Breakfast Stock Club Reader of the Month
Interview with Bill Perry Bonnie: Hi Bill, before we talk stock, can you tell us a little bit about your background? Bill: I am an international trade lawyer (you can find my blog here). But my passion is photography. I used to major in photography at Ohio University and was a photographer for a local newspaper in high school. Since I travel with my job, I have the opportunity to take a lot of photos in different places. Bonnie: How long have you been submitting photos as stock? Bill: I started in 2007. Bonnie: About how much income have you made with stock so far? Bill: I have made over $20,000. Basically, I make enough every year enough to pay for my equipment and take some vacations. Bonnie: What is the biggest obstacle you’ve run into along the way? Bill: First getting accepted by the stock sites. Many photographers give up because they find it difficult to get accepted then they get discouraged because the sites reject such large percentages of the photos they submit. You have to persevere. Bonnie: What’s your biggest overall achievement in stock, and why? Bill: My photos have appeared in Popular Photography, National Geographic Traveler Guides on Italy, Mexico and China, DK guides on Italy, Forbes website and a number of other websites around the world. I am astonished at where my photos end up. Bonnie: That’s exciting! What drives you to continue in stock? Bill: Shooting stock photos gives me a purpose when I travel. Because I am interested in stock photography, I have gone and discovered places I never would have otherwise, such as San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato in Mexico, Sanshindui in China, Seville in Spain and other places. Bonnie: What is your ultimate goal with stock? Bill: To make enough to cover my travel expenses in retirement. Bonnie: Any tips for folks who are just starting out? Bill: Do not go exclusive. Instead, submit photos to as many sites as you can. Try the easier sites first — Canstockphoto and Depositphotos, for example, and then work your way up. Expect that it will be difficult to get on to iStock and Shutterstock. I truly believe that the only power/defense the stock photographer has is the number of sites he is on. Then you can play one site off against the other. For example, I have watched my revenue at iStock fall every year, but Shutterstock, which does not take exclusives, has seen a revenue increase every year for me. Bonnie: Thanks, Bill!