September 28th, 2010 by Ellen Boughn
September 8th, 2010 by Ellen Boughn
A better question might be, “What’s NOT up with stock photography?” Answer? Royalties, number of paid productions, royalty free and rights managed revenues and photographer satisfaction.
A few points on the graph are on the upswing: number of people submitting photos, number of photos being used, number of photos submitted, growth of the microstock agencies’ revenue and the quality of images available to buyers from microstock.
The scales are overloaded with bad news for professional photographers that have depended on stock sales as their major source of revenue over the past few decades. Hand wringing, doomsday predictions and misplaced insults only create the illusion that one is doing something about the situation.
It's not the end of the world, photographers! © Liliya Abdullina | Dreamstime.com
The industry has radically changed. It is not likely to ever return to its glory days. What to do about the current state of affairs?
1. If stock makes up your sole income and your work is so specialized that only a few could fill your niche; congratulations, you are safe for now.
2. If not, develop alternative income and soon. What can you do with your skill set outside of stock? The hard fact is that some of you will choose to leave the industry. You will trade places with the amateurs that left their day jobs to become serious about stock. Those of you who make that decision are not failing but growing.
3. Create innovative images that will satisfy the most discriminating art buyer and place them in rights managed collections. (The revenues may be in decline but millions are still generated with these licenses)
The recession has contributed something to the decline in stock photo reviews.© Stephen Vanhorn | Dreamstime.com
4. Shrink your overheads to match your declining stock revenues. You can do it; most of America has figured out how in the last two years. Start with reviewing renegotiating charges for insurance, products and services.
5. Develop as many revenue streams as possible. That will include participating in microstock for some.
6. Revitalize your assignment business. Only a few have the talent, equipment, business skills and eye to consistently bring back the money shot. Make certain that that person is you by constantly improving and updating your skills and business sense. You may be an artist but you must be a savvy business person to succeed.
Part II What’s up with microstock? To follow
This post first appeared in slightly different form on the ASMP Strictly Business Blog
August 30th, 2010 by Ellen Boughn
A question that is inevitably asked when I’m speaking to photographers, whether they are inexperienced or long time professionals, is, “When do my photos need a model release?” My answer is always the same, “It’s not the photo that determines whether or not a release is required but how the image is used.” One of the topics I cover in Chapter 12-”Legalese” in my book, Microstock Money Shots, concerns model releases.
Here are the key facts:
Even though the model's face isn't recognizable, some agencies might want a release since the dress, necklace and ring taken together are--at least by the person wearing them. © Shevelev Vladimir | Dreamstime.com
- Each distributor has rules about accepting images with people. These include whether a person is recognizable. The standard for recognizable goes from rejecting photos where no one but the individual themselves could know who it was to some companies that won’t accept an image of a hand holding a glass without a release. I had an image of a pair of feet in non-descript black shoes rejected by a rights managed stock agency’s legal department because the ankle attached to the foot was wearing an ankle bracelet. OK, so the jewelry may have been recognizable. We photoshopped the ankle. Still a no-go as the policy of that company was that even isolated body parts had to have releases.
- A photo that can seems that it can be used with impunity within the context of an editorial piece can turn around and bite the photographer. Example: you take a photo of a recognizable person sitting on a bench as they watch their child at a public playground. The photo is downloaded online for editorial use with either a micro or a macro license. The end user is a parenting magazine. All sounds on the up and up until the article comes out and is about predators that hang out around playgrounds. Even if the photographer had obtained a model release, it is possible that the model could sue if the photo didn’t carry a notice such as ‘posed by professional model”. I leave it to the lawyers and the courts to come down with definitive opinions about whether such a suit has validity and that will have something to do with the wording in the model release. But I would think htat the outcome will generally be in the photographer/agency’s favor because of the EULA (end user licensing agreement) that prohibits using photos that imply that the subject is engaged in something illegal.
The model in this image appears to be unrecognizable but Tracy from the3dstudio.com noticed that lightening the image renders the model more recognizable. See the comments sections for more on this. The3dStudio.com. © Petesaloutos | Dreamstime.com
- Editorial vs Promotional. Both Dreamstime and Shutterstock accept images of non-released people for editorial use only. (Dreamstime carries it a bit far into property release land by requiring that all city skylines that show business signage go into the editorial only slot. Most companies agree that a skyline with bank logos and other business ID’s on many buildings are not problematic and they accept them for use in popular travel ads and brochures.)
