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What does stock photography mean?

Another Petaluma photographer, Jude Mooney, and I are working on building a library of images to join a stock photography agency (click here to see related posts.) So we have been asking everyone we know to help us by modeling for us so we can have enough photos to join… but some people are hesitant to volunteer to be models because they are not sure what stock photography means.

Our photo shoot last week with Kira, is a good example of what it means to be a model for us. It means you doing what you do best, in your environment, and wearing lots of different outfits…. sometimes your outfits, sometimes Jude’s. I think you can guess which outfits are Kira’s and which outfits are Jude’s.

Jude, as well as being an awesome photographer, is the expert stylist in our team. She is really good at details and making sure that everything looks perfect… whereas I am the spontaneous-seize-the-moment and come-as-you-are photographer… which has a different set of advantages.

Once we are accepted (fingers crossed) to an agency, the photos can be selected by magazines and businesses that need photos for stories or promotional campaigns. So instead of hiring photographers to take specific photos, they go to the stock agencies and buy the rights to use the photos. Therefore, the photos need to be somewhat generic and simple. We don’t get to choose what or how the photos are used… but we figure if we take wholesome, happy lifestyle photos then most likely the photos will be used by wholesome happy magazines and businesses.

At first I had a hard time getting used to staging everything and creating fake scenes… but I am really enjoying playing with Jude and with all our wonderful friends who are volunteering for us. We are always looking for more volunteers, so if you are interested in being a model, in exchange for some fun and funky photos, then let us know and we’ll come play photos with you too, even if you don’t have a chicken.



About the author paige green

Paige Green is a documentary and portrait photographer, whose storytelling approach to photography frequently addresses issues involving agriculture, land use, and food. Her work is featured in nine books and has been published in Glamour, National Geographic Traveler, New York Times Magazine, Conde Nast Traveler, GQ, Country Living, House Beautiful, and Culture. Paige lives in Petaluma, CA with a house full of boys.

All posts by paige green →

2 Comments

  1. these are awesome!! you girls are crankin it out, I am fiercely impressed, and think you’re already surpassing my entire stock archive 🙂
    keep on inspiring me…

    Reply

  2. these are great. i have a chicken…

    Reply

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