Monday, December 31, 2007

Célia and Léo

Canon 20D - 17-40L - 38mm - f5.6 - 1/125s

Canon 20D - 17-40L - 35mm - f6.3 - 1/250s

My favorites 2 models :) Note that my studio is not complete yet, so these shots were taken with natural light.

Canon 20D - 17-40L - 33mm - f10 - 1/250s

This one was Léo practicing for his Karate Class.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Magic Redbubble

Canon 20D - 17-40L - 17mm - f8 - 1/160s
Featured on Redbubble

2 Months already that I started with Redbubble and I have to say that this web site is really addictive! The interaction with other photographers is awesome and everyday you get to find new wonderful artists. So far I sold many cards, including 2 shots in the Havasu Canyon:

Canon 10D - 17-40L - 17mm - f11.0 - 4s
Havasu Falls

Canon 10D - 17-40L - 17mm - f11.0 - 4s
Havasu Creek

My Antelope Canyon shot "God Beam" already sold 4 times including a Laminated print! If you're interested in buying prints or poster from them don't wait because they have a free shipping promotion until November 30th.

Canon 10D - 17-40L - 17mm - f11.0 - 1s
God Beam

"God Beam" was featured on the homepage for one day and is currently the number #15 All time most popular on the redbubble website, with more than 1300 views so far!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

2nd Place Winner again!

Canon Powershot SD800 IS - 28mm - 1/400s - f/2.8

For the second time this year I won the second place at the Stockxpert monthly contest! This time the 2nd prize was $350 and being featured in their newsletter. The theme was "thankful", and the winning image was about a family thankful to spend their first vacation together. I submitted numerous shots of my wife, daughter and son as well.

Stockxpert has been doing extremely well for past 2 months. The growth in sales was really significant. Unfortunately they recently launched a new subscription service, comparable to the one offered by Shutterstock, and since then their website seem to have many issues.

I personally opted out of the subscription model because I don't believe that a microstock can be successful at doing both at the same time.

Let's hope that all the little glitches will be fixed soon and that sales will pick up again. Stockxpert is a microstock with a tremendous potential and I'd really like to see them continue to grow in the industry.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The RedBubble Phenomena

RedBubble is a refreshing web site were photographers are invited to present the best of their work. Anyone can then buy Framed Prints, Canvas Prints, Mounted Prints, Cards and Laminated Prints. The company is based in Australia and ship their product all around the world on top quality card/paper at a very reasonable price.

Featured Art on RedBubble

The concept behind RedBubble is quite simple and attractive: the photographer can upload the best of his portfolio for free and he decide to add any commission he'd like on top of RedBubble base price. Even though I did not have any sale yet the site is quite addictive and the quality of the pictures is really impressive. The community is great and there are some extremely talented photographers.

Featured Art on RedBubble

In a little bit more than 2 weeks my pictures have been featured already 3 times. I have more than 2,000 views and more than 70 people have added some of my pictures to their favorites.

What I like the most is the community, and all the comments/messages exchanged. It's a great feeling to see how much people can appreciate your work!

Featured Art on RedBubble

Monday, October 15, 2007

Most Popular Picture of the Week: On the Beach

Canon Powershot SD800 IS - 28mm - 1/400s - f/2.8

This picture is my currently most downloaded with Shutterstock. That was on the Kamaole Beach III right across our resort in Kihei, south west of Maui, the first day that we arrived. My son was really enjoying jumping in the waves...
I was using for the first time my new P&S camera: the Powershot SD800 from Canon has a super wide angle and an optical Image Stabilizer packed with some amazing features for a camera of that size, such as the DIGIC III processor and a face detector. This camera has also an excellent macro mode.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Maui Trip

Canon 20D - 17-40mm L - 17mm - 1/100s - f/4.0

I'm back! I've been really busy for past few months building a 700 pictures large stock library and I'm hopping to reach 1,000 by end of the year.

Recently I took my family to a 10 days break in Maui where I captured more than 2,500 images... Thanks god we are now in the digital era :) I kept about 1,500 shots and about 100 of them are good stock photo candidates. The few pictures I already uploaded to Shutterstock have been boosting my sales.

Maui is a wonderful place to spend vacation and take pictures. There are so many opportunities everywhere: flowers, tropical forest, waterfall, beaches, snorkeling, etc.

Highlights of our trip were:
Makena beach (south west) and Kaahanapali beach(north west):

Canon 20D - 17-40mm L - 17mm - 1/250s - f/7.1

Canon 20D - 17-40mm L - 17mm - 1/160s - f/10.0
Storm forming above Makena Beach

Maui's sugar cane train in Lahaina: it's a short ride that goes from Lahaina to Kaahanapali, great for kids, but don't expect to go in the middle of a sugar can field!