- What is the best release? That would be the one that you can get signed but, again, I say that the lawyers can best weight in. I recommend the Getty release as they have the most to lose. Thus I’m betting that they have all the bases covered. They have made all their releases in multiple languages freely available for download to all.
It's important that you explain what stock photos are to your models, especially to friends and family that pose for you © Galina Barskaya | Dreamstime.com
- What are your other responsibilities to the model? You need to make it clear that you will have little control over the end use of the photo. If an amateur model sees their photo on a big billboard, they might come dialing for dollars on your line even though you don’t owe them anything. You can give them a copy of a site’s EULA to help with fears.
As promised: Here are the photo credits for Chapter 12 of Microstock Money Shots:
Aleskey Oleynikov/Shutterstock-Young couple on stone wall at sunset. Chapter Opener
Vling/Shutterstock-Woman in hammock on tropical beach.
Pete Saloutos-Rowing at sunset.
Wojciech Gajda/Dreamstime-Girl in yellow bathing cap at side of pool
August 4th, 2010 by Ellen Boughn
In Chapter Five of Microstock Money Shots-Popular Themes Without People, I devote a few pages to the art of photographing food. I mention tips for creating images of appetizing plates of food if a stylist isn’t in your budget because even the most delicious tasting items often look unappetizing and utterly disgusting through the lens without the skills that a food stylist brings to the table.
Although images with complex prop styling remaining popular, less emphasis on the props is a more contemporary look. © Jiri Bursik | Dreamstime.com
Not all culinary shoots can bear the cost of a stylist so build a few of their tricks into your skill set. There have been a spat of articles by food prop stylists as well as about food photography in the past months. (A prop stylist is the one responsible for the non food items in a shoot such as the type of flatware, centerpieces and other extraneous materials to add to a themed photo) A food stylist may double as the prop stylist as well as preparing food for the camera.
The summer 2010 issue of the pricey and erudite magazine, Gastromonica, has an intriguing article about the evolution of prop styling for food photography. The author, Francine Matalon-degni, presents a lengthy review of how food photography has evolved from the flowery, heavily propped shots from the early 1990′s to the redesigned Bon Appetit and Martha Stewart minimalist images a few years into the 2000′s and on such as…”full-page bleeds of creamy sauces, landscapes of scalloped potatoes and enormous blocks of beef”. She discusses how a photo of a perfectly plated piece of pie went from being the norm to some of today’s images showing forks and crumbs left on the plate as if the photographer has caught the eater just leaving the table. Along the way in this lengthy piece, she equates food prop styling to changes in the American politcal scene…a reach but then we ARE what we eat.
Some food editors have gone to the extreme of showing no props and only crumbs of the food. ©Olivierl/Dreamstime.com
Cautionary note: I was reviewing a group of images shot in a kitchen with a model supposedly preparing a meal. What I saw was the work of an overly enthusiastic stylist: every vegetable for a soup was lined up in perfect rows and neatly sliced. Fruit in a bowl on the counter looked like a display at an eleborate buffet in a hotel’s breakfast room. The pans on the stove came straight from the store and had nothing in them. Lesson? Add a little reality to your cooking shots by actually having something in the pot on the stove. Make the kitchen appear as natural as possible and that means a tiny bit of a mess.
Secrets to great photos of salad? One tip: spray with water instead of salad oil for longer lasting, fresh look. © Attila Kadar | Dreamstime.com
The New York Times often features articles directed at photographers with instructions on the technical tips to use in food photography from the “Diner’s Journal columns. The latest, by Andrew Scrivani, is called “How to plan a food shoot” and an earlier piece concerned Four manual settings you need to know when shooting food.
Food stylist and author Denise Vivaldo gives some good tips for styling salads and preparing chicken in two separate videos. Want the lettuce in the salad to remain perky? Pack the bowl with wet paper towels before adding ingredients and plop some mashed potatoes under the lettuce. Stand a few leaves upright in the potatos. Catch the video here. Or to get a jump on prepping a lucious looking (but nearly raw chicken or turkey) for holiday shoots watch this. (Cover your ears after the first several “You Guys”.)
