Behind the Scenes – Stock Photography Business Q&A

Pin on PinterestShare on YummlyShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on LinkedIn

The Stock Photography Business

Hello my web friends!

Many, many, many of you are asking me about stock photography and I thought it would be easiest to write you a post about it. So if you’re interested in the stock photo business, pour yourself a nice espresso drink, pull up a chair and get yourself comfortable because I’m about to bombard you with information.

I have been a stock photographer since 2009 and I am licensing my food photos to buyers either directly (i.e. a buyer purchases a license directly from me) or through stock photo agencies (i.e. a buyer purchases a license for one of my photos from an agency that I have a contract with).

There are many things to know and consider when licensing photos as stock and I’ve put together the main points below. I hope they are helpful, clear and answer the questions you have, but if not, please let me know in the comments. I’ll be happy to continue the conversation about this topic. :)

 

What are stock photos? Stock photos are photos that are available for buyers to license and use. In other words, instead of hiring a photographer and asking him to create a specific photo the buyer finds an already existing photo and purchases a license that allows him to use that photo.

How does a stock photo sale work? When a buyer purchases a stock photo she doesn’t buy the actual photo, instead she buys a license to the photo and that license allows her to use that photo. The copyright to the photo stays with the photographer.

What types of licenses can a buyer purchase? There are two main types of stock photo licenses, one is called rights-managed (RM) and the other royalty-free (RF). (Royalty-free is a misnomer because it doesn’t mean free (as in no cost)).

What is a rights-managed license? When a buyer purchases a rights-managed license he pays a one-time fee for a specific use of the image. The important word here is “specific.” The buyer has to specify where, when and for how long he is going to use the image. Should he decide to use the same image again for another use later, he will have to buy another license.

The buyer determines the specific terms of the rights-managed license. For example, he may want to use the image exclusively for 12 months in North America. That means that the photographer cannot sell another license to the same photo to a different buyer who wants to use the photo in North America during those 12 months. (He can sell other licenses after the 12 months are over. He can also sell a license for usage in, say, Australia during the 12 month).

The main reason why buyers sometimes want to buy rights-managed licenses is because they want to make sure that the image they buy a license for doesn’t show up all over the place because other buyers (including competitors) have bought a license to the image as well.

What is a royalty-free license? When a buyer purchases a royalty-free license she pays a one-time fee and can use the image for as many projects as she wants and doesn’t have to tell the photographer what she is using the image for. At the same time the photographer can sell licenses to that same image over and over again to as many other buyers as he wants and when he wants. The buyers don’t know where and how the image has been used by other buyers.

Rights-managed versus royalty-free from a blogger’s standpoint: In my view, the only licensing type that makes sense to sell for a blogger is royalty-free. A photo that has been published on a blog has most likely been shared on social media sites and other aggregator sites, such as Buzzfeed, Huffington Post, etc., with or without the photographer’s knowledge. That makes it impractical to sell a rights-managed license (unless the buyer doesn’t request any restrictions on the usage of the photo). That is one of the reasons why I offer all my photos for royalty-free licensing only.      

What is a stock photo agency? A stock photo agency is a company that licenses photos to buyers. The agency has contracts with many photographers, who submit their photos to the agency. The agency handles all transactions, does all the marketing and advertising and in returns keeps a percentage of each sale.

There are a number of stock photo agencies out there, targeting everything from low-budget to high-end markets. If you want to check them out, here are a few examples of some well-known stock photo agencies (I have contracts with some of them):

offset.com

gettyimages.com

corbis.com

alamy.com

shutterstock.com

stockfood.com

stock.adobe.com

stocksy.com

istockphoto.com

How do I get a contract with a stock photo agency? To get a contract with a stock photo agency simply look up the application process for the agency you want to work with and apply. The application generally involves sending a link to a portfolio and submitting a few high-resolution sample images. 

 

Radicchio Rice Bowl

Pin on PinterestShare on YummlyShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on LinkedIn

Radicchio Rice Bowl – Cooked radicchio loses all its bitterness and turns into a delicious vegetable in this quick and easy recipe!Buy 585

Happy Wednesday everyone! I’ve got a smashing lunch recipe for you today. This dish has been a staple of mine for more than 20 years and I’m still not tired of it. It’s very simple, very quick and very delicious. You just saute a little minced onion in butter, then add radicchio, a bit of cream and some chicken bouillon and serve over rice. The cooking gets rid of almost all the bitterness that makes radicchio inedible unpleasant when it’s raw and turns it into a quite delicious vegetable. Hope you give it a try. :)

Before I go I wanna give you a quick heads-up that I’ll publish a post about the business of stock photography on Friday. Many of you are asking me about that so I’ve put something together. See you then! :)

5.0 from 2 reviews
Radicchio Rice Bowl
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Lunch/Main
Serves: 2
Ingredients:
  • 1 small head of radicchio
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 4 tablespoons minced onion
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • ½ cube (meant to make 1 cup of broth) chicken bouillon
  • 1 cup cooked rice
Instructions:
  1. Take the radicchio apart into individual leaves and remove and discard the white parts, keeping only the purple parts of the leaves.
  2. Melt the butter in a skillet.
  3. Saute the onion until translucent.
  4. Add the radicchio leaves and saute until they are starting to wilt (about 2 minutes).
  5. Add the cream and bring to a boil.
  6. Add the chicken broth and dissolve in the cream.
  7. Take off the heat and serve over rice.

