Dreamstime Blog Contest

I wrote last week about the Dreamstime Blog Contest and my entry. Well, and this is a bit of a downer, my entry was rejected for not meeting some or all of their guidelines. I checked those out, but am not really sure what I did wrong, but, hey, there are other things in life! I’ll reformat the article and post it here a little later!

In the meantime, I do have a favor to ask. My colleague, Alex Rotenberg, writes really well and is trying to make it in stock photography as his full time occupation! He has a blog entry over on Dreamstime, which I think is a pretty interesting perspective of someone who got into the stock game relatively recently. If you like it, please mark it as “Useful” in the upper left hand column! Perhaps we can get the prize for Alex!


Earnings from Stock Photography November 2017

November certainly was a good month for me this year. Even though we have a US holiday, the sales were good throughout the month and I ended up with earnings of $3177. This is my best month ever (ignoring one special month in December 2014 when I sold an image on ImageBrief for $1060!) This continues a pattern I have seen all year where, almost without exception, the earnings in a month this year have exceeded the earnings in the same month in previous years:

Earnings from stock photography and microstock agencies with online images and videos

This is also my first time above $3000 since March and I beat that threshold by quite a margin this month. Here are my results from each of the agencies in November: Continue Reading

Dreamstime has a blog competition – you can help me!

Dreamstime has announced a competition for “best blog” post on their site and so I have had a go at my first blog on the Dreamstime site.

**Update** – it doesn’t appear to be visible on the site yet. Perhaps in moderation? ***

I decided to write about a tricky subject – how to come up with ideas (and images) to illustrate things in the news. If you have an account at Dreamstime, would you mind having a look at my blog post and, if you find it useful, click on the green “Useful” button at the top of the left column (at least it is there on a webpage view of their blog!)



A new record for a single sale on Shutterstock

Maybe not the highest I have ever got for a single sale, but certainly the highest in a long, long time. I saw that this image of Morgantown in West Virginia has just sold for $105:

It just goes to show that images of your own town (especially if they are quite nicely shot in good weather) can sell. In this case I think it might be because Morgantown has a big university (WVU) and it might be used for that, or perhaps a calendar? Who knows – I’m just glad they bought it!

Don’t assume you know everything!

What a strange title! But I realized over the past few days that what I have been doing with editorial shots was not only a lot of hard work – it was unnecessary as well! For the past year, I have been uploading editorial shots to the stock agencies using the guidance in this Shutterstock blog article, Creating the Perfect Editorial Caption. Basically, a perfect caption is like this:

GDANSK, POLAND – 16 SEPTEMBER: Hyundai cars on dockside on 16 September 2017 in Gdansk, Poland. Hyundai sold over 7.8M vehicles in 2016.

It has the date, location, then a description, then the location again and finally something that makes it newsworthy – a “qualifying newsworthy statement” as Shutterstock explains it. This same caption is accepted at all the other sites and so I have been dutifully Continue Reading

And watch out for people who prey on your desire to be published

I just read a very detailed and honest account, by Alex Rotenberg, of how he was taken in by people pretending to be interested in showing his work in a gallery, when what it is really about is getting up front payments and keeping the pretense going to get even more money with next to no chance of your work being seen by interested buyers. Another cautionary tale!

Watch for scams on Fine Art America

I received an email today via the Fine Art America website that said:



   My name is Anthonio Jack from Oregon.. I actually observed my wife has been viewing your website on my laptop and i guess she likes your piece of work, I’m also impressed and amazed to have seen your various works too,You are doing a great job. I would like to receive further information about your piece of work and what inspires you.. Kindly confirm the availability for immediate sales..

Thanks and best regards..

I was a bit doubtful – why is he saying he observed his wife on his laptop? I’m also a photographer, not an artist and so why is he wanting further information about my work and what is that about availability for immediate sales? I did a bit of a search on his name on Google and found this interesting explanation of the scam.

So, if you receive one of these via FAA, ignore it!



How to make the best of a day in a new city

As I think I mentioned, I went on a cruise in September around the Baltic Sea. 11 cities in 15 days! Apart from a cruise being a really relaxing way to spend your time, how does it match against a travel stock photographer’s needs? How do I approach a day in a new city? I thought I would illustrate this with one day’s shoot in Copenhagen – I just finished keywording and uploading this particular set yesterday. As I had to keyword a total of 65 images, it brought home to me just how much work this business can generate! Time will tell if it generates some income to match that effort…

We arrived around sunrise in the port, which is reasonably close to the city center of Copenhagen. Although you are completely at the mercy of the weather on a one day trip, I still try to get the best shots I can. Luckily, Copenhagen was dry and somewhat sunny! My first start is to see what I can see from the boat itself:

In this case, the new power station in the harbor built with a ski slope and climbing wall inside. Looking around I also see the Genetically Modified Little Mermaid: Continue Reading

Always be on the look for interesting images

One lesson you should take to heart – you never know when a chance shot will turn into a nice little earner and so you need to always be ready (with your camera) for those chance encounters. What do I mean by this? I was driving down a small road near my home when I saw a burned out cabin by the side of the road. I’d never really noticed it before, but now it was a burnt out wreck surrounded by yellow tape. I pulled off the road, got my camera out and took both wide and close shots of the damaged building. I removed a few company names on the yellow tape and submitted to all agencies in July this year. Well, early results were not great! One image sold for $0.22 on iStock in August and it looked like they were destined to sink into the “useless shots in my portfolio” collection! Then, early this week I saw two sales of the images on Shutterstock:

The two images sold for  Continue Reading

Focus on enjoying your photography

Life shouldn’t be all work and stock photographers need to take a break from the creation of “saleable” images sometimes! Yesterday I took a trip to Valley Falls State Park in “Wild and Wonderful West Virginia” with my local camera club – a place that is only 30 miles from my home, but I hadn’t known existed before this weekend! I’m not sure any of these shots are worth uploading to stock agencies, but I enjoyed a pleasant couple of hours in the fresh air trying to come up with interesting variations on the straight forward waterfall shots:

Heavily flooded Tygart Valley river flows in smooth slow motion image over waterfall in Valley Falls State Park West Virginia

This one was taken with the Singh-Ray Gold ‘n’ Blue filter plus a variable neutral density filter as well to give me a shutter speed of 1.6 seconds. I did some traditional shots as well, but I really liked the abstract colors that you can get using this filter.  Continue Reading

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