Stock Photography – where are the pictures used ? Tearsheets

During a reunion with former colleagues I was telling them about my photography hobby and especially stock photography where I had the possibility to show my work potentially to the entire planet. Nobody got a clue of stock photography till I asked them where they taught all these pictures they daily see on the internet come from ?

In the “before internet” age there weren’t many possibilities for hobbyist photographers like me to showcase their work. You could sent your work to local newspapers and magazines and hope for publication , you could attend to local competitions or maybe even organize a little exhibition in the local pub. When your work got published in a magazine or newspaper you could tear the sheets with the pictures out of them to collect them in a portfolio.

The internet changed this completely. Now you can sent your pictures to flickr, google, facebook, … or build your own site to make the entire world your public. The major problem however is attracting viewers to watch your pictures.

Then came stock photography. There are millions of sites on the internet and they all need pictures to help them tell their story. Soon there were companies that saw this huge potential market and started building picture collections using that same internet to attract suppliers and buyers. Companies like Istock/Getty, Shutterstock have build picture libraries of more than 30.000.000 pictures by now and several 100.000 pictures are added weekly. So for a hobbyist photographer like me it’s an easy way to sell my pictures, be it for a very small amount, to the entire world.

The “tearsheets” of before are now replaced by print screens of websites using my pictures. Here are some examples.

This picture of a rose was taken last summer in my garden. It is sold several times by now.

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A print screen of a french site selling plants using my picture.
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A picture taken during summer holiday of the cathedral in Périgueux sold dozen of times to travel and blog sites.

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One of my best sellers, a panama hat. Even found on a site in India

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Denim trousers on a fashion site in a language I do not understand.

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Petanque, on several sites, one of them being a naturist resort

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An a warning sign on the cover of a naturist ebook
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The Belgian ardennes on a Polish site
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Haflingers in Holland
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One of my pictures in your kitchen ?
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Want to go on a cruise ?
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One of my first pictures. Three times spotted is same Romanian newspaper.
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The intercom at the door of one of my neighbours found from Polen to Israel.
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My wive adjusting the heating
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Another picture from Domburg beach
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And from the Dordogne
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A silver mike from an investment blog to a karoake bar in Chicago
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And more denim trousers in Belgian colors
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If you spot one of my images on a website I appreciate it to receive a print screen.

Thank you,

Dirk

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