of April comes the excitement of festival season! If you're a music lover you have to attend a music festival at least once in your life and it's our favorite way to get in the Spring spirit.  Here are a few of our favorites!

Coachella

Photo by: Berty Mandagie

Photo by: Berty Mandagie

When: Mid April

Where: Indio, CA

Type of music: rock, indie, hip hop, EDM

Price: $399

Coachella is an annual music and arts festival hosted in Indio, CA that takes place for two consecutive weekends in April. Coachella's lineup includes artists of many different genres and supports big names as well as emerging artists. This year's lineup includes Lady Gaga, Kendrick Lamar, Radiohead, The xx, Glass Animals, Phantogram, DJ Snake, and many more! If you're looking for the classic festival experience and want a wide variety of musical acts, then Coachella is for you. Make sure to go on a  ride in the ferris wheel - a quintessential Coachella experience. 

Bonaroo

Photo by: Eddie Rios

Photo by: Eddie Rios

When: June

Where: Manchester, TN

Type of music: rock, alternative, pop, indie

Price: $349.50

Bonaroo is a great festival to get more bang for your buck (this festival is 4 days long, not 3) and has its roots in rock n' roll. This festival has an old-timey feel and takes you back to the days of rock n' roll. Bonaroo pays tribute to its roots and has been known to include classic acts such as Phish, Paul McCartney, The Beach Boys, Stevie Wonder and more! This is a perfect festival for those with an eclectic music taste and those with a love for the oldies but goodies. 

Ultra

Photo by: Evy Optics

Photo by: Evy Optics

When: Late March

Where: Miami, FL

Type of music: EDM

Price: $399

This Miami based EDM festival has proven to be so popular that it has debuted worldwide festivals in locations such as Ibiza, Buenos Aires, Johannesburg, Korea, Chile and more! This strictly EDM festival is for the die-hard fans who love the energy and the scene of EDM. 

Stagecoach

Photo by: Krys Henry

Photo by: Krys Henry

When: Late April

Where: Indio, CA

Type of music: country, folk, bluegrass

Price: $399

Stagecoach is Coachella's country cousin. Hosted on the same polo fields, Stagecoach takes place the weekend after Coachella's Weekend 2. This year's headliners  includes Shania Twain, Dierks Bentley, and Kenny Chesney. This is perfect for die-hard country fans that prefer cowboy boots and twangy tunes over glitter and EDM any day. 

Snowglobe

Photo by: Jeffrey Walter

Photo by: Jeffrey Walter

When: New Years Eve weekend

Where: South Lake Tahoe, CA

Type of music: rock, indie, hip hop, EDM

Price: $164

If the biggest downside of music festivals for you is the summer heat, then look no further. Snowglobe hosts big names in the EDM scene such as The Chainsmokers, Flume, Rüfüs Du Sol, RL Grime, Major Lazer, and many more. The festival takes place during New Years Eve weekend and is a great way to ring in the new year while escaping the desert heat. Remember to bundle up! Tahoe around this time of year is snowy and cold. Bring layers and waterproof clothing!

Are you going to any music festivals coming up? Don't forget to bring your camera and submit your photos on Snapwire! 

Happy Festival Season to all!

What's Selling - Insight On Getting Your Photos Purchased

We often get asked: "What kind of photos are selling on Snapwire?" While we have various blog posts written on the subject, it is always helpful to take a look at specific photos to understand what buyers are choosing. To check out what has been recently purchased you can take a look at the recently purchased page to see what buyers are looking for and to get future inspiration! 

Congratulations to photographers: Ksenya Lim, Randi Mooney, Eddie Rios, and Rolf Alafo for their recently purchased photos. Here are their captivating shots: 

 

Household Chores

Photo by: Ksenya Lim

Photo by: Ksenya Lim

Ksenya's photo won the "Household Chores" challenge because it wonderfully captures the struggles of a young boy in his attempt to help out with chores. The boy's small size is a stark contrast with the drying machine. Additionally, the photo is bright, crisp, and features a visually-pleasing composition of all of the elements. 