Canon 20D - 17-40mm L - 17mm - 1/1000s - f/5.0

Maui Ocean Center is a great place for family. We spend about 3 hours in this amazing place. This 5-acre facility houses the largest aquarium in Hawaii and features one of Hawaii's largest predators: the tiger shark. As you walk past the three dozen or so tanks and numerous exhibits, you'll slowly descend from the "beach" to the deepest part of the ocean, without ever getting wet. Start at the surge pool, where you'll see shallow-water marine life like spiny urchins and cauliflower coral, then move on to the reef tanks, turtle pool, "touch" pool (with starfish and urchins), and eagle-ray pool before reaching the star of the show: the 100-foot-long, 600,000-gallon main tank featuring tiger, gray, and white-tip sharks, as well as tuna, surgeonfish, triggerfish, and numerous other tropicals. A walkway goes right through the tank, so you'll be surrounded on three sides by marine creatures. A very cool place, and well worth the time.

Canon 20D - 17-40mm L - 17mm - 1/125s - f/5.0 - ISO 1600
Spotted Eagle Ray

Canon 20D - 17-40mm L - 17mm - 1/125s - f/4.0 - ISO 1600
Whitetip Reef Shark

Canon 20D - 17-40mm L - 17mm - 1/60s - f/4.0 - ISO 1600
My son amazed by the aquarium

All family had a very relaxing 10 days. September is a great time because it's off season and the weather is mostly dry. There are many other pictures opportunities, especially in the tropical forest. One day we hiked to the swinging bridges, a very cool adventure.

Canon 20D - 17-40mm L - 17mm - 1/100s - f/5.6
Family shot at sunset

Also Haleakalā or East Maui Volcano is a massive shield volcano that forms more than 75% of the Hawaiian Island of Maui. The crater is at more than 10,000 ft and from the summit you can look down into a massive depression some 11.25 km (7 mi) across, 3.2 km (2 mi) wide, and nearly 800 m (2,600 ft) deep. The surrounding walls are steep and the interior mostly barren-looking with a scattering of volcanic cones. It has been called the largest extinct volcanic crater in the world. Unfortunately we did not have time to go the volcano; the best time to get there is actually at sunrise, which means getting up around 3am (there is a 2 hour drive to reach the summit).

We stayed in a very nice 2 bedroom condo, Kamaole Sands that we rented directly from owner thanks to which is I think a much better way to rent a place like this one (you end up saving a lot of money and you know exactly which unit you'll be staying at).

Canon 20D - 17-40mm L - 17mm - 20s - f/4.0
Our resort at night

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Most Popular Picture of the Week: DFW Airport

Canon 20D - 17-40mm L - 19mm - 1/400s - f/4.0

This week my most popular picture on Shutterstock is a picture taken in the Dallas Airport. I was waiting for my flight in the newly opened terminal which is a great place to take pictures: modern architecture and bright... But 10 minutes before boarding time I realized that AA changed the gate to another terminal! So I had to rush and take a train that connect all terminals. On my way to the old terminal I just had a few seconds going down the escalator to take this shot!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

2nd Place Winner for the Stockxpert Contest!

Canon 20D - 17-40mm - 40mm - 1/40 - f7.1

My picture "Soon to be Father" won the 2nd prize at the Stockxpert monthly contest. The theme was Parenthood. This picture was taken just 2 weeks before my wife gave birth to our little angel Célia.

Stockxpert is the the first micro stock agency to my knowledge to offer such nice prices... I just received a Video Ipod for being in 2nd place!

Stockxpert is one of my favorite agency because it has the highest commission (50%) for photographers in the micro stock industry. The site is extremely simple to use and the upload process couldn't be easier. I also love the fast review times (never took longer than a few hours to get my images reviewed) and the folders that you can create to organize your images. The site has one of the best user interface, if not the best.

My only deception is that my picture was supposed to be advertised on their front page, and I was counting on that to get a great exposure on my portfolio. Unfortunately they were not able to find a compelling crop for my picture.

This month's theme is "graduation", see the details here.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Most Popular Picture of the Week: Léo

Canon 20D - 50mm - 1/1250 - f1.6

This week most popular picture on Shutterstock is a picture of my son Léo when he was 8 months old. Léo is now 3 years old and it becomes very difficult to convince him pausing for me!

Canon 20D - 50mm - 1/100s - f5

My daughter Célia is also one of the most popular kid with this portrait. So far she's been very cooperative with my camera... may be a future model?

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Happy Chinese New Year!

Canon 20D - 70-200mm L - 200mm - 1/650s - f2.8

To celebrate Chinese New Year here is one of my picture that recently sold on Alamy.

Chinese New Year is the longest and most important celebration in the Chinese calendar. The Chinese year 4705 begins on Feb. 18, 2007.

Chinese months are reckoned by the lunar calendar, with each month beginning on the darkest day. New Year festivities traditionally start on the first day of the month and continue until the fifteenth, when the moon is brightest. In China, people may take weeks of holiday from work to prepare for and celebrate the New Year.

