First dabbles into stock photography / by Neil Alexander

I've been trying to organise getting some stock photography done between contracts, so I've set myself up with accounts on PhotoShelter, iStockPhoto & Alamy. I'm currently reading Michal Heron's Digital Stock Photography: How to Shoot and Sell which is a very enlightening read, and well worth the minimal outlay. I hadn't realised quite how complicated and involved it would be just to get started. PhotoShelter & Alamy were fairly straight forward, but iStockPhoto can take up to 3 weeks just to create your account.

Eventually all accounts have been opened. I'm only dabbling at this stage. I want to see if a) my equipment is up to the minimum requirements, b) what exactly is involved and how time consuming uploading / keywording / pricing etc is, and c) whether my photography is up the their requirements.  I have quite a lot in my back cat, but whether it is appropriate or not is another matter.

So far, PhotoShelter has been fairly easy to do. Quite a bit of trial and error and a few rejections at first, but I've since managed to get 50 or so files on there which are now live. They only went "live" yesterday so I don't anticipate any sales for a while (if ever!)

iStockPhoto has been a little more tricky. I have tried submitting digitally recorded images, scanned slide film and scanned B&W to them all just as an experiment. iStockPhoto have pretty much eventually rejected everything I've uploaded for various reasons. Scanned B&W I can understand as its really hard to produce good clean dust free scans. Some of the digital images too. There may have been a little camera shake and for some reason they reject blurred movement (a shot of blurred train departing from a platform even though the platform itself and another train at next platform are completely sharp). Also I don't think my Nikon is up to the "megapixel" challenge (ooh, I so want that d300!).

But as for why the scanned slide negs have been rejected, I do not understand. A variety of reasons none of which seem to make any sense.

The same goes for Alamy, though at least they're a bit more prompt at their rejections. iStock keep you hanging for weeks waiting to see, but Alamy just stamp REJECTED within days!

So the outcome so far. Well PhotoShelter seems to be a Yule Brinner, but iStock & Alamy need further research I reckon. I did read about a few others in FPME last night so I'm going to investigate them later too.