All About Love

Photo by: Randi Mooney

Photo by: Randi Mooney

The "All About Love" Request sought photos of anything related to love, whether it be family members, friends, partners, or even pets. With precious floral dresses and authentic emotion, Randi's photo perfectly fits the theme. The genuine love between the group of girl's, evokes a sense of nostalgia for simpler times and childhood friendships. 

Under the Sheets

Photo by: Eddie Rios

Photo by: Eddie Rios

Everyone loves lazy days and nights spent lounging in their beds. The "Under the Sheets" challenge garnered a wide variety of photos of babies, adults, and pets doing just that. From the submissions, Eddie's dreamy photo was chosen for its simple composition, perfect lighting, and identifiable content. Many people have memories of staying up past their bedtime to read the last few pages of their favorite book. 

 Romantic Couples

Photo by: Rolf Alafo

Photo by: Rolf Alafo

The "Romantic Couples" challenge had so many amazing submissions of couples that it was difficult to choose a winner. However, Rolf's photo stands out from the rest because for the us, the viewer, it seems like we are catching something we aren't supposed to see. With the man facing away from the camera there is a sense that we just happened to walk into their special moment. Furthermore, the natural emotion on the woman's face emphasizes the pure love she feels for him.  


A giant takeaway from this post, is that photo buyers are looking for visuals that tell stories. Each image has its own unique story to tell. Buyers are seeking out photos like these because they evoke certain relatable feelings such as love, companionship, childhood memories, and dreams for the future.

Now let's get back to shooting! Submit your best shots of Spring to our new challenge:  Spring Around the World


Spring into Creativity!

Spring is upon us and the sunshine and greenery has a way of inspiring. Here are some pictures from Snapwire's Arts & Crafts challenge that inspire us to create something new. Art is all about expressing your self by getting messy and trying new things. How do you express yourself?

Young Minds

Photo by: Klodjana Dervishi

Photo by: Klodjana Dervishi

Your Body Is A Canvas

Photo by: Lynne Bookey

Photo by: Lynne Bookey

Your Thoughts Shape Your Art

Photo by: Elena Eye

Photo by: Elena Eye

Abstract Charcoal

Photo by: Juan Jimenez

Photo by: Juan Jimenez

Messy Hands

Photo by: Olivia Saienni

Photo by: Olivia Saienni

Don't forget to submit pictures of how you and others express creativity through art on our Arts & Crafts challenge!

A Basic Understanding of Photo Licensing and Other Rules for Using Stock Photos

Introduction to Stock Photography

What is Stock Photography?

Stock photography is defined as the archive of images that can be licensed commercially. If you sell a product or service, you automatically have a commercialized need for stock photography in order to support any required marketing collateral. Because of that, you need to license the rights to use a photo for that commercial need.  'Every day you see pictures in magazines, advertisement, posters, online and on TV. The reality is most of the images used were not created specifically for that product, concept, or promotion. The images those companies use are stock photographs. Stock photos are ready-made images that are licensable for use in your advertising or promotional materials. This ability to search for a specific image saves time and money. At the end of the day, that is what businesses want.' (Cited material)

How does it work? 

'Most Royalty Free stock photography archives operate on a subscription or credit based system. Credits allows you to purchase more credits at a discount over the basic credit rate. Usually you will run into these two pricing models: downloads of single images purchased with credit packs, or monthly or annual subscription. Hands down if you are planning to download multiple images, a subscription would be a smart buy for an Image Buyer. If you really just need a single image, usually the single download prices are reflected next to the available resolutions of an image.' (Cited material)

'Stock Photography has two sides to it. The consumer and the photographer. As expected, the consumers browse the images and downloads them. Photographers, on the other hand, can submit their photography and get paid a percentage if their image gets licensed and downloaded. If you are a photographer that is looking to make some extra money on the side, this option is always available.' In the stock photo industry you should have three things handy to succeed: time, patience, and a good camera. If you have a good eye, understand light as it relates to a subject, and have a fair amount of patience, stock photography is a true numbers game that bring success. The more you shoot, the better you will become, and the more photos you will be able to sell. (Cited material)

Stock photography is one of many sources of monetization for a photographer. It’s a good idea to have a open mind about stock photography as it can contribute 30%-100% of photographer’s annualized income. 


