As photo agencies fall over each other to be the first to get their images onto the market, they may be committing the sin of hurrying to do a bad job. The real question is what is the right timing relative to clients’ needs?
It is worth considering, if images could be sent out immediately after being taken, how far that would go to guaranteeing a sale? Clearly not the whole way. The images would need to be of the right subject, of the quality needed, and most importantly seen by the image buyer before those from other suppliers.
On that last criteria, there is no guarantee that because your images came in first that buyers would work through production strictly in time/date order and buy those in preference to others, particularly where the times for making decisions or copy deadlines occur at specific times of the day, week or month. Sometimes images which come in later are better sellers because they just happen to be on the screen at the right time.
For magazines, and other publishers with irregular deadlines, quality and ease of finding the images may be far more important than whether they arrived a few hours before other images of the same thing. This also applies to situations where there are subscription deals.
What always counts, is whether the images are well organised and easy to work through for picture editors/buyers inundated by production.
Getting images to buyers at the right time is more important than the earliest time, although there are certainly occasions when those coincide.
Even if the web of deadlines is difficult to work out amongst all the various publications/buyers, there is one constant: buyers in each territory tend to look at images as soon as they get to their desks in the morning. So if nothing else, you should aim to have your images in a well-organised package in front of buyers at that time.
To find out more about focused feeds and how they can get images to buyers at the right time, click here.