Panel on Stock Photography

- - Events

I moderated a panel on stock photography last Sunday and met some very talented young photo editors and learned a few things too. We had Leslie dela Vega the Photo Editor at TIME Magazine, Whitney Lawson, Photo Editor at Travel+Leisure, Michael Wichita, Photo Editor from AARP Bulletin and Ryan Schick the Photo Editor at Conde Nast Portfolio.com.

Here’s what I discovered:

Travel + Leisure, loves film. All their regular contributors shoot film so if you’d like to shoot stories for T+L you’d better go buy a film camera (or fake it somehow). Whitney was careful to point out several times that the deep rich blacks achieved in film are very important to the pictures they run. Additionally what separates a good travel photo from a brochure photo is the amount of information that’s in the frame. A brochure photo will take great pains to show the view and the bed in a hotel room, the flower on the nightstand and all the little details that are all perfect plus it’s lit like the land of a thousand suns, so you can’t tell what time of day it is. That’s four different pictures in a travel story.

Tha AARP Bulletin is different then the magazine, they’re more focussed on the issues and not as lifestyle or a slick as the magazine. Michael said that he never gets enough stories pitched from photographers and they pay good money, so that should be incentive for photographers to send him a pitch or two. He also said finding pictures of seniors with different ethnicities is nearly impossible.

Portfolio.com seems to be headed in the right direction. They have a photo editor, they’re buying stock and assigning stories. Ryan told us about how a photographer who’s work he enjoyed pitched a story on high end bone fishing and was given a 5 day assignment. Also, he showed a few of the recent stock purchases they had made and all felt fresh compared to your usual business metaphors.

Time magazine is an industry icon and heavy user of stock in the front a back of book sections of the magazine. It was interesting to hear Leslie talk about how photos get approved at the magazine. She will meet with her section designer and go over the line-up to see what stories they want to find photography for then she’ll go get a handful of images for each one from which the designer will mock up 4-5 approaches. They then take that to discuss and pick the final selection with the Editor. Also, I asked her about stories that were difficult to find stock for that they always encounter. Major issues facing youths like drugs, pregnancy and drinking we’re always hard to find pictures of because all the underage people depicted and the releases they would need from parents. In fact she recently used craigslist.org to find kids with party photos for an underage drinking story and found the perfect frame where someone was passed out face down and surrounded by beer bottles.

Everyone said they had purchased photos from Flickr or amateur photographers from time to time but they kept their standard usage rates because it was not an issue of finding something cheap just finding an image the stock sites didn’t have. Most are using micro stock for those tiny throwaway shots (worst design trend ever) in the front of the book except Whitney who had no idea what micro stock was. Also, everyone seemed very excited about Photoshelter’s stock offering and I know the feeling because if you’ve searched the big stock houses enough you become very familiar with the limitations of their collections so a new player who’s actively adding imagery and photographers to the system is a very welcome addition.

There Are 62 Comments On This Article.

  1. Whitney sounds like my kind of girl! I have no idea what micro stock is, either, but I’m fairly sure it’s not something I’d use, anyway. I also applaud her guidelines on film – coming from a film-only background, I find it much easier to color-correct with a chrome as a native file than anything else, and it’s hard to argue the “rich blacks” issue.

    Is there such a thing as on-demand stock? What I mean is, a type of stock agency where an Editor can request certain themes and content that the agency can then go out and have generated by its contributing shooters and provide to the Editor as stock – same purchase price, same dynamics, etc.

    Many times, I have photoshoot needs and a stock budget – this type of deal would work for me, I think…

  2. PhotoShelter was wise to do this event. Nice people. But they need some buzz. I considered signing up with them, but before I did, I asked several of my ad agency clients what agencies they go to for stock — the only consistent names were Getty, Corbis, and Vere. Honestly, none of them had ever even HEARD of PhotoShelter. I guess that proves, you’ve got to promote, and you’ve got to generate buzz — because you can’t license anything if no one even goes to your site.

  3. “(or fake it somehow)”

    Not exactly brain surgery. Shoot digital, then burn the selects to film. Imagers.com does a decent job, cheap. T+L will never know.

