In a past life I worked in banking but took the plunge to make a career change some 30 years ago. Photography had been a hobby and it seemed natural to follow that route. At that time I was living in London and I found a photo library that was willing to take my images. I photographed the usual tourist sites in London and beyond but in order to expand my portfolio I went to photo calls on behalf of the photo library. They obtained passes for me to events such as London Fashion Week, the Lord Mayor’s Banquet, television programme launches and similar things.
Sadly, the library in question did not actively market my work and has since closed following the death of the principal a few years ago. Undeterred I found other libraries/agencies to represent me and more sales were forthcoming. It must be noted that a “sale” is merely a licence to use an image. I retained copyright of my images throughout. I also did not grant exclusivity to any particular agency so similar shots were placed with a few of them. This was, of course, still in the days of film. I shot transparencies. So rather than duplicate images post shooting I took a few of each subject. As a result they were in effect entirely different images.
Digital photography has changed all this and it is not uncommon for the same image to be placed with several libraries/agencies.
Whilst in London I photographed a lot of celebrities. However, on moving to Hook Norton I changed tack as they are a bit thin on the ground out here and concentrated more on scenic images of the local area.
The resulting images are still placed with my current library – Alamy. However, in recent years the marketplace has been saturated with images from professionals and competent amateurs. This saturation has resulted in a dramatic reduction in fees paid in recent years.
Royalty free images have become big these past few years. While most of my images are held on a rights managed basis I do have royalty free images with Alamy and Adobe Stock. I achieve more sales in terms of “downloads” from the royalty free images but the fees are much lower. 25p for a royalty free downloaded image anyone? An image of our wood burning stove is downloaded on a regular basis and my usual payment is 25p although I have had as much as 74p on occasion! I am glad that I am not starting out in this business!
As we live in a village we feel that we should get involved in village life. I am the secretary of the village local history group, a position I have held for a number of years. For the past 5 years I have been the local wildlife co-ordinator for the village newsletter. Any interesting wildlife sightings are hopefully reported to me and I write them up for the newsletter usually with a photo or two, not necessarily mine.
The village has a smallholding which raises pigs, usually rare breeds and I am involved with that too. Involvement in the activities of any community is a way to make friends and also to feel part of it.