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Thread: Starting in Stock Photography

  1. #11

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    Re: Starting in Stock Photography

    Thank you for your sobering replies! I knew things were bad, but did not realize how bad.

    Here are the goals that I really want to accomplish, and was wondering if you could help me identify any other helpful venues or activities. Stock was only the first idea that popped into my head.

    (1) Grow as a photographer by taking on specific projects with specific requirements. [stock was supposed to be one such project].
    (2) Make use of existing photo portfolio and photo skills by helping worthy causes, with or without profit.
    (3) Become an NPS member.
    (4) Supplement my income.

    To date, my main use of photography professionally has been to support another artist (by cataloguing and documenting their work for historic and promotional purposes).

  2. #12

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    Re: Starting in Stock Photography

    Noah - look into Gallery Stock. That is the stock agency I am working with. They command much higher license fees, so despite what I wrote above, I am doing pretty well with them. The premise is they only carry work that would normally be seen (as the name suggests) in a gallery, but that also has commercial value. They represent big names like Shore, Vitali, Meyerowitz, Kander,... They use that Cachet to keep the license fees much higher than Getty, Corbis, et al., as well as catering to clients who are seeking images with a higher production value.

  3. #13

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    Re: Starting in Stock Photography

    Quote Originally Posted by Rider View Post
    Thank you for your sobering replies! I knew things were bad, but did not realize how bad.

    Here are the goals that I really want to accomplish, and was wondering if you could help me identify any other helpful venues or activities. Stock was only the first idea that popped into my head.

    (1) Grow as a photographer by taking on specific projects with specific requirements. [stock was supposed to be one such project].
    (2) Make use of existing photo portfolio and photo skills by helping worthy causes, with or without profit.
    (3) Become an NPS member.
    (4) Supplement my income.

    To date, my main use of photography professionally has been to support another artist (by cataloguing and documenting their work for historic and promotional purposes).
    You may already know this, but to become a NPS member, you have to be a full time working pro, with published work (books, tear sheets,,... to prove it), as well as another NPS member to vouch for you.

  4. #14
    jp's Avatar
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    Maine
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    Re: Starting in Stock Photography

    Quote Originally Posted by Rider View Post
    Thank you for your sobering replies! I knew things were bad, but did not realize how bad.

    Here are the goals that I really want to accomplish, and was wondering if you could help me identify any other helpful venues or activities. Stock was only the first idea that popped into my head.

    (1) Grow as a photographer by taking on specific projects with specific requirements. [stock was supposed to be one such project].
    (2) Make use of existing photo portfolio and photo skills by helping worthy causes, with or without profit.
    (3) Become an NPS member.
    (4) Supplement my income.

    To date, my main use of photography professionally has been to support another artist (by cataloguing and documenting their work for historic and promotional purposes).
    (1) You can do that with a little discipline of course without a commercial goal.

    (2) I do that as an amateur. There is a transportation museum in town that I sometimes supply photos to. They use them for their cause and even take me flying once in a while in their old planes to get photos. Indirectly, you could supply framed photos to worthy causes for them to auction at their special fundraising events with a reserve price you suggest. It would be more local publicity than stock photo use would create.

    (3) Might be worthwhile for some people, but I'm less of a gear whore for shiny new equipment now that I do more LF stuff. I'd love to have a new Nikon d800 but I don't need to be at the front of the line; next year is good enough for me. I'm more into vintage equipment.

  5. #15

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    Jun 2006
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    573

    Re: Starting in Stock Photography

    Is there any harm in uploading a few hundred pics to a stock site?

  6. #16

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    Re: Starting in Stock Photography

    The biggest risk is that of your own time. Proper key wording is critical. Sites like Getty & Corbis use professional key worders. They know what words are hot, and the terms art directors are looking for. Many of these are conceptual, such as depressing, elegance, hopeful, feminitiy... Spend at least several hours looking at sites like these to get a feel for how to key word your images. Then try to assign 30 to 50 key words for each image. Lifestyle images move better than nature or landscapes.

  7. #17
    Founder QT Luong's Avatar
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    Aug 1997
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    San Jose, CA
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    2,189

    Re: Starting in Stock Photography

    $1/image/year is still feasible. It used to be much better than that. Some made a good living with just 1,000 images in a top agency. Unfortunately those days are gone and won't come back. Jim Pickerell has been writing about stock photography for decades. Here's an interview of him, titled "The end of stock photography as a career": http://bit.ly/HBmW2F

  8. #18

    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    573

    Re: Starting in Stock Photography

    When you quote x$/image/year, that takes into account both the percentage of photos that are sold as well as the price per sale?

  9. #19
    Landscape Addict
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    Nov 2011
    Location
    Brisbane, Australia
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    Re: Starting in Stock Photography

    I have looked into stock photography as a suppliment (initially I thought about it as a career) Basically as has already been said, the days of being a professional stock photographer are gone unless

    A - You already are one, with an exceptional track record, eye for the market and a personal niche that keeps your images popping up in the top of the search results.

    B - You own a stock photography agency.

    These days there are too many people who do it. and too many people trying to start... I have found I make more out of my photographs at local markets/art galleries and coffee shops than I would from stock.
    Chamonix 045N-2 - 90/8 - 210/5.6 - RVP50, RDPIII, Ektar100, Fomapan 100 & T-Max100
    Alexartphotography

  10. #20

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    Nov 2010
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    Re: Starting in Stock Photography

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Miller View Post
    Noah - look into Gallery Stock. That is the stock agency I am working with. They command much higher license fees, so despite what I wrote above, I am doing pretty well with them. The premise is they only carry work that would normally be seen (as the name suggests) in a gallery, but that also has commercial value. They represent big names like Shore, Vitali, Meyerowitz, Kander,... They use that Cachet to keep the license fees much higher than Getty, Corbis, et al., as well as catering to clients who are seeking images with a higher production value.
    Sounds interesting. Thanks for the tip.

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