Most photographers believe that shooting images, any images, of any subject, is enough to earn money. Many know that stock photography today is not what they knew years ago and have left the industry or will do soon, others are shooting microstock where the individual prices may not be great, but multiple 14 cents can make, if you are lucky, some money worth handling.

However, not all is as it seems and many photographers should pay attention to a number of details to see their results improve. Here are the Top 5 reasons for low sales results worth considering and putting into practice:

  1. Imagery that is not relevant is the most important reason that photographers lose business. Relevance describes how pertinent, connected, or applicable something is to a given matter.  Therefore if you go to the street and shoot images without thinking how they will be used, you are in fact wasting most of the time you are shooting. A thing is relevant if it serves a given purpose, being advertising, decorative or even editorial, but boring street scenes with little more acumen than point and shoot are for the most part a waste of digital technology and sadly many photographers shoot this way today. Who wants to spend time looking at boring, predictive, point and shoot images taken with a digital camera kit?

  2. Lack of MR/PR´s: No matter how many times it is repeated, photographers still don’t realize that shooting “editorial” (or “No MR available” in the industry terminology) is not a good idea now that stock agency websites sell images worldwide.  It’s a bad idea because (1) the editorial concept is not universal, but varies by country, so anyone can have a legal entanglement in a country where images could be published, but no “editorial protection” exists and (2) images of people without MR/PR´s can never be sold for commercial uses. In spite of all odds, there are still some lucrative advertising sales that “editorial photographers” will never see and in these moments of low prices, commercial uses supply a bit of oxygen to suffocated shooters.

  3. Bad captions and lack of good keywords is another pending matter that photographers who submit images need to overcome. It doesn’t even matter if keywords are added by the agency, because if an image of a beach only specifies in the caption “Cambodia” or “Vietnam,”  that image will have a little chance of sale or appearing on the web provided it is not uploaded to Flicker and even there the possibilities of selling it are, at best, slim. 

  4. Too few images and a lack of persistency is another revenue-eroding factor; nowadays, shooting constantly and submitting regularly to the stock agency of your choice is a must. Otherwise, you will get sporadic, lucky sales but not solid, persistent sales month after month. 

  5. Ranking, the capacity of your images of being seen in the first pages of the search results, affects those that don’t supply images regularly. Nobody wants to promote photographers who don’t submit frequently in these days when the offer of images is so vast that it makes the editing process difficult (and if the images are irrelevant, pretty tedious as well).

Take it or leave it, being a stock photographer today is hard and if on top of that, you miss the obvious, then you are severely limiting your own possibilities.


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Welcome to the wild, wonderful world of Juan Carlos Muñoz. The images of this long-time age fotostock photographer show passion for, but also extensive knowledge of the animals, plants and natural environments of our planet. It is a potent combination which results in photography that is an authentic treasure; a treasure because it allows us to observe and appreciate species and places that we might never see in person and which will only exist for future generations if we can learn to conserve them.

You can see more of Muñoz´s work here or on his website which the photographer advises is currently under renovation.

Q: What 3 words best describe you?

A: Naturalness, Simplicity, Passion.

Q: Why did you become a wildlife photographer?

A: Ever since I was a child I liked nature so much that in college I majored in Biology, specializing in the environment.

Q: What is the animal or plant that you most like to photograph?

A: My group of “favorites” is very large, yet I am passionate about owls, penguins and meadow pastures.

Q: What is your favorite lens? Why?

A: A staple in my travel kit is the 24-105 mm lens because of its great versatility. In wildlife photography, I can’t do without my 500 mm lens.

Q: Are you more technical or intuitive in your photography?

A: Intuition is an essential element in all my images.

Q: What’s the image that you are still hoping to make?

A: Flowing rivers of lava.

Q: How do you finance your photographic trips around the world?

A: With the publication of my images in newspapers, magazines, and other parts of the editorial and advertising sectors.

Q: Why did you choose age fotostock to represent your photography?

A: I decided to work with age fotostock because I found age to be the most focused and far reaching agency in the Spanish market. Also, my images fit in well with the wide range of photographic subjects which age represents.

Q: What equipment do you recommend?

A: Incredible photographs are not necessarily created with expensive equipment, but in sublime moments. Any of digital SLRs that abound on the market today can allow you to capture remarkable images.

Q: If you weren’t a photographer, what would you be?

A: I’d be a field biologist.


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Who said stock photography has to be all business teams and smiling families?  Admittedly, those images are the stock photographer´s bread and butter, but it´s okay to have a little fun with fashion for stock every once in a while too.  After all, all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy...

easy top 10 Hottest Style Musts

Let yourself be inspired by these "stylin" images submitted to our easyFotostock collection.


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In case we have any faithful readers out there, we apologize to you for the delay since the last post.  Age fotostock has been seeing the world, specifically travelling to Istanbul to participate in the annual Cepic conference from May 17 till 22.  This conference generates a lot of work for us, both before and after the conference, so we haven´t been able to write in the blog.

We are pleased to report that one of the reasons that Cepic creates a growing workload for age fotostock is because age fotostock director, Alfonso Gutierrez, has been serving on the Cepic Committee and was in fact, re-elected this year to continue serving on the committee.  Alfonso is the chosen representative from the Spanish Association of Stock Agencies to represent them at European level.

Although you might not know of Cepic, it is important for stock photographers and videographers.  CEPIC stands for the Coordination of European Picture Agencies Stock, Press and Heritage, or more commonly, Center of the Picture Industry.  The goal of CEPIC is to be a united voice for the press, stock & heritage organizations of Europe in all matters pertaining to the photographic industry.  As such, CEPIC is involved in attempting to influence the decisions of the European Union in matters such as piracy, Google books, Orphan works, and collective rights management (see more here).  Policy for these matters and others is being decided at the level of the European Union, and those decisions will affect all photographers whose photography is being licensed at some place in the European Union.  That’s why age fotostock feels it is important to be involved and is glad to have a key person close to the events. 

If you are interested in learning more about the photo industry environment in this year’s Cepic conference, take a look at this reflection on the state of the photography industry by conference attendee Liz Pepper.


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The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in anyway.

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