NPR’s All Things Considered offers help in building towering sandwiches…gaffer’s tape anyone? In an interview with food stylist Delores Custer, it’s suggested that mortican’s wax is a perfect adhesive to keep cutlery in place…remember just because it’s pretty doesn’t mean you should eat the stuff once the shoot is a wrap!
A photographer whose still life images are brilliant is Mitchell Feinberg. Check him out in this Photography Post.
(Back to Chapter Five of Microstock Money Shots. It is about much more than shooting food. The photographers whose work appears in the chapter are below:)
Chapter Opener: Carnival ride- Racheal Grazias
Dove in flight-Christopher Ewing
House of Parliment, London-Maksym Gorpenyuk
BBQ doesn't always mean beef! ©Armonn/Dreamstime.com
African with face paint-Lucian Coman
Colorful guitars-Ilya D. Gridnev
Shark from below-Joshua Haviv
Owl in flight-Brian Hansen Stock Photography
Wolf spider captures a blowfly-Cathy Keifer
Snow Monkeys-F. Mann
Peaceful landscape-Piotr Skubisz
Close-up of a leaf-Coolr
Coyote crossing the road-Nelson Hale
Lightning and small boat in storm at sea-Russ Allen
Toronto Caribbean Day parade-A.C. Gobin
Asian statues against red-Juha Sompkinmaki
Beach with palms and blue water-Petra Silhava
China’s Bird Nest Stadium-Orpheus
House of Parliment, London-Maksym Gorpenyuk
Shots against white are popular for menu boards © Juliengrondin | Dreamstime.com
African with face paint-Lucian Coman
Colorful guitars-Ilya D. Gridnev
Shark from below-Joshua Haviv
Owl in flight-Brian Hansen Stock Photography
Wolf spider captures a blowfly-Cathy Keifer
Snow Monkeys-F. Mann
Peaceful landscape-Piotr Skubisz
Close-up of a leaf-Coolr
Field of lettuce-Laurent Renault
An image of a key ingredient can be very simple and yet still effective ©Yekophotostudio/Dreamstime
Variety of deserts-Regien Paassen (Also on the cover)
Holiday turkey-Olga Lyubkina
Casual Friday concept-Eutock
Big dog and little dog-Eric Isselee (Also on the back cover)
Inside the curl of a giant wave-Mana Photo
Close-up of bees in hive-Florin Tirlea
Dining room-Chad McDermott
Home exterior-Ken Hurst
April 20th, 2010 by Ellen Boughn
This is our summer of discontent. The never ending recession combined with falling day rates, cheap stock, overwhelming heat, high water and the lack of funds to escape to a cooler spot has many photographers in the doldrums. Work is slow and a hoped for turnaround in the fall is still too far away to hang a camera strap on. So have a cool drink…forget lemons to lemonade…how about a bloody-hell Mary? Or a Hail, Mary for that matter and a chuckle.
A colleague (I can’t reveal his name in order to protect his lack of innocence) who speaks to photographers day and night has heard enough photographers’ complaints lately to write a book. Instead he kicked his funny bone and came up with the following as proposed issue themes for PhotoDistrict News beginning in Jan 2011.
January: Happy New Year Editorial Day-Rate issue
February: In the Black–that WAS Photo-History Month issue
March: Beware the Idle of March-The undercut issue
April: Ding Dong. Oh, #$%@&, is that the Tax Man at the door?
May: “Captain! May Day! May Day! issue
June: Graduation Special: Brooks Institute Owes me $100,000 issue
July: Happy Google Images Day!
August: Back to Trade-School Issue
Sept: Rights Managed Memorial Day issue
October: PPE Conference: Please Please Earn (something, anything) issue
November: Happy Thanks-For-Nothing: Disgruntled Photographers’ Issue
December: “Here Comes hidden Contract-Claus, Here Comes hidden Contract-Claus…”
Now that we’ve gotten you laughing…mosey over to Amazon and buy my book due out August 24 for a read about how we got here -that’s in the first chapter and some tips on all things photographic except the stuff that you already know about lenses, lights and tripods (the rest of the book).
I’ll recap each chapter as the month goes on and list the names of the photographers that appear in that chapter. Stay tuned!
March 17th, 2010 by Ellen Boughn
The media often feature Mark Getty and Jonathan Klein as the founders of Getty Images, but were they truly the company founders like Mr Hewlett and Mr Packard, or Steve Jobs who started up their companies from scratch in their garages?
