Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Vivi's Bridge Camera Challenge: Stock Photography

Have you heard of Yuri Arcurs? He is one of my idol, a very cute guy and my forever crush (that's me blushing.. haha ) kidding aside, Yuri Arcurs is the  world’s top selling microstock photographer AKA the "King of Microstock" and sells around 2,000 images a day and around 2 million a year. Imagine that!

So what is Stock Photography? Simply put, it is defined as royalty-free images taken by  photographers and posting these photos online for sale. When your photos are sold, they may be used without limits on time or the number of copies printed. Royalty free means  the customer may use your photo in multiple applications including advertising, marketing materials, press releases, articles, business documents, packaging, websites, and blogs. Therefore once sold, they have unlimited use for it.

photo taken from a Church in Assisi, Italy, one of my photo reviewed and approved by Dreamstime

How to sell your photos online? You can submit your photos to Stock Photo Agencies like  Dreamstime, Fotolia, Getty Images, IstockPhoto, Shutterstock, etc. They make your approved images available online for their clients to see and in return they have a share or cut in every image that they can sell from your portfolio.

Can Bridge camera users join and sell their photos? Yes, every agency has a list of camera qualified to be used, check if your camera is one of them. I'm a bridge camera user and I chose Fotolia and Dreamstime for my pictures.

How to submit photos? Submission though is not as easy as 1, 2, 3 because approval is not as easy as you think, you have to have the "guts" for this. Rejection is flying left and right, the "perfect" picture for you and your friends will be under a microscope before they get approved! You need to submit your photos and it will undergo a thorough review from their experts to check if your pictures are of the best quality. And on top of that is the stressful thought that you have to maintain a good approval rating for you to be able to continue being represented by their agency. So it boils down to you, criticizing your work first before submission for their review.

Selling images also requires strict adherence to the agencies' terms and conditions:
  • You must be at least 18 years old
  • You must be the author of all the files you upload
  • You must own, or have authorization for all the rights to the elements represented in your files (products, people, property ...)
my Photo of Pillars at Vatican, Vatican City, reviewed and approved by Fotolia
Most common reasons for photo rejection:

1) Technical problems:
  • Bad Composition
  • Blurry or out of focus
  • Over/Under exposure
  • Framing problem
  • Over or under saturated colors
  • Poor lighting setup, poor contrast or incorrect exposure.
  • Poor optical performance due to low lens quality, such as lens fringing, chromatic aberrations, uneven sharpness in focus area. 
  • Distorted pixels, image was interpolated, poorly scanned, upsampled, oversharpened or JPG was not saved at the highest quality.
  • Problems with contrast
  • Noise or Pixelation
  • Quality of routing
  • White balance parameter was not correctly assigned
  • for a very helpful tips on checking the quality of your photos check this link from Dreamstime. 
2) model release,  if your image includes recognizable faces secure a model release
3) copyright issues, anything that has label, logo, characters from cartoons or movies, are protected and are not accepted. Also some buildings are protected by a trademark, new sculptures, cars like Ferrari and Porsche, Harley Davidson motorcycles, the Coca-Cola bottle, the Olympic logo circles, etc.
4) offensive content like explicit nudes, drugs, people in offensive positions, racism

For stock photography, it is supplying the needs of possible buyers of your pictures, it could be a blogger or those running their corporate websites or those running a publication companies or any printed materials. Your subject is endless but of course everything boils down to what sells well. Every photos you see in this post are few of my pictures that were approved by either or both Dreamstime and Fotolia, check some more of my shots:

The picture that made me stop submitting my work:

Reason for stopping: After the reviewer keeps on returning my photo not for rejection but for me to "enhance it more", one thing I am bad at is post processing, I only use Picasa photo editor. The officer returned my picture like 5 times for further editing it gets too frustrating that I finally gave up!

I may have stopped submitting photos, but it doesn't mean I gave up on my photography. My aim in joining is to "learn" and learning from the professionals and them criticizing each of my photo for free and telling me how to improve my shots more is enough for me.. Who needs photography schools and paying tuition fees when you can get a free lessons from the professionals for free right??  So, is stock photography for you? There's no harm in trying it out.. so go! and goodluck!

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  1. BEAUTY is in the eyes of the beholder...
    I am so amazed with your photos not
    only this set of pictures but every photo
    you post is just MAGNIFICENT !!!

    Maybe... your TIME will come.

    1. thank you Marri!! ;) yeah my time will come!

  2. Aww sayang if magstop pero the last paragraph is right.. Di ibig sabihin you stop photography :)

  3. Go lang ng go!!! You'll eventually get there.

  4. Never give up, as what they say! You're photos are actually very beautiful.. and are very noteworthy! You'll never know, nasa Getty Images ka na din sis! :)

  5. I find your photos beautifully natural. Thanks for this informative post, Vivi. I myself is also enjoying photography and hope to finally purchase DSLR next month. :D

  6. Wow, you have been very helpful will consider selling some of my photos too.

  7. You're really good Violy. These photos are just great! Even the reject one.:)

  8. Love the photos. I love their colors. So cool and eye pleasing.

  9. Great Post. As always, I find your shots amazing. I Will bookmark this very informative entry. Thanks Violy! :)

  10. Your pictures are all vivid and candid. Aside from enhancing them in a photo editor of your choice or preference, the camera that you're using is the major factor of coming up with a vivid and candid shots.

  11. I agree with this! Siguro kulang nlng you need to learn how to enhance more with the photos. But with the angles and other stuff for me you have a good sense of photography :)

  12. I like the shot of the pillars, so cool!


  13. Keep persevering! :) I think it's a fun way to make money when photography is one of your interests.

    Nice shots by the way :D

  14. I always have stock photos for future references :p

  15. Nice Photography thanks for sharing great pics

  16. You take great photos! Glad you're not giving up on photography.


  17. All your photos are beautiful, do you know their criteria for judging? like percentages? Still, bookmarking this page, for future reference! Thanks!

  18. Just a piece of advise Vi... continue it. You love have the passion...GO !! Maybe it is not yet your time but who knows after this advise you received a mail saying you are in !!! Never give up... Life is a challenge and so with all the things we do...:D