Ed Rooney

Access is King

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Assuming that an Alamy contributor owns a good enough kit, knows how to take pictures, knows how to do basic PP, and understands keywording, the thing that will make a serious different in trying to create and sell stock images is . . . access. I mean all kinds of access. 

 

Money can mean access. Traveling for your day job can mean access. Knowing someone who lives in a skyscraper with a unique view of Big Ben or the Colosseum or the new World Trade Center can mean access. Being a pal of Steven Spielberg or Vladimir Putin can mean access. 

 

Do you have access? What do you think about this?  :huh:

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I think you are spot on with your thoughts Ed.

 

Unfortunately I do not have access. :(

 

Allan

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Begging your pardon, Allan -- you have access to the great university city of Cambridge.  ;)

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Edo, I agree entirely. It is also what Rohn Engh was preaching decades ago, it has not changed.

Most, if not all, of us have access to somebody, something or somewhere; or at least can create that opportunity. Even if it is our own jobs, employers, hobbies and groups to which we belong (community, voluntary, sporting or whatever). We just need to see and work at the opportunities they present. They will have different levels of commercial value, but they will all have some value and give the photographer a profile that may lead to further access.

Success is not simply about the big blockbuster picture. Let's face it, as far as landscapes, cities, locations etc are concerned they have been done (at least in a straighforward way) and nowadays local photographers are better placed to get the best results. Diigital makes it possible for them to reach a global market.

Often all we need to do to get access is ask, especially if we understand what will be in it (not necessarily financial but also intangible benefits publicity etc) for the person or group giving access.

 

The grass is  not always greener on the other side of the hill.

Edited by Martin P Wilson
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Begging your pardon, Allan -- you have access to the great university city of Cambridge.  ;)

 

 

You are right Ed, along with a lot of others. :(

 

You have Access to New York and I would love to photograph that city but access is closed to me. (Not saying why).

 

I was thinking along the lines of more exclusive or specialised contacts/access. B)

 

Allan

Edited by Allan Bell

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Access is huge! My highest grossing shoot is a direct result of getting access to a place few others have had access to.

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When I see great work from landscape, and even urban, photographers I realise that their access is available to all of us. So often, it just means getting off our backside and getting to a location close to home at some unearthly hour and being patient. Or being willing to spend hours trekking to the right spot (perhaps in the dark, cold and wet) in the anticipation, and hope, that everything will come together for the perfect picture. It is much the same for other genres.

 

I suspect if I spent a month in New York I would not produce the quality of work that Edo does. He knows the city intimately, where and when he will find the picturesque, the striking, the unusual and the news worthy. I am trying to the same with my own hometown, there may not be the same demand as for New York but I understand it and can get there whenever the time is right, even at 4am if necessary! That is part of my photography plans for 2016.

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I think you are spot on with your thoughts Ed.

 

Unfortunately I do not have access. :(

 

Allan

 

But you can! You have a mouth. Open it and ask  ;)

Think about projects, contact people and ask permission to shoot in reportage style 

Little tip: shoot with your biggest camera and a 70-200/2.8 (among other lenses) do NOT use a Sony RX100  ^_^

 

Cheers,

Philippe

 

 

Edo truly is spot on . . . as is Phillipe.

 

My experience over many years bears this out, and I have often commented on this here . . . carrying a large DSLR with (to a layperson) a large, expensive looking lens, opens more opportunities to priveleged access than I could poke a stick at. Doors open, good vantage spots are offered, and even assistance is given to what folk perceive to be a "professional" photographer, purely on the basis of carrying a big camera.

 

Long live big DSLRs :-)

 

dd

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Ask for permission...

Trespass (my favourite :ph34r: )...

Get a letter from client, publisher, etc, saying you're shooting for an important project... and need access...

Forget about what you can't do... look forward to what you can...

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Access is not just about the physical. The access to knowledge can give one a huge advantage. One of the biggest advantages of my degree has been that I have a bunch of chums with knowledge of certain subjects and can introduce me to new subject matter.

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Ask for permission...

Trespass (my favourite :ph34r: )...

Get a letter from client, publisher, etc, saying you're shooting for an important project... and need access...