A Piggy Year

Legend has it that in ancient times, Buddha asked all the animals to meet him on Chinese New Year. Twelve came, and Buddha named a year after each one. He announced that the people born in each animal's year would have some of that animal's personality. Those born in pig years tend to have excellent manners, make and keep friends, work very hard, and appreciate luxury. They are very loving and make loyal partners. Lucille Ball, Humphrey Bogart, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ernest Hemingway, Alfred Hitchcock, Mahalia Jackson, David Letterman, and Arnold Schwarzenegger were all born in the year of the pig.

Friday, February 09, 2007


Canon 20D - 100mm 2.8 macro - f2.8 - 1/250s

I recently found an incredible PhotoShop plug-in that simulates reflections on water. I applied this filter to a few of my best selling pictures and was quite amazed by the result. There are different predefined settings, but you're free to change any of the parameters that generate the water and the waves. Price for this plug-in is only $20 and it's definitely a great investment.

Friday, January 05, 2007

One Year of Stock Photography!

I started to work with Stock agencies in January 2006. The year went pretty well and this is a review of 9 stock place where you can sell your work. The revenue per picture greatly depend on your portfolio content; mine was travel oriented and then I started to focus on stock images such as every day objects isolated on white background.

Also I'd like to emphasize that I believe Microstock and Regular Stock are two different markets with different customers. I would never sell my "better" (or I should say my "rarest") pictures with micro for just a quarter. I sell newly taken "microstock oriented" (i.e everyday object on white background) or travel shots that did not meet Alamy technical requirements (due to lower resolution). If you check my portfolio with Alamy and with any Micro Stock you'll see what I mean. I obviously prefer to sell a unique picture for a decent amount of money, but I also enjoy getting paid for my "not as rare" pictures.

More than 80% of my revenues came from 4 agencies:
  1. Shutterstock - $5.30/picture/year – 22.7%
  2. iStockPhoto - $5.20/picture/year – 22.3%
  3. StockXpert - $4.95/picture/year – 21.4%
  4. Alamy - $3.70/picture/year – 16%
I made actually a lot more money with Shutterstock alone because I have twice the number of pictures that I have on other sites (in part because they are the only micro accepting Editorial).

The remaining 20% came from another 5 agencies:
  1. Fotolia - $1.43/picture/year – 6.1%
  2. Dreamstime - $1.42/picture/year – 6.1%
  3. 123rf - $0.69/picture/year – 3%
  4. BigStockPhoto - $0.40/picture/year – 1.7%
  5. LuckyOliver - $0.18/picture/year – 0.7%
The great thing about the RF model and Microstock is that you can keyword and edit your image once, and then upload it with batch ftp on all servers. Then for most of them you just need to add categories et voila! So submitting the same image to 8 different places does not really take much longer than just one.

In case you'd like to sign up to give it a try I'd appreciate if you'd use one of my referal link: you would still get paid the same but I would get a small commission on each sale... which means more money for us photographers and less for the Microstock companies!

#1 - ShutterStock - RF - Subscription Model

  • Because of subscription model buyers buy pictures they might never use
  • Fast review time
  • Uncensored and friendly forums
  • Best referral bonus
  • Accept editorial shots
  • Best Enhanced License program
  • Model release management
  • Need to constantly upload to have pictures in the first search pages and get downloads
  • 0 tolerance for noise or grain in picture
  • No information on the photog (besides screen name); photog can’t be contacted directly
Top 3 Sellers:

#2 - IStockPhoto - RF

  • Top quality images only
  • Grainy image ok (film scan ok)
  • Tags attached to keywords for intelligent translation (unique feature)
  • Very picky on keywords
  • Buyer can contact photog directly
  • No direct ftp
  • Limit to 20 upload per week
  • Slow review time
  • No photog referral bonus
  • No editorial
Top 3 Sellers:

#3 - StockXpert - RF

  • Best payout/picture
  • Great user interface, extremely simple to use
  • Fast review times
  • 1st payout after $50
  • Can advertise own portfolio once a week
  • No editorial
  • No photog referral bonus
Top 3 Sellers:

#4 - Alamy - RF & RM
Stock photography by Christophe+Testi at Alamy
  • RM and RF model
  • High selling price, with 70% commission to photog
  • Only High Resolution pictures - 16MP or more
  • No ftp, need to send CD or DVD with picture
  • Slow review times
  • No paypal
Top Seller:

#5 - Fotolia - RF

  • For each picture sold we know who is the buyer
  • 10% referral bonus
  • Slow user interface
  • User interface could be improved
  • No editorial
  • referral bonus for 365 days only
Top 3 Sellers:

#6 - Dreamstime - RF and Subscription

  • Great user interface
  • Referral bonus
  • Model release management
  • Buyer can contact photog directly
  • minimum payout is $100
Top 3 Sellers:

#7 - 123RF - RF



Top 3 Sellers:

#8 - BigStockPhoto - RF

  • Minimum payout is $30
  • Good support for photographers, emails answered quickly
  • Poor user interface
Top 3 Sellers:

#9 - LuckyOliver - RF
  • Inovative user interface, fun site
  • Not many sales so far
Top 3 Sellers: