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Did I need to charter that helicopter in the Cook Islands


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There used to be a person on another forum endlessly compaining about how the fees he was getting were so low compared to how difficult and expesnive it was to take the shot.

 

I have noticed how people make similar comments - about how they did this and that, went to lots of effort, created some brillaint images - and only got paid a few cents.

 

Surely, we all know by now that it definitely isn't worth hiring the helicopter in the Cook island, or even the train fare into town.

 

We know it but we just help ourselves ( except for the helicopter bit! ) 🤪

 

It is an addiction isn't it?

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I am very careful with costs when taking images locally but am taking an expensive (for me) holiday somewhere near your neck of the woods next week.

 

Guess what! I am taking my photo kit to see if I can get some different images for Alamy and another site. So these images are going to be quite costly to obtain with no guarantee  of recovering the costs.

 

Allan

 

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I went to the Cook Islands for my own pleasure. To stand on the edge of a live volcano spewing rocks and lava past my head. Of course, I wasn't going to leave the camera behind. 

In the past, I used to research places to go for Alamy. Now it's the other way round. I go where it interests me and take my camera along.

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8 minutes ago, Inchiquin said:

I love exploring and discovering places I've not seen before, so why not just take my camera along with me?

 

Alan

 

I'm in your boat Alan (metaphorically speaking!)

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3 minutes ago, Steve F said:

 

I'm in your boat Alan (metaphorically speaking!)

 

You won't come with me on top of a volcano? 😂

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2 minutes ago, gvallee said:

 

You won't come with me on top of a volcano? 😂

 

Ha ha, I'd love to join you on a few daytrips in the outback or Cook island. Live volcano sounds a bit hardcore, I'm more used to dormant volcanoes like Vesuvius 🙃

Assuming it's low level activity though, would be great!

 

p.s. Pompeii is quite far from Vesuvius when you're looking at the horizon. I hope all the people in Naples etc. who are a lot closer have their volcano insurance 😬

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I carry a camera everywhere (within reason) as I contribute to local papers and live news, but the days off jumping into a car to get "That Shot" for Alamy have long gone, just images as I come across them these days.

 

Andy.

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11 minutes ago, Steve F said:

 

Ha ha, I'd love to join you on a few daytrips in the outback or Cook island. Live volcano sounds a bit hardcore, I'm more used to dormant volcanoes like Vesuvius 🙃

Assuming it's low level activity though, would be great!

 

p.s. Pompeii is quite far from Vesuvius when you're looking at the horizon. I hope all the people in Naples etc. who are a lot closer have their volcano insurance 😬

 

Just realized that I got mixed up. I did go to Cook Islands, but the volcano was in Vanuatu. Very much active with loud explosions shaking the ground and sending rocks past our heads while standing on the rim. Zero health and safety that's for sure. It was rather unsettling. 

 

TRH4T3.jpg

 

TRH54N.jpg

 

TRH515.jpg

 

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10 minutes ago, gvallee said:

Very much active with loud explosions shaking the ground and sending rocks past our heads while standing on the rim. Zero health and safety that's for sure. It was rather unsettling. 

 

Amazing pictures though. Yeah, looks a bit dodgy 😉

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I didn't need to leave the house for my most recently reported licence of an outside image (see 'sold in September'). Of thirty-two licences reported this month, eleven were taken locally with little or no travel costs, and a further fifteen from trips to London which isn't too expensive from here. One was from a pleasure trip to New Zealand, and three from a long drive to see my football team's trophy winning celebrations which, though costly, looks like it may well pay for itself over time even though that wasn't a factor. The final two were from sporting events with media accreditation. All-in-all not a bad return, and illustrative of what can be achieved at not great cost, but with the month looking pretty dire I'm not sure whether that's any kind of positive!

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Of my 4 sales this month, 3 of them were taken at home or in my neighborhood. 

 

Looking back at the past 10 years here, 8% of my licenses were taken in my yard, home, or neighborhood. A few required low-cost props and/or things I already had around the house. Another 11% were taken a short drive away, some at parks with a fee for parking (though since I took those pix, I'm now old enough that it's free on weekdays). Another 8% were taken in and around a beach cottage in Connecticut I own with my siblings that's 100+ miles from my home, including photos taken on day trips to Connecticut and Rhode Island tourist sites from there, some on vacation, meeting friends nearby, and some specifically just to shoot stock. So about 27% of sales for low or minimal cost. That's nearly a third.

 

15% required a plane ticket to get to the location, hotel, food, etc - California, Arizona, Nevada, Iceland, Italy, Scotland. Some paid for by assignment work and some on my own tab. 

 

The vast majority were taken on road trips of anywhere from 200-900 miles round trip, like Massachusetts, Ohio, Maryland, New Jersey, Tennessee, some requiring a hotel stay, others staying with friends or family. Some trips taken specifically for photography, including quite a few to Cape Cod (where I often had a free place to stay), on others I took pictures while on vacation. These nearby road trips often paid for themselves within a couple of years. One (when gas was cheaper and I stayed in a friend's guest room) paid for  itself with a single $$$ sale. 

 

Aside from a few trips taken prior to 2015, when I felt much more confident in my returns, my biggest expense has generally been equipment, camera gear & computer technology required to process, share, or back up my work.

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I've sold about 4 images taken from my bedroom window. I live on the 6th floor so that helps. And anything new we buy can be a prop. The Guardian used my hand on a big button phone I'd just bought. Or any old stuff we have can be used. New Scientist used my image of a collection of 1950's family BW photos for an article on genes. My 'studio' close up shots of groceries etc. have had no sales so I have not pursued that, though I see here that some have success with images of tablets and similar.

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I've just relocated to the UK, bought myself a vintage convertible car, and every day I'm motoring off somewhere new with camera in hand and loving every minute of it. Both the driving and new environment are delightful.

 

That's the good news. The bad news is my computer, and indeed all my possessions, are still on the boat coming over from my last overseas home and no sign yet when they'll arrive. As such, loads of images to process and no way to do it. Still, with winter arriving (and hopefully my gear) I've plenty to keep me occupied in the coming dreary months. In between a few sales are coming through and some at acceptable figures so I guess it ain't all bad.

 

 

Edited by ReeRay
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22 minutes ago, CarloBo said:

Can you imagine renting a helicopter (500$ for 15 minutes in Hong Kong last time I was there) and then selling images  for 0.00$ a pop?😂

 

I used an extreme example of hiring a helicopter but the general point is the same - that should we decide to incur expenses/effort in taking photos we really should by now know  what the likely fees are going to be. It is our choice.

 

 

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Last year (or was it the year before?), the Queensland government gave people the chance to enter a lottery earning vouchers to spend on a tourist attraction to try and kick off tourism after Covid lockdowns. We won. We chose a helicopter flight to a nearby tropical island. Of course it cost us money but how could we turn down the opportunity. I'm still waiting for the sales...

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I did actually sell an image of Manchester United FC ground taken from a helicopter. But I paid for it as a treat for me and a friend. Short fun flights can be affordable.

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