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Small Potatoes

Posted by Tom Benedict on 20/05/2011

In the world of photography, I am small potatoes.  I know this to be a fact.  It doesn’t bug me, it simply is how it is.  I’ve sold some prints, I’ve sold some stuff through Getty.  But I’m small potatoes.

A number of the participants in the Getty Flickr collection watch their monthly statements with a level of attention bordering on obsessiveness.  I’m not really one of them.  But I know of a couple, at least, who clear more than a thousand dollars a month this way, so their attention is warranted.  My statements are typically empty, or if I do make any money it tends to be a dollar here or five dollars there.  Since joining the program in December of last year, I haven’t accumulated enough earnings to warrant a check.  It’s just rolled to the next statement period.  Like I said, small potatoes.

Until recently I’d only sold one of my pictures more than once.  It was the Green Sand Beach aerial I did during World Wide KAP Week 2009, and is one of my favorite KAP images to this day.  Each one was for display on a web site, so the totals were pretty small.

Last month I sold a second photo a second time, and this time they bought the right to use the full sized image.  WOOHOO!  I still only came away with about fifty bucks, but it means I get a check this time.  All those months of rolled-over earnings finally get to come out of hiding and go into the bank.  It’s not a lot, but it’s more than I’ve seen so far.  I’m excited!

I’ve seen people debate the pros and cons of the Getty Flickr program.  To me I don’t see the problem.  Except for doing the photography itself, I’m not the one putting the effort into it.  It’s the folks at Getty who actually get out there and do the marketing, the accounting, license agreements, etc.  I don’t rely on photography to pay my bills, so I don’t get as up tight about seeing my statement each month.  And if I occasionally get a check in the mail (or in my electronic deposit email, anyway), that’s just gravy.

Small potatoes isn’t such a bad thing.

– Tom


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