I take photos and make images purely for the love of it. Of course, I enjoy sharing them with other photo buffs as well, which is why I joined Flickr a few years ago.
It never occurred to me that this would turn into an opportunity to license my photos for sale. So I was very surprised to find out that as a result of Flickr’s partnership with Getty Images, some of my images were selected for the Flickr collection on Getty. And some have even sold!
Some folks on Flickr go out and shoot photos they hope will appeal to Getty editors and curators. I could study what Getty is looking for and try to capture those types of images.
But I don’t. I focus on creating images that make my heart beat a little faster, and if others like them too, that is a lovely bonus.
I will admit that I’m happy when I get a request from Getty to license a photo, and it makes my day when I have a sale, but even if all that ended tomorrow it wouldn’t change how or what I shoot, or how much joy I get from what I’m doing.
Getty says that “the strength of the Flickr collection lies with the connection the photographers feel for their subject matter. The fact that many of the images are created with no commercial end use in mind lends them an unexpected originality and freshness that audiences can easily identify with.” That’s what I like about the collection.
Getty Images now has half a million images licensed from Flickr (!) and the collection contains images that are original, humorous and relevant. You can find imagery ranging from the highly conceptual to everyday scenes from all parts of the world. The collection appeals to customers looking to get away from airbrushed stock photos in favour of images of real life.
So while I don’t actively try to sell photos through Getty Images, I do have a small and humble project called Sparks of Grace, where I sell postcards and note cards based on my photography to raise funds for a local hospice project.
The response to the project has been wonderful, and it warms my heart. You can read more about Sparks of Grace here. I am truly grateful to all those who have supported the project with their purchases and kind words and sharing through social media.
Getty Images, a set on Flickr.