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geogphotos

Are Alamy stock photographers all ages?

Question

I get the impression that our community here on the forum is a little long in the tooth.🙂

 

I have suggested doing stock to my children - all three are quite arty -  and they just laugh at the idea of all the hard work, the low fees, and the essential 'squareness' of it. They will happily share pics on social media and seem to spend half their time taking photos on their devices.

 

Are we an ageing bunch - are youngsters arriving on the scene or not bothering?

 

I'm 63

Edited by geogphotos
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I'm 35 , lucky to start with DSLR 6 years back so have the endless click, review & delete pattern.

 

Contributing stock for the last two years :)

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Another septuagenarian at 74! Started photography in the early 1950's when I ran around with my Kodak Brownie 127 and have been obsessed ever since. After a reasonably successful career in the oil industry I took early retirement at age 52 and worked my way into my own small photography business which is something I always wanted to do. Stock eventually became a part of it and I just caught the tail end of good prices when I joined Alamy in 2005. Have achieved some 'letters' and have managed LRPS, CPAGB, BPE3 and AFIAP with the last two being the result of entering National and International Salons which I still enjoy. Retirement on the business side may be looming again!!

Jim :)

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I was 68 in July, but feel younger. I started contributing to Alamy back in 2017. I did consider Alamy long ago, pre DSLR, but was never over enthusiastic scanning many strips of 35mm negatives in my Minolta Dimage 5400. I actually enjoy researching what I intend to shoot, or have shot, people, organisations, companies, whatever. I've always had an inquisitive nature.

 

Processed my first film at around 7 (127 film), and over the years used 35mm, 6x6 and 5x4 film, darkroom then scanning. Have shot digital since 2005/6. 

 

I can't see droves of youngsters being keen on shooting Alamy stock. Falling license fees, and thinking a phone can shoot everything come into play. I suspect most future contributors will be retired (I'm not) just looking to add to their pension. There will obviously be exceptions.

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1 hour ago, Gnans said:

I'm 35 , lucky to start with DSLR 6 years back so have the endless click, review & delete pattern.

 

Contributing stock for the last two years :)

 

Damn, I lost my 'youngster' title! 😛 ;)

 

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I'm between 40 and 45 years of age.

Edited by Matt Ashmore

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I'm 28, but, I submit more on the live news feed than I do stock.

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1 minute ago, chrismid259 said:

I'm 28, but, I submit more on the live news feed than I do stock.

@Steve F now I lost  'youngster' title! :lol:

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18 hours ago, John Morrison said:

My first camera was steam-driven...

 

You had real steam? Bleedin' luxury!

 

DD

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You "old" dudes seems so young to me. It's less than two months till my 85th birthday. It could be that I'm the oldest contributor with Alamy. ???

 

I'll remind you all that I never had photography as a hobby and never owned a camera until I traded a guitar for one. I sold images from my first roll of B&W film so I was  instantly a pro. That was in 1959 or '60.  

 

Edo

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55 minutes ago, Ed Rooney said:

You "old" dudes seems so young to me. It's less than two months till my 85th birthday. It could be that I'm the oldest contributor with Alamy. ???

 

I'll remind you all that I never had photography as a hobby and never owned a camera until I traded a guitar for one. I sold images from my first roll of B&W film so I was  instantly a pro. That was in 1959 or '60.  

 

Edo

 

You're probably not the oldest hombre on the block.

 

Mexican photographer Manuel Álvarez Bravo, a favourite of mine, took up photographing nudes at the age of 99.

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1 hour ago, Ed Rooney said:

You "old" dudes seems so young to me. It's less than two months till my 85th birthday. It could be that I'm the oldest contributor with Alamy. ???

 

I'll remind you all that I never had photography as a hobby and never owned a camera until I traded a guitar for one. I sold images from my first roll of B&W film so I was  instantly a pro. That was in 1959 or '60.  

