Published on Fri Jul 24, 2015 by David J Colbran
Like most established photographers I've got a large archive of images from work assignments and various trips around the UK and beyond over the years. And while the prices of stock images continue to fall, there is still a large demand for quality images and my stuff keeps on selling. One tip that I tell every photographer, is to always carry a camera with you, everywhere you go - you never know what you are going to see and it might just be a scene that will pay you again and again.
I crack on preparing, editing, keywording and uploading images to rights-managed agencies, during quiet periods between shoots. I always see the monthly credits to my bank account as a nice little bonus, rather than an income stream that I rely upon.
Being creative with keywords and classifications is essential, as you are trying to guess what picture editors are putting into search boxes. However I'm always surprised what gets used and picked out ... and of course with agents you are never 100% sure where they have been used.
Anyway a few recent ones below;
A simple set of photos of a FBI takedown notice on the original Silk Road site, that is still selling. Latest sale was for an academic book in the States - pushing my earns in to 4 figures for a set that was quite straight forward to create (even if finding it was tricky via the dark web). They have appeared in numerous publications now since 2013 - read more on a previous blog post - Silk Road photos used in press - and they continue to be the biggest earners from my archive.
Perhaps not the most exciting of pictures but it was used across 2 pages in an academic book and commanded a nice licencing fee. It was from a shoot for paramedic training session here in Liverpool.
These images were licenced to a small business, relocating to Regents Square, just off Euston Road, Camden, London. A quick couple of general views, while waiting for the train back to Liverpool. General views are usually well covered in most photo libraries - unless like these they are new and you are the first to get images online. Also making sure they are keyworded correctly - including details like architects, full postcodes etc - means they can be found easily and appear high in the search rankings.
And just around the corner, the newish hotel at St Pancras - views of the facade of the hotel / station number in to the thousands, so I went with some funky angles of the sign and waited for people in the blurred background to appear. This was used in an international travel magazine.
Finally, stock sales wouldn't be the same, without at least one Beatles / Liverpool related sale - this one was via a library and I don't know too much about it, other than licenced for 2 years and it made me £300. Crazy really when similar pictures are online with other photographers for micro-prices. But I'm not complaining !
Of course, I'm always ready for photo commissions - so if you have spent hours looking through stock library sites for an exact image and had no joy, it might be a better ROI to speak to me and I can shoot what you need and get it over to you with Dropbox or WeTransfer quickly. Just give me a call or drop me an email !
stock, archive, sales
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"I have employed David for conferences, presentations, social engagements, marketing materials, open days, portrait shots, official document signings amongst many others. David has always been amenable to our sometimes short notice and has delivered our photos in a quick time frame as agreed and sometimes much quicker depending on our needs. He has always been very helpful, he follows and delivers on the brief and is able to give additional value to jobs with minimal briefs. I am more than happy to recommend David and he will no doubt deliver the same quality he provides us."