  4. Thanks for posting! Can’t wait to watch the videos from the event.
    Photoshelter is the real deal. I have been with them since the beginning and have nothing but positive things to say about them. Sales are happening in fact I had a great sale a few weeks ago. My sale was not an editorial license but rather a commercial/advertising license, so the dollar amount was a lot bigger. I feel PhotoShelter is really attacking these kinds of sales. They are still a new company but the word is spreading fast and I think sales are only going to get better.

  5. Picture This

    @1 – Stock agencies do send “want” lists to photographers and some of the big ones (like Getty) commission their own shoots for stock. I think a big driver for them is material that PEs &ABs are searching for but not finding (or buying) with them.

    Depending on your relationship with stock agencies (and your turn-around time frames) it may be worth asking them if they can help you out with your request.

    Also, some of these agencies have assignment divisions where they may see stock/re-sale value in an assignment and might work with you (again depends on your relationship with them and what type of material you are looking to generate).

  6. Bored Again

    I don’t want to sound like this, but Rob, 99% of the folks at the event could have given your speech. What was new about it? Were you talking to a group of freshmen at Parsons?

    I mean, what did you say that was new to the group? This was not a boot camp, it was camp boot. With the exception of the dude who asked the question (or was it a comment?) about “key-wording”, everyone else already knew about everything you presented. I was very disappointed.

    I keep coming to these events thinking I will hear something new. Perhaps some inside the editorial office trick. Bottom line is that editors (like yourself) will give jobs to their friends, and people that will have a beer with them. Even you said so.

    It is almost never about the photos anymore. The business has gone from having a nice book to how to get in someone’s pants.

    For example, Chase Jarvis, I LOVE the dude. But he is a brand, not a photographer. I am sure he is great to hang with, but his portfolio….is nothing new. Still he rocks.

    PhotoShelter did a good job. Here I ended with a positive note!

  7. Boot camp was for people interested in getting into editorial photography. I did mention that if you don’t like what magazine’s are producing then I can’t help you.

    You’re bored because you’re looking for a trick. There isn’t one if you don’t take decent pictures. Keep looking tho it should a least occupy your time.

  8. to bored again-

    You did learn more then you think-you were reminded there are no tricks! It is key to know that when getting your work out there.

    it isn’t one thing- like sending out a great promo card.
    You have to meet people, which includes learning social graces-which you need as a good editorial photography anyway- and you need to be fun to work with. WIth good work in toe-then you can really shine. but just good work- well i wouldn’t bet on your number.

    in LA at a round table for artists-one of the moderators who is a consultant for fine artist advised the group of us to “marry well’, she wasn’t kidding. she wasn’t saying that is the only way to get things to happen but it sure can make things easier. during my 5 private minute session with her — when i told her which gallery i had a chance to meet with later that week-she looked me over and told me to sex myself up a bit. not the advice i wanted but she was calling like she saw it. i was there to learn — not to judge the speakers comments. i took her words of wisdom under advisement. the basics are good to be reminded of.

    Photoeditior: thanks for synopsis of panel-I couldn’t come. As I’m shooting in New Orleans, so it was great to be able to get your run down. I greatly appreciate it. Your post has motivated me to finally get my stuff on to photoshelter and take posting there off my to do list.

  9. I had to go back and reread this twice: “In fact she recently used craigslist.org to find kids with party photos for an underage drinking story and found the perfect frame…” So, now CL is being used to find images?! This is news to me and frankly, I find this most troubling!

  10. I think it’s interesting but not troubling. She couldn’t find pictures for those subjects and people should be thinking of ways to solve that. It’s a subject matter that could probably use more attention. That’s all I’m reading into it.

  11. @ STONER – Photoshelter has a pretty great “research request” system where buyers can submit requests for images and photographers can respond with images that fit.

  12. Hello, this is my first time posting on this site. I love the site and all the information it contains. Thank-You “A Photo Editor” for putting it together….

