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Here’s One Photography Idea That Sells in Today’s Markets

Here’s One Photography Idea That Sells in Today’s Markets

It’s well known in the business of photography, that photographs of news worthy subjects sell and sometimes very well. I’ve written about this before and the need for outdoor photographers to create images the markets will want.

Paparazzi’s for example, have been known to make a fortune capturing images of celebrities in ‘news making’ situations. With some foresight and good ideas, so can nature photographers.

Outdoor photographers shoot just about every subject that has to do with the outdoors, nature, and how humans interact with the outdoors, but often they lack that news making ingredient. Those images often languish waiting for a buyer, if there ever is one. So what should you shoot? Here are some ideas. … Continue Reading

Is a Stock Agency Right For You?

November 14, 2013 Stock Agents 1 Comment
Is a Stock Agency Right For You?

I have written previously about joining stock agencies in the past and whether an agency may or may not be a good fit for you. We all know by now that there is a glut of imagery and earning money from stock images is challenging at best.

Rohn Engh is a veteran of the stock business and has published books and photo newsletters on the business of stock photography for decades. He wrote this post recently about joining a stock agency and while much of the post covers the standard practices of the business, it is a good primer for those entering the business.

Those key points are finding an agency that matches your niche. If you are a wildlife photographer would you be better off joining Getty Images vs. Animals Animals? This is a key point to success.

What commission percentage will you get? What pricing structure does the agency have? All these and more are crucial questions to be answered before joining any agency. Rohn addresses many of the keys points to consider before joining the right agency so if you are new to stock photography, read this article.

… Continue Reading

5 Characteristics of Successful Stock Photos

5 Characteristics of Successful Stock Photos

If you are interested or are selling your outdoor and nature photography, there are important factors to creating images the markets will want. It is not always clear on what exactly what makes for a successful image, but there are some ideas inherent in many  successful images that are proven time and again.

Successful stock photos earn money over and over. While it is nice to license an image once or twice, it’s even better when an image licenses many times.

In an earlier interview here on Pro Nature, this photographer created an image that has earned over $800,000 in sales and is still being licensed today. Why is it so popular? It is not hard to tell once you look at the image. It is strong on concept and it is beautiful, it tells a story, and is technically perfect.

While there are many nature image that appear to sell simply because they are beautiful images, there is usually an underlying reason the image is succeeding beyond its simple beauty.

That beauty in itself often tells a story about the photograph and its location by evoking an emotion. As an example, people buy calendars, gift or note cards, for the pictures. The picture evokes an emotion that prompted a purchase because the buyer gets joy from observing the picture(s).

People often buy products based more on the pictures than the text indicating that the photograph was successful by prompting the impulse to buy.

Here are 5 characteristics of successful selling images:

… Continue Reading

Has The Stock Photo Industry Self Destructed?

August 20, 2011 Stock Agents No Comments

For those in the stock photo business, the changes witnessed have been nothing short of extraordinary. From licensing models to plummeting prices; the changes witnessed have been dramatic. While the ease of entry into the business has seen many jump in, it has also shown many long established creators leaving the business.

Change is inevitable and many changes have been good while others have been bad and which ever position you hold, depends on how these changes have affected you.  If you have seen your income plummet then it is fair to assume you are not happy with these changes. On the other hand, if you are making money in photography now when you were not before, then you might see the changes as a good thing.

Whatever your position, you might find the post on the British Journal of Photography a very worthy read. Betsy Reid, Director of the former Stock Artists Alliance and industry veteran writes a very good article titled: Stockpiling trouble: How the stock industry ate itself?

Should You Seek a Stock Photo Agent?

October 20, 2010 Stock Agents 3 Comments
Should You Seek a Stock Photo Agent?

In today’s saturated market for outdoor imagery, you should explore all options in marketing and selling your photography. Besides selling yourself, should you consider a stock photo agent? The answer depends on your area of subject specialty, the volume of your image archive, and how you wish to run your business.

What does a stock agent do? They house images, market them, distribute them, and pay royalties. Agencies are always on the lookout for talented photographers.  Stock agents want photographers who have the ability to consistently produce good imagery, lots of it, and in a new way. Today, they are wary of the photographer who shoots the usual subjects. They have plenty of imagery of flowers or the usual viewpoints in the national parks, but are eager for nature photography that illustrates today’s common outdoor and environmental themes. … Continue Reading

Where to Place Your Agency Images: Royalty Free or Rights Managed?

April 16, 2010 Business, Stock Agents 2 Comments
Where to Place Your Agency Images: Royalty Free or Rights Managed?

Should your photography be placed as Royalty Free or Rights Managed when submitted to an agency? This is a tough question for many working outdoor and nature photographers. Where are you going to make the most money is the primary consideration.

The question is not an easy one to answer, but if you have looked at your work and compared it to similar imagery in both these licensing models, you will gain a better understanding on where your work might do best. The first thing to understand is the difference between licensing models and then you can determine where to place your work.

When a photographer negotiates a fee and license’s an images usage they are managing the rights granted for those image uses. If they continue to license it and receive fees for each additional usage from the same client, they are managing the rights of the usage and being paid for those uses. This is Rights Managed: the photographer receives a fee every time the images are used.  … Continue Reading

Here are Some Reasons Why You Need That Model Release

Here are Some Reasons Why You Need That Model Release

It is a common discussion among photographers that signed model releases are not required for every usage.

The discussion usually revolves around the notion that releases are required for commercial use and not for editorial.

Generally speaking, it’s true that you do not always need a release for editorial usage, but it is also a fact that some photographers have been sued and LOST when their unreleased images were used editorially.

There is no absolute rule! However, here are some other considerations. … Continue Reading

How to Donate Your Nature Photography to a Good Cause (and Still Make Money!)

April 6, 2010 Stock Agents No Comments
How to Donate Your Nature Photography to a Good Cause (and Still Make Money!)

by Liana Vitali

Among the sea of nonprofit organizations kindly requesting donations of awe-inspiring nature shots from the photography community, one charity offers the added benefit of a potential financial boost to your pocketbook while donating to a good cause!

ARKive, the Noah’s ark of the Internet, is the first-ever centralized digital library of stunning audio-visual profiles of the Earth’s most threatened species. With species extinction now occurring at a faster rate than at any time in Earth’s history, photographs and films may soon be all that remain. It is ARKive’s priority to profile the IUCN Red List of species most at-risk of extinction which, these days, is topping out at over 17,000 species. Ultimately, ARKive is a free educational resource operating under the belief that if society does not know what a species looks like let alone know that it exists, how can that species be saved?

… Continue Reading


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