 

Edo

I sold a few images taken with my Canon Sure-Shot film camera long before I got into stock, besides being published in two different mags. That was fun.  Unlike you, it didn’t make me a pro, it only made me lucky.

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24 minutes ago, Betty LaRue said:

I may be totally wrong with this thought, but here goes. I think photographers, especially stock photographers, tend to be content with their own company. I don’t mean we’re not social, or need people,  it’s only that we contemplate our day of work and are happy to go about it without saying a word to anyone all day if that’s how the day goes.

We can spend hours squirreled away, concentrating on developing and tagging without feeling lonely. Before my husband passed, I would tell him I was getting ready to work and tended to bark at him if he interrupted me with inconsequential matters too many times. It caused me to lose my train of thought, especially if I were tagging.

 

It helps to be a bit of a loner, even with a family. I always craved my “alone time” and was unhappy if I didn’t get some, even while raising three children. 

So...my point being I think there’s a bit of a personality type required to maintain this business for years. I think that’s why people try it for a while, then drop out. They aren’t the “type.”

You?

Betty

 

13 minutes ago, Betty LaRue said:

I sold a few images taken with my Canon Sure-Shot film camera long before I got into stock, besides being published in two different mags. That was fun.  Unlike you, it didn’t make me a pro, it only made me lucky.

 

24 minutes ago, Betty LaRue said:

I may be totally wrong with this thought, but here goes. I think photographers, especially stock photographers, tend to be content with their own company. I don’t mean we’re not social, or need people,  it’s only that we contemplate our day of work and are happy to go about it without saying a word to anyone all day if that’s how the day goes.

We can spend hours squirreled away, concentrating on developing and tagging without feeling lonely. Before my husband passed, I would tell him I was getting ready to work and tended to bark at him if he interrupted me with inconsequential matters too many times. It caused me to lose my train of thought, especially if I were tagging.

 

It helps to be a bit of a loner, even with a family. I always craved my “alone time” and was unhappy if I didn’t get some, even while raising three children. 

So...my point being I think there’s a bit of a personality type required to maintain this business for years. I think that’s why people try it for a while, then drop out. They aren’t the “type.”

You?

Betty

 

Wow Betty that struck a chord with me. I spend hours out by myself with my camera and I get completely absorbed in what I’m doing. The exception recently has been photo trips out with a friend who i introduced to Alamy who is equally enthusiastic. 

 

Angela

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1 minute ago, ACC said:

 

 

 

Wow Betty that struck a chord with me. I spend hours out by myself with my camera and I get completely absorbed in what I’m doing. The exception recently has been photo trips out with a friend who i introduced to Alamy who is equally enthusiastic. 

 

Angela

Yes. I went a long distance by car to hook up with a wonderful lady I met on this very forum. We went to many birding places on the coasts of Texas and Louisiana. Like-minded, fun.

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19 minutes ago, Betty LaRue said:

I may be totally wrong with this thought, but here goes. I think photographers, especially stock photographers, tend to be content with their own company. I don’t mean we’re not social, or need people,  it’s only that we contemplate our day of work and are happy to go about it without saying a word to anyone all day if that’s how the day goes.

We can spend hours squirreled away, concentrating on developing and tagging without feeling lonely. Before my husband passed, I would tell him I was getting ready to work and tended to bark at him if he interrupted me with inconsequential matters too many times. It caused me to lose my train of thought, especially if I were tagging.

 

It helps to be a bit of a loner, even with a family. I always craved my “alone time” and was unhappy if I didn’t get some, even while raising three children. 

So...my point being I think there’s a bit of a personality type required to maintain this business for years. I think that’s why people try it for a while, then drop out. They aren’t the “type.”

You?

Betty

 

You hit the nail on the head with me, Betty. I've always been comfortable in my own company. And when I was traveling the world, I traveled alone. But yes, I like people and am not shy or awkward with them. 

