Discussion in 'Weekly Poll' started by Chrissie_Lay, Nov 8, 2016.
Take part and cast your vote on the AP poll - Have you ever submitted images to a stock library?
This is one of those things that I keep meaning to do, but never seem to get around to.
Far too many, a fool's errand.
You can make money more quickly stacking supermarket shelves.
Nevertheless I can't kick the habit.....
Maybe 5 years ago I spent an idle few hours sending about 200 images to Alamy. It took about three years before I had earned enough royalties to meet the minimum earnings threshhold for them to actually pay me. In total, in that 5 years, I have received perhaps £200. (I suppose I could check my tax reurns to get an accurate figure.)
My second most successful type of photos are sea birds but, by far, my most successful images are exterior shots of a woman's prison near Stirling that get used when the place is in the news.
I remember seeing survey results a few years ago (maybe in AP?) that suggested that over 95% of photographers who sent images to stock libraries earned absolutely zilch. The few successful ones had tens of thousands of images in them.
My feeling is that, if you keep at it, you can still make a bob or two, but it has become very much more difficult in recent times. The decline in print media and the rise of the Internet, coupled with gross oversupply, has meant that prices have plummeted. When I first started, and with only around 60 images for sale, I made a couple of sales of one image for $300 and $400 and thought, my goodness, I should have been doing this long ago. But the days of regular 3 figure sales are gone. Some tabloid web sales brings in as little as $5 of which you receive half, and then there is tax to pay (you need to register as a small trader).
Some people, a small minority of contributors I sense, do make a living out of stock, but you need 10s of thousands of shots or a have a truly exceptional smaller (few thousand) portfolio to do that.
Many, are like myself, retired and see this as a hobby that covers its costs (provided that you don't spend too much!). The income rarely covers the costs of a dedicated expedition, I shoot wherever I find myself, stock rarely defines a journey. Full time pros also contribute, but probably see it as an additional income stream, and, given that they often have privileged access to subject matter, can further exploit their commissioned work.
Thinking of starting, you've probably missed the boat......
Apologies for my grammatical error. There are (unfortunately) more than one woman in the prison.
Since you're correcting the error, your sentence would indicate the prison was owned by a woman not that only one woman was inside
Last year my aunt died in the age of 98. She had traveled around the word with her camera and left to me 5000 slides to take care for. Just the weight was 88 kilo. For my self I hade no place to store them. She lived in a quite big city with a number of libraries. Non of them was interesting of the pictures. Although they was for free. In the end I gave them away to a man who just wanted the frames.
I thought about it.......and that's as far as it went.
Photo agencies would have wanted scans of the slides rather than the slides themselves. Five thousand is a hell of a lot to scan, process, upload and keyword; it would take me years even if I were driven - although an edited selection would probably be doable but unless you have the equipment, time and inclination then its probably a non-starter. The problem with keywording someone elses pictures is that you may not know where and when they were taken so it might have been impossible for you to supply enough information, other than generic phrases, for buyers to find them.
As for bricks and mortar libraries, some collect photographs and slides, as does the Central Library here in Edinburgh, but only if they are of local and/or historical interest.
I hope you had a look through them before you gave them away . . . . . have you heard of Vivian Maier?
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