Should I use dashes or underscores in my file names?

Question:
I just wanted to ask/clarify a point you make for us about file naming.

Our multimedia / web classes teach us to use “underscore” in between words for file naming conventions for easy reading etc. No capital letters (because they can be interpreted in code to mean a specific action) and no other special characters.

Example:
playful_couple_in_the_park.jpg

I think you prefer:
Playful-couple-in-the-park.jpg

So, should it be dashes? Is that a preferred convention from a stock house? Just want to clarify before I rename almost everything in the correct or potentially incorrect way.

 

Answer:
I do not recommend using capital letters.  The Internet loves lower case letters.  😉

I recommend using hyphens (dashes) in file names over underscores.  The reason for this is due to Google.  It will read  your file names with hyphens as individual words.  Underscored words are read as one word to Google.

You may read more about it in this 2012 updated article.
Hope this helps,
Say!

Should I put my copyright symbol on the image?

Question:
I am finishing up my image improvement assignment and was wondering if for the copyright part you want us to actually make a signature symbol and put it on the photo?

Thank you,

Answer: 
Thanks for the question.  Stock houses will not accept work that has a copyright symbol placed on the  image.  You can (and should) place your copyright information in the metadata though.
🙂
Take care,
Say!

How do I set my camera to raw mode?

Question:
I have been researching online for about an hour now and can not figure out how to turn my camera to raw mode…this may be a very silly question but is there a button or something…do a turn the dial to a certain letter?

Thank you,

 

Answer:

Not a silly question at all.

 It is usually in the camera’s Menu, then Quality.  You may be looking for Raw or if it is a Nikon NEF.
If you let me know which camera you are shooting, I might be able to give you more specific directions.
Take care,
Say!

 

 

May I shoot for holidays that are farther than 6 months away or birthdays?

Question:
For a holiday in 6 months time, August does not have many holidays. Are we allowed to use birthdays, or holidays before or after 6 months time? Thank you!

Answer:
Of course!  My apologies for not being more clear.  The “6-month rule” is not a hard and fast one.  You will want to use it as a guideline as what to shoot for the most immediate sales as designers are often looking for images for events/holidays 6 months out.  Shooting for holidays further away just puts you ahead of the game.
It is also good to shoot the current holidays as you go through them for next year’s sales.  This way you don’t have to set up shots as much.  😉
Of course birthdays are year-round.  They are always good to shoot for. 
 
Thanks for asking,
 
Say!

 

Why have I only earned 50 points in the forum posts?

Question:

I see that I got 50% on the bring one model forum assignment, and I don’t know why? Since I followed all the rules? :S

Answer:
Hi,
I am happy you are checking your grades for accuracy.  Please continue to do so and feel free to bring me any questions.
Posting to the forum has to be hand graded.  Moodle does not do this automatically.  This means I have to grade each forum twice.  I do it once after Wednesday night for the first forum post and then again after Sunday night for the second forum post.
As the first posting is worth 50 points, this was most likely graded for you.  I am now just waiting for time to pass before grading the second and third forum postings.
As I will be taking advantage of our school’s long weekend, I will traveling all day on Monday.  You can expect this grading to happen some time on either Tuesday or Wednesday.
Take care,
Say!

Are we allow to photograph guns?

 Question:

Sorry to send these questions in another email.My boyfriend just recently purchased a gun. I wanted to photograph him with it as a possible hunting market advertisement. Would this be acceptable to have a gun in a picture or is this against school regulations?Also are we allowed to Photoshop edit the color of our pictures or are they just meant to be regular color?
Thank you!

Answer:
Great question.  Please feel free to keep them coming.  I am here to help.
Due to the news lately, this would be a great market to tap into currently.  (It is always good to shoot (errr, no pun intended) for the news and what is going on in the world.
You are welcome to use gun(s) in a photo.  You are not allowed to bring them to school to shoot photograph them… or shoot them for that matter.
If you are able to color correct your images, please do!  Just remember if you change the color of something in the image, then be sure to note it to yourself that the image is not OK to license as an editorial image.
To be more clear, you may color correct for an editorial image so that all items in the image are true to color.
For a comercial image,  you may do whatever  you like to the image.
Let me know when you have more questions,
Say!

Can I use a mother/daughter grouping as two people in my assignment?

Question:

For our Model and Release Assignment, could I photograph a mother and daughter together in one photo and have it count as 2 photo entries or would you want me to take pictures of them separately?

Answer:
Mother and daughter photos in stock are great!  You are welcome to approach the assignment this way, but this will count as one photo and you will still need three different photos to complete the assignment.
Your three different photos need to be different from each other enough to approach a greater variety of markets.  If you like, you can shoot both models in one photo and then go for a second shoot (can be the same day, but with a different ‘feeling’ to the image) with just one or both in the image.  This then would qualify you for two models and two images.
Does this make sense?
Ultimately,  you need to use a at least three separate models, but  you can have more.
You need to have three images that don’t feel like you are in the same location/scene as the other two.  Some of the ideas (keywords) will probably overlap, but try to approach the assignment in that you are working to reach as great an audience as possible with your three images.
Hope this helps,
Say!