Selling Stock Does Not Mean Selling-Out

It took decades for me to convince myself that I am an artist. Everyone else with a camera was an artist, but I…alas, I was merely photographer and writer, not artist and author. Being the passive masochist that I am, I now seek new frustrations and critiques as part of my newest personal evolution, through selling stock. When shooting in this genre, I must look at my photographs from a marketing perspective, more than from an aesthetic one. This is proving to be more difficult than I had imagined.

Until a few months ago I never knew what a thick line there was between art and stock, (I still don't realize it completely today). It is increasingly evident that my artistry has no place in stock, and vice-versa; with that, I am coming to terms. Also, I have accepted the fact that it is okay to make money from my photography, and to know that by doing so, I’m not selling out.

I no longer feel nauseous about sacrificing some creativity for stock sales; I have other outlets for my artistic darker side. Now I let my lighter side shoot the stock which requires no pain, no soul searching, no angst…just a good eye and great lighting, and I save the dark brooding stuff for my own websites.

Now I can, sans guilt, satisfy the creative child in me, as well as my bank account.

“Every artist dips his brush in his own soul, and paints his own nature into his pictures.” ---Henry Ward Beecher

Photo credits: Davinci.

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June 08, 2010


There is art in stock, and stock in art. The hard part for me is discerning which particular photo is in which category!

June 08, 2010


I don't think it is 'selling your soul' to focus on producing content that sells - think of it as honing technical skills which you can bring to your creative personal work as well. My feeling is that people get into trouble when they start selling the creative personal work as micro-stock - if you have invested a lot of time or emotion into it at a personal level it may feel like an insult to 'only' get $0.42 for it.

My mother just graduated from a fine art program and it was interesting to me to hear the inspriing words of some local Artists. I found that on the one hand my stock work seems far from the struggles Artist go to to examine their inner self and be true to that in their work. . On the other hand stock has opened up my eyes to the minute details of the world around me. I examine all kinds of textures and patterns that I would have walked by before - and seeing in a new way is an important part of developing as an Artist.

June 08, 2010


You work is great! Great colors, great concept and great imagination...don`t give up, you`ll see that everything will be ok!

June 08, 2010


thank you everyone for your kind and encouraging words.

June 08, 2010


I Like "Speed"...... very artistic in a automotive sort of way !

June 08, 2010


it took me a while to get used to stock, i'm not sure i've actually mastered it but yes it is not that easy - you're doing a great job :)

June 07, 2010


I too, took a peek at your collection of photos, they are fantastic. If those photos are your non artistic collection, i can just imagine what your "artistic" portfolio holds. Congrats !!!

June 07, 2010


Very true.
When I told a few people "you click good pics. You have a good chance of getting your pics sold on Dreamstime" their quick reply was "No way"
May be they feel the same way, selling out their own soul.

June 07, 2010


I saw your portfolio is great, you are an artist.

June 07, 2010


"The creative child"...sounds very interesting. Good luck!

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