Breakfast Stock Club reader, Rachel Lambert is on a roll.
One day she decided to give stock photography a try, and two weeks later, she had almost 300 photos accepted!
That’s amazing! But what strikes me the most about her story is that she made it very doable. She created a solid game plan and stuck to it. With confidence and determination, she set goals and made it happen.
If you’ve been thinking about getting started with stock, but haven’t yet made the leap, check out Rachel’s interview below for some serious inspiration to give it a try for yourself!
Getting Started with Shutterstock
Interview with Breakfast Stock Club Reader, Rachel Lambert
Bonnie: Rachel, when you first contacted me, you got 262 images into Shutterstock in just two weeks… and now you’re up to over 520! That’s amazing! What made you decide to start selling photos as stock?
Rachel: I started thinking about stock photography last year, on a trip to England, where I met someone who worked for a stock company. At the time, I didn’t have enough confidence in my abilities, so kept my interest to myself. Over the past year, however, I have done a lot of work on confidence building. When I saw the ad pop up for travel photography, then saw the link to the Breakfast Stock Club, I signed up for the newsletter and read it immediately. It just so happened that the first issue I saw had an article about getting started submitting to Alamy. After reading it, something inside me was sparked and I decided to give it a try.
Bonnie: I love that! What’s your background and how did you get into photography?
Rachel: I am a single mom of three beautiful children and we live on a tiny gulf island, called Denman Island, which is a short ferry ride from Vancouver Island, in Canada. Although life with children is extremely busy, we are fortunate that Denman is a relaxing and peaceful place to live. Aside from caring for my children, I take on many different jobs. I do some office work, clean the local fitness center, walk dogs and make photo cards to sell at local stores.
No matter what I am doing, I always tend to have my camera at my side. My interest in photography started at age 10, when I inherited my first camera, an old Pentax Spotmatic. It wasn’t until this year, though, that I actually took some courses, and have learned more of the technical side.
Bonnie: Do you sell photos in any other markets, or is stock the first?
Rachel: I have been selling photo cards locally for around 10 years, always trying to provide a wide variety of images, and they are frequently sent worldwide. I have also sold my cards, along with matted and framed prints, at craft fairs. One day, I hope to hold an exhibition of my work and set up a site to sell products with my images printed on them.
Bonnie: What’s your favorite thing to shoot, and what is your favorite image you’ve had accepted?
Rachel: I love every type of photography and will shoot anything that inspires me. I really love close-up photography, capturing the beauty and color of a flower, true smiles, or the look in an animal’s eyes. Having a face look alive in an image and capturing that moment forever is very special to me. Heading to the beach in the evening to photograph the sunset, the amazing color combinations inspire me a great deal.
It is a hard choice to pick my favorite stock image, but I love these two:
Bonnie: What are your plans with stock, going forward?
Rachel: When I first started reading about stock photography, I kept noticing that people said, you really need at least 500 images to get noticed. So, I made myself a firm plan. I went through all my camera cards, chose the images that I felt would be accepted, and set forth submitting them in chunks. Almost 300 in 2 weeks and I passed 500 by the end of that month!
Now that I’m on a roll, I am constantly looking for new opportunities to take wonderful images that sell, and will submit those weekly. I am concentrating on Shutterstock initially, but am also slowly adding onto my Alamy and Adobe Stock portfolios.
Bonnie: Any tips for beginners, slow-starters, scaredy-cats, or anyone who wants to get started?
Rachel: To anyone just starting out, or people who are nervous about submitting, it really is possible to be successful. Be confident in your abilities and just give it a try.
I have only recently acquired a DSLR camera, so all the images I submitted so far were taken with a camera that I was told would not produce high-enough quality images for stock. I did go through all my images very carefully, looking at them at full size to make sure that they were sharp and clean.
Try not to have too many that look alike, or some may be denied.
It does take effort and time to add keywords, and if you try to do a large batch, it can seem overwhelming. I found that doing 20-30 at a time before taking a break works well for me.
I’d like to thank everyone who has taken the time to read about my start in stock photography, and I wish you great success in your own stock adventures!
Bonnie: Thanks, Rachel!
If you’d like to have a peek at Rachel’s Shutterstock portfolio, you can see it here.
[Editor’s Note: Learn more about getting started selling your photos online in stock agencies – no matter how much or little photography experience you have – in the Breakfast Stock Club e-newsletter. It’s once a week, and it’s free to join, here.]