Educational images

April 3rd, 2008
Gwyn Headley

by Gwyn Headley

Managing Director

Every day we talk to picture buyers from all disciplines. It makes me smile when I remember how we started fotoLibra, trawling round banks and venture capitalists to try and raise money. “People buy pictures?” they asked in disbelief.

There are a lot of buyers out there, and we have to try and connect to them. Recently we’ve been targeting education book publishers, a massive market, especially in the UK where the vestiges of an empire (and the hegemony of the world’s greatest and most functional language) mean that those faceless rectangular office blocks on the outskirts of former county towns are now filled with solemn young people searching for images of happy, healthy African schoolchildren to feed the ceaseless demand for schoolbooks.

Actually, what they all want are images of people undergoing instruction. Groups with teachers. People learning. Black, white, multi-racial — it doesn’t matter, as long as the photograph comes with clearances and it is located precisely. “School” won’t do, but “Merton House School, Penmaenmawr, North Wales” will do very well.

Here’s a typical request:

1) Young group of musicians in jazz band with T-shirts that share same logo or band name printed on drum kit for example, or similar picture to suggest the usefulness of establishing a team identity.
2) A school council team at work — a mix of students and teachers around table
3) Group of teens (or adults) being taught survival or bushcraft skills on a bushcraft course, i.e. learning to build a shelter.
4) Pic of family meeting of two siblings with an aunt-type figure (adult younger than parent) acting as mediator — or — as near to this as you can possibly find! -— must look like a serious family discussion involving a group of more than 3 people
5) Pic of teens talking in a support/therapy group, i.e. children of divorced parents, discussing how the situation has left them very angry? OR teen talking to a therapist.
6) One teen shouting at another teen friend, looking angry (not screaming in a ‘cool’ way)
7) Group debate in a school – showing a team, or debate in a hall or classroom

Please don’t go out and take these exact photographs; this was in the past, and is just an example to show the sort of thing these educational publishers are looking for. They all want PEOPLE INTERACTING WITH EACH OTHER. The joy for fotoLibra members is that scenes like this can be taken anywhere in the world, from Penmaenmawr to Phetchaburi, from Pretoria to Peoria.

If you have a spare child of school age, why not get it and its friends to set up some of these scenarios? You can buy them pop and buns while you pocket your new-found wealth from all the pix you’ll sell.


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