Persistence pays off with stock photography
Wow, here we are nearing the end of April. And whether you’re plugging right along on your photo goals for the year, or just getting started, now might be a good time to take a look at this pesky thing that we can all probably relate to…
It’s easy for fears and doubts to creep in – that little voice in the back of our heads saying that maybe our photos aren’t good enough or maybe we aren’t going to be able to make our goals.
So what do you do with that feeling? Do you ignore it? Listen to it? Or push right through it? It’s worth thinking about.
This week, Breakfast Stock Club member Dawn Damico shares an experience of facing fear. Her story is inspiring because she didn’t let a set-back stop her, she kept moving forward.
As we get further into the 2nd quarter of the year, let’s push through any little doubts that pop up, and keep on going!
Sometimes NO Means “Not Now”
By Breakfast Stock Club Premium Member Dawn Damico
Recently, I took a series of food photographs I was pretty happy with. I felt the lighting was good, they were in focus, and the composition worked. I submitted them to a stock site and waited in eager anticipation, hoping that they would love them as much as I did…
The result? They didn’t accept them! For a moment I was crushed but once I took the time to remove my head from my tub of ice cream and look at the reviewer’s feedback, I was on the road to recovery.
As hard as I tried, I just couldn’t see what they were seeing. So I asked a trusted photographer for his opinion, and he said he couldn’t see anything too technically wrong with the photographs. He also reminded me that there are dozens of reasons why someone would reject the photo. Photography is inherently subjective.
So, I got curious.
I re-submitted two of the photos, making no changes, and waited…
As I’ve advanced, I’ve started making goals for my photo income. My current goal is to pay my car payments with photography earnings. Not a huge monthly amount but for me, something tangible.
Just like any worthy goal, the only way I’ll get there is to:
- Get out and take pictures…
- Get feedback on those images so I learn what works, and what doesn’t.
On the first point, I was lucky enough to find a photography group that gives Challenges to get out there, take photos, and practice our craft. [Editor’s note: Dawn is a longtime Breakfast Stock Club Premium Member.]
On the second point, I NEVER think my photos are “ready” or “good enough” but it doesn’t matter… I submit them to contests and a couple of stock sites, anyway. One of the things I love about doing this is getting feedback so I can learn.
Fear can really hold you back if you allow it to take over. Most of the time, when we ask ourselves, “What if it’s not good enough?” I think the better question is, “What if it is?”
So what happened when I re-submitted the two images that were previously rejected? They were accepted! Simple as that.
The lesson for me is: sometimes NO just means “not now.” What one person sees, another person will not.
My job is to keep shooting, keep learning, and continue to put myself out there… even when I’m not sure I’ll win or not. There is always victory in the journey, but you’ve got to make the decision to take it.
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.