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Author Topic: Microstock has warped my photography....  (Read 7094 times)

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« on: December 01, 2010, 14:10 »
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I have a photo library that spans about 15 years with 20K images of my family and friends at homes or on travel.  They are 95% people with some to little background of the surroundings.

In the past 2 years my images (several thousand) are 98% no family and friends with unique views of nature, animals, cityscapes, and landscape.

I first noticed this change when somebody asked for photos on a recent vacation to the Pacific Northwest.  I had lots of pictures of unique walls, wet streets, home doors, a bell, a dark staircase, a cloudscape, a church steep, a ferry loading ramp, flower macro's......  I think out of 400 some images I had 4 of my wife, and 3 of my daughter.  My friend looked at the pictures and said they were neat but where were the vacation pictures....

So is this a permanent condition?  Or will I recover someday?


« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2010, 14:26 »
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I've fallen into that trap as well.  When I go to take a shot, the first thing that runs through my head is if its stock worthy.  I have also noticed that unless I have my SLR with me, I won't take as many photos with my point and shoot since I know the quality is not good enough to submit.  I end up being mad for not having a better camera with me.

« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2010, 14:43 »
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It used to be a problem but lately I am finding it hard to take photos for the microstock sites.

donding

  • Think before you speak
« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2010, 14:59 »
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I've become the same way also. I find myself looking for the stock shot. I still do take some pictures of my immediate family, but only because I have MR releases on them. Anyone outside the immediate family I hardly shoot any more.

It's kinda strange because when I do have a lot of people pictures without model releases I always think of all the hard disk space I'll use up and won't be able to use them for stock so I end up deleting them. I don't even like looking at them.

« Reply #4 on: December 01, 2010, 15:33 »
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I tend to not have a camera with me unless I'm doing stock work.
All the cute little snaps and videos I have of my six year old son are from my iPhone :(

microstockphoto.co.uk

« Reply #5 on: December 01, 2010, 17:10 »
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So is this a permanent condition?  Or will I recover someday?

Same here... but I am slowly recovering.

Mainly because I am trying to pursue quality over quantity in stock lately: shooting everything one sees is simply no more profitable nowadays (it used to be just 3 years ago). Deliverance from that condition will come as a bonus.

donding

  • Think before you speak
« Reply #6 on: December 01, 2010, 18:10 »
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So is this a permanent condition?  Or will I recover someday?

Same here... but I am slowly recovering.

Mainly because I am trying to pursue quality over quantity in stock lately: shooting everything one sees is simply no more profitable nowadays (it used to be just 3 years ago). Deliverance from that condition will come as a bonus.

That's good to know....I may actually recover.....now maybe my kids won't inherit a bunch of door shots... :D

lisafx

« Reply #7 on: December 01, 2010, 18:22 »
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Bob, I am even worse than you.  I don't want to be bothered to shoot ANYTHING if I am not shooting for stock.  Between stock shoots my camera will sit, unused, for days or even weeks. 

I have sort of remedied the situation by getting a tiny S90 to keep in my purse.  That way if I have to shoot my family or friends (much as I dread it ;) ) I have a simple, portable camera, with adequate quality, at hand. 

It's pretty sad, but after 8 years of making a living with my camera (6 in microstock), it just isn't a fun hobby anymore. 

donding

  • Think before you speak
« Reply #8 on: December 01, 2010, 18:39 »
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It's pretty sad, but after 8 years of making a living with my camera (6 in microstock), it just isn't a fun hobby anymore. 

I think if the money was still there it would be more enjoyable.

I think I'll do like you Lisa and go get me a small camera....some of those 12MP point and shoots take pretty darn good shots and it would be much easier than wearing a 2 ton necklace.

My family doesn't ask for photos anymore after I told them I'd copy them and print them if they'd buy the cd's and printer ink. Wonder why they don't ask any more???   :D

« Reply #9 on: December 02, 2010, 15:34 »
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You may want to read this:  When Your Camera Comes Between You and Your Family

I did change my photography a bit, concerned in capturing not only beautiful travel images. but "useful" ones.  I never bothered taking many photos of myself, except for extraordinary locations or unusual moments.

« Reply #10 on: December 02, 2010, 15:42 »
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When in holidays or travelling I use my camera for taking stock and for taking personal and family shots. I don't see any problem in doing both things.

« Reply #11 on: December 02, 2010, 16:04 »
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I don't shoot anything on vacation for stock.  Vacation is for not shooting for money.  Besides, who wants a picture of a random tree or wall?

« Reply #12 on: December 02, 2010, 16:08 »
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I used to take my camera to family functions, just in case something "stocky" came up. But everyone was annoyed with me being in their face, asking them to do this or do that, so I stopped. Now I don't take any camera, someone else gets to take the family photos. The camera stays for the business.

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #13 on: December 02, 2010, 18:20 »
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I don't shoot anything on vacation for stock.  Vacation is for not shooting for money.  Besides, who wants a picture of a random tree or wall?
You shoot walls on vacation? i suppose it makes a change from what you usually do.
I've always regarded travelling as my main shooting time, and nowadays for stock. But I never regarded it as a vacation. Even pre-stock I regarded it as 'working at a different job'.

