Steve Allen Stock Options - part 1 of 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13

by Steve Allen Published 01/04/2017


Early morning sunlight on the 'Dark Hedges' – an avenue of ancient trees in County Antrim in Northern Ireland.

KEYWORDS: dark hedges, Ireland, County Antrim, Northern Ireland, tree, avenue, woodland, forest, nature, sunlight, landscape, dawn, travel, tourism, road, Europe, landmark, sightseeing AUTHOR: Steve Allen

Steve Allen is in possession of more Fellowships than almost anybody we know. After starting his photographic career as a medical photographer, he eventually turned over to fulltime stock photography and now spends his professional life planning, then shooting stock all over the world (96 countries and counting at the last census!). His Fellowships include fbppa (Grand Master), fsicip, fsittp, fsinwp, fbipp, fnps, qep and fmpa. Professional Imagemaker caught up with Steve between busy qualification sessions at the Convention and this feature is the outcome. For anybody with an interest in stock shooting it is a goldmine of advice!


This is an in-depth look at how to make good stock sales from travel photography. I've tried to include information that will be useful to most photographers, from 'newbie' to the more advanced stock photographer.

I’m a professional stock photographer, shooting anything I think will earn money as a stock shot. Most of my stock work is made up of travel photography with a little wildlife photography thrown in for good measure, although I also shoot a little studio work too.

My photographic career started in 1972 when I began working as a trainee medical photographer in a large south-Manchester teaching hospital. I worked my way up and by 1976 I was the Head of the Department of Medical Illustration with a staff of six and a £2 million budget. I’d progressed as far as I could go, so I left the NHS in 1983 to set up a commercial/advertising studio with another photographer. It was during my time here that I started to dabble in stock photography as a supplement to my commissioned work.

By 1998 I was earning more from stock than my commercial work, so I sold my half of the company to my business partner and ‘went it alone’. All went well and earnings from stock increased to levels where I could indulge my passion for travel. I’m a ‘travelaholic’ and I’ve so far managed to visit 96 countries on all seven continents.

KEYWORDS: star trails, stars, astronomy, astronomical, sky, night, China, Guilin, pagoda, lake, reflection, Chinese, Asia, travel, tourism, trails, space, universe, cosmos, celestial, atmosphere, turning, cosmology, nature, skyward, above, heavens, stellar, astrophotography, rotate, rotation, rotating, science, scientific, blur, illuminated, lighting, lights, nightlife, oriental, Guangxi Zhuang

Most people like to travel and many think you can earn money from just taking pictures on your vacations and placing them with a stock agency. OK, you can make some sales like this, but to earn good money you need to be a little more serious about it. My trips are intensive and they are 'photography trips' not vacations, although I can't say I don't enjoy myself. It is often said that making good sales and income from 'travel' stock is very difficult.

YES, IT IS !! – or at least it can be if you don't make your images stand out from the crowd.

Now I’m presuming that if you have read this far you at least have an interest in stock photography and have a good idea how shooting for stock works, how to deal with agencies and some idea about what will sell.

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1st Published 01/04/2017
last update 21/07/2022 08:49:44

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