    My question is about stock houses, which stock house should a photographer try to get into?. All of them seem so difficult to break into! I have visited quite a few that you have listed, and have learnt that Getty Images charges 60-70% which I think is a complete insult to photographers…. Photoshelter seems the fairest as they do the complete opposite of Getty, they give 70% to the photographer, which is very appealing. Except how good are there. Then there is Gallery Stock, which looks like it has very high end photographers on it. Does anyone know how hard it would be to join them? Have any Photographers tried and been rejected? The rejection is really tough on a photographer…
    Thanks….Oh and what do you think of Gallery Stock?

  13. I find it rather disturbing that the Photo Editor of T&L claims to not know what Micro Stock is. Say it’s crap, or just not for me, and that’s fine – but never heard of it?

    I like film too, but anyone worth their salt these days can produce rich blacks from any decent camera. On the other hand, those blown out skies that T&L favors have to come from a Holga – ?

  14. Another reply to Stoner’s question,

    Digital Railroad (www.digitalrailroad.net) is also an online stock distribution and like Photoshelter, DRR also has a photo request system that alerts it’s contributing members to the needs & wants of potential buyers, allowing those contributors the opportunity to either produce images in hopes of fulfilling that request should there be enough lead time to do so, or allowing members to upload images to their galleries that may not already be there and may meet the buyer’s needs. DRR also allows it’s contributers to then notify the requesting buyer that possible image fits are now uploaded and available for viewing/license.

  15. knight on white hors

    why would whitney know about microstock? it sucks. her magazine doesn’t.

    they’re clearly doing something right. and if they have the budget and the balls (sorry whitney) to shoot only film, who cares?! millions of readers can’t be wrong!

    they have a visual aesthetic. they stick to it. and microstock doesn’t fit into their plan. relax.

  16. Very valuable info Rob. With minors do I need a special type or release or is getting the minor and parent to sign a standard release good enough?

    • @Giulio Sciorio, I get parents to signed model releases for their minor children. I keep two sets of paperwork with me in my photo gear box, adult model releases, and one for minors for parents to sign. Property releases can be a third, if you choose to cover all bases. ie: if you want to photograph a specific prop, antique car, etc. Extra padded protection….

  17. I find that funny about T+L still demanding that only film be shot. Then again, since T+L is willing to pay for all the film and processing and contacting and scanning it actually wouldn’t be a bad gig!

    Rob: of course the work is what counts but there is an “in” crowd within the industry. I keep running into photo editors whose husbands (or ex-husbands) are famous photographers. Aren’t editors going to call on someone they personally know before trying some green but talented photographer.

  18. What I find most disturbing is that as a photo editor you apparently don’t have to know (or need to) the difference between “then” and “than”, the correct use of apostrophes, or other basic grammar rules [that a spell check could help with]. I couldn’t understand what half of the posts here meant, the original poster’s comments in particular.

    If you’re going to use the written medium to express yourself through sarcasm, your abrasive demeanor would be much more compelling if you at least APPEARED intelligent (and not just lazy and arrogant) when you’re being rude.

  19. Hello again, any replies on my post? How can one get their images on gallerystock.com? and does anyone know how good they are? Any photographers who are with them already? Would love to get any tips before approaching them… Thanks.

    Rob, what do you think of gallerystock.com? Please give me some idea about it. Not many people have heard of it, and that is my only concern… Thanks. Love this site…

  20. @6, 12 & 16: Thanks for the info and advice! Like I said, it’s been many, many years since I’ve used stock, but it’s good to know there are resources like this available.

  21. @ Davin: Yes, photo editors hire their friends for some jobs, but I think the biggest complaint about the industry right now is that people aren’t getting repeat jobs once they make it inside. Not the opposite.

    @Gena: Can’t you go find mistakes in the New Yorker or something?

    @ Jodi: Gallery Stock is great but as far as I can tell you need to be represented by Bernstein and Andriulli or Bill Charles to get in because those guys own it.

  22. Gena – I like Rob when he’s being lazy, arrogant and especially, when he’s being rude.

    By the way, your own grammar could stand a bit of work, so why don’t you just get off that high horse of yours?

  23. Debra Weiss

    @24 – “@Gena: Can’t you go find mistakes in the New Yorker or something?”