Mark Getty and work colleague Jonathan Klein cleverly identified the potential for huge growth in the stock photo industry, sought out Tony Stone Images as the market leader, acquired the company, and left their careers at London-based Hambro’s Bank to become Chairman and CEO of the company. It was Getty Holdings, representing a consortium of Getty family interests, which bought Tony Stone Images (Tony had previously purchased Click! Chicago and my company, After-Image).
The two re-branded the business as Getty Images, and worked with Tony and his existing management to carry the company forward. So you could say that Tony Stone (who founded his enterprise in the loft of his home decades earlier) was the true founder of Getty Images.
Tony Stone catalog from 1996 Vol 8
I was insulted by Klein’s remark in the recent NY Times article, “When we began, stock photography or licensed images, preshot images being licensed, was perceived as the armpit of the photo industry,” said Jonathan Klein, the chief executive of Getty Images who helped found the agency in 1995. “No self-respecting art director or creative director would use a preshot image, because it wasn’t original, it hadn’t been commissioned by them, it wasn’t their creativity.”
I know from direct experience as the president of Tony Stone Images/LA that the top creatives regularly bought stock photography including for high visibility, big campaigns for major advertisers prior to the invention of Getty Images. I submit that neither Getty nor Klein were responsible for elevating the creative level of the stock photo business. Those laurels go to Tony and the photographer/founders of the Image Bank (Pete Turner, Jay Maisel, Larry Fried as well as businessman, James Garcia). There is no doubt of the immense achievement of Mark Getty and Jonathan Klein – they continued the acquisition of companies which Tony Stone had started, and accelerated the move into the digital world. But the very least they should do is refrain from continuously insulting those whose shoulders they stood on.
It was Tony Stone’s vision that kickstarted Getty Images’ position at top of the creative market. When I sold my company, After-Image, to Tony and became part of Tony Stone Images, we had over 400,000 photographs in the files in Los Angeles. Tony took one look at the dozens of meticulously organized file cabinets and asked me, “Why do you need all these photos?” He had recognized the highly creative nature of some of the After-Image collection but correctly realized that much was just ‘filler’.
Tony Stone catalog from the mid-1990's
Tony Stone has joined the executive team at Vivozoom
Tony’s theory then and now, reinterated on Microstock Diaries, is that there is no point in wasting time and resources on anything except the best photos in a genre. He once told me that all the world needed was a dozen of the best photos of Paris as those were the images that would run as covers, chapter openers or full page spreads. Why have photos of every little burg in Provence when those images will usually only run small. Of course this was before the Internet and the decline of print. And prior to microstock’s long tail circling the globe.
In addition to the big news last week that Tony Stone has joined former colleague, Lawrence Gould, at Vivozoom, I noticed news about a new microstock company specializing in images from Israel, with what seems to be an emphasis on religion. Is there a new era in the lifecycle of the microstock business, signaled by these two unrelated events? What do you think? Stay tuned.
February 8th, 2010 by Ellen Boughn
Some advice bears repeating: The following was written as part of the ‘Inspiration” section of the Agency Access site and posted 3/16/2010. Slightly changed here.
The vote is in. Based on the many comments on Shannon Fagan’s guest post made by stock industry leaders and photographers, the majority do not believe that the stock business is dead, perhaps sleeping but far from a vegetative state. Millions of dollars are still being generated by the photography licensing business in all models even though to the individuals whose income has decreased by up to 50% it doesn’t seem so. The best time to review the tried and true is when you are searching for the new. Here’s a quick recap of some best practices in stock photography.
- Become known for a specialized style or subject. Gain access to a unique location or group that is unattainable for others. Work and work until your images are at the top of the list for your niche in technical quality, originality and marketability.
- Photography may seem to some to be a passive activity; photographers survive by being observers from behind the lens. To succeed in today’s marketplace you must get out from behind the camera to build a following:
- Explore all the social networking opportunities available. Follow people outside of photography. Professional photography is about filling a need. Follow the Facebook and Tweets of those who might need you in addition to those photographers who are generous with their knowledge such as Chase Jarvis or Yuri Arcurs. (See more about the social web below)
- Get physically in front of your clients and potential clients. Step up your go-sees. As more and more people depend on electronic connections, those who take the time to visit their clients have a better chance of getting in to see the decision makers. This applies to those with specialty stock collections not only assignment photographers.
