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Paul Hardy interview

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TaxcoBoy:
Interview with the guy who was shooting for 25 years. The story about 'good old days' told in a calm and thoughtful way. It is hard not to agree with the assessment of where the industry is at at the moment.

https://brutallyhonestmicrostock.com/2021/06/17/interview-with-paul-hardy-conceptual-stills-and-motion/

shutterview:
Good point

Brasilnut:

--- Quote from: shutterview on June 18, 2021, 04:01 ---Thank you Alexandre for this interesting interview. It always helps to hear others stock photographers experience.
What puzzles me is how come he has only 300 pictures in his portfolio after all these years?
Also, why doesn't he shoot high lifestyle productions if that is what editors use? (He mentions it in that part about importance of photo editors - great point! - and people submitting flowers and sunsets).
Generally, I don't like people crying over "old good days" and blaming others for their failures, but, all in all, very interesting interview!
Also, he should be aware that his 90s success should not be credited exclusively to his skills. He was extremely lucky to live in London and to be able to travel to New York at the time when stock market was relying on physical contact, prior to internet. At that time I (living in so called third world country) was not able to participate in the game. I even think we are about the same age, and I was recalling my struggle to get to the market at the time, while reading the interview (war, poverty, afforded few long distance calls with European representative of american stock agency without much success and got in debt for these calls at the time, hard times). So, luckily, internet was invented, Istock and Shutterstock popped up, and now, I'm rich. As soon as I was able to participate in the game, as soon as I was given a chance, I climbed the ladder, and he was sitting there, spoiled and too relaxed, I think he was not even aware what hit him. Sorry man!

--- End quote ---

Thanks TaxcoBoy for publishing and shutterview for your comments.

I prefer not to speak on behalf of Paul. He'll soon reply to your comments / questions!

I suppose he was lucky but I believe that he made his luck...he knew what he wanted to do at a young age, learned the craft and ventured off traveling (alone)...met people, networked and got some gigs.

The pre-internet days presented their own set of challenges, as well as the barriers to entry (and he's discussed)...I did dabble a bit with film in the late 90s and remember ruining a whole roll by being careless haha. Nevertheless, the potential earnings were astronomical compared to now.

bestravelvideo:
Letís play a (naÔve) mind game.
Is the future now, has it come or already passed?
I mean, time is a relative measure that leaves permanent marks.
Itís nice to be reminiscent of the past as we donít want to denounce or identity and choices but we need to live for today and adapt to the unknown tomorrow.
We think in stock in terms of the past but stock has changed and evolved.
Do we do stock for fun or money?
As I was commenting on your page after reading the interview Alex, dreams donít pay the bills! They are like Paulís balloons, fun mind games to carry you away, but you will soon have to look back down to earth to avoid the collision with reality!

csm:

--- Quote from: shutterview on June 18, 2021, 04:01 ---Thank you Alexandre for this interesting interview. It always helps to hear others stock photographers experience.
What puzzles me is how come he has only 300 pictures in his portfolio after all these years?
Also, why doesn't he shoot high lifestyle productions if that is what editors use? (He mentions it in that part about importance of photo editors - great point! - and people submitting flowers and sunsets).
Generally, I don't like people crying over "old good days" and blaming others for their failures, but, all in all, very interesting interview!
Also, he should be aware that his 90s success should not be credited exclusively to his skills. He was extremely lucky to live in London and to be able to travel to New York at the time when stock market was relying on physical contact, prior to internet. At that time I (living in so called third world country) was not able to participate in the game. I even think we are about the same age, and I was recalling my struggle to get to the market at the time, while reading the interview (war, poverty, afforded few long distance calls with European representative of american stock agency without much success and got in debt for these calls at the time, hard times). So, luckily, internet was invented, Istock and Shutterstock popped up, and now, I'm rich. As soon as I was able to participate in the game, as soon as I was given a chance, I climbed the ladder, and he was sitting there, spoiled and too relaxed, I think he was not even aware what hit him. Sorry man!

--- End quote ---

Thank you for your comments.

Thank you to Alex for asking my to do the interview.

I had about 700 images with Corbis when they closed.
Probably about 200 - 300 were film scans, and I had no desire to get them scanned.
And probably another 100 that were editorial.
One of my best selling images was the Eiffel Tower illuminated at night.
It was Rights Managed.
No agent now will touch those images together with others which were editorial.
Which is a shame because I think I had the best images of the Eiffel Tower.

I wasn't`t prolific, but if I'm making a lot from each image, why change?
I'm still selling about 200 images a month, not bad from a portfolio of 300 images I think.
I have always paid my models, I don't expect to photograph people for free, if they are going to benefit then I think they will be more enthusiastic about doing it.

I have no enthusiasm for doing lifestyle now if I'm barely going to get my money back.
Out of my portfolio I think 85% had sold, which I think was quite high %, I`d like to know what the average is.

I think it will only be the lifestyle production houses that can afford to continue to shoot lifestyle.

The last 5 years I have been shooting footage instead of stills, and got about 1700 clips with Pond5, hence why I only have 300 images in my portfolio currently. Given the chance I`d still like to shoot stills aswell.
Now we have a situation where footage prices are dropping too and I am selling 4K clips for less than $1.

I was successful, but there were many photographers far more successful than me, and that spurred me on too.
With prices now, everyone looses out and I don't think it is sustainable.

I was little lucky but also determined and good at what I did.
Success didn't happen over night, took years.
Some ways I was lucky that I knew what I wanted to do from school. I then had 7 years before I got signed to The Stock Market.

Whatever you are earning from Ss or iStock, now at a quick guess multiply that by 10.
Then the next month Ss and iStock go under.
What would you do next?

Shortly before Corbis closed sales were getting more volatile and looking back I should have been more proactive in looking at what to do next, but I was very anti micro-stock.

Didn't have a chance to sit there being spoiled and relaxed when I was going in to hospital couple of times every month for 2 years. It was very hard to think creatively then.
But I won't go into that here.

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