Well, I guess it won't be exactly like this stock photo I shot in a Buenos Aires night club, but I am looking forward to seeing friends and getting a creative boost at the Blend Images Spring Creative Meeting.
In the interest of fairness I have to disclose that I am a part owner of Blend Images, a stock photo agency that I am about to praise. Tomorrow I am flying to Palm Springs to participate in a day of creative presentations (Saturday) by Blend Images for its photographers. Besides iStock, are there still any agencies that put on events for their contributors? I really look forward to these events. Stock photography can be a isolating career, so it is great to meet face-to-face with my peers, trade shop talk (O.K. little gossip too), strategies and what is going on in our lives. Trust me, this is better than Facebook!
A Creative Event, Creative Direction, And Rising Sales
In addition to putting on a once-a-year creative event, Blend Images also gives each shooter a ton of creative direction, access to an art director, an online forum, daily info on their sales, and a whole lot more. Blend is small enough to be nimble and responsive to both clients and photographers alike. Working with Blend feels like how it should be. And maybe the best part of all, my sales are going up (of course, I don’t know if that is true for everyone)!
Big Sales Still Do Happen
Blend Images truly is a stock photo agency run by photographers (even our CEO, Rick Becker-Leckrone, is a shooter) for photographers. It was founded by twenty-four stock shooters and now has a roster of over a hundred contributing members. It prides itself on transparency and accessibility. Oh yeah, and don't forget those sales! As I mentioned, you can log on to the contributor site and check your daily sales. When I logged on this morning, to my pleasant surprise, one of my associate photographers had a Rights Managed sale for over $3,000.00 (Blend handles Rights Managed, Royalty Free, and a new collection, Boost, which is a mid-level offering between RF and Micro). That is $3,000.00 to the photographer! Yes, big sales do still happen!
Blend Images, Getty, Corbis and SuperStock
While I still contribute to Getty, Corbis, and now SuperStock (of which Blend Itself a part owner) as well, I consider Blend Images to be a cornerstone to my business. They are a vital part of my program to diversify (Blend has over 200 sub-agents world-wide including Getty, Corbis and so forth). Blend now represents half of my income and, considering they just started five years ago, and I have been shooting stock for twenty years. That's pretty impressive!
An Ethnically Diverse, Tight Edited Collection
Blend is, in a sense, a niche agency. It specializes in ethnically diverse business and lifestyle imagery. It has a tightly edited collection so as not to waste the time of those looking for that kind of content, and lets face it, everyone wants that kind of content! In fact, a blend is what our world is becoming (a shout out to Shalom Ormsby, one of our founders, for coming up with a great name). OK, maybe I am getting a bit carried away here, but suffice it to say that I am really looking forward to the next couple of days, of meeting some shooters I have only corresponded with over the Internet, of getting some great and relevant creative direction, and of inundating myself with my fellow stock photographers! What fun!