Stock Photography

Stock Photography
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Specialty photography firm in Orange has an eye for detail (ocregister)

Laughing Dog co-owners Tim Mueller, Tina Lee and Jon Lee get plenty of weird looks while they take photos on the job. They shoot stock imagery for a living – but this isn’t your standard fare of flowers and sunsets. The team shoots straight-on...

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Martin County Community Calendar, updated May 25 - TCPalm

Martin County Community Calendar, updated May 25TCPalmHurricane Stock Up Party: 5:30-8 p.m. May 29. Twisted Tuna, 4290 S.E. Salerno Road, Port .... Outdoor Portraits Photography Class: Course explores techniques for posing and lighting creative outdoor portraits. 9 a.m.-1 p.m. June 7. Jonathan Dickinson ...and more »

Questions and Answers

How to get into Stock Photography?I get it at the general level, as to what stock photography is.Could anybody go more in depth and how to get into it?

Posted by Riena
[display_name id="2"] I'm with Merlin on this ... The market is pretty bad. Now if you are shooting stock worthy images for something else and your contracts don;t prohibit resale (no exclusivity or anything like that), it MIGHT be a way to supplement your income but that's a big maybe.There are so many people pumping out stock that your images will end up getting lost and the companies keep such a large part of the sale that it;s insane.

I answered a question like this just a couple of days ago.

Let's say you decide to start shooting for micro stock. You decide to do an office shoot showing two people in various office situations.

This is what; you'll need
- professional liability insurance
- 2 models
- 1 hair and makeup artist (optional)
- 1 stylist (optional)
- A location to shoot in (may involve renting a space for the day)
- an assistant (to help with the lighting and gear, setup/teardown)
- proper lighting

How much will all of this cost you?
2 models at 20$ an hour each for let's say 3 hours = 120$
1 MuA for the day: 50$
1 Stylist for the day: 50$
Rental space: 130$ for the day (top of my head)
1 assistant for the day 50$

So sub total for your cost for the shoot is: 400$

We haven't even looked at gear rental, travel costs, your business costs (like professional liability insurance, paying a lawyer to look at your contracts, office supplies, advertising ...) but we'll ignore all that for this example.

Now most companies keep a MASSIVE percentage of the sale (IStock keeps 80% for example) which means you could get anywhere from 50 cents to 4 dollars a picture. Let's call it 1$ to 2$ for the sake of argument.

So ... To pay off the cost of this shoot ... In other words, to just break EVEN ... You would have to sell anywhere 200 to 400 images from that shoot. This is to just break even ... You haven't even paid yourself yet!

Next, you have to look at you return on investment ... How profitable will this be for you considering the effort. So first, we have to determine how much work this was for you.

7 hours planning the shoot (booking the models, booking the rental space, planning out the flow of the shoot, getting the props, getting the outfits from the stylist ...)
1 hour setting up on location
3 hours shooting
1 hour doing tear down and cleanup.
1 hour backing up all your files
1 hour putting your paperwork in order (model releases, receipts ...)
2 hours post processing the files
1 hour doing a backup of your final files
3 hours uploading the files to the micro stock site and tagging the images correctly (if you don't they won't sell since no one will find them).

Total amount of work? 20 hours.

Let's say you wanted to be paid around 15$ an hour to consider this as a success ... You would need to sell ANOTHER 300 to 600 images from that shoot.

For this to be considered a success (assuming you consider 15$ a success), you would have to sell over 500 to 1000 images from that shoot and, like I said, we haven;t even really considered all your costs here.

Of course, that's assuming your work is good enough to get accepted. Imagine spending 400$ to do a shoot and having all your images rejected by the micro stock site!

Doesn't "stock photography" mean copyright free?

Posted by Antonio Andolini
[display_name id="2"] Some stock photos are actually "copyright-free", i.e., the copyright has expired or there never was any. That is completely impossible for anything published in the USA since 1989, when copyright became automatic, without any need for copyright notice, renewal or registration (as it had been in the rest of the civilized world for many years).Other "stock photos" are technically copyrighted but may be "orphaned" by previous owners of the copyright who may not even realize they own the rights.

And, finally, some stock photos are available for at least some limited uses without any payment, known as "royalty-free", meaning they are copyrighted but it won't be enforced within the limited uses.

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