In January of 2016 I took a dip in the stock photography pond at the suggestion of a friend who thought I could do well. I honestly didn’t know much about stock before she mentioned it and now, almost three years later, business is booming. So much so that I can hardly keep track of where my photos are used! I usually track this by doing an annual reverse image search with Google, this shows me where many of my photos are being used. Yes, it’s a lot of work, many times there are similar images and a lot to sort through, but it has yielded some interesting results at times. This year the results were overwhelming, I’m shutting down the parts of my site where I used to post all the little back stories, camera info, locations, and who was using my photos. This isn’t a bad thing, it will help to streamline my main website at BillChizekPhotography.com, I’ll still do the fun stuff about my photos, it’ll just be here at this blog. My stock photography will have a different home located within the main website menu in Stock Photos.
I knew that my sales had increased this year as they had every year since I began shooting stock, but it was amazing to see, literally, hundreds of uses of my pics all over the web. Everything from restaurant menus, retail stores, daily news stories, to corporate websites; I couldn’t be more proud. Forbes used my pics at least 5 times this year alone! One photo, US Capitol 16, turned up in a trailer on Twitter for MSNBC’s American Swamp. The photo at left is in the opening three seconds, small part I know but still kind of cool (click HERE to see the full trailer). Also discovered a couple of magazine covers using my pics, one of them, Autumn in DC, is the cover of the October 2019 Where Traveler Magazine which is distributed in hotels throughout the United States. The photo is of the Washington Monument in the fall of 2017 when we lived in northern Virginia. It is literally a toss up for me which I like more in DC, the cherry blossoms or fall as they’re both incredible. Of all the places I’ve lived, I wish we could have stayed here longer, as an unapologetic history geek, this was heaven. The other magazine cover, using a photo called Thanksgiving 1, was for the November 2018 Legacy Senior Living Magazine (left) This photo was also used during that same time for of the cover of Postcards Magazine. This photo was taken at one of my all time favorite stock photography locations, Old Town Alexandria, Virginia. Whether I wanted to shoot doors, historic themes, food, or just American flags, it could all be found here. I miss that place every single day.
Lastly, two of my photos were selected for exhibitions. The first was taken in San Diego back in June of 2016 and is of a flamingo’s shadow, oddly enough entitled, The Shadow. It’s kind of cool photo and I was just trying out new things, for every one new thing that works I have 20 that didn’t and you’ll never see them… It will show in the ‘My Favorite Shot’ exhibit in the Ravnikar Gallery in Ljubljana, Slovenia from January 9-11, 2020. The second photo, Skipping, was taken on the beach at Imperial Beach, CA in May of 2016. I actually took a bunch of shots like this one afternoon while trying out a new Tamron 150-600mm lens. I came home with the lens in a box, our daughters wanted to run on the beach, that worked for me! The photo perfectly describes our daughters; on the left is the older and more cautious one and on the right is the younger with the ‘go for it’ mentality who operates at full on 24/7. Needless to say, I liked the lens, so much in fact that I bought the newer G2 version later! The photo will show digitally in the ‘At the Beach’ exhibit at the Blank Wall Gallery in Athens, Greece from December 13-15, 2019. Thanks again Gurushots!
That’s about it, below is just a small collection of some of the recently discovered stock photos. Lastly, I’d like to thank my wife, without her support I’d be just sitting at home watching tv instead of doing this in retirement. She never complains when up upgrading, changing gear, getting a new bag, you name it, I’ve done it… It’s great doing something you love!