Going it alone deprives you of connections, information and the opportunity to teach. ©Billyfoto@dreamstime.com
- Don’t depend exclusively upon a stock agency to distribute your work especially if you have a strong niche. Consider licensing your niche stock photography direct to buyers.
Fortunately now there are tools to enable photographers to build a unique stock photo collection and to license it directly.
- Expand your marketing to cover every possible user of the photos within your niche. Agency Access slices and dices stock buyers into lists of those with every imaginable subject/business need. Join the trade associations of your major client base not just photographer industry groups.
- Some say that direct mail for photographers is dead. Not according to art buyers that I’ve heard from. Remember you are there to provide an answer to a visual question. Those who need your specialization want to hear from you if you can help them look better in their job. Use the most creative designer you can afford to ensure that your DM pieces stand out.
Classic OPTE Project Map of the Internet 2005/©©(some rights reserved)attribution:www.opte.org/maps/
- Connect electronically. Make your email blasts informative…. provide data, antidotes, statistics that will help your users in their work. Don’t simply sell yourself. That’s spam.
- Accept that twitter isn’t simply silly, that Facebook doesn’t just work for grandparents and that a blog is gossip or a place to vent. All these are communication tools. You are a communicator. Use them. And if you still haven’t. START NOW. You’ll be surprised how much you’ll learn and who you will connect with…(and how much time you’ll waste unless you set limits.)
- Know your audience. Who are the people most likely to license your work? What are their job challenges? You can’t provide answers unless you know the questions. Follow the activities online of the companies that are likely to use your type of photos. Pick up on what they are using and where.
Be wary of following the urge to SHOOT only what sells. Part of what has harmed the stock photo business over the last few years is in an overabundance of photos all of the same subjects/styles. Originality has diminished and frustration has grown. As one photographer recently asked me, “How many pictures does the world need of happy people jumping on a trampoline?”
Most photographers began their career with a love both of photography and a certain subject. As their careers develop, many chase the market and lose sight of what gave them creative kicks in the first place. This is especially true for those that put their hat into the stock photography ring and followed the demands of stock companies requests to the exclusion of the vision that brought them to photography. Regain it.
February 3rd, 2010 by Ellen Boughn
The photo below is an almost perfect stock photo. It’s not cutting edge; it’s not trendy. It’s not hip or cool. What it IS is a photo that will license again and again for years…extending its revenue stream long after its production costs have been recouped even with today’s lower fees. This is a photo with a very long tail.
I first analyzed the image for my blog on Dreamstime when it showed up as one of the best sellers two years ago this month. I have also discussed it in my upcoming book. Initially the image seemed a very simple and easy photo to plan and take. But once I deconstructed it, I understood the amount of thought, research, experience and planning that went into the creation of this clean and versatile photo and its variations. I’m reminded of what the IT guys always say when a seemingly trivial request is made for a programming change, “Simple doesn’t mean easy.”
A 'perfect' stock photo. ©Iofoto
The image is a subject-based winner. Among the most consistently popular stock photo subjects are family related. When photos with these themes also spell “happiness/love/caring”, the image has a lead over all others. Images of families are used for financial services, vacation and hotel packages, for religious publications and a myriad of editorial uses on websites on a zillion topics.
A beach location is a great choice. Stock photo buyers often want ‘aspirational’ images that show an idealized place or situation. The beach is such a place in all societies. It is a place we vacation; go for weekend relaxation, education and fun. The exact geographical location is not identifiable. The location is non-specific geographically and yet still shows a top vacation spot: the beach.
Seasonality. Because of wardrobe choices and the quality of the light, the photo could have been shot in spring, summer or early fall adding to the versatility of the image.
Style. Both the photographic style and the models/wardrobe/scene are relatively timeless. There is no skyline to go out of date; the clothing is non-specific and not tied to any fashion.
Palette/Wardrobe: The model’s clothing compliments the colors in the scene. Because there are blues, pinks, tans and yellows in the palette almost any color typeface could coordinate with the image. Shirts lack logos and the fabrics are all solid colors.
Casting: The models form the perfect, idealized family and yet they aren’t so beautiful as to look unauthentic. Their pose is relaxed and happy. (Just the way we all imagine the perfect family vacation.) Even the preteen girl appears to be pleased to be with her parents. (Anyone who has attempted to take a daughter of this age on a family vacation knows that IS really an idealized image.) The image depicts the vacation every family aspires to have.
