Most probably, the topic I will address in the series of blog posts that follow “Picture of the Week 2021”, will be the stock photography. This is the field on which I’ve been working for almost two decades, therefore,  I have a lot to say. It is a borderline photography branch, unknown to many and even unrecognized by some. However, this is extremely useful, and its outcomes are  an integral part of many aspects of our life, so full of stock pictures …. that we don’t even realize it.

It is an extremely dynamic, competitive and technology driven field. The range of photographers involved is very broad, including the cynical business-types driven only by accounting bottom-lines. It has also, of course, impostors, crooks and opportunists, but also fantastic artists with extraordinary sensitivity and mastery. Regardless of their types, those who last in the system for a long time and have notable results have a top notch professional level.

The most common form of stock photography involves working with various image banks or stock photo agencies. This is quite a tumultuous collaboration,  often swinging from heaven to hell. As soon as I found it I was mesmerized by this sometimes-drives-you-crazy dynamism. For me, stock photography represents variety and diversity. To stand out  in this complex, constantly evolving and redefining environment, one needs to address a wide range of topics and photographic types.

There is also the flip side of the coin, in which you can over-specialize in a subfield. But to maintain status over time, you also have to reinvent yourself from time to time. After much practice and bucket loads of perspiration, you come to understand that stock photography can be done in any situation and with almost any tools. Usually, in photography, the determining factor is the spirit of observation and the ability to create the image. Simplifying the ideea, it can be said that in the end you just have to be a good observer of surroundings. From what you may encounter in your way, you just have to select and create the right images that capture attention and are useful in creating unique stories.

This is exactly what I did when I was on a tourist boat near the port of La Rochelle in Northern France.

Silhouettes of a yacht sailing alone in the ocean to the horizon.

The elements of a fantastic story appeared: the yacht, the water, the sky, the horizon and the hypnotizing blue. The backlight situation is usually an impediment, but this time it provided the general ingredients for integrating and abstracting the story. A story about freedom, adventure, hope, dreaming, movement, energy, relaxation, meditation, etc. I just noticed all these and made the image in an instant. Isn’t it exciting to be a stock photographer? Stay tuned to my  blog posts to find out my original perspective regarding this photographic branch.