Archive for the ‘Stock Photography’ Category

So Matt over at NiltoMil posted this interesting article about Google’s new image search. Since I’ve used the TinEye image search in the past, I was intrigued. I know Google usually operates under the guidelines of “Go Big or Go Home” and that their stuff is usually very amazing.

I was not prepared for what I encountered by searching for my stock images. It absolutely blew me away, and I’m not even anywhere close to a major player in the world of stock photos.

I spent waaaay too much time doing searches, and I found some of my pictures on some blogs. There were some that were used on the home page of different companies. Some were on menus for restaurants. Some were used by major corporations.

Teacup at istock

My clamp and toy house at istock


Of all the images I found, I think this one in particular was the most exciting one to me.

magnifying glass over a toy house

Yes, that’s right. Dave Ramsey bought one of my images.

Thank you, Google. And thank you, Matt, for your article!

Stock Photography – Silver!

December 30, 2010

Stock photo of a bottle of pillsI finally hit the level of Silver contributor on today with my 2,500th download:

Thank you! 🙂

Note: This is a post that I’ve been tinkering with for some time and have finally decided to just post it 🙂

Micro stock is an unusual animal. For those who aren’t familiar with it, there are sites where you can license images royalty free for not a whole lot of money. This is great if you need an image for a presentation, a report, or a website. In the past, if you needed an image, you either had to:

a) take the picture yourself. This would work out well if you had the equipment necessary for such an endeavor. If not, it made the image a bit on the expensive and time consuming side.
b) hire a photographer to take the photos you needed. You would get your image fairly quickly, and you wouldn’t have to buy a bunch of stuff, but it could still be expensive.
c) contact a stock photograph agency and license the image from them. This can range from not a whole lot of money to quite a bit, depending on what you were planning on on doing with the image.

But I digress…

I started in my micro stock journey a few years ago, submitting photos to a couple of agencies. Sales were slow on most agencies, and rather brisk at one popular subscription site. After my portfolio reached a certain size, or perhaps a certain age, sales began to accelerate on some agencies, and drop off on others.

Maintaining portfolios on about a dozen agencies is a lot of work–each one has a different procedure for uploading images, assigning keywords and submitting images. Each agency also has differing tastes as to what they wanted to sell. One agency would reject most everything I submitted as being not what their customers were looking for while others would take everything. These inconsistencies between differing business models was just part and parcel of being an “independent.”

And this is how it went for a couple of years. Monitoring sales, keeping track of statistics, figuring out keywords, uploading, assigning categories, oh, and occasionally taking the odd photograph or two in between.

Towards the end of 2009, a number of major changes in the stock industry had occurred. A couple of the agencies to which I contributed closed down. Another agency had it’s portfolio moved completely to a subscription site, and then shut down. Another agency made some changes in their commission structure so that I was nearly giving my work away.

I finally had had enough of playing with all these different agencies, and decided to hang my hat on the one that had consistently outperformed all the other agencies I submitted to: iStockPhoto.

So it was with a bit of trepidation that I started pulling out of the different agencies. It wasn’t too hard on the agencies where sales were very rate. It was a bit harder on some of the others. I wound up being in a situation where I had to wait about three months before I could withdraw my images from one final agency. It was a very slow three months.

Finally, in March, I was able to click the “Exclusive” button on iStock, and I really haven’t given it another thought. It’s much nicer with only having to deal with one agency. While I may not make as many sales quantity wise as when I was independent, it’s definitely been worth it financially.

Note: I’ve been tinkering with this post for a little bit and finally decided to just post it. It was going to be a lot longer, but I shortened it up considerably.

I do a little bit of stock photography. A couple of months ago, I made the transition to being exclusive with just one agency — iStockPhoto. It was one of those things that I hemmed and hawed over for quite a while before making the final decision, but it has been sooo worth it. It’s one of those things that afterwards I find myself saying “Why didn’t I do that sooner?”

Here’s the link to my iStock page and this is a direct link to my gallery there.

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