Thinking of new ideas for stock photos

Today I’ll give you some insight on how I approach a new concept. I saw a drawing of three hands holding a bitcoin (very stylistic) and thought it would be nice to cover something similar as a photo, especially as bitcoins are in the news a lot as they hit record prices (and will be in the news when the price collapses!). I already have some mock bitcoins and an ethereum coin (a different sort of bitcoin) and so I thought I would create a stock photo of three traders fighting over a bitcoin.

Now this took quite a bit of planning to get the angles all right, so here was my secret. Continue Reading

Trying to get some traction on Bored Panda

I don’t know how many of you have seen photography articles on Bored Panda? It often has some pretty interesting pieces and I wrote a short article tonight on stock photography.

This is my first attempt, but if you can spare the time, please have a look and comment or upvote the piece! Thanks!


Do image buyers search for cheaper versions?

Last month I outlined my view that the old “wisdom” that a really good photo should only be placed on a more expensive agency as Rights Managed (RM) was perhaps not really true. In that article I outlined the sales I had made via Alamy and Getty for higher amounts and found firstly that the RF images on average made the same amount of money, and that people bought RF images from Alamy and Getty even though the same image was available on a lower cost microstock agency. What that doesn’t really prove is that I’m losing money by someone seeing an image on Alamy, say, and then searching elsewhere to buy it. So I decided to start to track the “zooms” on Alamy and see whether the same image was bought during the following days on one of the other sites I am tracking using Microstockr Pro. Alamy allows you to filter the zooms to a particular day and so I started on 1 August:

Not a great image, but did it sell elsewhere on 1st or 2nd August?  Continue Reading

The best drone I ever had

This should really have been titled the best drone I never had… About a month back I finally gave in to my impulse to buy a drone for stock photography and videos. I did a lot of research, and my key requirements were obviously a good camera for stills and video but also something that I could travel with on my jaunts around the world. I’m going on a cruise later in the year and thought lovingly of a great shot of the cruise boat sailing from port with my drone up in the air above the stern! To get there, it had to fit in my luggage in some way on air flights. The answer for me turned out to be the DJI Mavic Pro which I bought from Amazon:

For just less than $1000, you expect something good, and this surpassed my expectations. It was solidly built but not too heavy at just over 2 pounds, and folded down into a small space of perhaps a large bottle of water. The controller uses a smartphone as the controller/viewer which saves weight on travel as well. I practiced around my home and found it really stable in the air, easy to fly and the early video output was very good. I flew it above my house to see why the gutters were leaking and saw some debris in there – great first success!  Continue Reading

Work those images!

Sometimes (often?) you travel to a location for a sunset photo, but the weather just doesn’t co-operate! On my recent UK vacation, we were driving back from visiting friends in Snowdonia National Park and I thought a detour to take a sunset image of the Vale of Llangollen would be nice! The roads up to Panorama Walk are really narrow and steep, but once you are there it all opens up and you get a great overview of the vale, the Dinas Castell Bran ruins and complex cliff structure on the adjacent hills. But the light just didn’t look right. I was not really thinking about the power of Raw images though! The end result:

But what did my first “record” shot look like?  Continue Reading

How much effort should you put into a photo?

I was thinking about this question recently. I have many, many images that I sell via stock agencies and then I have a smaller subset that I try to sell as prints via Fine Art America and also Photo4Me in the UK. I sometimes even print my own images but there is a limit to the amount of wall space I can dedicate to my own prints! So there is a conflict between the commercial calculation of time spent versus potential income and the artistic desire to get the best out of an image that catches my eye. A case in point arose this week when I was looking back at an image that I had taken in California (and was already on FAA) but there was something not right with it. I’ll start with the final finished product that has now replaced the original on FAA:


There has always been something Continue Reading

Earnings from Stock Photography in July 2017

Some months up, some months down – that seems to be the story of stock photo earnings these days. Overall the month was not bad with earnings so far of $2267. For some reason I am not seeing any sales on Zoonar (when I normally get some sales each month) and that could be a reporting issue on the site, but it is unlikely to shift the dial very much. As a summary chart this month I have included the monthly earnings organized by month over the past 4-5 years:

Apart from that one month in December 2014 (which was driven by a $1050 sale via Image Brief) what is interesting about this chart is  Continue Reading

Facebook Advertising – did it work?

I wrote, a few weeks back, about an experiment using Facebook advertising to drive traffic to Fine Art America to see if I could sell a print of San Francisco:

I focused my advertising on people around San Francisco and set the budget at $30 spread over a week. Well, the results are in, and the total number of sales of prints on Fine Art America was Continue Reading

Trying to increase Fine Art America Sales

I’ve been spending time adding more “fine art” images to Fine Art America recently, adding perhaps 40 or so in the past month. My latest images can be seen here. But how to “goose” those sales? I decided to try Facebook advertizing for an image that I created in black and white of San Francisco:

The image itself needed a bit of work as it was taken using a 200mm lens (on a tripod) from the Marin Headlands near the Golden Gate bridge  Continue Reading

Travel Photography – Seek out the unusual

Last weekend I went to Washington DC with my local camera club and, as some of the attendees were new to DC, we mainly covered the popular sites that I have visited many times before. So how to take something new that I could upload to my stock portfolio? The answer for me was to seek out the unusual view of those places that have been covered in thousands of images already. While not many of my readers will visit Washington, you can apply the same thinking when next you visit a tourist destination – by all means get the standard pictures, especially if the lighting is great, but look for something that provides a buyer with a different slant. Remember that buyers are looking for something a bit different to those postcard images as well.

My first was the White House – security is all the rage these days with fence climbers scaling the metal fencing and so a focus on the new enlarged security cordon and the sign could be used next time there is an incident there:

The background is out of focus to increase the prominence of the sign. Next we walked along the Mall to  Continue Reading

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