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Most types of the photography that we do fall into one or more of these general categories. I’ve worked in all of them, except maybe Art. But . . . I try to put some art in all my images.

 

These days, in retirement, I shoot only common-access editorial stock; I’m no longer building a career. I think that Stock may be as much or more interesting as any type of photography I’ve ever been involved with.

 

Which of these categories interest you most?

 

Edo

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I got into stock photography as a retirement avocation--started planning and gearing up in the late 1990's. What appealed (and still does) is the chance to make a little money (although "little" is becoming a bigger factor) while shooting photos, which I have been enjoying since the 1960's, with a large degree of freedom. I'm still enjoying the whole stockosphere, including this forum.

 

Along the way, I got to experience submitting slides, then digitizing slides, then the digital epiphany. Tried a variety of stock sites, most of which have disappeared. Alamy is the last one standing for me. 

 

Have never really done assignments or news. 

 

Apparently I too put some art into some of my stock photos, since the 15% of my stock that I put on FAA have made more than my Alamy portfolio this year (am having a down year here).

Edited by Bill Kuta
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Bill, your comments made me wonder. My stock is exclusive to Alamy. Although I have some images on FAA, I've not had a sale there in ages. My collection's subject matter does not lend itself to on-the-wall pics. But . . . can I sell an image for personal use there that I have on Alamy. ???

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My interest is art, but not for Alamy. Subjects that lend themselves to creating something artistic are flowers, birds, butterflies, tree shapes and landscapes, usually with an old house or barn in it.

I do upload these subjects as straight photographs to Alamy, but only occasionally have one license except the plants/flowers, which do ok here. They do much better on FFA when I’ve applied artistic applications to them. Textures, painting apps and such.
 

What I do here is mostly like an everyday job in the real world, a bit uninspiring, although I always take care and spend time on each and every image. It’s the artistic stuff that gets my juices flowing.

I have no interest at all in chasing around for news. I don’t feel safe enough for some of it, or have the energy for the rest.

I’ve done a tiny bit of assignments and didn’t like it. I’m too much of a free spirit and I don’t handle expectations well. That takes away 100 percent any enjoyment for me.

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Thanks, Betty.

 

Didn't get rich, but I made a good living doing assignments. With digital, travel marketing has moved almost totally into stock. Anyway, I'm done with assignments and done with news. I just deleted all the pics I had on FAA, so I guess I'm done with Art too.  

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Hi Edo, I do not do assignments or live news. Stock for Alamy and am now dabbling with art for P4M.

 

Best

 

Allan

 

I am not in either to make a fortune🤪 but they give me an interest in life.

 

ITMA

 

Edited by Allan Bell
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23 minutes ago, Ed Rooney said:

Thanks, Betty.

 

Didn't get rich, but I made a good living doing assignments. With digital, travel marketing has moved almost totally into stock. Anyway, I'm done with assignments and done with news. I just deleted all the pics I had on FAA, so I guess I'm done with Art too.  

When I first joined FAA, I uploaded straight photography. They just sat there. It was only when I did artistic things to them that I had success. Since you’re not into that, I can understand your getting out. As far as travel goes, I’m sitting here with no glorious scenery to shoot. No mountains, oceans, mesas, deserts. Just blah. Not even pretty lakes here.

I doubt I’ll be getting to do much, if any, travel. The mountains are closest, but my heart won’t take the altitude anymore. Barely survived it in my 40s. I love mountains. Sigh. Getting old isn’t for the faint-hearted.

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For me, it is assignments and stock.  Most of my photo assignments are for regional monthly or bi-monthly magazines, I have four magazines who use me on a regular basis and that's what takes up most of my time and pays my bills.  Some of that work ends up as stock and I do go out to shoot stock as well but not as much as I should or used to...I do enjoy it even though the returns have been diminishing, as well know too well.  I have never done the daily news type of photojournalism, I was never quick enough on my feet, I would have missed too many important shots.  I do better with planned shoots with cooperative subjects.  While I enjoy an occasional "celebrity" shoot, I don't like the pressure of having to get a great shot in 15 minutes or less.  Looking back, I am amazed that I have eked out a living.  Since I was 20, the only job I had was working for another photographer for a few years.  He was a studio photographer (where I learned to work with larger strobe lights) and I knew from those few years that I did not want to have an expensive studio, I wanted to be free to travel and take photos wherever I can.  It's worked out pretty well. 

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2 hours ago, Ed Rooney said:

Those mags are lucky to have you, Michael.  🙂


Thanks Edo.  I am very aware that there are young, eager and talented photographers who would love to get my work, so I am very grateful each and every assignment that comes my way. I can’t take it for granted.  

 

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In response to your post or question Edo?