    Most likely, but that doesn’t render the mistakes acceptable. The acceptance of such errors and their frequency serve as contributors to the increasingly rapid dumbing down of our present day culture. The issue here is not only spelling and grammar – it is mediocrity.

    @22 – Gallery Stock is a joint venture between Bill Charles and Howard Bernstein of Bill Charles Represents and Bernstein Andriulli, respectively. Most of the photographers listed as contributors to Gallery Stock are represented by those two agencies also. Perhaps you should contact one of the contributors with your questions.

  24. This dumbing down of America argument is so lame. Accept the fact that you need to edit out material you find unacceptable and quit yer whining.

  25. Debra Weiss

    Rob,

    In reading your response, and then my post, it occurred to me that it appears to have been directed against you personally. That was not my intention. I was referring the the culture in general. And I must disagree about the “dumbing down” – it is pervasive.

  26. Debra Weiss

    “I was referring the the culture”

    The above should read “…to the culture in general.”

  27. I attended the event and it was good, not life changing, but good.

    My take on Rob is that he is bright and advocates strongly in favor of the photographer and good photography. The content of the presentation was very conventional and I have heard many similar presentations via ASMP, I think after the self-hype of “kicking down doors” and “sleeper holds” the actual presentation lacked teeth but served the purpose of reinforcing good practices. I think, Rob, you write with a certain good natured self satire that gets misinterpreted as cockiness. I see it here on the blog in provocative titles followed by content that is much more reasonable.

    If I could redefine aphotoeditor I would describe it as level-headed restatements of the (should be self-evident) realities of the business with an eye on new news and trends in the business. There’s no ‘rock star’ or ‘guru’ vibe really going on but the site has become the venting place of dirty laundry on both sides.

    The secret to the whole thing is that people on both sides of the fence, photographers and editors, are just people, who want to communicate and be understood and appreciated.

  28. In my experience with stock agencies, one reason for a lack of a wide variety of images is due to the heavy market and trend research most agencies do. usually i get agency requests for images that fit those trends, or trend predictions – the colors of the year, minorities, perfectly produced and styled lifestyle, etc.

    often if you send anything else, it’ll be rejected. thus the need for the flickrs, craigslist, new portals, or unedited collections such as alamy.

  29. gallerystock represents a lot of people not on the bernstein & andriulli or bill charles rosters. nadav kander, dan tobin smith, etc. etc.

  30. @ 33 Nadav is on the Bill Charles roster – although only for the UK & Europe

    hadn’t been on the gallerystock site for a while – they have really expanded the photog numbers – all top tier talent

  31. @33.Lee you are correct, I did a count, gallerystock have 18 Photographers from Bill Charles’s roster, and 11 from bernstein & andriulli. That leave 82 photographers that don’t belong to either.

    Rob, what I noticed was that, one had to call them to buy an image, when I called there was Voice Mail, and it was during the day. Wouldn’t that deter editors? Isn’t the idea of going to a stock house, other than being cheaper, that you can get your image quickly? My question leads to, anyone had any experience dealing with gallerystock to get an image?

    @24, Debra, thanks for your response, to my question. May I ask how one would contact one of the contributers on gallerystock? if they are all top tier photographers, how would one even get through to speaking with one of them? Also please not my post to Lee, they are not all from Bill Charles and Bernstein & Andriulli, doesn’t that mean that they will consider taking other photographers? As I don’t know all the photographers on the gallerystock site, by name or reputation, would you or anyone else be able to comment on how talented these people are? In other words, should I give up and not even try gallerystock?, as they are too high end a stock house for photographers not represented by anyone!! In which case could you suggest other stock houses? Thanks

    34@ The Jackanory, Hi, and thanks for your response, you say they have really expanded the photographer numbers, and all are top tier talent. Is that a good thing or bad? To expand so quickly? and are all their Photographers very high end as you say they are? Would I even be able to approach such a place? Or will it be very restrictive in it’s selection?

    Rob, would you know how they select a photographer? what is the criteria? Thanks to everyone who answered.

