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CRADOC SOFTWARE REVIEWS

After all of these years, Cradoc is still putting out software photographers will find extremely helpful. Back in the days of film I used Cradoc Caption Writer to label my slides. They had other programs available but that was the one I used at that time. Now, they have a fully different suite of programs to make life easier for photographers.

CRADOC KEYWORD HARVESTER

Keywording is one of my (and most every stock photographer making sales) least favorite activity when it comes to working with images but some places submissions are made, especially stock agencies, require a good bit of keywording. It's also helpful for those who work extensively in Lightroom and use keywords to find images from their many different folders and catalogues.

Root canals can be more enjoyoable than keywording a large group of images, especially that initial build before copying the list to a batch of other shots. But it is a necessary process if you sell your images online or through a stock agency. Too many photographers think like a photographer when it comes to keywording rather than thinking like a buyer. Good keywording will increase sales but it comes at a price - doing all of the work. Unless you find a tool that takes away a lot of the work and does it fairly easily. This is where Keyword Harvester comes into play.

In my initial test of the program, the first thing I did based on their instructions was to click Open Web Pages. This opened 10 web pages in the browser from a bunch of sites - primarily stock agencies but numerous others as well. Some of the sites don't give the best keywording so I will make some minor changes to my final list of pages it opens for gathering keywords. With these pages open, do a search on each one for the main subject of the image being keyworded and copy and paste the keywords into the list area of the image selected. Copy all from each page and don't worry about any duplicates or common words such as a or and.

I thought this was a great time-saving feature to let you set a default list of up to 10 sites to search for keywords. Definitely a lot better than doing individual searches on your own and opening them individually.

After gathering all of the keywords from these sites and adding your own special ones based on uniqueness, click Harvest Keywords and the program eliminates all of the duplicates and formats the list for use in any program you use for keywording. This is also where it eliminates the common words.

Another great feature of the program is its Keyword Categories. It has some presets for a variety of main categories such as People, Things, Places, Nature, Environment and several others. Under each of these are more sub-categories and below these more specifics for selecting individual keywords to add to your list. For example, under Birds it lists most every bird you will have photos of and will add the birds common and taxinomical (Latin) name as well as bird and birds to your list. You can also go to the sub-category of Animal Behaviors and select the different behaviors you encounter and it puts several related words in the list. You can also add locations that are already loaded as well as add some of your own common shooting locations. The easy addition of Latin names for animals is the best feature for most of us.

A quick test of the shot of the pair of bald eagles fighting in my top 12 of 2015 resulted in 98 keywords when the list was put together and harvested. There would be some taken out and maybe a couple added but putting the list together only took a couple of minutes. Talk about a time-saver when it comes to a very tedious chore. A template of the list can then be saved for future reference. If I go through and use this for all of my stock images it would result in double to triple the sales. I'll probably start this process with some my my most marketable images and work my way to doing others as time permits.

This will definitely become a part of my post-processing work for images that will be sellable stock. That it works with adding keywords to most any program you use makes it well worth the investment.

CRADOC FOTOBIZ

This is a two-part program that has both fotoBiz and fotoQuote. For anyone doing photography as a business, this is a great piece of software to have in your arsenal as it puts everything together in one place that you need for contacts, submissions, quotes, forms, model releases and help for pricing images for sales.

Instead of having things spread out in multiple documents or different programs, everything is right at your fingertips with the full fotoBiz package. With just getting started with the program, I will be able to eliminate numerous documents in one easy step. With doing submissions to five stock agencies and close to a dozen magazines I have a Word document that has the detailed info on image specs as well as the writing style, deadlines and word lengths listed on it and some of their shipping info. Another Word doc has things set up for creating mailing labels for each one. Now, this info plus lots more data such as phone numbers, submission history and invoice history that are in Excel spreadsheets can be in one place.

Another fine feature with the program is that multiple email templates can be set up. Once a template is set up it appears for each contact and it has their name associated with it when selected. You can go in and do slight edits as needed for each email sent as these are just templates for a variety of uses - initial contact, submissions, sending invoices, confirmations, thank you letters and whatever you send out on a regular basis. I may dig into it a little bit to find a way to create a separate database for tracking photo workshops, participants, payments and expenses.

Further down the main menu is a section for Prospects, which is set up just like the Contacts section. It's great to have a separate place for potential photo buyers you want to turn into a client and whenever you go into the program the section is there as a reminder to start making contact with them. Once they become a client it's very easy to convert the listing to the Contacts section.

What sets fotoBiz apart from other business programs is it's magazine section. This isn't a spot where you put contact info in for magazine editors but rather a collection they have put together of a variety of magazines and what they charge for full-page ads. This was, if a client contact you wanting to use a photo for an ad in X magazine, you know what they're paying for the ad and can work your rates accordingly. An ad in Audubon is a lot higher than an ad in Alaska magazine so you have to compensate for this and having a database at your fingers of what many magazines charge is very helpful. The contact info that comes with the magazines listed here can also be used to help you build your Potentials list of hopeful clients.

Need a place to keep tabs on all of your camera equipment? Instead of having another document listing what all you have, there is a Gear tab that allows for everything to be listed. It allows for notes about weight, repairs and info about its insurance status. There are lots of options under drop down boxes to select the manufacturer, type of equipment and even the model. Again, this adds to the value of one program having lots of features to make it worth the cost of the product.

Although higher up the tab list, I've saved one feature to the end as this is one that most every photographer has problems with. With fotoQuote, you get a full stand-alone program added in to the bundle making this two programs in one. You can purchase fotoQuote alone, but with all that fotoBiz has it's more than worth the cost. The hardest thing for a photographer to figure out is how much to charge for stock sales or assignments. Where do you begin? In the past when I've been asked how much I want to charge for the use of a photo I've hit Google to try and find some sites with current pricing guidelines for detailed usage. You never want to charge too little or too much as you'll either under-value yourself or lose a potential sale.

You can't really ask other photographers as they don't really want to tell you and it's hard pulling the right price out of the air. fotoQuote takes away all of the guesswork in that they have done tons of research and even provides negotiation information to help close the sale. With their latest round of updates, they have 304 different stock and assignment categories to choose from. With this much information it will be easy to decide how much to charge. Add in that fotoQuote has a currency calculator and pricing for different areas of the world to go with coaching and negotiating tips and this is a program you will definitely want to have on your computer. When going in to a section, it allows you to add the durations, print run size, exclusivity, print medium and more to determine the price.

It then provides a minimum, maximum, and average cost you can provide the buyer. Couple this with the templates and your quote is ready to go to the buyer.

Visit the Crado site at http://www.cradocfotosoftware.com/index.html and use FLT1215 at checkout to get your Cradoc software discount of 10% on these or any of their products.