Stock Photography - Do you dabble in it?

Discussion in 'Photographers' started by Ric Trexell, Aug 12, 2010.

  1. Ric Trexell

    Ric Trexell Member

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    This might not be the best forum for this question, but I can't find a better one. I was wondering if any of you have done stock photography? What were your experiances and how did you get started. I have been studying the materials of Rohn Engh and his website www.photosource.com for years. I have read his books and watched his video series. I also have bought books on Amazon on stock. I would like to do some but the hardest part is knowing what to shoot. If this is in the wrong forum, perhaps you can tell me where to post it. Thanks. Ric.
     
  2. Eric Rose

    Eric Rose Subscriber

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    I did it quite successfully in the 80's and 90's. It's a lot of work and with today's market I wouldn't waste the time. Time magazine is grabbing pics off of flickr, paying the owner 1/10 what they are worth and putting them on the cover. The market for excellent photography at a fair price is gone. I wouldn't waste your time if I were you. But as they say YMMV.
     
  3. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    I assisted a fashion photographer 20 years ago that worked with a stock agency. Back then, he sent all his outtakes from jobs and he said he got on average 50 cents per image he sends in. I'm sure it's much less now. Photographers that deal exclusively with stock photography have to shoot a lot, label the meta data then upload the images. There's a lot of post production work that I don't care for. If you want to dabble in it, go to Flickr. They offer a mechanism so art buyers could license your work. There's also Istock Photo which is royalty free. They are always looking for photographers. http://www.istockphoto.com/ Don't expect to get rich shooting stock.
     
  4. bblhed

    bblhed Member

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    I know a computer programmer that takes a photo of every meal that he eats both before and after he eats it and he has sold a few of these as stock photos. He has probably made enough money in total over the years to buy a meal, he would also be the first one to tell you that he is far from a pro, just a guy with a strange habit of photographing his food. He claims that it is nice to get a photo credit, but that is about all he gets out of it.
     
  5. Alansworld

    Alansworld Member

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    I make a couple of hundred a year from Fotolia, pays a bill or two, and until a while ago when I withdrew, made a couple of walletfuls from Alamy. But it's a lot of work for a fairly poor return.

    Alan.
     
  6. chriscrawfordphoto

    chriscrawfordphoto Member

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    I sold a photo to be used on a book cover by a publisher in Canada on Monday, for which i was paid more than the average person where I live earns working fulltime in 2 weeks. The picture was a photo I shot a couple years ago as part of my documentary project on rural Indiana. My fine art and documentary work sells quite well as stock, but I sell direct from my own site, so no parasite is sucking away most of the money before I see it. Microstock sites are exploitative, pure and simple, and even other stock agencies do not give enough return anymore to justify the bother. I don't have a 'real job', I make my living selling my fine art photos, some as stock, some as prints for people to hang on the wall. People can make money if their work is unique and good and they're smart enough not to give the stuff away.
     
  7. Konical

    Konical Subscriber

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    Good Afternoon,

    From the mid-'80's through the early '90's, I shot stock for a small regional agency in St. Louis. I made enough to cover expenses and to buy some additional equipment (LF lenses, mostly). I'm fairly sure that some of my sales were the result of shooting a lot of 4 x 5 images instead of 35mm. It was a worthwhile experience from which I learned a lot, but I was really able to devote only a couple of months to it each summer, since I was teaching full time back then.

    Konical