Jump to content
Essexps

How do you decide where to go for Stock?

Recommended Posts

1 minute ago, geogphotos said:

No I need the money to live on alright. I'm just not a trained professional photographer.

 

It's interesting question as to what counts as a "professional photographer'. Do you really need a qualification to be a professional photographer or does simply having your primary/a livable income coming from photography count?  I am totally sure that qualifications help.. in terms of technique and getting accreditation to gain access to the best income streams that photography can provide. But I'm also sure that there are professional photographers out the who don't have any photography training or accreditation but make a living through self-taught skills, hard work, the right attitude and a bit of luck!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Currently for me sales are roughly 60/40, travel images/local images

 

I'd like to invert that 60/40 ratio. I'm discovering that it ain't easy. However, not that long ago the ratio was about 75/25, travel/local.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, John Mitchell said:

Currently for me sales are roughly 60/40, travel images/local images

 

I'd like to invert that 60/40 ratio. I'm discovering that it ain't easy. However, not that long ago the ratio was about 75/25, travel/local.

 

Out of curiosity, how do you think your portfolio matches up in terms of % local vs % travel?

 

I guess where 'local' is for an individual also plays a part. For me 'local' is in the UK. And as Alamy is UK based with a predominantly UK and North American customer base, this probably gives me an advantage over someone who maybe lives in Asia. For example, if I take a picture of a local school and 6 months later it burns down, the UK media might buy my picture of the school to show what the school used to look like before it burnt down. If a photographer in Asia takes a picture of a school and it burns down.. well, the UK press are unlikely to care.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I sometimes travel for personal reasons, and I always take a camera along to shoot some stock. No stock photo budget needed, as I am going anyway.

 

However most of my everyday stock shooting is within a days drive (200 KL) of my house. Some of it within 10 KL.

  • Upvote 1
  • Downvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Matt Ashmore said:

 

Out of curiosity, how do you think your portfolio matches up in terms of % local vs % travel?

 

I guess where 'local' is for an individual also plays a part. For me 'local' is in the UK. And as Alamy is UK based with a predominantly UK and North American customer base, this probably gives me an advantage over someone who maybe lives in Asia. For example, if I take a picture of a local school and 6 months later it burns down, the UK media might buy my picture of the school to show what the school used to look like before it burnt down. If a photographer in Asia takes a picture of a school and it burns down.. well, the UK press are unlikely to care.

 

I'd say the correlation is pretty close -- i.e. my collection is probably about 60% travel and 40% local at this point. Haven't done the exact math, though.

 

I get very few UK sales.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, arterra said:

 

  • You live solely from your photography >>> professional
  • You have another (main) job but have also substantial earnings with your photography and need a VAT number (and whatever is needed in your country to sell legally) >>> semi-professional
  • You occasionally sell a picture >>>> amateur / hobbyist 

I'm a self-taught photographer and NOT ONCE did I get the question whether or not I'm qualified. Clients look at photographers' work, not their diplomas. 

 

Cheers,

Philippe

 

I agree with your definitions Philippe, except to note that in the UK at least, being registered for a VAT number is not mandatory, unless your turnover exceeds a certain amount (£85,000 at the moment I think). I am some little way off that, as yet. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've never made a journey just for stock, though many for events with the intention of Live News with an eye to bolt-on sometimes large numbers of stock. Being quite close to London it's an attractive proposition to travel for even the smallest event whilst building up the stock numbers. Clearly London gets quite a lot of coverage but my sales give evidence to the idea that customers will look for the latest image of the subject. Same with holidays and other family events; going there anyway, may as well shoot what's there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just take my camera with me everywhere I go which isn't easy since it's a bulky d800 with 24-70 lens. Even sometimes to the supermarket for some random editorials!

 

Otherwise, I get on my bike and go on some nice biking trails in northern Italy, so it's combining some leisure time with (hopefully) some income. 

 

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, Matt Ashmore said:

 

It's interesting question as to what counts as a "professional photographer'. Do you really need a qualification to be a professional photographer or does simply having your primary/a livable income coming from photography count?  I am totally sure that qualifications help.. in terms of technique and getting accreditation to gain access to the best income streams that photography can provide. But I'm also sure that there are professional photographers out the who don't have any photography training or accreditation but make a living through self-taught skills, hard work, the right attitude and a bit of luck!

 

I'm a professional and I've never had a lesson in my life.  100% of my income comes from photography, hence I'm a pro. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I always carry a camera. You never know when opportunities can present themselves. For specific stock shoots, I am a compulsive planner. I target specific subjects/themes and plan a route accordingly so I achieve my targets and no journey is wasted. From my point of view, I just can't go out to shoot stock by starting out not knowing what I am going to do. It wastes too much time and don't we just need the time for post processing and tagging!. Travel costs don't concern me that much as they are booked as an operating expenditure on the annual tax return.

Jim :)

   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, John Mitchell said:

 

The thing is that there are now lots of photographers in those 'off the beaten track' places to compete with, and they know their countries really well.

 

Just sayin' -- not trying to spoil your travel plans. B)

Don't I know it.  Of course much the same could be said about most any subject under heaven.  Nothing is totally off the path trod before.

