All work and no play…

Did I really need to buy a new camera? Obviously no – the businessman inside me said firmly that the Sony A7r ii that I have (with 15000 shutter activations) is more than adequate for stock photography and the new model (the mark 3) has only a few enhancements. But the inner child knew that a new camera body was just what I needed and that I would be able to take higher speed videos and slow them down (only in HD unfortunately) and transfer my files in my studio to the computer using WiFi (true) and register the locations of my travel images using GPS from my camera (true, although with a struggle!). And so the inner child won out!

A new Sony A7riii was soon on its way to me – and the old one (in very good condition) is now for sale on Amazon.

One thing that I learned along the way Continue Reading

Sometimes my new edits turn out to be just what the market wants!

I wrote earlier in the month about seeing one of my images in a thumbnail and my mind wandering to a new or different edit. The main edit in that case was one of a drowning man holding a bitcoin, but I also realized that I hadn’t uploading the underlying scene of the dark stormy sky with the flooded ocean:

The sky for this was an HDR version of the sky over the Shenandoah valley coupled with an ocean generated in the Flood photoshop plugin. So I gave it some keywords to illustrate global warming or the rise in sea levels and uploaded it. It has only sold twice, but the one today on Shutterstock was for $75. So this one certainly earned its keep!

Ideas just keep coming….

I uploaded this image yesterday as an Easter background – cute?

But where did the idea come from? As usual, just browsing through my sales as I do each morning using Microstockr Pro. I came across Continue Reading

Junk Shops – a source of Microstock ideas

I’m always looking for something different to photograph (and keeping my eyes open to what is being used on web sites) and I’ve seen a few images with older typewriters on them – gives a more interesting angle to writing, journalism or blogging than yet another laptop photo. So I go to antique stores (which are really junk shops here in the USA) and see what is around. My most recent purchase was an electric typewriter in pretty good condition:

Now getting it to the beach was a bit of a trek, but with only paying Continue Reading

Getting inspiration for new stock shoots

For travel photographers, the winter can be a downer – cold, wet, snowy weather (depending on where you are of course) and little enthusiasm to brave the cold! Now is the perfect time to improve your portfolio and your skills with some studio shots. But what to take?

I find ideas from just generally browsing news and opinion stories, such as ones about people not saving enough for retirement. It was illustrated by a savings jar with a few loose coins in it, and I thought – I could do better than that! I had previously taken a photo of a dying  Continue Reading

Always keep your eyes open to a new edit

I was looking at my daily sales this morning on Microstockr Pro (and there weren’t very many over the weekend!) and I saw a 38c sale of an old image of me in a swimming pool holding a “Help Me” sign. For some reason, my brain immediately jumped to the current collapse of bitcoin prices and the chance that everyone who bought in since December is likely to have lost their shirt (and hopefully not their life savings). A new idea for a stock photo!

All it took was 5 minutes editing in Photoshop to remove the paperwork from around the fingers and slot in a bitcoin and we have a new image. I also realized that I hadn’t submitted the background image before:

I thought this might make a nice background for someone – perhaps the final ending of the human race with climate change as the oceans swallow up the land! So two stock photos from once glance at this morning’s sales!

Earnings from Stock Photography in January 2018

Another year goes by. Hard to imagine that I am now in my 11th year as a stock photographer having starting uploading in early 2008. Earnings that first year – $1113! Now we are in 2018 and January is traditionally a slow month for me in the stock world. This month is no exception – after a run of over $3000 months, I ended in January with $2727:

What is interesting about the chart though is that I was significantly ahead of previous Januarys – a 23% increase to be exact over the earnings in January 2017. It would be hard (but nice) to see that continue through 2018! In terms of uploads, I maintained a hectic pace Continue Reading

Selling the same image on Alamy and other agencies?

I’m intrigued by the question of whether Alamy buyers see an image on that site and then search for the same image on cheaper microstock sites and buy it there. If they regularly do that, then you are losing out on a higher priced Alamy license in exchange for potentially sub $1 income from the micro site. I did a detailed analysis last year which didn’t find any evidence that they do that, but I saw a couple of “zooms” on Alamy this month that could have indicated a problem.

Sunset over Avalon Harbor in California

This one was zoomed on 22 January and I recalled seeing the thumbnail via my Microstockr Pro reports.  Continue Reading

A nice surprise

I received an email via Fine Art America this morning saying:

I am a small time book artist based in Mumbai, India. I want to use your Milkweed seeds image in my upcoming website as I have a set of artists’ books made like Milkweed seeds. I request your permission.

The image in question is this:

I didn’t know which particular image it was at the time, and so, without much thought I replied with a link to my personal stock agency at BackyardStockPhotos. I was very surprised to see an order about 30 minutes later for a medium JPEG for $1.99. I guess I am feeling a bit guilty about charging someone who might be struggling to get by, but equally it is a very nice sign when people are willing to search for the owner of an image they want to use and are willing to pay for its use, rather than just take a copy from somewhere on the internet and just use it. When his website is complete, I’ll link to it so we can see his work!

Sale on Microstockr Pro

Microstockr Pro is one of those few applications that I am willing to pay for! And the good news is that it is on sale with a 25% reduction in price until February 6th. You can see the offer here.

I find the app invaluable for seeing which of my images are selling, and looking at the thumbs of images that have sold often give me ideas for modifications or different shoots to capitalize on that original idea. It is worth checking out!

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