Stock photograpy

Postcard of Bavaria

King Ludwig II’s Bavarian castle, Neuschwanstein, Germany

Gordon McGregor recently wrote about his fleeting experiences with selling some of his photographs on, a stock photographic agency. We have continued this dicussion off line, but I thought I would like to share my previous experiences, and perhaps obtain some recommendations for a course of action.

First, I apprecaite Gordon’s point about finding the right stock photo partner, and think well enough of yourself and your work to avoid the micro-stock agencies. Thus, the first goal is to find the best stock agency partner, so besides, any recommendations?

Second, I have to understand 1) how much time do I want to spend on this? 2) what existing images that I have that might be attactive in this market?

Okay, I don’t want to “shoot stock”, that is, specifically spending the time to go looking for images that might be excellent stock photographs. But in the course of photographing things that interest me, and I do make a pretty good image, leverage those photographs to eek out a little income for the time spent to get them to the stock agency. As an example, the photograph above of Neuschwanstein that I made while working on an assignement in Southern Germany. Right place at the right time, eh?

So this may be like maintaining a blog.  Spend a little time each week to upload a couple of potential images, and over the course of a year or two, have a nice quanitity of stock images that generate a nice little cash flow. Or so the reasoning goes.

And one of the things that I have noted with this blog, is that I get a fair number of Google image searches for a small group of specific photographs, thus good candidates to start with, eh?

But the trade-off for me, is that the time I have for photography or anything creative is at a premium, just not enough time in the day to do all that you would like to do.

So if I do start this venture, I’d like to partner with the best stock photography option that I can. As Gordon told me, he tried this as a trial and has not spent any time beyond the initial upload of his 11 images, but yet the checks still keep dribbling in. nice.

Best regards, Doug

4 thoughts on “Stock photograpy

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  1. I picked Alamy because they seemed to be somewhere in the middle – you could shoot for Getty or similar, but Alamy were up and coming at the time, but not too small. A sort of goldilocks selection process I suppose.

    I also have had some luck with Photographer’s Direct, which sends out a list of ‘wants’ from buyers.

    It is worth reading about the various non-compete and clauses in some of the contracts.

    The main thing that changed in my photography was a large scale shift towards portrait work, without at the time the confidence to request model releases. That’s starting to change, slowly.

  2. I have been to Germany a couple of times now, but never made it to this specific castle. Always wanted to. Can’t imagine a more picture-perfect setting. Great shot of it here.

  3. Mark, thanks. I have been to this set of castles (his dad’s smaller “castle” is at the base of this one) probably 6 – 7 times, and this by far was the best occasion. When that lake in the distance is dried up, this place looks pretty bad.

    The water at the base is also snow-melt fed, so gets verrrrrry cold. And there is a wonderful little river that runs down the ravine that the bridge is over, and you can walk the hundred or so steps down from a spot near the castle.

    But beware, this is a local “tourist” spot, but that also means some interesting souviners and a nice local “bier”, especially the dunkle (dark). If I wanted to lead a photographic tour, this would be one!

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