Similars of popular photos can also be top sellers. ©Iofoto
Composition: Dad is at the top of a pyramid, representing a conservative (and thus good for middle of the road adverts) family relationships and the models are posed off center to leave lots of space for type. The background is clean and simple. In both photos, the photographer for Iofoto, Ron Chapple, has left ample space for insertion of a product shot, headline or copy. He has also offered the stock photo user several formats. Here we show the vertical and the image that he has prepared as a square.
Good keywording has also contributed to the success of these two images. Look up the keywords by clicking on the photos and you’ll see what I mean.
Taylor Davidson finds himself at the intersection of photography, social media, business development and economics. His thoughts on where the stock photography business might be going and how to stay around for the ride:
Social Media Expert/Photography Geek Taylor Davidson
Taylor began our recent conversation, “All businesses have a life cycle, including creative businesses. There is the building or construction of the business, growth and what I like to call ‘creative reconstruction’ rather than deconstruction. Companies go from cottage businesses to being consumed by large companies (aggregators of content, in our case). The latest changes in stock photography are merely the latest cycle of industry upheaval. The technology required to create, distribute, promote and use stock images (like all creative content) changed everything”.
“The bigger question is what happens from here?”
“The economics of new technologies gave anyone the tools to create, but didn’t guarantee that they would profit from creating. While the activity is in the long tail, profits flow to the aggregators in the tail.” (Taylor refers to the
aggregator as the ‘hub’. Getty Images is the big wheel around the stock photo hub.)
Taylor points out that the economics of the hub have been changed by many factors, one of which is social media. He explains that electronic word of mouth has given power to smaller hubs. By being a specialty destination, your website/blog can become the hub for that subject or story. You can operate in smaller niches but you MUST be the hub in the niche. You must be really good at (your niche). You must be the top choice in the subject.
He says, “Be a hub. Find a niche, and be the hub in that niche. This advice applies to broader issues: how can you expand your scope? How can you create ancillary products; do other types of photography? How can you be a different kind of hub? Be a hub for information, for knowledge. Teach other people how to be a hub for their own niches. Bring other photographers together to create a hub.
I asked Taylor if he had suggestions for how a photographer could become a sought after hub of information/activity/engagement. After humbly explaining that he was very good at asking questions but not so great at coming up with answers (I disagree), Taylor added:
“I have a strong belief that successful businesses need to be more like people. Individuals want to connect to the people behind a business.” He suggests that a photographer that only shows photos on his/her website is missing opportunities to connect with their audience. People want to see more than a series of images. Photographers should use all the tools available to them to tell a story. Be a hub of information about not just yourself and your work but about a story that you have created.”
Santa Cruz Fog©Taylor Davidson
I asked Taylor what I should say to the photographer that is already overwhelmed with keeping a business going, faced with the need to post to a blog, create another story, learn FinalCutPro, or build a movement. Taylor is an optimist…but even so he and I agree:
“If you are blind to change, you aren’t going to make it in today’s market [for stock or assignment photography].” The photographer has to DO THE WORK. One task at a time, keep learning.
Davidson suggests, “One secret to continued growth in creative endeavors is to retain or recapture youthful curiosity. Young and emerging photographers are free to try all manner of things; part of the excitement is not knowing what the long-term impact of the experiment will be. Could be a career changer or a dud. The cost of failure when you are young is much less than at mid-career.”
“Even in mid-career, you must be willing to open yourself to serendipity. Don’t put yourself in a situation where the only experiments you try
are the ones that could wipe you out.” Try little experiments. Try one a day, one a week even if the burden of mid-career responsibilities keep you focused on getting through the demands of running an established business. These small experiences will sometimes create opportunities. (But don’t expect them all to.)”
(In a continuation of my conversation with Taylor in a future post, I discuss how photographers can embed humanity into their businesses and to break down the barriers between the message and the person. Taylor then discusses ‘the story’ and authentic marketing for photographers).
Taylor Davidson is a Business Designer and a photography geek who lives in New Orleans, LA. He focuses on evaluating and structuring business and financial plans to help launch new products, services and companies. He creates on the web at http://www.taylordavidson.com/writing