Am I a STOCK PHOTOGRAPHER yet?
This is my first article to Dreamstime blog.
I will keep it short in case it's not too interesting. But I hope someone will read this and find it useful, or at least , think it's a good one.
I am almost coming to be a contributor in micro one year old, come April. As some of my network know, I am only new as a contributor in microstock, but I have been a photographer almost too long time to remember when I first graduated from NYI . I have worked all across my land with the camera and it has been my constant companion giving me a lot of satisfaction, both as an artist and a working photographer.
I also have met lots of incredible photographers who knew their work well, and even met the world's greatest portraitist living at that time, when he was at his Chateau Laurier Studio in the Capital of Canada. The great man I am referring to is the Honourable Yusouf Karsh. I was so happy to see that Canada Post had honoured him with a stamp collection along with a portrait of himself, as well as some of my favourite personalities, including Audrey Hepburn, to whom I consider the eternal complete fashion star and model.
It is such experiences that keep me aiming to be as in love with my art , no matter what my balance sheet may appear to be.
Thus, coming to the topic of this article. How do I feel about branching out from fashion, photo correspondent, photo-journalism, teaching,etc... to add another facet of the business , ie. stock ?
Well, it is certainly very different from artistic and gallery photography, in the sense that there is a different perspective to that trade, if one is to succeed as a stock photographer. Much like journalism is entirely a different kettle of fish to being say, another Ansel Adams, or Yusouf Karsh. Perharps, W Eugene Smith or Henri Cartier Bresson would be good examples of the distinction between themselves and Adams/Karsh. But who is better, you ask?
Much like music, we sometimes forget that stock photography, or any other working photography , has many faces, and cannot be judged by just one standpoint. Is fast food so terrible that we would always expect to savor the finesse of a chef from the Cordon Bleu ? Some may actually spring to the defence of fast food to tell me that some fast food can actually be as good. Well, it all depends on what we are brought up on, isn't it? More so, we have to realise that our subjective taste do not always correspond to the needs of the market place. Thus, the flourish of the large chain stores to the displeasure of the citizens who prefer the little mom and pop or specialty stores.
Do we think Eric Clapton is a poor bluesman, just because he sells more records than his idol Robert Johnson. Is Vanessa May or Mairead of Celtic Woman that so ordinary a violinist that we would consider nothing they play is ever going to stand the test of time or art, as say the great Yehudi Menuhin? Is my stock photography less valid than the images that I compile over the years of which I am planning to exhibit at a gallery this coming summer in my city?
Well, it's not all that black and white (no pun intended), isn't it? Being a stock photographer entails a different way of looking through the viewfinder. It's also a little bit of marketing and economics as well. Supply and demand, and knowing the needs of the marketplace. So, does this make me far less of an artist, and much more of a "Paladin" ? Ask your grand-dad who that famous TV cowboy was? Paladin will shoot anything for cash and reward . What do you think? Ask me? Well, I am still a little wet behind the ears, and still learning about this new hat I am wearing. We'll find the answer to this question in a couple of years , perharps.
Excuse me, I have to set up another set for some isolation shots. I need to up my portfolio. I only have 112 images this far. A long way to go, if I am to consider myself a "stock photographer". LOL, did I say I was going to be brief? Well, this is short in my case. If you like to find out what I mean when I tell you "it's going to be a long story", wait for the next article, perharps. LOL Cheers for reading . Peace and Prosperity in 2009
Photo credits: Tan510jomast.