Introduction to Photo Licensing

In our industry, we often hear about confusion regarding licensing of Premium (or traditional) Royalty Free and Rights Managed Licensing. This section will provide information on the types of license rights available to image buyers, who they are, and fees collected on images. Always be sure to read and understand all of the license agreements from any stock agency archive before you submit to one as a photographer or buy from one as an photo buyer.

What is a Royalty Free Image? Royalty Free Licenses (RF). 

Every Royalty Free image license grants you basic royalty-free usage rights. For a one-time payment, a buyer (often referred to an End User) may choose the photo size he or she may require and use the licensed photo over and over again for permitted uses defined in the licensing agreement such as advertising and promotional projects, websites, presentations, videos, commercials, catalogs, and broadcasting. Typically Royalty Free imagery provides 1-10 seat licenses for one End User.  A seat license is defined by the number of individuals having the right to access and use the photo at one given time. An End User is defined as an entity or person(s) who can access the photo and use it for for the permitted uses. Most agreements allow the image to be stored on a storage device.

What is a Rights Managed Image? Managed Licenses (RM).

The term Rights Managed is used to describe the temporary use of an image. RM license fees are priced on a per use basis and is often calculated on how many viewers will potentially see the image. The license price is calculated from image display size, placement, geography, medium and duration of use. Specifics matter on a license of a Rights Managed photo, and often after the rights expire, stock agencies use technology services like Image Protect or Pic Scout to scour the internet, looking for expired rights or infringement uses. The End User concept described earlier applies to all photo licensing. 

Comping and Preview Policy for both (RF) and (RM) photos

Most stock agencies allow for the download of an photo with an applied watermark. Comping or Preview imagery is imagery that is available to potential image buyers to ‘try before the buy’. These images may only be used for preview purposes. Agencies permits an electronic version of it's products to be used free of charge for a limited duration only if they are used for personal evaluation, and in any case, noncommercial use, and it's grant of use is solely for test or sample purposes. Photographers who upload photos to stock agencies should feel comfortable with this business dynamic and use of their photos. 

What about Attributions? 

Regardless of if a photo is licensed under a Royalty Free or Rights Managed licensing model, we often get asked when and how a photographer's name should be attributed next to the photo. While the exact location can vary, it's typical to view attributions on an Editorial use of a photo. Typically, the attribution will be positioned directly under the left hand margin of a photo in a small font point size. Editorial use of photography is defined as such when a photo is used to illustrate a concept or story of a newsworthy event.  An Editorial photo may be licensed as a Royalty Free and used in multiple publications or stories by one End user; or as a Rights Managed license where usage would be limited to a single story or use. 

Below is a list of leading North American Stock Photo Archives who license RF & RM photos.

Royalty Free Stock Agencies:

Rights Managed & Royalty Free Stock Agencies:


Snapwire

The Snapwire approach: 

We are a photographer-driven community founded on the principles of cooperative equality, respect, and fair distribution of profits. Our contributing photographers receive 50% of a photo purchased in our Marketplace and 70% of a photo purchased off an assignment.

The Origin of Snapwire: 

We saw photographers shooting on Instagram only to receive likes & the occasional free products. These photographers are more talented than that. They should be getting paid for what they do, just as any other professional gets paid to do what he/she does best. 

The Snapwire Story

The landscape is evolving where stock photo companies are taking every penny & marginalizing photographers while stomping on creativity. The other side is where creativity is being pushed forward but no one is earning any money. On Snapwire, we take the best of these worlds & add a social fun/mobile aspect to becoming a professional photographer while emphasizing the aspect of making a career out of photography.

Whether you're a photographer itching to earn some money doing what you love, or a business manager looking to purchase authentic marketing material that will actually sell your products, Snapwire has the tools you need. 

 

 

Getting Photos Sold On Google's Localized Requests

It has been two months after the launch of Google's localized requests on our platform and we have been amazed at all of the stunning photos uploaded. With hundreds of live requests and thousands yet to be launched, we thought it would be helpful to provide you with insight on how to make money from your images. After observing what works and what doesn't, this is the top 5 tips to getting your photos sold on the localized requests: 

1. Upload Horizontal Images

Vertical images will not be considered in the requests. By simply uploading horizontal images you are ensuring that your photo will at the least be reviewed. 