 

I came out of over 30 years of assignment (mostly national and international consumer and news magazine) and large annual report photography, not many companies doing those anymore.  Even though we both worked with Tony Stone, I do not think in terms of "Stock Photography or Stock Images"

 

I was never a "wire or daily newspaper photographer"  I tend to think in terms of images that illustrate ongoing issues and people who contribute to them.  While I have worked with too many agencies to list around the world, just left one I've worked with for over 30 years.  I've been very happy with Alamy and except for ONE BIG ISSUE we had last year or was it the year before?  I continue to be very happy with Alamy.

 

In answer to your original question, guess I went off on a tangent, my images are 95% related to "News"  I still do some commissioned work, mostly executive portraits, but I am not interested in doing assignment work anymore, I have too many things going on to be "on call."  Never even thought of "Art."

 

Are you ill Edo?

 

All the best,

 

Chuck

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9 hours ago, Ed Rooney said:

Bill, your comments made me wonder. My stock is exclusive to Alamy. Although I have some images on FAA, I've not had a sale there in ages. My collection's subject matter does not lend itself to on-the-wall pics. But . . . can I sell an image for personal use there that I have on Alamy. ???

 

Edo, this is from the sticky topic "The importance of being accurate when marking images as exclusive to Alamy": 

 

You can sell your images on a personal print site (without a stock licencing option) and still mark these as exclusive to Alamy. Selling prints and stock licences on your own website is also fine.

 

Although FAA does have a stock licensing option (do they still?), I take the above to mean that if I am opted out of the stock licensing on FAA, I can have images there and still have those images exclusive on Alamy.  That's what I'm doing.

 

And yeah, my sales on FAA have historically been pretty slow and minimal, but they seem to be taking off a little this year, through no new action of my own.

Edited by Bill Kuta
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Thanks, Bill--I had some of that memory. Anyway, I've removed what I had on FAA.

 

"Are you ill Edo?
 
All the best,
 
Chuck"

 

I broke my arm. call it what you will. 

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I agree that stock photography is an interesting pursuit most of the time. I see it as an extension of my interest in education, even if I'm only educating myself a lot of the time. 🙃

 

Art? Do we really have a choice as to whether or not something we create, including a photograph, becomes art? Somehow I don't think so. True art has life of its own.

Edited by John Mitchell
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8 hours ago, Michael Ventura said:

For me, it is assignments and stock.  Most of my photo assignments are for regional monthly or bi-monthly magazines, I have four magazines who use me on a regular basis and that's what takes up most of my time and pays my bills.  Some of that work ends up as stock and I do go out to shoot stock as well but not as much as I should or used to...I do enjoy it even though the returns have been diminishing, as well know too well.  I have never done the daily news type of photojournalism, I was never quick enough on my feet, I would have missed too many important shots.  I do better with planned shoots with cooperative subjects.  While I enjoy an occasional "celebrity" shoot, I don't like the pressure of having to get a great shot in 15 minutes or less.  Looking back, I am amazed that I have eked out a living.  Since I was 20, the only job I had was working for another photographer for a few years.  He was a studio photographer (where I learned to work with larger strobe lights) and I knew from those few years that I did not want to have an expensive studio, I wanted to be free to travel and take photos wherever I can.  It's worked out pretty well. 

 

You are excellent at both, Michael. You have a real gift for photographing people. They obviously feel very at ease with you.

 

I used to get assignments to write articles and take photos to illustrate them, which I really enjoyed. However, I have to say that writing tends to be much more work than photography, and the pay for freelance writing usually sucks.

Edited by John Mitchell
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I hope your arm heals quickly, Edo. 
 

For me, news has turned into my first love.  I like the thrill of racing to to be the first at the scene of a story and trying to get the pics out quickly. I really enjoy driving round looking for stories to shoot, which is where around 80% of my success comes from. The most important thing I’ve learnt is knowing what sells, although sometimes none of my pics from a shoot get published!
 

I get a few assignments, mainly from my local papers, which I don’t take for granted.  I know how lucky I am to receive them and never turn them down.  I sometimes get assignments from other sources which again, is brilliant. 
 

I occasionally shoot stock when I’m plodding around but not so much now.  Other stuff I do is commercial, events (not during C19) and teaching, although that’s dried up due to COVID.
 

I don’t do art, there’s not an artistic bone in my body!  

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46 minutes ago, Colblimp said:

I hope your arm heals quickly, Edo. 
 

For me, news has turned into my first love.  I like the thrill of racing to to be the first at the scene of a story and trying to get the pics out quickly. I really enjoy driving round looking for stories to shoot, which is where around 80% of my success comes from. The most important thing I’ve learnt is knowing what sells, although sometimes none of my pics from a shoot get published!
 

