Category Archives: “How-to” articles

Announcement: How can I sell my photos and make some money???

I asked myself that question over 6 years ago, and decided the answer was to sell my images. Since then I have increased my income to more than $30,000 a year and I share the steps and lessons learned in the newly revised third edition of my eBook – Getting Started in Stock.  You are facing a simple choice – do you want to learn as you go, following the forums and their inconsistent information from people who may or may not know what they are talking about, or do you want to save hours of frustration and learn it all on one easy to follow guidebook?

Buy this new eBook directly from my site through a simple and secure shopping cart and get immediate access to the information you need to make money from your photographs!

You can preview the book (courtesy of Amazon) by clicking “Preview” under the image below:

Already got your images and ready to start earning? Please use the links on the right to register with the stock agencies. Thanks!

Submitting to iStock – qHero

In my book, I talk at length about using DeepMeta as a way to ease the pains of submission to iStockphoto. iStock has two annoying steps in submission – one is to select a category (which isn’t that hard, although there are a lot of them), but the key annoyance is the matching of your keywords to their controlled vocabulary. They have a unique system of doing their image searches on a standardized set of keywords and so you need to make sure your own keywords fit nicely into that. It makes some sense, although it is annoying in practice. I understand that any keyword that doesn’t map to one of their controlled words has a pretty low chance of being found in a search so it is important to get it right. DeepMeta lets you see all your keywords in an offline screen and you can match them to the iStock ones before submission. It is OK, but a bit slow.

I came across a new online approach that uses that computing industry buzzword- Artificial Intelligence – to try to correctly assign the categories and most of the keywords before you even have to start looking at the list. It is qHero, a venture from the highly successful stock photographer Yuri Arcurs. Continue Reading

Using Canon speedlite flash on Sony A7R

I have four Canon flashes (three 550EX and one 580EX) as well as the Canon ST-E2 infra-red controller. With my change of camera outfit from Canon to Sony, the next question is whether I can effectively use these flash guns with the Sony? There is a great article by Tim Ford, where he concludes that an optical flash adapter is the best way of getting the highest sync speeds, but he is using the 580EX II – mine are the earlier versions and don’t have a PC sync socket – so no way to control them apart from the infra-red or hot shoe. He did conclude that putting one flash in the hot shoe worked fine (in manual mode) up to 1/250th second, and with some clever use of the Custom modes on the flash, you can get a pseudo automatic mode where the aperture is fixed and the flash measures light bounced back to its sensor you can use 1/200th of a second. I could use that from time to time with a single flash, but my main use is with multiple flashes in umbrellas etc. Continue Reading

Marketing Fine Art Photographs

I don’t often recommend books, but one I have really enjoyed reading and also found very informative is Alain Briot’s Marketing Fine Art Photography. He gives lots of good advice about what sort of photographs sell, where to sell them and how to go about marketing prints of your work.

Making money from selling prints yourself isn’t easy, but it is very rewarding to get the personal satisfaction from someone deciding that your image would look good on their wall. I have a couple of images in an exhibition in Morgantown this month and have my fingers crossed that someone will buy one of them, so I guess I have the “bug.”

Sony A7RII – what do I think of the quality?

I’ve not done much outdoor shooting yet, but I wanted to try the new Sony in a more difficult setting – a backlit indoor shot using natural light. I have the Sony set to ISO 100 unless the shutter speed is going to be less than 1/60th second, in which case, it moves to Auto ISO (nice feature!). This tricky lighting condition with a sunlit window in the background and exposure compensation set to +1, meant that the final exposure was 1/60th at F6.3 with ISO 2000. Continue Reading

Sony A7Rii – my settings

Right – now we have the camera and the Really Right Stuff L bracket installed, it is time to set the camera to my liking! You would think I would be out taking some pictures as it is a balmy 83 degrees and sunny here in West Virginia, but we are looking after our grand-daughter this week (and the two dogs) and so free time is not really available!

So what do I like in a stock photography camera? Continue Reading

New Blog for stock photographers

I’ve written about the new independent stock agency Symzio before – it is linked to the Symbiostock personal agencies and basically you choose which images to send to the new agency and how much to charge for the full size image. The developers have started a new blog aimed at stock illustrators and photographers and a recent post caught my eye: 5 Tips on becoming a stock photographer! I’m sure many of the readers of my blog will know most of these, but a refresher is always welcome!


Trying to boost my stock site using Social Media

I am trying hard this year to get my own stock agency, Backyard Stock Photos off the ground. This is based on wordpress with the free Symbiostock plugin – I wrote about the way I migrated from my old site in this earlier post. The developer of the plugin has created agency where all the users of the plugin can choose to include their images (on a one by one basis if you want) and choose the price for the full sized RF license and I have all my RF images now in that Symzio Agency.  But – and this is a big but – how do we get traction, which basically means that when someone searches on Google Images, for instance, how close to the top of the page do they see my image in either Symzio or Backyard Stock Photos? Continue Reading

Create pure white background in Lightroom for isolation

Isolating an object against a white background is usually a photoshop task. With selections, curves and the rest, you can easily get rid of flaws in what should be a pure white background. But what can you do if the image includes currency? As I have been finding, Adobe has built some complex algorithms into the latest releases of Photoshop that stop you from opening or editing a photograph that contains even parts of US dollar currency bills. I’m sure criminals can use open source programs to do their counterfeiting, but this change has made creating normal stock photos more complex.

Here is what I was trying to achieve – but just using Lightroom:

Handing over a gift of $50 US bank notes

Handing over a gift of $50 US bank notes

Continue Reading

Fine Art America – trying new pricing

I’m putting effort into my Fine Art America images by adding the digital art paintings created by the Impresso Pro plugin. I decided to look at my pricing at the same time and spent some time this morning looking at the pricing of images that had recently sold on the site. I focused on photographs and checked the pricing on about 24 of them. This table shows the sale price of a basic print in three sizes on the longest side – 8, 20 and 36 inches. Not all images were available at all sizes. My current pricing is in the top row:

Pricing of recent sales

Pricing of recent sales

Continue Reading

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