Stock photography is a collection of generic pictures taken by photographers with “no known use” or “client”, but maybe sold (or not) in the future. For example, a photographer could hire a model to dress up as a businesswoman and pose in front of a computer. He typically gives her a fixed sum for the work, and she signs away any financial rights to her image in the picture.
The photographer then adds the images to his “stockpile” of photos. However, many photographers don’t sell all of their stock photos because they don’t sell all of their stock photos (sometimes even very little).
If a photographer sells stock photography, they don’t necessarily know how, where, or when it will be used commercially. To be safe, models should avoid taking stock photography bookings unless specifically instructed to do so by their agent or manager.
Certain “drawbacks” exceed the financial benefit for the agency and model, prompting debate over whether or not agencies should take “stock” photographic modeling jobs. It’s just a $50, $75, $100, or $200 gain “financially.” Because model agencies typically get 15-30% of the booking fee, some agencies may opt not to select or manage such bookings for their models.
In addition to working as a model, models are constantly searching for photographic print chances to expand their book of editorial and commercial work.
When a model has a bright future ahead of them, they should think twice before signing a photographic use license for stock pictures since they have no clue IF, WHEN, and HOW that print will be used when sold, and they also lose any residual income from that chance.
For example, if a client uses a stock picture for a higher-paying project or campaign, agencies and models fear a clear conflict of interest.
For example, the photographer sells the model’s $150 stock picture to a local bank (who uses it for their brochure ad and online).
A few months later, the same concept is chosen by a significant advertising agency for a major national bank’s campaign, which includes appearing on billboards and pays well.
Having their image linked with another bank creates a clear conflict of interest, therefore goodbye huge national potential and money.
Stock Picture Assignment
Accepting a stock picture assignment is risky, but when a model seeks experience, print work, and a “paying” job, it’s enticing, particularly when money is tight.
Many photographers earn money from stock photography, yet many stock prints will never be sold. Let me emphasize that there are many, many stock prints that are never sold or used again. That’s part of the photographer’s and model’s risk.
Some of the benefits of a model accepting a stock photography job may outweigh the risks of booking a comparable client. A model may gain a lot from a stock assignment, particularly if they are new models who require commercial prints to “sell” themselves in their portfolios, comp cards, and working with other photographers.
When customers view their commercial photos, models are more likely to obtain subsequent commercial engagements. Remember that not everyone can recognize a person’s potential as a model without seeing evidence of their photogenicity, ability to display the product, posture, and character fit. One of the main reasons a model needs a portfolio is because customers, photographers, and agencies utilize it as a reference.
Models may wind up paying photographers for testing when they require certain images to promote themselves, even if they live far away from the main fashion modeling regions and secondary modeling marketplaces. Even for stock photography, photographers appear to be able to locate willing models and actors.
Modeling Companies will Assist the Model
Many modeling companies will assist the model in determining whether it is appropriate for them in their circumstances. The modeling agency understands the kind of customers and models they will receive, therefore their advice may assist the model in making a choice.
As a result, it may not be worth the modeling agency’s effort to set up and follow through with stock print projects, rather than risking future conflicts of interest between clients and models.
Print models must constantly update their books, work with a range of photographers, and be ready to move and pose in front of a camera. When the appropriate job isn’t available to compensate them or they require updated photos or experience in front of the camera, models may cover this cost.
Posing methods and variations vary depending on whether the model is being shot for commercial, editorial, or commercial advertising. Until stock photography is sold, it is not legally commercial, thus the postures are not fashioned editorial.
Models must be adaptable. The more flexible they are in their appearance and posture, the more customers they will be able to shoot.
The proper stock photography prints may help the newer model in the future and save them money. Although creative modeling and stock photography are optional for print models, testing with various photographers is a “MUST”.
A modeling agency would frequently recommend either method for the model to gain more experience and photos. Younger or more experienced models without representation should take advantage of their “independent model” status and explore local possibilities.