Food Photography and Styling: I started my thought process for this photo by trying to pick a color that would work well with the deep purple of the radicchio leaves and the only one that appealed to me was black (which is not actually a color) so I used a black foam board as the backdrop (and kept it out of the light to keep it black). I lit the photo with my Hensel Integra Pro Plus 500 strobe (I directed it through a doorframe like I did here) and kept the styling and propping very simple to reflect the simplicity of this dish.

 

Lens: I took this photo with my 105mm f2.8 NIKKOR macro lens. You can find the current version of this lens through the following link (I use an older version that is no longer being sold): AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED Lens.

Camera: I used my Nikon D600 to take this photo. You can find the current version of this camera through the following link: Nikon D610 DSLR Camera.

More Spice Train Posts:

Sweet and Sour Ginger Roasted Mushrooms

Pin on PinterestShare on YummlyShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on LinkedIn

Sweet and Sour Ginger Roasted MushroomsBuy 583

If you are as much a fan of the intense flavors of sweet and sour Asian dishes as I am then you’ll love these mushrooms. They are sweet, sour, ginger-y, and slightly spicy and make a fantastic appetizer.

Here’s how it works: you marinate oyster, beech and shiitake mushrooms (along with a smidgeon of sliced chili pepper) in a mix of rice vinegar, soy sauce, honey and ginger and then roast them until they are nicely tender. Before serving be sure to sprinkle a bit of fresh green onion on to contrast the intense sweet and sour flavors. Bon appetit! :)

5.0 from 2 reviews
Sweet and Sour Ginger Roasted Mushrooms
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Appetizer
Serves: 4
Ingredients:
  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1½ tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon thinly sliced fresh chili pepper
  • 4 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and caps cut in half
  • 4 ounces Beech mushrooms, stems trimmed
  • 4 ounces oyster mushrooms, stems trimmed
  • 1 green onion, thinly sliced (don't skip, it's not just for garnish, it's required to contrast the sweet and sour flavors of the mushrooms)
Instructions:
  1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Whisk rice vinegar, soy sauce, ginger, honey and oil together in a bowl.
  3. Add the chili pepper and the mushrooms, stir around a few times to coat everything, then let the mix sit for 10 minutes.
  4. Spread the mushrooms out on a baking sheet and roast until tender (about 10 minutes).
  5. Sprinkle with green onion slices and serve.

Food Photography and Styling: I used a wooden placemat that I bought years ago from Target as the surface in this shot. I don’t know why I don’t use it more often, it’s a good prop actually, the color is nicely muted and the mosaic pattern looks nicely interesting. The backdrop is a brown cork tile (another prop I should use more often…). Because I wanted to bring out the nice shiny glaze on the mushrooms I lit this photo from the back (using my Hensel Integra Pro Plus 500 strobe and my Hensel Ultra IV Softbox – 35×58″ (90x150cm)).

 

Lens: I took this photo with my 105mm f2.8 NIKKOR macro lens. You can find the current version of this lens through the following link (I use an older version that is no longer being sold): AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED Lens.

Camera: I used my Nikon D600 to take this photo. You can find the current version of this camera through the following link: Nikon D610 DSLR Camera.

More Spice Train Posts:

Cardamom Meringue Cookies

Pin on PinterestShare on YummlyShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on LinkedIn

Cardamom Meringue CookiesBuy 580

I found myself with a big bowl of egg whites again the other day (do you have that problem too? I always seem to use many more yolks than whites…) and figured I’d whip them into some pretty meringue cookies. But not just any old meringue cookies, I wanted to flavor this canvas with something more exciting than vanilla (no offense) and chose half a teaspoon of finely ground cardamom. I didn’t exactly know what to expect but I’m happy to report that the result was awesome. Light and crunchy, sweet, citrusy and minty, all in one bite.

5.0 from 3 reviews
Cardamom Meringue Cookies
 
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 40
Ingredients:
  • 3 egg whites
  • ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ⅔ cup granulated sugar
Instructions:
  1. Heat the oven to 250 degrees F.
  2. Add egg whites, cream of tartar and cardamom to a bowl and beat until frothy.
  3. Gradually add the sugar, continuing to beat, until you have glossy, firm peaks.
  4. Pipe small dollops (about 2 inches in diameter) onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and bake for 40 minutes.
  5. Turn the oven off and, without opening the oven door, let the meringue cookies sit for another 60 minutes.

Food Photography and Styling: I set my aperture as wide as I could here to get a very shallow depth of field and create a soft and dreamy look for these delicate cookies. I filled them into a little sweets box I had bought from Michael’s a while ago and lined the box with a piece of thin white packing paper to make it look more inviting and less naked. The composition is a bit of a bull’s eye with the focus smack in the middle of the frame. That’s not generally something I aim for but I thought it worked well in this particular case. I lit the scene with natural light from a south-facing window to the left of the set.

 

Lens: I took this photo with my 105mm f2.8 NIKKOR macro lens. You can find the current version of this lens through the following link (I use an older version that is no longer being sold): AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED Lens.

Camera: I used my Nikon D600 to take this photo. You can find the current version of this camera through the following link: Nikon D610 DSLR Camera.

More Spice Train Posts: