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View Full Version : Looking to contact a company to see if they want a few photos.


aepoc
18th of August 2010 (Wed), 08:38
So basically, I've taken some shots of my guitar that I think are pretty good, and I'm looking to sell them to Fender. A little background on myself is that I've been shooting for 5 years or so, I've completed an 6-month photography internship at Madison Magazine (circ. 20,000+), had numerous photos published through them, and other magazines and periodicals, I've shot for two hockey teams as well; one college, one pro (AAHL).

Basically, I'm wondering if I should write up a query letter and send them to Fender and see what happens... and if so, what I should ask for compensation-wise. Or, if you all think they're absolute rubbish, that works too... just looking for some honesty. Thanks a lot.

Here are some small versions of the photos:
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2783/4379730254_a5c26c8747.jpg

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4060/4378975287_e4494efb1e.jpg

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3278/2571216541_5051eae385.jpg

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3495/3282976431_26fb0986f7.jpg

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4034/4467469661_73ca8f88a9.jpg

Mike Hoyer
18th of August 2010 (Wed), 08:57
To be brutally honest... I'm sure Fender already have photographers who do all this stuff for them already. They may not taking too kindly to you suggesting they pay you for pictures of their products!

Then again, it may be worth a try. It looks like there are some finger prints or something on the second one though!

tjames
18th of August 2010 (Wed), 09:43
Fender has staff photographers, when I owned my music store a few years back we got to tour their headquarters, they have a full blown studio that they use for their product photography and photo shoots. You never know though, anything is possible I guess.. You may have better luck trying to submit those photos to a publication like GuitarWorld or GuitarPlayer magazine, or possibly some stock sites..

aepoc
18th of August 2010 (Wed), 10:04
Thanks for the honesty guys. You're right about the fingerprints in the second one. I chose to leave those in there due to it adding texture/highlight to the shot. I'm sure Fender does have staff photographers (what a sweet gig that would be)... and they probably wouldn't go for what I've got to offer... but as you say, 'maybe'. Perhaps you're right Mike, they may not take too kindly to me asking for money for photos that they can take as well - but at the same time, I'm a customer of theirs, and I put in the time and effort to make one of their instruments look (if I may say) fantastic. I guess we'll see. Again, thanks for the input.

tjames - I agree, and GuitarPlayer and GuitarWorld will be contacted too. Do you guys have any experience or advice on query letters at all?

symbolphoto
18th of August 2010 (Wed), 10:08
Again to be brutally honest, they are fine photos. But Fender has much more serious lighting setups showing their guitars in a more flattering light. I think these are great photos to start off with, but you may want to look more into the lighting and modifier aspect of lighting these instruments.

.02

aepoc
18th of August 2010 (Wed), 10:12
Thank you mumbles, I appreciate the honesty. You're right about light modifiers, as I don't have much experience with them. With these shots I wasn't going for soft, even light though... especially in the first three. Thanks again, it means a lot.

tjames
18th of August 2010 (Wed), 11:27
Thanks for the honesty guys. You're right about the fingerprints in the second one. I chose to leave those in there due to it adding texture/highlight to the shot. I'm sure Fender does have staff photographers (what a sweet gig that would be)... and they probably wouldn't go for what I've got to offer... but as you say, 'maybe'. Perhaps you're right Mike, they may not take too kindly to me asking for money for photos that they can take as well - but at the same time, I'm a customer of theirs, and I put in the time and effort to make one of their instruments look (if I may say) fantastic. I guess we'll see. Again, thanks for the input.

tjames - I agree, and GuitarPlayer and GuitarWorld will be contacted too. Do you guys have any experience or advice on query letters at all?

I would actually just write the editor and ask what their photo submission process is, on their faq section it lists the guitarworld contact to be soundingboard@guitarworld.com. I would start there and see where that gets you. I wouldn't offer up too much info in your initial email though, just say that you are a photographer and would like to see if they accept photos from non staff photogs for inclusion in their mags and what the policy/guidelines are. Just keep in mind for still life shots like these you'll be competing with the microstock sites where images are can run as low as $1, just food for thought.

aepoc
18th of August 2010 (Wed), 15:45
Great advice tjames, thanks again. I'll send them an email now.

