My Venture in Stock Photography

Late 2011 I discovered stock photography and I started uploading to my first stock agencies. My intention was to have some feedback on how “good or bad” my pictures were. The first two sites where my work was accepted, were Dreamstime and Fotolia. I tried quiet some other sites like depositphotos, photodune, veer, bigstockphoto and some more but by now I stopped uploading to them. The remaining sites besides FT and DT are Shutterstock, Alamy and 123rf. 123rf had a good start before they cut royalties but now sales are poor and royalties are minimum. I’ll probably stop uploading there after I reach my next payout. Shutterstock is by far my biggest earner. Alamy is a special case, sales are very slow but they specialize in editorial content so this is a good place to send “unreleased” content as “right managed”.

Here you can see my portfolio on the different agencies.

 
 

My yearly downloads went from 50 in 2011, 314 in 2012 to 475 end november 2013

Although my portfolio on Shutterstock counts only 170 pictures I reached 324 downloads there. On Fotolia (where I deleted a lot of pictures when they cut royalties for slow earners) I reached 226 downloads but with very low royalties. This explains why with only 74 downloads on Dreamstime I earned more royalties then with Fotolia. Istockphoto is missing in this list. I just subscribed there and after being accepted I uploaded my first 13 pictures last week. Now I’m waiting for their approval before uploading more.

Strobist: Phottix Easy-up octabox folding 110cm / 43″

Many of my stock photos are taken inside. Since I don’t have a fancy studio I use  our living room as studio most of the time. This situation can only be sustained if you can build up and break down quiet easily your set. For this reason I’m using off camera speedlights. I’m using my pop-up flash to trigger my SB700 and Yongnou 560II. Together with some stands with  swivels, umbrella’s and a reflector you have a complete set. Up till today I was mainly using a shoot through or a bouncing umbrella but for shooting objects on a black background this can be challenging as there is always a lot of spill light.

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Today I received my new octabox which is as easy to transport and set up as an umbrella.  I ordered the Phottix Easy-up octabox pliable 110cm / 43″ and the package came with the “umbrella”, the white front panel and a honeycomb together with a bag.

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I replaced the umbrella on my stand by the “umbrella-softbox” in just a couple of seconds.

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Before I added the front panel I gave my speed light a 180° turn so the sensor was facing front because I wanted to trigger it in slave mode. (Of course I could have used my radio triggers instead)

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After some test shots I added the honeycomb

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Can’t wait to take my next stock photos with this.

Dirk

 

A good start

While I’m posting my portfolio starting with the oldest pictures I came across this seascape picture taken on the beach of Domburg in Holland with my first dslr camera the Nikon D5000. That day I took a lot of pictures of these waves rolling through the wooden poles using a very old tripod with one taped/broken leg.
It is very interesting to see one of these pictures became one of my best-sellers.

 

Breakwater on the beach in Domburg, Holland

Breakwater on the beach in Domburg, Holland