Photo by: Patrick Mayon | ADVANCED

Photo by: Patrick Mayon | ADVANCED

2. Shoot during the day-time

Photos of landmarks should be shot during the day-time using natural light. Photos shot at night can be beautiful, but they do not give a great feel as to what the landmark actually looks like. 

Photo by: Manuel Riviera | PRO

Photo by: Manuel Riviera | PRO

3. Showcase the exterior versus the interior

Google is looking for photos of that are representative of the point of interest. Often times the interior view does not differentiate the chosen landmark. For example, photographers often post close-up images of animals for specific zoo requests. Yes, the photo may be of a certain animal at the zoo, but to a viewer it could have been taken at any zoo in the world. Before uploading an image you need to ask yourself: "Does this photo seem like it could have been taken anywhere?" If it is a yes, you will want to take a photo that captures the distinctiveness of the site, by including a sign or the outside of the building. 

Photo by: Amy Jean | PRO

Photo by: Amy Jean | PRO

4. Shoot wide-angle

Shooting with a wide-angle lens allows you to get more into your shot. By including generous amounts of foreground, background, and sky in one shot,  you can create images with depth and strong compositional style. Since wide-angle lenses have such a wide field of view, it is necessary to exclude elements that do not work in the shot. Take this as a challenge as you shoot the landmarks by walking around the scene in order to make sure the elements relate to each other in a visually pleasing way. 

Photo by: Diane Johnson | PRO

Photo by: Diane Johnson | PRO

5. Get Level

Reference vertical lines on the horizon to make sure that that you are getting a level shot. If you have trouble with this, bring out a tripod to get the desired look. Nothing looks more unprofessional than a building that appears to be at an angle. 

Photo by: Jaana Eleftheriou | SHOOTER

Photo by: Jaana Eleftheriou | SHOOTER

Lastly, we have also crafted a style guide that informs you of what images Google is looking for. Check it out for more specific tips! 

Unique Coffees You Need To Try

Coffee is a staple to some, if not most, but have you ever heard of the beverages listed below? Change up your coffee routine or trade up your morning Starbucks for a unique and delicious beverage you've never tried before! 

1.  Cotton Candy Coffee

This drink is famous at Light Cafe in Toronto, Canada. What's cool about this Taiwanese inspired cafe is that it serves their sugar in cotton candy form for you to pour your coffee over. The end result is delicious and satisfying. 

2. Affogato

Photo by: Chun Hsing Lo

Photo by: Chun Hsing Lo

I don't know who the geniuses were that decided to mix coffee with ice cream but I would like to thoroughly thank them for all that they've done for the world. This Italian espresso-based dessert has turned into a caffeinated treat to be savored across the world. Espresso is poured over ice-cream (of any flavor you choose) to create a delicious concoction that melts in your mouth. Most make this beverage with vanilla or chocolate gelato but some go outside the box and make it with coconut ice-cream! Word on the street is it's not to be missed. 

3. Irish Coffee

Photo by: Susanne Alfredson

Photo by: Susanne Alfredson

All you need is hot coffee, Irish whiskey, sugar, and whipped cream. This classic drink was created in the 1940s by man named Joe Sheridan who added whiskey to coffees to help customers warm up.

4. Café Cubano

Photo by: Nebojsa Rozgic

Photo by: Nebojsa Rozgic

If you like your coffee a little more "straight to the point", then a Café Cubano  is for you. This Cuban style coffee was created after espresso machines where important to Cuba from Italy. The dark roast espresso is sweetened with raw sugar cane while it is being brewed. Drink as served! If you prefer your coffee with milk, you can add some to make it a "café con leche" which directly translates to "coffee with milk". 

5. Vietnamese Iced Coffee

Photo by: Kelly Leeves

Photo by: Kelly Leeves

This drink, which is is extremely popular in Vietnam and Southeast Asia,  was created due to the shortage of fresh milk during the late 1800s. This beverage consists of sweet condensed milk as the base, black coffee in the middle and foam on top. It is usually served over ice and made with dark roast beans. Yum!