View Full Version : LF Stock

14-Apr-2015, 05:15
To be on the safe side; "I do not suggest selling LF images as cheap stock!".

With that out of the way, let me explain what I am currently looking into. As many of you will have experienced first hand, selling LF work can be a challenge. We spend hours in the field, followed by hours in dark rooms to process, touch up and print or scan our work. Some of our best work will feature on our website or in galleries, from where we sell.

In stark contrast, the vast majority of photographers has gone digital and shoots away. "Spray and pray" seems to be the hype of the day, rather than understanding the photographic process and creating a work of art. This is not to say that there are no digital artists! At any rate, they drop their work on stock sites, flickr and god knows where and generate royalties from subsequent sales.

What generates their royalties, besides the sheer volume of work, is the exposure they get by having their images everywhere. Something that we as LF photographers are unlikely to do. The amount of images we produce is a mere fraction and I for one, refuse to sell the final art as stock or clip art. I do not create small jpegs for mass production. I create large sheet film negatives that can be printed on high grade paper in a dark room or scanned and subsequently printed. And yes, this costs more than a simple snap with a digital camera.

Without going into details, I sell the bulk of my work (prints) to large companies who display it as corporate art. This is in part possible due to my former work, which left me with a large network in the corporate sector. However, I would also like to get into people's living rooms so people can enjoy my creations. Not because I intend to get rich, just because I like my work to be seen and appreciated.

Searching around on the internet, you will find thousands of galleries that will display your work. Some prestigious, some unknown. However, many reach a very limited audience. What I do not encounter is any collective of LF photographers that reaches a critical mass. All differences in style, personality and geographic location aside, it should be possible to reach a critical mass and compound a sufficient body of LF work that can be displayed and sold through an online platform.

My idea is to talk to a number of other photographers and see whether we could start a LF image database. It will need to be a moderated database that has strict quality and copyright requirements. A significant part of the sales price should flow back to the artists to make sure they can create new work and keep going, however, a sufficient amount of money should remain to pay maintenance, curators, back office, etc. To keep things manageable, I would suggest starting with a representative portfolio of limited size by each artist. Files could be sold digital, but I would prefer print media. Either printed by the photographer, in a central dark room or outsourced.

As it stands now, I can register and host a platform, including bandwidth, email accounts of those involved, etc. I would need help in the design, curating, etc. Given the fact that I strongly feel photographers belong in the field and not on a computer 24/7, the main part of the process would ideally be outsourced as soon as cashflow allows for that. Curating should remain with a limited group of professional photographers who ideally also print so they can judge how images will print.

Alas, just a thought, happy to get your suggestions and input. If you are seriously interested in this, please zap me a PM.

Kind regards,

Klein Batavia

14-Apr-2015, 05:51
So a LF version of 1x.com?

14-Apr-2015, 06:42
The vast majority of buyers have no idea what large format is and could care less as long as they like the image. That's what you're up against.

14-Apr-2015, 07:53
The vast majority of buyers have no idea what large format is and could care less as long as they like the image. That's what you're up against.

I have run into this alot

14-Apr-2015, 07:54
whats really weird is I have sold images because they thought the camera that shot it was cool

14-Apr-2015, 07:57
The vast majority of buyers have no idea what large format is and could care less as long as they like the image. That's what you're up against.

Very true and I have no intention or ambition to try and educate the general public to generate sales. If the objective was to compete with mainstream, I would grab my digital cameras (yes, I too have fallen victim and shoot a lot of client work digital) and get going. That said, many publishers, galleries, collectors, large corporates and others do know the difference. However, they will struggle to find any but the best known artists. Bringing a number of them together will at least be easier to find and/or market.

Besides, working together on building something is nice too. Beats just pushing our own work. For me, anyway.

14-Apr-2015, 08:00
Hi Corran, 1X is to a large extend peer reviewed, I would think that keeping the portfolios limited to 10-15 images per artist would allow for a consistent curation by very experienced people. The general idea of a portfolio site with a higher than average (or in this case high) barrier to entry seems about right though. If there's enough interest that is.