 

But not all types of photography are lonely activities. Studio work is very social. You work with a team. Working with models and doing portraits is social. I have a good friend who does those bug catalogues. That's team work. High-end food photography is team work too. 

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8 minutes ago, Ed Rooney said:

 

You hit the nail on the head with me, Betty. I've always been comfortable in my own company. And when I was traveling the world, I traveled alone. But yes, I like people and am not shy or awkward with them. 

 

But not all types of photography are lonely activities. Studio work is very social. You work with a team. Working with models and doing portraits is social. I have a good friend who does those bug catalogues. That's team work. High-end food photography is team work too. 

Very true. That’s why I don’t do professionally set-up food photography, or portraits unless it’s family, or any of those things. I don’t work well under pressure, never have. When I made good grades in school, I barely passed timed tests. My brain would freeze. The one wedding I did was a nightmare for me, and the most exhausting I thing ever did with photography. 

I’ll take stock and creative works for POD. Solitary, and the only pressure is if I put it on myself.

Edited by Betty LaRue
Typo

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43 minutes ago, Betty LaRue said:

I may be totally wrong with this thought, but here goes. I think photographers, especially stock photographers, tend to be content with their own company. I don’t mean we’re not social, or need people,  it’s only that we contemplate our day of work and are happy to go about it without saying a word to anyone all day if that’s how the day goes.

We can spend hours squirreled away, concentrating on developing and tagging without feeling lonely. Before my husband passed, I would tell him I was getting ready to work and tended to bark at him if he interrupted me with inconsequential matters too many times. It caused me to lose my train of thought, especially if I were tagging.

 

It helps to be a bit of a loner, even with a family. I always craved my “alone time” and was unhappy if I didn’t get some, even while raising three children. 

So...my point being I think there’s a bit of a personality type required to maintain this business for years. I think that’s why people try it for a while, then drop out. They aren’t the “type.”

You?

Betty

 

Yes, it's all part of neuro diversity.  When it comes to stock photography I definitely feel like a square peg in a square hole. Engaging with people isn't the easiest thing for me but photography provides a reason and framework to talk to strangers. I like it!

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I would have to sign up to this observer/outsider role. It's probably part of my personality but also there from studying the much maligned subject of sociology, and more mundanely from my interest in geography and places. I am happy in my own company but also seem to find it easy to get talking to people in pubs, shops, in the street,  and the like. I also enjoy setting my own agenda and using my own initiative.

 

Of course we all have plenty to grumble about but this is the job that I have always wanted! And I still feel very grateful to the Internet and Alamy in particular for making it possible back when I started. Before that it really was quite hard to get accepted by any agencies, and very hard indeed to get in with the good agencies. 

Edited by geogphotos

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1 hour ago, Betty LaRue said:

Very true. That’s why I don’t do professionally set-up food photography, or portraits unless it’s family, or any of those things. I don’t work well under pressure, never have. When I made good grades in school, I barely passed timed tests. My brain would freeze. The one wedding I did was a nightmare for me, and the most exhausting I thing ever did with photography. 

I’ll take stock and creative works for POD. Solitary, and the only pressure is if I put it on myself.

 

I could never do a wedding, or portraits for that matter, ,<shudder> - too many people, too much pressure. if i take 1000 images and drop my card somewhere i’ve noone to answer to except myself.

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Yeah, I can identify with this profile--definitely a loner (but married 51 years so far). 

 

Not sure that the ability to work well under pressure is relevant to whether one does stock. I've always worked very well under pressure (used to say I work only under pressure, but that gives the wrong impression).

 

The ability to work under pressure affects how I do stock photography when I'm at a site, applying self-pressure to maximize the opportunity. But we all do that.

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6 hours ago, Bill Kuta said:

Yeah, I can identify with this profile--definitely a loner (but married 51 years so far). 

 

Not sure that the ability to work well under pressure is relevant to whether one does stock. I've always worked very well under pressure (used to say I work only under pressure, but that gives the wrong impression).

