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.
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.
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.
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