Thoughts on Selling Into Stock Photography

My new camera may allow me to put photos up at Adobe Stock (external link), a photo stock service with over 60 million images. The images would quietly wait there until someone bought the rights and then I would be paid a royalty. Adobe, in other words, does not pay you upfront, rather, only when someone goes to buy. As far as I can tell, there is no fee for posting. Just technical requirements (external link) Here’s why I think this kind of selling is intriguing.

My new camera has WiFi and an app that allows me to take pictures remotely. I could have a tripod set up at my place, across the street from a nearby cell site. Using my smartphone, I would not have to be at the tripod continuously, instead, I could have the camera trained on a certain spot and I could then wait for the right moment. Take a look at the examples below.

These are three handheld shots just used as an example. See how I caught the face of one of the workers in the shot below? That’s good, since people with their backs turned don’t make good subjects. Notice how the other worker is bending down? That’s bad. This is why photographers have to be patient. They make take hours and hours and dozens of shots to get the right image. But using remote imaging might allow me to do my writing while keeping an eye on what’s going on.

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This next shot would be interesting except the worker looks like he lost his head. Notice, too, the heavy shadows. Not good. As photographers say, “I am waiting for the right light.” Hmm. I wonder if I could bring out his head in Photoshop . . .

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Here I approach my goal. A face shot but not with enough recognition that I would have to get a model release. This shot is framed poorly, however, with the antenna array on the right side out of the picture.

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Having used many stock photo services for my law office blogs, I know there is a demand for just about any kind of image, including men at work photos. I took a look at what Adobe Stock has now and none of them include people. A person in a photo always looks better. IMHO.

I’ve heard arguments that photographers shouldn’t give away rights to their photos by using stock photo services. But this to me looks like an opportunity for another income stream, even if small, as I get better and better with my new equipment.

NB: Update. After a short while of working, the remote imaging capability stopped working. I’ve now installed updated firmware, reinstalled the Canon Connect app, done cold starts of both the camera and the iPhone and on and on. I even used an outdated app, just to see if that would work. After several hours I have given up and will call tech support when I get the time. Apparently I am not the only one having problems, judging by the complaints on the net.

Another update: I got the remote imaging to work through my tablet, which gives me a bigger screen to work with. But as with all things wireless there is a delay between the right moment and when the camera actually clicks the shutter. It’s still the same story: wait for the right shot with the camera firmly in hand or on a tripod. Oh, one more thing.

I got a terrific shot of the cell site workers today. But I lost my blue sky from yesterday. Today is cloudy and no more wonderful blue. Again, never miss an opportunity.

Yet another update: The image below was shot through a window using a remote imaging app on my iPad. The camera turned off at one point. I am now looking for a power cord. I think the camera shuts down WiFi when the battery gets too low. I could also use a more colorful humming bird. 🙂

Still yet another update: Uploaded a photo to Adobe Stock on January 3rd, only to discover on the tenth that Adobe has no record of my doing so. Also no record of my tax information or anything related to my profile. I had to reenter everything. Although this time they didn’t ask for a copy of my state ID, something they did the last time. The only thing I can think of is that I registered under another Adobe ID, of which I probably have several, all created over twenty years.

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About thomasfarley01

Freelance writer who specializes in history, technology, and human interest stories.
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