 

The ability to work under pressure affects how I do stock photography when I'm at a site, applying self-pressure to maximize the opportunity. But we all do that.

The pressure I’m speaking of is other’s expectations of what I do.

For example. Years ago when I took up watercolor, I painted for myself, what I liked. The people I worked with often asked me to bring them to the office to see. I did. The doctor I worked for saw them and bought some to hang in his office. Then the patients saw them, saw my signature. Began asking me to do commission work. “ I want something that will match my new sofa” commissions.  I did a few, sweating blood the whole time. How could I possibly meet the expectations they had in their heads? For me, this was nightmare stuff.

All the joy of painting left me, and I stopped painting, because the thought of it brought the panicked feeling back.

I’ve only just now taken it up again. It was my fault for feeling flattered enough to say yes.

No more.

But yes, I can put pressure on myself to do a good job with any project I undertake, or to work a photography shoot well. But that is pleasurable, and rewarding for me.

I have a forgiving boss that gives me a pass when I screw up.

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60. The age doesn't bother me too much, but the lack of working knees does. How many shots do you take in a squatting or crouching position? Can't do it. I either stand or put one knee on the (wet/muddy/dirty/stony) ground. At the end of last year I migrated to a mirrorless camera with a flip-out screen which should give more options for viewpoint, but I'm so old-school I can never remember to use it. First camera was a Zenit B back in the mid-seventies. It was so manual you had to focus wide open then stop down to take the shot.

 

On the plus side, my sense of humour is still juvenile.

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I have the knee issue, too. Sometimes I spread my feet out wide in a half split to get me lower to the ground, but crouching down on bended knees just doesn’t work for me anymore. 

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3 hours ago, Cecile Marion said:

I spread my feet out wide in a half split to get me lower to the ground

 

SPLITS!  NNngggggg!  HELP! Get me up QUICK!

 

Allan

 

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I too regard myself as more of an introvert and a loner in many ways, happy on my own. But I too am married with children and wouldn't change that for the world.

 

8 hours ago, Betty LaRue said:

Then the patients saw them, saw my signature. Began asking me to do commission work. “ I want something that will match my new sofa” commissions.  I did a few, sweating blood the whole time. How could I possibly meet the expectations they had in their heads? For me, this was nightmare stuff.

All the joy of painting left me, and I stopped painting, because the thought of it brought the panicked feeling back.

I’ve only just now taken it up again. It was my fault for feeling flattered enough to say yes.

 

And this is exactly why I think the idea of becoming a "professional" photographer that does commissioned work might not be for me. Photography is a hobby that I enjoy, I shoot what I want, when I want and the only pressures are those I put on myself to get better. If I were to consider doing commissioned work, I fear the fun would evaporate from photography as happened to your watercolour painting.

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8 hours ago, British Gent said:

60. The age doesn't bother me too much, but the lack of working knees does. How many shots do you take in a squatting or crouching position? Can't do it. I either stand or put one knee on the (wet/muddy/dirty/stony) ground. At the end of last year I migrated to a mirrorless camera with a flip-out screen which should give more options for viewpoint, but I'm so old-school I can never remember to use it. First camera was a Zenit B back in the mid-seventies. It was so manual you had to focus wide open then stop down to take the shot.

 

On the plus side, my sense of humour is still juvenile.

 

I can shoot OK resting on one knee, but it starts getting uncomfortable if I have to wait over 5 minutes for someone to appear. If I then stood up I'd be blocking the view of a photographer behind me. If it starts getting uncomfortable I just have to grin and bear it. My Nikon's have tilt screens, useful for when you are on both knees and need to shoot really low. Last Sunday I was in a graveyard on my knees re-shooting the gravestones of some well known people, last shot long ago on a DSCR1 (Alamy non approved). No knee problems at all, may that continue.

Edited by sb photos

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