AZAlphaDog
19th of August 2010 (Thu), 03:16
I am interested in how this sorts out, keep us informed on what happens.

aepoc
20th of August 2010 (Fri), 08:45
I'll do my best Alpha. I haven't heard anything back from GuitarWorld yet. I also plan on sending out emails to Fender and Paul Reed Smith; and possibly giving them a call as well. Got a lot on my plate in the coming weeks, so I'll do what I can in keeping this updated.

AZAlphaDog
20th of August 2010 (Fri), 13:03
At least you are willing to make a few calls and send some emails so that is a step in the right direction.

Keep working at it and let us know when you can.

asysin2leads
20th of August 2010 (Fri), 22:21
While I like the photos and think you did a great job, I have to agree with what's already been said. Fender isn't going to pay for something they already have. However, I think your best bet would be stock photography. Also, there is nothing on them that screams "Fender."

mattograph
20th of August 2010 (Fri), 22:32
I'm curious..... are you looking to sell some photos, or make a career of photography? If its the former, send them in. If its the latter, you need to multiply your efforts exponentially. Do a study on guitars, and send them to EVERYONE who uses guitar photos. Go to linked in, sign up, and send them to everyone that works with guitars. Start a blog about it. Twitter about it. Eventually, someone will notice and pay you.

aepoc
23rd of August 2010 (Mon), 12:28
While I like the photos and think you did a great job, I have to agree with what's already been said. Fender isn't going to pay for something they already have. However, I think your best bet would be stock photography. Also, there is nothing on them that screams "Fender."

Good points. Although, that headstock photo (the first one) does scream Fender. They have that headstock trademarked, so it's possible that some stock agency might not allow that photo... who knows. Stock photography for these images is a great idea, thank you.

mattograph - Thank you for the advice. To answer your question, I want to do both. I realize I need to try to contact absolutely everyone who uses guitar photos and contact them. I'm willing to do it; so we'll see what happens.

Thanks all.

mattograph
23rd of August 2010 (Mon), 21:49
Good points. Although, that headstock photo (the first one) does scream Fender. They have that headstock trademarked, so it's possible that some stock agency might not allow that photo... who knows. Stock photography for these images is a great idea, thank you.

mattograph - Thank you for the advice. To answer your question, I want to do both. I realize I need to try to contact absolutely everyone who uses guitar photos and contact them. I'm willing to do it; so we'll see what happens.

Thanks all.

If you are diligent, you will be rewarded. Good luck!

aepoc
1st of September 2010 (Wed), 13:15
I've sent emails to Fender, GuitarWorld, and Paul Reed Smith (as I have some photos of a PRS guitar as well). Only PRS has gotten back to me, stating that they have an in-house photographer and studio for their photo needs, but that they did really like my photos, and they appreciated me checking with them.

So, to update, so far, I've received nothing back... even from guitar world about their submission guidelines.

Zar9384
1st of September 2010 (Wed), 16:19
The fact that you're trying means you've got a head start on most photographers.

Even if there's a chance that a big corporation might scoff at the fact that you aren't a 20 year veteran who's been published in every form of traditional media, there's also a chance that someone might like the fact that you've got the balls to give it a shot.

aepoc
2nd of September 2010 (Thu), 06:44
Thanks Zar, I needed the encouragement. I've definitely got the balls to give it a whirl. I'll try to keep this thread updated.

BreitlingFan
2nd of September 2010 (Thu), 09:45
I work for a musical instrument manufacturer, and owners submit their photos to us all the time. Many are fine photographs, and many, quite frankly, suck.

None of them are purchased. Zero. Nada.

We, like Fender, Gibson, Takamine, Martin, and every other manufacturer you can name have a cadre of photographers in our Marketing Department, and they're good. They have the latest and greatest software at their disposal. They have a photo studio to rival anything you're likely to find anywhere.

You're photos are pretty good but, at best, you'd receive a form letter thanking you for the photo, but nothing more than that, if even that...