Forget about what you can't do... look forward to what you can...

 

A  pertinent quote from my management career: "it is often easier to apologise than get permission". In other words just do it and then apologise if you have to! I ssuccessfully ran many major projects on that basis.

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Philippe said: Little tip: shoot with your biggest camera and a 70-200/2.8 (among other lenses) do NOT use a Sony RX100   ^_^

 

A couple years ago I paid my usual few dollars to get into the big county fair. I was standing in turn 1 of the horse races and shooting away at the trotters and pacers (harness racing). Some of these shots do appear on Alamy. The starting gate truck had started a race and came to a stop at the outside of the track near my fence. I was slightly miffed that I lost a few shots with my Canon DSLR and fancy big white lens. That was until the starter guy on the truck yelled and asked if I wanted to ride the truck for a race and take a few pics. I about lost my britches trying to untangle the tripod hanging on my belt so I could run to the truck. My assistant (wife) took care of the kit while I got a fun ride with a camera.

 

There are times when a big kit is useful and there are times a smaller "hidden" kit is useful.

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Ask for permission...

Trespass (my favourite :ph34r: )...

Get a letter from client, publisher, etc, saying you're shooting for an important project... and need access...

Forget about what you can't do... look forward to what you can...

 

A  pertinent quote from my management career: "it is often easier to apologise than get permission". In other words just do it and then apologise if you have to! I ssuccessfully ran many major projects on that basis.

 

 

"Shoot now and ask questions later" has always been my philosophy. So far, so good...

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Plus 1 Edo.

 
Too many general, easy access, stock photography shots in the marketplace. Difficult access shots are king.
 
Our personal lives, and interests, are easy access for ourselves, but difficult for others.
 
Shoot your personal life and interests, no matter how obscure.
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I agree. But it's worth giving some thought to whether you have unique access to something you hadn't realised. 

I have an impressive collection of Harry Potter books in foreign languages.

It took me a while to get round to photographing them, but I have and have done very well with the results, including one in a United Nations report on multi-culturalism. 

Think about everything you have access to, not just places or people, and see if anyone else on Alamy has photographed them.

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Plus 1 Edo.

 
Too many general, easy access, stock photography shots in the marketplace. Difficult access shots are king.
 
Our personal lives, and interests, are easy access for ourselves, but difficult for others.
 
Shoot your personal life and interests, no matter how obscure.

 

 

Interesting point, Bill. I'd say that most of my best-selling images have been ones that reflect my personal interests. Only we have unrestricted access to our inner worlds, which is a good thing oftentimes.

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My easy accesses are: African Gray parrots. Not everybody has access to them.

 

Babies/toddlers in my family. Although they don't live near me, so access is sporadic. I went through a dry spell when we had none, but they are coming at a regular rate now. I'm going to a baby shower this month, in fact. 160 miles away.

 

Examining rooms while I'm left alone waiting for a doctor. (Spy cameras that tuck into my handbag)

 

Things I wish and possibly could get access to:

Nursing homes and the people who live there.

Schools and students in class, I doubt this could happen with all the bad things that are happening these days. Thought: offer to take free images for them if allowed access for my own images!!

 

The main thing is to give your image desires some thought, then get up off your duff and do something about it. The worst that can happen is to be told no. Although My feelings bruise easily!!

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Only we have unrestricted access to our inner worlds, which is a good thing oftentimes.

 

 

 

Right you are John. 

 
I was recently doing some personal interest, recreational reading, about retribution for evil. It triggered accessed to this illustration from the depths of my subconscious.
 
Concept of “Though the Mills of God grind slowly; yet they grind exceedingly small”. Slow but certain retribution for evil
 
It is our lives and our minds, that give us access to the unusual.
 
concept-of-though-the-mills-of-god-grind
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 I would say 'Access is Queen' and since when has that not been so? 

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Long live big DSLRs :-)

 

 

Yep.

 

Alan

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Get a letter from client, publisher, etc, saying you're shooting for an important project... and need access...

 

 

Don't even bother with the letter. Just say you're shooting for an important project. If it's not true then you're not valuing yourself as a photographer sufficiently.

 

Alan

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