Articles by Brad Calkins

Spend the time where it counts

One of the things I learned relatively early on was to spend time here on things that mattered for sales. It is great to create an eye catching image but if it gets no sales it is better off in your own personal portfolio. Creating composite images can take a lot of time, so you need to be pretty convinced it will reap rewards in terms of sales for you before you spend more than a few minutes on an image.One of my favorites is this one I used to illustrate the concept of pollution and clean air.... continue reading

Happy Spring!

We all get to experience Spring at slightly different times of year. I moved to Salmon Arm over a year ago, and really enjoy the Springtime here.It helps that most of these were taken in my own yard, but it doesn't really matter where you go it is hard to not have your spirits lifted by the renewal of nature:I know that ultimately these won't be my best sellers, but I still love to take them :)How about you - when does Spring come in your part of the world? continue reading

Blast from the past

Every once in a while I get an image sale for an image that has not sold in a long time.For example - today I got a sale on one of my first images, uploaded in 2008 and only sold twice.This image hasn't sold for 5 years!Yet yesterday someone found it and purchased it - so it just goes to show that old images can still contribute to your returns :)How about you - any images that you've sold recently that haven't sold in a long time prior? continue reading

What is a T-Stop

If you been shooting images for any amount of time you are certainly familiar with f-stops and apertures.The f-stop is a ratio between the focal length of a lens and the size of the physical aperture opening in the lens.The longer the lens (telephoto) the larger the physical aperture size to maintain a similar exposure.A related concept from the motion picture industry is the concept of the t-stop.This is related to a f-stop, in that they both have the same physical size and depth of... continue reading

Autumn and Thanksgiving is here again

It is always surprising to me how quickly the year goes, but Canadian Thanksgiving is right around the corner.Our family is getting ready to head away for the weekend to meet up with siblings and grandparents for an annual retreat away from it all!Hope you have a great fall!Some of my favorites from years past: continue reading

How to get ahead in stock photography

Like a few others here, I'm skeptical of the benefit of using social media to promote your stock photography.While there may be some benefit, one has to also consider the opportunity cost.How much time spent on social media could be spent on producing more images?In any case, there is one aspect of social media that I think is invaluable to the stock photographer - and that is blogging!But not necessarily for any exposure it might get you, but rather just the act of trying to illustrate... continue reading

Summer fun

Recently I picked up a used telephoto zoom for my Olympus OM-D.The zoom is designed for the older four thirds dSLR mounts, and as a result doesn't really work very well for Autofocus (until someone releases a micro four thirds phase detect AF sensor).However, the OM-D body does offer a very usable magnification assist for manual focus.I found it quite easy to use, and was able to get some shots of the kids boogie boarding on our summer holiday.My technique was to be a bit predictive,... continue reading

Five years, and 20,000 sales later...

I always had a thing for nice round numbers, so it is with some satisfaction that I hit 20,000 sales right around my 5 year anniversary!When I started out I never would have guessed I would get to this point, but I also completely underestimated how much effort would be required to get here.I should clarify that a bit - it isn't so much effort that was required, but steady effort.Stock photography is a bit of a numbers game, so doing a few more images a month adds up to hundreds of additional... continue reading

Careful with the kids!

Recently my family went on a week and a half trip to visit family and friends over the spring break and Easter.I drove back home with my two oldest boys.Probably one of the key definitions of 'distracted driving' is taking photographs out windows, so I had the boys try to take some photos of the Rockies and some other stock photo worthy subjects :)Not that I had any expectations, but if they are interested I like to encourage them to take photos.What I didn't expect... continue reading

Stock photography heightens your senses

Stock photography and kids have one thing in common - they make you more aware of your surroundings.Some people talk about seeing the world through your children's eyes, but I actually find I'm pretty darn interested in the world all on my own - kids just add to that by having some else around who is amazed as well.On the weekend two of my sons and I were at their cross country ski lessons and they noticed some big snowflakes on their jackets.I grabbed my (super handy and compact) Olympus... continue reading

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