The first of a continuing series on the adventures of stock photography
Five years ago I was out in North Hollywood with Greg, another photographer and also a co-worker on an aerospace contract. We took a day off and went to Santa Monica Beach and shot up some digital imagery. I walked down under the pier and noticed the patterns made by the support columns and shot some views with the eye toward submitting to my stock agencies.
I get most of my action from a micro stock agency called Shutterstock. There’s not much income from my Shutterstock account. I only have 860 images with them, and considering that Shutterstock currently catalogs over 43 million images, my take of the pie is fairly small. Still, I get a few dollars every month and pick up a payout whenever my sales top $75, which is a couple of times a year.
Last summer was a good time for me. I was edging toward $75 when, boom, a couple of high-dollar sales came in together, and I collected over $90 for the payout. Of course, this set my accounts receivable back down to zero beginning in September, and the number was climbing unusually slowly throughout the month. October rolled around, and I had barely topped $20. My total for one week was only $0.66.
Then this happened:
One of the Santa Monica Pier shots brought a $28 commission. Who would have thought that a stroll along the beach with Greg and the chance notion to shoot some pier supports would, six years later, put bacon on the table?
True confession: I do not rely on stock photography income to feed my family. Barbara Jean and I would grow very slim, even starve. What I do with the money is give it to the Democrats. Whenever I get payouts from my agencies I write a check to the DNC.
I know as well as you that the Democrats are only going to use the money to get elected so they can screw the public. It’s scary to consider that my contribution to the Democrats could swing this year’s election, meaning that an offhand decision to shoot some pier supports could possibly change the course of the civilized world.
Try not to think of it.