« Reply #14 on: December 02, 2010, 18:40 »
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All my stock is studio these days. If I take my camera out the front door it's not for stock. Sadly I hardly ever take my camera out the front door any more.

vonkara

« Reply #15 on: December 02, 2010, 18:40 »
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You don't see a lawyer having a court at home just for fun. I am in the same boat, since 2007 when I started, I only take pictures of something who can be commercial. And I look at every objects in stores as a potential accessory to photograph

« Reply #16 on: December 02, 2010, 18:52 »
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Before, when we traveled with my girlfriend I had 99% pictures of her and 1% of me. Then I've bought a nice point-n-shoot for her, and guess what? it's 75% of me and 25% of her :-)     Now I can concentrate on stock quality photos, while she's getting the usual vocational shots.

pros: I'm training her skills, we have separate sets of stocks/vocationals, no need to carry heavy camera/lenses all the time (oh, such a relief) and I'm not missing that much of good stock photos just because I'm tired shooting.
cons: $250 for the extra camera.


jbarber873

« Reply #17 on: December 02, 2010, 20:18 »
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    I would say getting paid for a photograph changes your relationship to the craft. As a hobbyist, you get to decide what is good and what is bad. You can shoot whatever pleases you. When you have a client, you have to please them, even if they see things differently, and even if they are "right". Microstock is a much a client as the art director sitting in the studio eating sushi, although one of the most pleasant things about microstock is that you never meet the client. Priceless! ;D

microstockphoto.co.uk

« Reply #18 on: December 03, 2010, 02:06 »
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although one of the most pleasant things about microstock is that you never meet the client. Priceless! ;D

This is the very reason why I am doing microstock!
« Last Edit: December 03, 2010, 02:08 by microstockphoto.co.uk »

rubyroo

« Reply #19 on: December 03, 2010, 03:22 »
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Travel?  Vacations?  Life outside of the studio?  What are these things you speak of?   :D

« Reply #20 on: December 03, 2010, 03:31 »
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One fine day I said to my girlfriend that I will not go to zoo if I am not sure that photos that I will take there will cover the costs.
Now I'm not that sure if it was really only joke.  ::)

« Reply #21 on: December 03, 2010, 03:40 »
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I'm obsessed with photography.  There's been a few times when I haven't taken a non-professional photo for about 6 months but I really didn't enjoy that.  I don't do any studio photos of people, spent 10 years doing that and it wasn't what I want to do.  There are so many people working in that category in the micros, I don't think I could compete with them.

Using alamy helps me, they accept everything I upload and I can sell RM without releases.  That means I can just do what I used to do, wander around with my camera taking photos of whatever I like.  Some go to the micros and some go to alamy.  Much more fun than having to think if a photo will pass inspection and sell on the micros.  There's also sites like zazzle and selling prints, I'm just getting in to that.

I also like the alamy pseudonyms, that allows me to be experimental and upload photos that I wouldn't want in my main collection.  I haven't really taken full advantage of that yet but I will next year.

« Reply #22 on: December 03, 2010, 03:57 »
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Some of my best-sellers were taken in an airport, waiting for my fljghtd. Travel photography (architectue, landscape, nature) is what I take for pleasure and for macros, but then I shoot a lot that is personal only, like enjoying an icecream at Berthillon. But there are also moments in which I shoot aiming stock only, like photos of a brick wall or a flowering tree.

RacePhoto

« Reply #23 on: December 03, 2010, 19:38 »
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I'm obsessed with photography.  There's been a few times when I haven't taken a non-professional photo for about 6 months but I really didn't enjoy that.  I don't do any studio photos of people, spent 10 years doing that and it wasn't what I want to do.  There are so many people working in that category in the micros, I don't think I could compete with them.

Using alamy helps me, they accept everything I upload and I can sell RM without releases.  That means I can just do what I used to do, wander around with my camera taking photos of whatever I like.  Some go to the micros and some go to alamy.  Much more fun than having to think if a photo will pass inspection and sell on the micros.  There's also sites like zazzle and selling prints, I'm just getting in to that.

I also like the alamy pseudonyms, that allows me to be experimental and upload photos that I wouldn't want in my main collection.  I haven't really taken full advantage of that yet but I will next year.


Hopefully the joy and amusement that got you started will resurface. I have to admit I carry a pocket camera everywhere now. They won't be on Alamy but maybe something entertaining will go up on micro? Best of this though, is I'm having fun again, just taking pictures.

Watch out when someone buys something off the wall from Alamy with the pseudo account name. That's what goes on the photo credits! :D
 
I'm back to shooting my odd shots that will never go anywhere, maybe never get printed and I'm sure will never get sold to anyone. They are for me and for my friends. Have to love the web for cheap photo sharing. One click and it goes away too.

Saw this one, pulled over and parked, grabbed the camera and just "had to have it". Now tell me, who else would save this? My girl friend said she knew immediately why I stopped. Proof, some people understand the addiction?  8) Keep the spirit and have fun, it's not all about sales and passing inspection for some small commission.



Or maybe this one, which I also had to pull over, park and shoot. (Paulie may know these places?)


« Reply #24 on: December 03, 2010, 21:32 »
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I am basically a landscape guy that got into stock, somewhat.  In that, I take the shots with my eyes as i move about in travels and whatnot.  I have taken shots months after capturing them visually.  So to go on vacation and not have the camera at least in the general vicinity might be frustrating. 


 

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