  32. T&L is going to miss out on some great photography if they are limiting themselves to film shooters only. Sure, I like the look of chrome, but I would say the vast majority of cool travel imagery out there is still shot digital. Any one with Camera Raw and some know how in color correction can pull something undistinguishable to film.

  33. @ 31 Jacob: Thanks for the feedback. There’s certainly room for improvement and if I get the call again I have a pretty good idea where I’ll spend more time talking. Could use more anecdotes and visuals as well. I’d be embarrassed to tell you how much time I spent preparing for a basic presentation like that.

    I think much of what get misinterpreted as arrogance around here are the things I say that are directed at Photo Editors. I’d say about half is me talking to the Photo Editors that read the blog (most don’t comment but email me instead) and so photographers are hearing half a conversation.

    @ 35 Jodi: Why don’t you ask them?

    @ 36 Ian: I think they don’t like the look of digital is all. If you can make it look like film, fine. If they want to be the only magazine in the country that requires a “film” look I think that’s great. It makes your product different than everyone else.

  34. Debra Weiss

    Jodi – top tier photographers are people too. You can pick up the phone and call them. Tell whoever answers the phone why you are calling so no one is wasting anyone’s time. Or you can e-mail. Not all will respond, but some will. Some might not even know, but their studio managers might. Gallery Stock is comprised of very talented photographers. Many talented, successful photographers are not represented so that should not be an obstacle in seeking a stock agency or, for that matter, anything else. You should be looking at the work on Gallery Stock and elsewhere to see if you would even be a good fit for each other. And just because it is comprised of top tier photographers does not mean they’re making money. High end images are traditionally not the ones that are licensed on a widespread basis. The biggest money generating images in the stock photography business are generic.

    Getty’s 2006 annual earnings were $807.3 million and in 2007 they jumped to $857.6 million. 2008 first quarter was at $233 million – if that stays the same throughout the year, their annual revenues will be in excess of $920 million.

    Compare that to Corbis at around $250 million and Jupiter whose 2007 revenues were at $140 million. Guess who’s going where for images. While agency art buyers and photo editors all say they hate Getty, in the end, their feelings don’t really seem to matter much.

    Businesses like Photoshelter and Digital Railroad should, in my opinion, be used as an additional resource for your imagery, not the sole source.

  35. astockphotoeditor

    Well we all know what’s going on here: the staffs of all of the stock agencies are populated by nameless, faceless, automatons who hate good photography. At least once a year, we gather at tropical island retreats and conspire to secure the eventual bankruptcy of all struggling photographers everywhere. You know we only come out at night, don’t you?

    I edit and art direct (and sometimes shoot) for a stock photography agency, and we are always striving to hit a difficult balance. We need images that sell to multiple clients, and that sustain our business. And we need images that innovate, that might only sell once (if at all), but which also sustain our interest in coming to the office and turning the crank on our workflow every day. These latter images also serve to define our brand and to give our (very small) company some sense of presence in the stock photography ecosystem. The collections of images that fulfill these two imperatives overlap, but they do not match up exactly, or even very closely.

    Nearly all of the people that I have met who work for stock photography agencies are like me and my co-workers. We struggle to find the right balance between commerce and art, and sometimes succeed.

    I think there is a common misperception that good photography and good stock photography (and good photographers and good stock photographers) are the same. But they aren’t, and I don’t recommend pursuing a career in stock photography unless you really want to be a good stock photographer, and thereby embrace all of the business practices implied by the industry.

    If you are “only” a good photographer, I encourage you to involve yourself in the stock photography ecosystem at whatever level you can make work for you. But please don’t refuse to do the practices that have been demonstrated by concrete results generate the most sales and to be most profitable, then complain because you are not selling enough.

    I have attended one of the PhotoShelter events, and I think that what they are trying to do is admirable. If they prove successful, it will be a great benefit for photography, for photographers and for the industry. But I also think that there are significant barriers that they need to overcome, and I believe that overcoming those barriers will ultimately make them look much more like a conventional agency than they do today.

  36. @38 Debra Weiss, Thank-You so much for your response Debra,
    I will call and ask and try to find out how gallery stock is working out for whoever takes my call.

