Thursday, June 29, 2006

Stock Photography

Today I was the wrangler on set for a stock photography company. Companies that sell stock photos are selling images usually to magazines for use in their articles. Next time you read through a publication (especially a free one), check the inside crease to see a photo credit: Getty Images, Shutterstock, and Corbis are a few commonly used companies.

My mother print agency does not book any models for Stock Jobs. This is because the model gets paid an hourly fee to sit for a gajillion photos. The goal on a stock shoot is always to get as many frames telling as many stories as possible. Then they edit the images and sell them for a lot of money, and the model only got the hourly fee...kind of a rip-off, especially if the usage of that photo becomes very widespread.

I have mixed feelings about modeling for stock. I have modeled for stock 3 times. Each time I did it with my children. I decided to participate for a few reasons:
1. Money is Money is Money
2. "Free" photos of my kids and me. Some of my favorite photos of us have come from stock shoots.
3. All three of us were booked and also paid.
4. While pregnant and nursing, there are fewer jobs, so it is nice to be working even if the scale is not great and the usage absurd.

Despite the above, I have decided that I will no longer model for stock photography. Here is's scary. I did a stock job about 18 months ago and I have seen my face from that job, EVERYWHERE. The first time was in the Salt Lake City Tribune (random) advertising an acne solution. When I saw that I realized that my face could be bought by anyone: Genital Warts cream anyone? Yikes.

The other reason I won't do it is the same reason the agents won't: I was paid by the hour for that job, and the photos have been used in American Baby, Burlington Coat Factory's store windows, Baby Center, Acne Solutions, Ducklings, the cover of
If I had shot each of those jobs individually, I would have been paid perhaps 5 to 10 times what I was paid for the shoot that day. And that gets my goat.

But I have no regrets, I just learn as I go.

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