A year ago I had never heard of stock images. Melissa, in her graphic design work, had used it, but that was the extent of her exposure to it. What is stock photography or stock images? Stock Photography is the business of supplying web page designers, web writers, print advertisers, and about any other use you can think of, with photographs. The key is that the photography is shot before there is a demand for it – thus the term “stock.” This is not commissioned photography like you would see in a major brand advertising campaign, rather these are often the photos you see on websites or other ads.
So, how did my legs and hiking boots end up in a blog post in Chile? The miracle of the internet. About a year ago we started looking into selling some of our images as stock images. I had between 15,000 and 20,000 images on my hard drive from all of my travels over the years. Melissa had quite a few of travel, but also of her gardening, crafts and quilting. Here is a link to a blog post in South Africa that used her picture of Onions in a Bowl – psst, don’t them those are North Carolina onions….
The photo above is from my trip to Yosemite in 2012 with my long time hiking buddy. We were hiking the Gaylor Lakes Trail in the Tuolumne Meadows area and stopped for a break. Side note here – if you are going to Yosemite and like to hike, do not miss the east side of the park. The Gaylor Lakes Trail was my favorite of the trip. The valley, while beautiful, was so crowded that I felt like I was in Disneyland. Anyway, it had become an unofficial tradition to take a shot like this. I put the picture up for sale on a whim, and what do you know, it sold! Oh, I had to supply a “model release” even thought I took the picture of my own legs.
You don’t get rich from this type of photography, but it is fun to see if can find the images online. The agency doesn’t tell you who bought it, but Google Image Search can find many of them. We recently found one of our photograph of flying in a Beaver float-plane in the San Juan Islands being used to advertise for a float company in Europe.
Now, if I can just join my legs in Chile for a hike…