 

We all need to keep an eye on local opportunities, but I admit that going somewhere new, with camera in hand for the purpose of getting pictures really gets my creative juices flowing in a way that doesn't happen when running around my home turf.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Reimar said:

Don't I know it.  Of course much the same could be said about most any subject under heaven.  Nothing is totally off the path trod before.

 

We all need to keep an eye on local opportunities, but I admit that going somewhere new, with camera in hand for the purpose of getting pictures really gets my creative juices flowing in a way that doesn't happen when running around my home turf.

 

Yes, I feel the same way. I need to go somewhere every now and then in order to get re-inspired. I just don't expect the images that I come home with from one of these "working vacations" to ever pay for the trip, or even come close to doing so.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/29/2017 at 22:44, Matt Ashmore said:

 

It's interesting question as to what counts as a "professional photographer'. Do you really need a qualification to be a professional photographer or does simply having your primary/a livable income coming from photography count?  I am totally sure that qualifications help.. in terms of technique and getting accreditation to gain access to the best income streams that photography can provide. But I'm also sure that there are professional photographers out the who don't have any photography training or accreditation but make a living through self-taught skills, hard work, the right attitude and a bit of luck!

 

If all or a substantial part of your income is from photography you are a pro, whatever your training. 

I never trained in or studied photography - all trial and error and occasional bit of advice from people. I doubt there are many people on here with a photography degree (I may be wrong)

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Phil Robinson said:

 

If all or a substantial part of your income is from photography you are a pro, whatever your training. 

I never trained in or studied photography - all trial and error and occasional bit of advice from people. I doubt there are many people on here with a photography degree (I may be wrong)

 

 

 

The only person I know with  photography degree is a primary school teacher! :-)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Phil Robinson said:

 

If all or a substantial part of your income is from photography you are a pro, whatever your training. 

I never trained in or studied photography - all trial and error and occasional bit of advice from people. I doubt there are many people on here with a photography degree (I may be wrong)

 

 

 

I've always thought of a professional photographer as being someone who makes his or her living entirely from photography. This definition leaves me out as I have always cobbled together a living from teaching, freelance writing and photography. I have taken photography courses at the community college level, but that was eons ago in film days. Actually, most of what I know about digital photography has been learned from all the knowledgeable people on this forum.

Edited by John Mitchell

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For me being a professional is also about attitude and approach, the need to learn constantly and to bring "professionalism" into all aspect of one's work. That means the business side as much as the art and craft of photorgraphy. That includes, amongst other things, understanding the technology and how to use it. If you have to ask about basic technical matters (size or sharpness of an image) you are not, yet perhaps, truly professional even if all your income comes from photography.

 

I have met full time photographers (and in other fields) who I would not regard as "professional", and many part-timers, in many fields, who are highly professional.

Edited by Martin P Wilson
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, Martin P Wilson said:

For me being a professional is also about attitude and approach, the need to learn constantly and to bring "professionalism" into all aspect of one's work. That means the business side as much as the art and craft of photorgraphy. That includes, amongst other things, understanding the technology and how to use it. If you have to ask about basic technical matters (size or sharpness of an image) you are not, yet perhaps, truly professional even if all your income comes from photography.

 

I have met full time photographers (and in other fields) who I would not regard as "professional", and many part-timers, in many fields, who are highly professional.

 

That's true, not all professionals have a professional attitude. This holds true for most lines of work.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

With today's low stock prices (and you only get 50% of that, at best), IMO it's crazy to do stock specific photo trips. All my stock photography is done "incidentally", either when I'm on a photo assignment or when guiding a photo tour, or just when I happen to be somewhere else with a camera.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Last year I went to Prague for a few days, mostly for a break and to visit friends, but of course I spent the time taking photos.

The trip probably cost about £400 altogether.

In the last year I have made just over £100 from photos I took there.

That's a return of about 25%. 

I admit most of that money came from one advertising sale, but it's a better return than I would have got by putting the money in the bank.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Phil Robinson said:

Last year I went to Prague for a few days, mostly for a break and to visit friends, but of course I spent the time taking photos.

The trip probably cost about £400 altogether.

In the last year I have made just over £100 from photos I took there.

That's a return of about 25%. 

I admit most of that money came from one advertising sale, but it's a better return than I would have got by putting the money in the bank.

 

I've made budget trips to Latin America that have paid for themselves several times over. However, it has taken years, even decades in some cases.

 

Totally different situation now, though...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Phil Robinson said:

Last year I went to Prague for a few days, mostly for a break and to visit friends, but of course I spent the time taking photos.

The trip probably cost about £400 altogether.

In the last year I have made just over £100 from photos I took there.

That's a return of about 25%. 

I admit most of that money came from one advertising sale, but it's a better return than I would have got by putting the money in the bank.

Hey Phil.  I can double that return.  Never mind the banks.

Give me 400, and I'll give you back 200!

(just kidding - I'd love to go to Prague)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
32 minutes ago, Reimar said:

Hey Phil.  I can double that return.  Never mind the banks.

Give me 400, and I'll give you back 200!

(just kidding - I'd love to go to Prague)

If you make that 200 a year for the next five years, you're on.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The farthest I will go for stock is the park 20 min from here. Seriously it does not pay off. 

 

Now if I go somewhere, on vacation, for fun, on a hike, then I take the camera and shoot. 

Edited by AlessandraRC

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.