Good Morning, Snapper,

For a period of time in the eighties and nineties, I shot stock for a small agency in St. Louis. I was teaching full time, but, of course, had some free time available during the summers and weekends. Given my time constraints, I had moderate success with the stock shooting, but I certainly never came close to earning a living at it. Some of the sales I had were, I'm sure, because I shot mostly 4 x 5 (a little 6 x 7); I'm confident that some things which sold did so almost entirely because of the format. As time went on, I realized that the time and effort involved, combined with a full teaching load, made it impractical to continue. On many a perfect shooting day, I'd be looking out the classroom window, but the following weekend would end up being rainy or stomy--discouraging to a view camera shooter. In addition, the small agency I worked with tended to have a somewhat limited local market and faced increasing competition from large agencies and on-line photo collections available either free or at low cost. It's generally conceded that being successful in stock photography requires a hugh body of work and a constant up-dating of existing photos. Some stock shooters do well with a specialization, such as scientific photography or aerial photography, but it's usually a tough business for most. I had some fun with it and made enough to add some good equipment, but that's about it.