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Photographers and Artists

Selling photos

Looks like we have a few photographers and artists in our midst so here's a place to talk about all photography, art, and related subjects.

Selling photos

Postby Kay » Thu 24 Mar 2005 07:11 GMT

Mike K-H posted on another thread referring to his photos which are in alamy's catalogue.

This looks like a good idea. Is anyone else doing it? Any success? What are your thoughts on it?
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Postby ruggie » Thu 24 Mar 2005 09:27 GMT

Putting pics on a big library like Alamy, Corbis or Getty is a very low-chance lottery bet. If you read articles about how these libraries work, you'll see that the majority of their revenue comes from big buyers who want stuff for deadlines. As a result they go first to the place that they know comes up with the goods regularly - not just a specific library, but a small selection of contributors who each have a vast selection of potentially suitable images in the library. Only if that fails will they (or more likely the library staff, on their behalf) start searching the database by keywords.

However, submitting images to digital libraries (Alamy was an early player, and now the older libraries are digitising as fast as they can) is good discipline. Each of the dozen pics I have on Alamy had to be scanned from negs at 4,000 dpi to an RGB TIFF file of about 55MBytes then meticulously 'cleaned' in Photohshop, eliminating every scratch, hair or tiny dust particle. You can reckon on about half an hour per image, even if you scan immediately after developing, and use a compressed air can to blow the neg clean before you scan it. Professional scanning services will charge at least ten pounds per image to do it for you.

Nowadays, libraries are accepting digital camera images, but even these have flaws which you must clean up.

If you want a better chance of actually selling pictures, get to know a small local photo library, and take pics of what they need.

[url]http://[domain now obsolete]/seba/images/Mh16_208.jpg[/url]

The above is an example of something I did sell through a Botswana library which I helped set up.
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Postby Kay » Thu 24 Mar 2005 12:31 GMT

Very interesting, thanks, Mike

Do you know what they used your photo for? Just curious.
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Postby ruggie » Thu 24 Mar 2005 14:05 GMT

That, and several other photos, were shot because we knew they were needed for a Chamber of Commerce annual report. In the event, all the guy did was make a button-sized composite to put in the top LH corner of each page, so we only got minimum licence fee for each of them. One member of our syndicate did sell a pic used on a roadside advertising hoarding, though. That's where the real money is if you can get it.

The rule of thumb is that an image in a stock library will average about 1 pound/dollar/euro a year. To use stock photography as a serious source of income, you need about 10,000 images - each pin-sharp, properly exposed, devoid of company logos, and accompanied by model releases from any recognisable people.
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Postby Kay » Fri 3 Mar 2006 08:38 GMT

This is an interesting old thread so I thought I'd "bump" it.

Also, has anyone any experience of scoopt? http://www.scoopt.com/default.asp

It's free to join and might be worth a try.
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Postby ruggie » Wed 15 Mar 2006 19:09 GMT

Haven't seen Scoopt. I wonder - if you really took a valuable pic, you might get more for it by phoning round the photo editors of your country's major newspapers, immediately. But if it had international value, Scoopt would sybdicate it better than you could.[/i]
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