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Author Topic: Postage Stamp Images?  (Read 3670 times)

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CD123

« on: January 16, 2012, 12:24 »
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I noticed on some sites that some contributors have images of postage stamps approved in their ports. Is there a market for it?

I have quite a lot of old and valuable stamps but never thought of their images being acceptable (or valuable) stock images?


« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2012, 12:28 »
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That's one of those "seems like a waste of time" things to me.  Like "today I have nothing better to shoot, so I'm shooting stamps."

« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2012, 12:31 »
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check other sales and perhaps try a bunch of 30 or so, wont be too much work and you will know if it is worth

CD123

« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2012, 12:33 »
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That's one of those "seems like a waste of time" things to me.  Like "today I have nothing better to shoot, so I'm shooting stamps."
They might even be scanned (as with coin images). But if there is no market for it, why does the agencies accept them? Stamp collection has also internationally taken a huge dive over the past decade or so. Does not make sense. Is there any one here who has those in their ports who can shed more light?  ???

« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2012, 13:06 »
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While I don't have any stamps, I do have a lot of vintage postcard backs in my portfolio and they sell pretty well.  Designers often use them as elements in larger works, as they do stamps, tags, pieces of tape, pieces of antiqued paper, etc.  Shooting stamps and postcard backs isn't the most exciting or creative form of photography, but the subjects are very useful to many artists and designers. 

RacePhoto can tell you more about stamps specifically.   

CD123

« Reply #5 on: January 16, 2012, 13:36 »
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Very interesting. Without a top of the range camera I do a lot of boring / non standard things like silhouettes, etc.. If it sells, I will do it.

w7lwi

  • Those that don't stand up to evil enable evil.
« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2012, 14:31 »
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I've several 19th century postage stamps in my portfolio on SS, IS and 123.  They aren't really big sellers, but do sell periodically.  Even had an EL on one on IS.  They were all shot with a 5D II on a black BG.  SS requires them to be submitted as editorial.  The others did not.  It's interesting how a couple become much more popular than the others, selling 5 to 10 times as often as the majority.

microstockphoto.co.uk

« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2012, 14:34 »
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never thought of their images being acceptable (or valuable) stock images?

valuable: not best sellers, but there's a market

acceptable:
- most sites require stamps to be cancelled;
- most sites accept stamps as commercial; shutterstock accepts stamps as editorial only;
- some sites don't accept stamps with the image of the Queen (sometimes accepted if editorial)

« Reply #8 on: January 16, 2012, 15:11 »
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Have you ever noticed the sort by download tab ?
Why would anybody who was getting good sales let the cat out of the bag.

Fair to question about the requirements for submitting but its pretty easy to do your own research to work out sales patterns.

WarrenPrice

« Reply #9 on: January 16, 2012, 15:19 »
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 :-X

« Reply #10 on: January 16, 2012, 15:23 »
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SS requires them to be submitted as editorial. 

Why?

CD123

« Reply #11 on: January 16, 2012, 15:25 »
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SS requires them to be submitted as editorial.

Why?
Stamps are works of art, so I assume without a property release it is like selling a picture of a painting.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2012, 15:27 by CD123 »

w7lwi

  • Those that don't stand up to evil enable evil.
« Reply #12 on: January 16, 2012, 19:53 »
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SS requires them to be submitted as editorial.

Why?
Stamps are works of art, so I assume without a property release it is like selling a picture of a painting.

They never explained why.  I tried submitting them as regular images and they came back saying they must be editorial.  Fun working up a caption that would be "newsworthy."  They actually worked with me on that and subsequently told the reviewer to accept what was written.  I forgot about the cancellation requirement.  No uncancelled stamps.  I even had some U.S. Confederate States stamps from the 1860's that were not cancelled.  No way.  Makes no sense to me.  Maybe they're worried about counterfeiting antique postage stamps or something.  If lawyers get involved, I guess it doesn't need to make sense.

RacePhoto

« Reply #13 on: January 17, 2012, 00:23 »
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SS requires them to be submitted as editorial.

Why?
Stamps are works of art, so I assume without a property release it is like selling a picture of a painting.

