how to get from here to there in stock? : LUSENET : Photographers Communicating : One Thread

I have just jumped the big ship "one hour photo" and IM looking for direction. HOw and where do I get into stock? Do you have to have the 'degree'? Should I submit to a stock house or try to go it in my own? ARe most companies excepting prints still? Color, black and white or slides? Do I have to invest in a view camera? I have a Pentax 645n, is this practical for this medium?

-- amanda williamson (, February 19, 1999


Stock is an extremely competitive field especially when it comes to nature. To be successful you need to be very aware of market trends, and you need to be highly productive, technically proficient, and creative.

I would recommend you go to the library or a well stocked photography store and look for several of the good books that are available regarding the stock business.

You don't have to have the "degree", whatever that is. You do need to be totally dedicated to what you are doing, however, if you want to be successful.

A stock agency is the best way to make your work available to the greatest number of markets possible. However, they are not for everyone. The most important aspect of a stock agency relationship is choosing one that is right for you. Photographers Market and the ASMP Stock Photo Handbook list several of today's agencies. I would suggest that you look through these and select those that you feel may be a good fit then write for submission guidelines. You will need several hundred high quality transparencies in your files to be taken too seriously by the larger and better agencies. And you do need to have color transparencies. Some agencies accept B&W prints but 99% require trannies.

In addition to a stock agency you should also market on your own. The type of work you do will dictate the markets you will approach. I have been with a large agency for the past several years and suupplement that with self-marketing to calendar companies and magazines for which my work is appropriate.

Format size is becoming less of an issue with today's technology. I shoot 35, MF and LF. The 645 is ideal for stock and that is what I use for the majority of my work. I find myself shooting 4X5 primarily for the markets I approach on my own. You need to crank out alot of images to keep most agencies happy and that isn't very practical with LF.

Good luck!

-- Mark Windom (, February 27, 1999.

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