Take Stock; Another Way To Think About Your Travel Pictures
"How's it goin'?" a writer friend asked me recently. "Busy," I said. "That's great," he said. We talked some more, and what I ended up telling him was that one of the reasons things were going well and I was staying busy was that in addition to assignments from tourist boards, travel bureaus, and cruise lines, a lot of my income comes from stock photography. And, fortunately, that my stock images are pretty popular. I've got eight different stock agencies that have my pictures, and those pictures are bought and used for...well, just about everything. As we talked I realized that there's hardly a day that goes by that I don't see one of my photos somewhere. I didn't want it to appear that I was bragging about it, but I told him that I've seen my photographs in TV commercials, in news features broadcast on CNN, on billboards, in newspapers, and on direct-mail flyers. They're routinely used to sell and promote everything from airlines to coffee, shoes to health insurance, toothpaste to Viagra.
Then I recalled that on a three-day drive last summer from our home in Texas up to Cape Cod, my family and I counted something like 15 times on the way up and about the same on the way back that we saw one of my pictures. We saw them on billboards, on the cover of a hotel directory, in newspaper ads, and in a AAA catalog, among other places.
The photos here, which I took
in Italy as I traveled the country for two assignments, are all viable
stock images that can be applied to any number of products and services
because they're about the mood and feeling of the place.
So consider the lifestyle message
when you're traveling. If you get enough good stuff, maybe you'll
start thinking about getting a stock agency interested in your work. There's
bad and good news about that: it's a highly competitive market,
but there's such an appetite for new images, there's room
for you. (If you'd like to check out some stock agencies, log onto
the website for the Picture Archive Council of America, which is the trade
association for stock agencies. PACA is at www.pacaoffice.org.)
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