I get a few assignments, mainly from my local papers, which I don’t take for granted.  I know how lucky I am to receive them and never turn them down.  I sometimes get assignments from other sources which again, is brilliant. 
 

I occasionally shoot stock when I’m plodding around but not so much now.  Other stuff I do is commercial, events (not during C19) and teaching, although that’s dried up due to COVID.
 

I don’t do art, there’s not an artistic bone in my body!  

 

Good on you for doing what you love Andy and making the most of it. You have some really nice people images in your Alamy collection and it shows you have good rapport with people which requires good interpersonal skills and being able to engage positively with people. I'd love to get more interactive people shots and I love people but I'm a bit on the shy side, so need to build up confidence in that area.

 

As for me, I suppose I was kind of art oriented before doing stock as I was into landscape and nature images and wanting to capture the beauty of those things. Since starting doing stock photography my scope has widened a lot, and I'm obviously thinking more now about images that may be useful for buyers for a range of purposes. I've never done assignments or news. The idea of assignments does kind of appeal to me because I like the challenge of meeting a brief, but at the same time I'm also a bit of a free spirit so would probably prefer briefs that were not too prescriptive with some room for interpretation (but in the real world probably can't be too fussy there 🙃 ). I haven't done news and life has had too many limitations in recent years to get out and do that sort of thing, but hoping to have fewer life pressures in the future so that I might be able to do at least some news.

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I painfully recall making presentations to picture researchers and editors fresh out of art college. I had some nice attractive well shot transparencies to show. They viewed politely and made nice murmerings,then came the total put-down: Arty-farty photography. Crushed! But they were right, I had not demonstrated any ability to follow a brief, so I wasn't getting any commissions. So to get on track I had to stop flogging that aspect and show I could produce the goods before I got any work. It was a hard lesson. Years later in the travel brochure sector, I found myself doing a lot of re-shoots where other photographers had brought back unsatisfactory work. I was never advised of that but it soon became apparent. They had not followed the brief, and I was in the position of being reliable Bob. Not what I wanted, but I did get a lot of work and eventually was able to charge pretty well what I wanted (within reason) because I was a safe pair of hands. Put in a few flourishes here and there to keep myself sane . Some of those were so far off piste that they were diverted to stock. Speaking of off-piste, I was reasonable on a pair of skies when most of the competition weren't so I got a lot of work in the winter-sports market. I sometimes dwell on the idea of how much I would have welcomed Photoshop back then when I was tasked with shooting hotels which weren't quite finished.

 

Never liked news photography, got pushed around by too many aggressive togs, and news editors were not the nicest bunch as a rule.  

 

Back when Macleans Mag was every other week I did several jobs in the UK in the days of shipping film but when they went weekly things moved a bit towards hard news and there just wasn't time to ship transparencies. That would be less of a problem in this digital age. Oh, and the new editor was not a fan of anything British Not everybody in Canada is an Anglophile.

Edited by Robert M Estall
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9 hours ago, Sally R said:

 

Good on you for doing what you love Andy and making the most of it. You have some really nice people images in your Alamy collection and it shows you have good rapport with people which requires good interpersonal skills and being able to engage positively with people. I'd love to get more interactive people shots and I love people but I'm a bit on the shy side, so need to build up confidence in that area.

 

As for me, I suppose I was kind of art oriented before doing stock as I was into landscape and nature images and wanting to capture the beauty of those things. Since starting doing stock photography my scope has widened a lot, and I'm obviously thinking more now about images that may be useful for buyers for a range of purposes. I've never done assignments or news. The idea of assignments does kind of appeal to me because I like the challenge of meeting a brief, but at the same time I'm also a bit of a free spirit so would probably prefer briefs that were not too prescriptive with some room for interpretation (but in the real world probably can't be too fussy there 🙃 ). I haven't done news and life has had too many limitations in recent years to get out and do that sort of thing, but hoping to have fewer life pressures in the future so that I might be able to do at least some news.

Hey Sally, thanks for your kind words!

 

I'm actually quite shy, but when I'm in work mode that kind of disappears, especially if the pressure's on to get sellable pics.  You should try news, perhaps soft stories at first to get a handle of stuff.  If you've any questions, send me an email, although there are far better press shooters than me on here.

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I've done all four to varying degrees.

 

I originally shot art for myself - took darkroom classes at ICP while I was practicing law in Manhattan because I needed the creative break from my day job. When I left law to work as a freelance writer, though I was mostly doing corporate and marketing communications, I also wrote for local and regional publications was asked to illustrate my articles, then started getting hired to also shoot other articles, got some covers for a local magazine, then local businesses started hiring me. Along the way I learned about stock, which I also license directly. 

