Becoming a stock (not “stalk”) photographer
Back in 2008, I attended a workshop by Rich Legg, one of Utah’s best microstock photographers. I was so excited after listening to him tell about this field, but didn’t really have the skills at the time to make it work for me.
So what is it?
I take photos of whatever I want then upload them to a database (I am a contributor with istockphoto.com) Companies that want to use these photos for marketing purposes or people who want to buy them for their blog… someone wants to make calendars with certain themes… there are many options! but these people choose the photo they want and pay istock for the file download. The photographer then gets a cut of that purchase. Over time, the residual income builds up and the photographer can continue to get paid from photos taken years ago as well as the newer photos.
I decided about a year ago to start dabbling. It is HARD WORK. And it was scary diving into something I knew very little about instead of sticking with weddings, where I already know what I’m doing. But at the same time, it’s an amazing challenge and has been an adventure for me. I love the journey of figuring everything out. And it’s starting to make dollars instead of just cents :)
You’ll be seeing several more posts about stock shoots I’ve done, but let me share a few of my favorites for now.
1. The hot air balloon. I took this photo several years ago at a 4th of July festival in Provo. I love the colors and how it turned out. The fun part – this file is selling really well and for Christmas a friend of mine decided to celebrate that and gave me a coupon for a hot air balloon ride! I have never seen it from that angle before :)
2. Smiling, happy children. Now, I’m not told where the photos are being used, so I’d ask everyone to keep their eyes open and shoot me a message if you see any of my files in print or online. It would be so exciting to see one of these in a marketing campaign or on a billboard somewhere!
3. Then the wedding themed photos… I found a way to include some of my skill sets from my previous work into stock photography also!
4. And lastly, Valentine’s day is coming up. We’ll see red and hearts everywhere starting January 2nd. I figured I’d beat them to the punch ;)