Public domain for many, and they still don't care. Editorial. As people have pointed out canceled only, even thought that doesn't make a difference, It's Micro Law.

Quote
If lawyers get involved, I guess it doesn't need to make sense.

No they don't sell well. It's another example of something easy that far too many people have uploaded. You might as well try selling sliced vegetables. Yes you can get them accepted, no they don't sell well. I did a project a couple of years ago to see how they did, who accepted them and how it worked out. Like someone else pointed out, some strange ones sell a few times a year. I have some that after three years have never sold and I think they are fairly attractive "transportation" shots.

One site says this (after removing many postage stamps) "We cannot license images of canceled stamps IF a US personality appears on the stamp. This is due to descendible personality rights, particularly relating to where in the United States a person became deceased." Never did find the word "descendible" and I still chuckle at the where in the US the person became deceased. It's more about where the person lived, than where they died. Anyway, estates of celebrities have been grabbing for rights, so anyone famous on a stamp might be a liability and guess what stamps sell best? Famous People.

Why do the sites take them? As far as I know FT and DT stopped taking them over a year ago. SS Editorial so get your newsworthy captions ready.  ;) IS will take some but they are picky at this point. They have more than enough postage stamp filler material.

If it's easy to shoot, it's probably over supplied.

helix7

« Reply #14 on: January 17, 2012, 00:40 »
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...No they don't sell well. It's another example of something easy that far too many people have uploaded...

...If it's easy to shoot, it's probably over supplied.

That was going to be my guess. Thanks for confirming my suspicion.

This probably goes for most subjects in stock. If it's something simple that lots of people can do, it's probably not worth your time to shoot it. With it being harder than ever to make a buck in this business, it seems like an exercise in futility to do anything that is common and easy. It's more important than ever to do unique work, not things that tons of other people have already done.

« Reply #15 on: January 17, 2012, 02:01 »
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I have 5 pictures with stamps on my port  with SS, not even one sale so far.... for now, i loose my interest for submitting more.

« Reply #16 on: January 17, 2012, 02:42 »
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It depends on the subjects. Some sells very well, such as famous historic figures, famous artworks, landmarks and inventions. You have to research your subjects in order to sell well.


CD123

« Reply #17 on: January 17, 2012, 04:27 »
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Thank you all for your detailed feedback. Really appreciate your trouble in doing so. Think I will select 10 or 20 "landmark" and "historic interesting" ones from my country and a few international ones and see where I can still get them approved. At least it is something new for me and I enjoy having a bit of everything in my port.  ;)

RacePhoto

« Reply #18 on: January 17, 2012, 09:35 »
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Thank you all for your detailed feedback. Really appreciate your trouble in doing so. Think I will select 10 or 20 "landmark" and "historic interesting" ones from my country and a few international ones and see where I can still get them approved. At least it is something new for me and I enjoy having a bit of everything in my port.  ;)


Just remember they are "Editorial", you'll need the exact format including ALL CAPS for the dateline and exactly the punctuation used in the examples.

This should save you some time and rejections while learning their rules. Just in case you or anyone else hasn't been through the meat grinder yet.

http://www.shutterstock.com/buzz/creating-the-perfect-editorial-caption

CD123

« Reply #19 on: January 17, 2012, 13:45 »
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New to SS, so thank you for the tip RacePhoto.

« Reply #20 on: January 17, 2012, 21:45 »
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I sell quite a few photos of stamps on-line, but had to get lots of them in my portfolio to make it pay.  Until I had about 1000, it was not dependable income.  None of them sell much, but I have a few thousand out there so it brings in some income.  I know ----get a life.  I edit and upload pretty much only while watching television (double waste of time???), I can almost do it in my sleep.  Absolutely no rhyme or reason as to what might sell, I don't have a guess on what will sell, even after selling plenty.  All have to be visibly cancelled, and yes most are public domain with a few noteable exceptions that get deactivated later. Would not be much of a money maker if you only had a few hundred for sale.  At least 6 or 7 other iStockers upload stamps regularly, but no big time sales.


 

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