Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Stock Photos, Shipping, And Royalty Checks

business man throwing paper airplanes
Organizing, Editing and Cleaning
It has been a while since I made a stock photo.  Today I spent my time organizing and cleaning up my studio.  I have spent most of the last month editing the slow motion video that I spent the previous month shooting. Things have kind of backed up and gotten a little overwhelming…hence the day of organizing. Actually, I never do get quite caught up on my organization efforts. And if I am smart I never will.  You see, organizing is something you can do forever.  I have known more than one aspiring photographer who has spent years getting ready to shoot.

The Most Important Thing Is Shipping
I saw a video presentation a while ago in which Seth Godin pointed out that the most important thing is shipping. I don’t think he had stock photography in mind, but it is probably as true of stock photos as of anything. If nothing ships…nothing sells. If you are anything like me, the closer you get to “shipping” the harder it is to get that last bit done. I was ready to enter the metadata for my third submission of footage last Thursday, and here I am cleaning my studio today (five days later)…instead of completing that submission!

Pulling It Together And Setting Goals
I have to pull it together tomorrow morning, remember what is really important to my career, and get that submission out. The junk mail piled on my desk is not as important. The emails waiting to be answered are not as important. The clutter in my shoot area, the card board boxes waiting to be broken down for recycling, and the dust bunnies camping out everywhere are not as important. You can spend your whole life getting ready, doing legitimate tasks, instead of doing critical tasks. Set a goal for shipping your work and reward yourself AFTER you met that goal, by letting yourself do at least some of that not-so-critical work.

Blend, Getty, Corbis, Super Stock And Kimball Stock

In a way you can say that everything else I do is in support of shipping. The ideas, the shooting, the Photoshop work is all in support of shipping my product.  Once I ship, that is upload the images to Blend, Getty, Corbis, Super Stock or Kimball Stock, then the agencies can do their thing, and I can get my royalty check. No “shipping”, no check.

Preparing For The Future Of Stock

I am supporting the stock images, and preparing for the future of my stock photography, by working on my SEO, by showcasing my stock pictures on my web site, and even by writing this blog. But all of that is secondary to shipping. Now I have to go, I have metadata to enter!


David Riecks said...

While I'm sure you know how to add metadata, others that are suffering from paralysis by analysis might find the following tutorials of use http://www.photometadata.org/META-Tutorials.


John Lund said...


Thanks for the tutorial link. I can use all the help I can get!