Taking Nature Photos that sell

Sorry for the lack of new posts – I’ve been travelling and have just got back with 3500+ images to handle. Just before I departed, I wrote a new blog post on Dreamstime entitled “Taking Nature Photos that sell!” If you have a Dreamstime account, you will be able to vote if you find it useful.

Incidentally, thanks to all who voted for my previous blog entry to their contest about shooting fireworks at events. That contest was pretty strange as there were two other entries that always seemed to be able to get ahead of my own article. I know from experience that it is quite hard to get votes without some publicity for the blog, and I marveled at how they could do it. After the contest closed, however, I noticed that my account was credited with $300 – the first place award! The other two entries were nowhere to be found. So perhaps they were doing something wrong! So thanks again for all your support!

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4 Responses

  1. Mohammed says:

    Hi Steve, congratulations for winning the contest. I wonder what you think of sites such as Unsplash in which photographers offer their hi-res photos to be downloaded for free. This might be a strange question on your blog since this is all about making money from your photos, but I see thousands of photographers providing great photos to be simply downloaded for free. Is the exposure really worth it, or will there be some kind of business out of it? Do you think the industry is heading in this direction? Thanks.

    • Steven Heap says:

      Hi Mohammed
      I might write about that in the near future (although Alex has done a good job over at Brutally Honest). At a top level, I can understand the social pride and satisfaction from your image being downloaded many thousands of times. It would make you feel good about yourself and your photography, and if you don’t ever expect to earn money from your images (and many people don’t) then that reward might be enough. I don’t think people are doing this because they have some altruistic view that images must be free – I don’t think they even consider that as a motive. If they knew that some people are downloading those images to sell them as their own, perhaps that would change their perspective. I think some photographers who look to be paid for specific assignments – product or wedding or portrait work – might use this to build some sort of social media exposure. They might get a job that way, I guess. The ones who are hit are obviously stock photographers, but it is just the way of the world, I’m afraid. I don’t spend much time thinking about it!

      • Mohammed says:

        I have recently checked many of these websites that offer images for free. It seems that they are growing at a rapid pace, with millions of high quality photos being offered to be downloaded for free. If this continues, I wonder why any stock photo buyer would want to spend money on paid stock websites when they can get quality images for free so easily. I am not sure if this is where the industry is going; i sure hope not.

        • Steven Heap says:

          I think some buyers will go that way – we already see some news blogs using images from these sites. Commercial buyers will probably not – the risk of using an image with an unreleased person or product is probably too much of a risk for them. But the stock industry is not going to be any easier in the future!

I'm always interested in what you think - please let me know!