Tuesday, August 3, 2010

A strange metal exercise...

A few month ago, in one of Ned and me conversation about our least favorite topic - how to turn photography into an income, we spoke about stock photography. Ned was approved as a Getty images photographer for over a year, but we've never really done much with that, I don't even use a Getty approved camera and their process of accepting people is really jarring.

I do however take so many photos every day and I thought that it might be cool to be able to generate some income out of it. I decided to try one of those micro stock photography sites and see if I can sell some images through them. In my mind this was supposed to be easy - I mean, those people sell a photo for 1$ and give the photographer .20 for each 1$ they make - so if you are getting .20 for a sale, it can't be too difficult right?!

I picked 3 photographs of a cup of tea I took in an Asian restaurant the night before and send those out to the site. A couple of hours later I got back to fill in all sort of details about the files and images. about 5 days later, I got a long e-mail explaining to me why each of the images were rejected.

It gave me that horrible warm feeling in my belly, a combination of shame and failure. I scanned the words quickly, and threw the e-mail away.

Then I tired again, and were rejected again.

After about 5 files, I realized that this was a mental exercise in being rejected.

When I send the first photo, I though I can somehow change the way stock photography look and that what I do is far more cool then a stupid photos of a banana on a white background. After a few images I realized that this is not about cool, but about matching a certain style that the site is looking for, that it's not me being rejected but an image I made and that it's being rejected because it doesn't match what the site wants, not because it's bad, not because I'm bad.

After around 30 rejected images, I got distracted with other projects, and just gave up on it. This week, I decided to give it another shot. I shot and worked on almost everything Ned and I were eating and all the food I made. I send about 10 images, then finally one got approved!

So far, it had 3 views and no sales... it's really not all that exciting on a practical level, I do however feel very proud of myself for being able to keep going and modify the way I was shooting thing to match a criteria set by a client. I feel like as far as turning the photography into a business rather then a vocation, this is a really big step for me.

Anyway, if you, or anyone you know needs a photo of a pasta salad for anything - here it is. or you can just click the link and make me happy cause I'll get more then 3 views...

I feel a bit pathetic bragging about taking a step into the lowest form of photography work, however, it's still a step, so I guess bottom-of-the-pile is still better then not-in-the-game.

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