    “Businesses like Photoshelter and Digital Railroad should, in my opinion, be used as an additional resource for your imagery, not the sole source.”

    Do you mean, that a photographer is allowed to give their images to more than one stock agency at a time?

    I like the fact that Photoshelter is paying their photographers, 70% rather than the high fees that Getty takes. I’ll give them a call as well.

    Thank you again for your reply, and encouragement.

  37. Debra Weiss

    @ 40 – Jodi

    “I like the fact that Photoshelter is paying their photographers, 70% rather than the high fees that Getty takes. I’ll give them a call as well.”

    If, and it’s a very big if these days as to whether they can be accepted by Getty Images, the earning potential is potentially much greater because of the reach Getty and other major agencies have. So while 70% sounds great, it depends what you are earning 70% of.

    I totally agree with the following statement @ 39:

    “But I also think that there are significant barriers that they need to overcome, and I believe that overcoming those barriers will ultimately make them look much more like a conventional agency than they do today.”

  38. @9 – julie wrote: the consultant advised us to “marry well”

    Whenever boarding the Motor Vessel Swanson, listen for the well-channelled voice of T. J. Hooker, er, T. J. Szarkowski, who more than once remarked “in photography, it really helps to have money.” T. J.’s other epithets included “Stieglitz had a rich daddy” and “Cartier-Bresson had a rich daddy.”

  39. If you want to make pennies then upload to those Micro Stocks. I personally like the sites mediamagnet.com and photoshelter.com at least the medium stock sites you can make money. I would rather make 100 dollars off 1 image/download than 100 off 250 images/download. Only a handful of people on the mircosites make real money. Photoshelter is putting the photographer before the Designer. This will drive Designer to were the good unique images are where the real professionals upload their products.

    Oh as a side note rejection to a photog should not be so bad. Just think of the poor little images you reject everyday. So times it just a bad day for someone keep trying. And let it role off your back not all images are stock.

  40. Debra Weiss

    @43 – I don’t believe anyone at anytime during this thread suggested allowing their imagery to be sold as Microstock. Not only is it not profitable for photographers, it is becoming problematic for the agencies too.

    While I think companies like Photoshelter and Digital Railroad are valuable, as A Stock Photo Editor wrote, “there are significant barriers that they need to overcome…” While the 70% share to photographers is generous, I don’t believe it is sustainable in the long term. Marketing and promotion is key and the extent of their marketing needs to be huge in order to make even the smallest dent. Also, because of these companies indemnification policies, ad agencies and most large design firms are not likely to use them. This will be a big stumbling block for them and at some point will have to be addressed.

  41. The reason you cannot find images of teenagers drinking beer or hard stuff or puking their guts out in the toilet on Getty or any of the other major stock website is that any person drinking an alcoholic beverage in an advertising photograph must be over 25 years of age–or so I’ve been told by Art Directors for many years. So Getty won’t take these photos unless the models birth day proves they are over 25 years of age. Yes, AB’s are going to websites which have “Slice-Of-Life,” amateur photos because major stock houses have rejected such images in the past. Very few photographers have gotten images like these in collections so now AB’s are going to Flicker and Google Images to fine these types of images…. surprise!!!! Now Getty has signed a deal with Flicker…..

    I agree that higher royalty rates seem tempting, but not realistic yet….. I am quite sure that 1000 images on Getty will net more $$$ than the same amount on the other websites. Jupiter RM is nice, but the photographer only gets paid when Jupiter gets paid… and one cannot build a business around such practices. I would gladly give Jupiter a much bigger slice of my pie, but not with those business practices.

    As for who gets hired for fabulous editorial rates of $300 per day? Who gives a Bleep! Do those assignments if you like, but you’re no rock star, not for that kind of money. Actors, for god’s sake, have a union. ACTORS! But not photographers. The film industry has a UNION for every job you can think of…. but not photographers. So until photographers have any kind of standards or bargaining chip, there will always be someone hotter, with a loaded daddy, or a better entourage waiting to shoot whatever it is you want to shoot for a magazine….. that’s just the way it is unless we all go on strike and make photo editors pick up their cameras….