 

I don't do a lot of breaking news assignments, mostly lifestyle assignments, architecture & I've also done portraits and a few parties (my least favorite - I love people but I find shooting a party means way more post-processing than I want since it requires making everyone in every photo look their best). I like post processing my landscape images to bring out the best in them, but I hate post-processing portraits, though a couple of friends have said I have a real talent for making people look their best. 

 

Art is my real love and for the past few years it has earned me more than all my stock sites combined, selling on FAA and other platforms as well as via galleries as I've shown my work in a lot of local juried shows. My art income has doubled each year without my doing very much. With Covid, I'm not making as much as I was before, but it has been my best source of income since assignments have dried up due to the pandemic. As a result, I'm seeing art photography not so much as an indulgence anymore but instead as a much more recession and pandemic proof outlet. As a result,  I am looking into ways to do more with it.

 

My art photography is mostly black and white which you can see here if you wish, the only post processing being in SilverEffex Pro to bring out as much as I can. My silver gelatin prints on Ilford paper look like they came from a darkroom. Black and white has always been my first love but I also show and sell a lot of my travel images, many of the same ones I license here, as prints on FAA and through local and regional juried shows. I have done some "mixed media" work as well, combining my own textures with images I've shot and drawing with my Wacom tablet, but I rarely use the PS "art" filters, going mostly for a much edgier and unique feel. 

Edited by Marianne
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On 01/12/2020 at 14:45, Michael Ventura said:

For me, it is assignments and stock.  Most of my photo assignments are for regional monthly or bi-monthly magazines, I have four magazines who use me on a regular basis and that's what takes up most of my time and pays my bills.  Some of that work ends up as stock and I do go out to shoot stock as well but not as much as I should or used to...I do enjoy it even though the returns have been diminishing, as well know too well.  I have never done the daily news type of photojournalism, I was never quick enough on my feet, I would have missed too many important shots.  I do better with planned shoots with cooperative subjects.  While I enjoy an occasional "celebrity" shoot, I don't like the pressure of having to get a great shot in 15 minutes or less.  Looking back, I am amazed that I have eked out a living.  Since I was 20, the only job I had was working for another photographer for a few years.  He was a studio photographer (where I learned to work with larger strobe lights) and I knew from those few years that I did not want to have an expensive studio, I wanted to be free to travel and take photos wherever I can.  It's worked out pretty well. 

Another free spirit, I expect. 😊

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7 hours ago, Colblimp said:

Hey Sally, thanks for your kind words!

 

I'm actually quite shy, but when I'm in work mode that kind of disappears, especially if the pressure's on to get sellable pics.  You should try news, perhaps soft stories at first to get a handle of stuff.  If you've any questions, send me an email, although there are far better press shooters than me on here.

You remind me of me in a whole different way. Your shyness vs my fear.   I’m terrified of spiders but put a camera with a macro lens at my face and I can get closer than I ever imagined I could. Weird how that works.

APGMAM.jpg

Edited by Betty LaRue
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Definitely Art for me, though I spent a number of years doing horse shows. That was quite enjoyable for awhile but I'm too darn old to stand ten hours ringside anymore! Stock is new for me but I'm trying to move in that direction. It's not easy for me, as I am socially awkward so people shots are difficult. I'm hoping to build up a portfolio of plants and gardening sorts of shots (I'm learning some Latin that way!). I do have some work on FAA. Need to build that portfolio up just as I do here. My favorite type of Art is ICM, which works well for me since my old eyes aren't working quite as well anymore :-)

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1 hour ago, KellyC said:

Definitely Art for me, though I spent a number of years doing horse shows. That was quite enjoyable for awhile but I'm too darn old to stand ten hours ringside anymore! Stock is new for me but I'm trying to move in that direction. It's not easy for me, as I am socially awkward so people shots are difficult. I'm hoping to build up a portfolio of plants and gardening sorts of shots (I'm learning some Latin that way!). I do have some work on FAA. Need to build that portfolio up just as I do here. My favorite type of Art is ICM, which works well for me since my old eyes aren't working quite as well anymore 🙂

Nice flowers. I suggest you put the scientific name in your caption, also, I see you have them in your tags. Most important tags should be both places. Many times, my plants that are zoomed were searched by scientific name, not the common name. Putting them both places makes them stronger in searches.

mumble...need to check mine again....practice what you preach, Betty...

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47 minutes ago, Betty LaRue said:

Nice flowers. I suggest you put the scientific name in your caption, also, I see you have them in your tags. Most important tags should be both places. Many times, my plants that are zoomed were searched by scientific name, not the common name. Putting them both places makes them stronger in searches.

mumble...need to check mine again....practice what you preach, Betty...

Excellent advice Betty--Thank you!!

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