Masterpiece every time? Sure. No Problem.

One thing is for sure, Stock Photographers take a LOT of pictures. I've never counted them exactly but with my scans and digital images I'm into the high hundred thousands and still intent on adding to the collection. Subject matter ranges from street photography to landscapes, people, travel and architecture to common place objects taken on film and digital cameras from 2MP to 36MP. I've lost count of the number of cameras and lenses I've used and the places I've been. These images are the way I make a living, my holiday snaps and a diary of what I've done and what I've been up to for the last 30 odd years. I can look at any of the pictures above and tell you what I was wearing, what the weather was like and what I had for dinner that day. (I lied, I've forgotten one!) They are in essence my life. My cavalier attitude to cameras and lenses is because of these. Because I really don't care what I took them with, is what's in the rectangle that counts.

And a masterpiece every time? No of course not, not even close. But each one has been processed and edited individually with as much tender loving care I can muster. Some of the shots I've taken that I'm really proud of will never sell, some that I took and forgot about instantly until I edited them have sold 1000+ times, most will never see the light of the day and of those that do only a fraction will ever get bought used and reproduced. Its the nature of what I do. 

Some were taken in other countries, some in the area where I live. One of my best selling pictures was taken 200 yards from where I'm typing this. One April there was an unseasonable snowfall. I got up at 7AM, put on my wellington boots and got a shot of a low sun over the country lane at the end of which I live. The snow was pristine and untouched (At least after I removed my own footprints in Photoshop it was!) It had disappeared completely by 11AM, but I've got the picture to confirm it actually happened. Every Christmas people apparently buy it for their own personalised christmas cards.

I like to think I've got no photographic style, but of course I do. I take uncluttered images and edit them so that they have high colour saturation, as much dynamic range as I can squeeze out of them and as 'to the point' as I can make them. Its handy that that's how I like my images to look, since if I had to force myself to do it it would turn into a job and god forbid that should ever happen!

I can still remember when I first learned about picture libraries back in the 1980's. I thought now that's a great way to make a living. Take what you want and sell it. What's not to like? It is of course not quite that simple. Well actually, yes it is if you happen to like taking pictures that people want to buy. And I've always been grateful for the good fortune that I somehow have achieved this match up without ever doing a lot of research. I don't for example look at current trends in stock, what images sell big and what don't. I still just record whatever I think looks good in my viewfinder and let picture buyers decide if they want them. My pictures aren't cutting edge or fine art and I won't end up on a gallery wall or have books written about me. But I love what I do, I care about what I do and I give thanks when I wake up every morning and realise that I actually make a decent living out of doing something I enjoy. And that's no small thing.

N.B. to see more on the cameras and lenses featured in this post click on the relevant labels (tags and keywords) below.

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