  42. Debra Weiss

    “The film industry has a UNION for every job you can think of…. but not photographers. ”

    If photographers were to unionize, they would no longer control their copyright. Everything they would do would be work for hire. The idea of unionization was broached in the 70’s and rejected for that reason.

  43. A Union can organize in any manner it wishes. Songwriters own to their songs unless they sign them away. When royalties are paid to songwriters, they are split with the performer. Although I am not familiar with the efforts in the 1970’s, their is no reason why photographers would need to do that now. “Freedom of Contract” allows any group of people to agree to any terms they wish.

  44. Kudos to Leslie dela Vega. That is hardcore. Talk about going to any lengths to get an image. I admire her tenacity and sheer cleverness.

    I have done enormous amounts of research and have to
    Flickr can provide in a pinch. I just love giving an unsuspecting photog some exposure. There are gems to be found underneath rocks sometimes. It is one part of what makes the more maddening photo research tolerable!

  45. Debra Weiss

    @47 – The reason photographers cannot unionize is because they are not employees so even though the subject was previously addressed, it was not feasible then or now. Only employees can form unions and employees have no rights to their work. ASCAP and BMI are not unions. They are licensing agencies and royalty tracking services.

    Even if photographers could form a union, very few would actually join and the majority would not, therefore, leaving no reason to have a union. As hard as it is to imagine, it would be a bigger mess than what exists now. Photographers have always taken great pride in their “lone wolf” mentality although doing so has not been to their benefit.

  46. @49 – I think it’s possible for photographers to unionize just as actors (IATSE) and writers (Writer’s Guild of America) have been able to, but photographers in general are too stubborn or too arrogant to join.

  47. Debra Weiss

    @49 – Let’s try this again. Photographer’s are independent contractors. When actors are hired to perform in a film, television show, etc., they are employees. When writers are hired to write specially commissioned works, they are employees and therefore are work for hire. If a script has been purchased that has not been specially commissioned, but has been written on spec, the writer is considered an independent contractor.

    While photographers are stubborn, this has nothing to do with why a union has not been formed.

  48. Debra, I actually tried calling a number of the photographers represented by gallery stock. 6 to be exact. I spoke to assistants for 3 of them, who all said, the photographer does not discuss such matters and nor are they allowed to. I spoke with one Studio Manager, who told me that the photographer he works for, never speaks with just anyone who calls, “you can send an e-mail with your questions” At one studio, the photographer picked up the phone, and passed me on to his wife, who refused to speak about their stock images with gallery stock. The 6th one, was actually very rude, and told me to call up gallery stock!!!!
    I randomly picked the photographers, purely by their work and the fact that I liked it. I had no idea before hand as to how renowned any one of them was. I did not call Nadav Kander, who is the only one that I have heard of and know how well known he is!!! To be honest it seemed as if they were all sworn to a confidentiality agreement!!!!! I would have thought that it wasn’t really a big deal, if they just told me, how well their images were doing on gallery stock, and if they would recommend it. I guess it’s a very select group of photographers that are part of it, and I must have sounded quite lame, asking silly questions!
    Well that’s that, just thought I would post to let you know how it went, because you so very kindly answered my questions.
    Thanks

  49. Debra Weiss

    Jodi, if you wouldn’t mind letting me know which photographers you contacted, you can e-mail me at dw@debraweiss.com. No question concerning your future as a photographer is lame, however, the responses you got were. And disheartening. The apparent self importance is ridiculous.

  50. Jeanne Conte

    Hi, I was recently accepted on the Gallery Stock site. My work is not up yet,
    however. All I did was email Gallery Stock and ask if I could submit some work. Hope this helps.

    • Same here. I sent GalleryStock a link to my Photoshelter Archive, got accepted that way. Nothing up yet, though.
      I’m starting to see more GS credits in some UK magazines, which is a good sign.

  51. Does anyone have a phone numbr or email for Jeanne Conte? I saw a photos
    of hers and would like to contact here a.s.a.p. Thanks very much