Photography, Fine Art, Wet Plate Collodion, Alternative photography

First step toward finding my $tock agency

with 11 comments

_mg_0733_borut_peterlin.jpgI was already announcing that I’ll blog on my progress of trying to sell my stock images. While brainstorming I’ve made plan that has three stages. First is to test different agencies and get a feel if my work fit in it and how. Firstly I have in mind agencies like Alamy, Ipak, Istock and Second step is to severely renovate my website that will offer much more then just portfolio showcase. Third is to go for the big agencies like Corbis and Getty. I was talking with my fellow photographers who are working with Corbis and they said it’s a pain in the ass to get beyond the bureaucracy and all the meetings. Certainly I will prepare myself very well and then send my first email to them (You never get a second chance for a first appearance).

First step was made. I carefully read instructions for contributers at Alamy website and choosed ten images for quality test. I also contacted Bojan Brecelj from Ipak agency and then I’ve sent two CD’s with images to Ipak and to Alamy and will see what will happen. If you have any suggestions or some advices please leave a comment!


PS: posting of two CDs (and one was to UK) was just 1,7 EUROs. Viva la EU!


Written by Borut Peterlin

5 May, 2007 at 01:18

Posted in Uncategorized

11 Responses

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  1. Regarding Istock – I’m not a member, but I’m observing and learning. So it seems smart thing to do is to go with quantity (but as everywhere – first pics need to be really nice to get accepted, and by nice i mean technically perfect – no noise, good light, and good composition). They prefer studio shots, since most of them are used for different magazines and commercial stuff. You can sell some random outdoor stuff, too, but it’s slower. It’s also highly recommended to use lightboxes and group similar photos (and advertise them). This way you can get more views and a higher chance to sell something. Also do not forget to use various keywords when describing your pics. Similar to Google it’s important to get high on search results, and with different keywords you have higher chance to get there.
    I’m sure tomazl could tell you much more, but hopefully my reply isn’t useless, either. Good luck.


    5 May, 2007 at 02:37

  2. Thanks Klemen. Actually for I stock I’ll be a little careful. It’s double edged knife. On one hand I’m aiming high like Corbis or Getty and it would be big minus for me if I’ll sell my pictures for 1$ and then trying to sell them for 1000$. And I’m not impressed by the quality of Istock at all, but I want to learn the game by playing it.

    Yes I got really useful tips from Tomaž’s blog



    5 May, 2007 at 07:27

  3. Few comments.

    I think you got it about right, but underestimate the length and effort necessary to undertake it. For example for Alamy now it will take two to three weeks to approve your initial submission, then you send real submission, it takes another month to approve it. For images to get sold takes months and to get payed it also takes months. 😦

    iStock is much quicker in that regard (images are approved in days and downloads start pretty soon) and returns are currently pretty good. You can calculate how much people earn, because downloads are public. Top istock dogs get in the neighbourghood of 10k USD / month, and some slovenian photographers are doing pretty good too. But most of your work isn’t really suitable for iStock, which is commercally oriented. I’d suggest using pseudonim for iStock and not selling same images for vastly different prices.

    Getty now has a program anyone can apply, but you pay 50 USD for each photo they will sell for you.

    I’d suggest implementing your site using image hosting and selling platforms like Digital Railroad and PhotoShelter.

    Anyway, it’s a slow process and a lot of work is necessary to get things going. But income from stock can allow you great freedom, so i’m focusing on that too in the future. 🙂


    5 May, 2007 at 11:04

  4. Cheers Ivan! Actually I’ve already signed a contract with Corbis Paris, but as I learned the hard way, Paris office is not quite a match with NY or London office, so nothing happened. At least that was the situation few years ago.

    Concerning the pseudonym for Istock I had just that in mind.

    You’re absolutely right concerning the effort and time consumption. My plan is to start working simultaneously with Alamy, Istock, Ipak and see how it’ll go. With Ipak I can start selling pictures already next week, with Istock in next few weeks and with Alamy in next few months.

    It would definitely be the best if Ipak would sell my best images, because we’re friends, they are based in Ljubljana and highly professional. By the time when my images start to roll to Alamy I’ll know how Ipak is selling.

    Concerning digitalrailroad you’re reading my mind. From the sketch you can see around second faze a question if I can sell images directly, leading to website, and arrow continuing in the same direction to digitalrailroad and from there to on line archive.

    Concerning type of my work, I’m publishing only tip of a tip of the iceberg of images that I create. A lot of images are silly and are just composition exercises. If somebody can earn $ 10k with dog pictures, why shouldn’t I sell few hundred of USD with family pictures.

    Nevertheless I know that my point of view is rather optimistic one, but hey…
    It’s a free country 🙂


    5 May, 2007 at 14:33

  5. We all want freedom, don’t we. Nice income and not much to do (except things we do for fun).

    But how to get there?!?!

    If you want to talk about iStock, just give me a ring (041 342 939 if you can reach me). I’m just meters from your work (it is Dunajska, isn’t it?) and we can have a drink or two.


    5 May, 2007 at 17:06

  6. Cheers Tomaž! I’ll do so!


    5 May, 2007 at 18:12

  7. hey,

    great topic! i am in the same moment as you borut. i am sending emails all over….getting information and thinking how and where to begin with selling pictures.

    DDR is fantastic;
    but the biggest problem is if you can make enough profit!
    so we will see…. well definetly i would love to be part of getty and corbis asap. 🙂


    5 May, 2007 at 20:10

  8. HeY Ciril,

    cheers for the comment. I’ve been checking DR for quite some time, but now when I see some familiar IP’s on the site I find it more attractive 🙂

    Your site contain only two images. Are you building your site or are you just testing with two bestseller images?



    6 May, 2007 at 07:38

  9. Hi Borut,

    this is a really useful topic- thanks for sharing your big plan 🙂
    I think it`s wise to try many different stock-agencies like istock and alamy at the begining … but on the long term i belive you´ll get more profit if you focus just on one and try to become one of their top-sellers.

    I just joined istock to see how it works.
    Ipak looks great too- do you have to be a professional to join them?




    6 May, 2007 at 12:23

  10. Well… I also just started to sell my photos on Alamy, and the biggest problem is that if you wont to earn some money you have to have a lot of photos…If you have a lot of photos, you spend a looooot of time typing keywords, descriptions & co… So, good luck!


    6 May, 2007 at 15:32

  11. i am just testing borut. 😉


    17 May, 2007 at 18:46

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