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Shooting for Stock Photography

Lesson 9 of 19

Archiving, Storage and Back Up

Geo Rittenmyer

Shooting for Stock Photography

Geo Rittenmyer

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Lesson Info

9. Archiving, Storage and Back Up

Lesson Info

Archiving, Storage and Back Up

This is the process after you've taken your pictures of putting them into your computer and kicking 'em out to a stock agency. But the first thing I wanna talk about is archiving. I'm gonna give you a little information, some technical sides of archiving, and ways that I archive. Some other options are out there. There's no right or wrong way to do this. This is just my process and my information for you guys to soak up and maybe use some of it towards your own. So, the first things about archiving: storage and backup. I'm just gonna talk about that briefly. Then we're gonna do ingesting and naming. I'm gonna ingest a card from the shoot on Friday and show you my process for that. Then talk about keywords and captions for your own personal use. I'm not gonna go into keywording for a stock agency, really at all. That's something that is becoming less and less on the photographer, especially with more the rights managed and royalty-free is that keywording was something that was super imp...

ortant back in the day, but there's less and less of that. And the agencies like to control that a little more than photographers just spitting out 50 random words to try and get their image to pop up quicker. So, keywording in stock, I'm not gonna really go too much into that. We talk more about just doing it for your own benefit. Location, GPS, I'm not gonna talk too much about that, but new technology that's happening. Then we're gonna do a little re-editing going back. I think this is one of the most important things as a stock photographer. It's so important for yourself to see where you're coming from and to learn from mistakes, learn from successes. And you really do find stuff that you shot in the past that might work today. You can reprocess stuff and bring it back to life. And always having control over your archive is just as important as a photographer, and even more so as a stock photographer. And the value of an organized, I just talked about that. So, I'll just do a little keynote here. Storage and backup, is everybody really, really good at their storage and backup or do you have a whole bunch of little lusty drives just stacked up everywhere in the corner? If somebody asked for a picture, it takes you half a day to go and find what drive it's on? That's something that right now try to get a hold on. If you're gonna spend some money personally on yourself and on your business, I'd go out and get yourself a really good, solid storage system. So, some of this stuff that I use, I do local hard drive and I use a Raid system. That's like Drobo's, one of the main manufacturers, those boxes that have four hard drives in it and you get a lot of room. I would use one of those. If you can, I would try to get as much of your archive onto one location. You can back that location up or use different types of Raid backups for that. But it's so important to have it just easily accessible. Just so when you sit down at your computer and you're just browsing some blogs or something, you can flip over to Lightroom and just look at what you have going on the archive, find a picture maybe you wanna post on social or something. You just can always go back and see what you've been working on and work on stuff to further your archive, to add back into it. Another thing is a server. Is there anybody who uses a server, one of you guys? I know some people are on servers, especially a lot of people who are doing wedding and portrait stuff because the volume you have in one of those businesses is getting to the point where it's just so, so much. I like to think that I'm like a big, add job or two away from being able to just spend it on a, getting the server and putting everything in one true location. Some other things, cloud storage. Does anybody use any of those applications? There are some companies out there where you can pretty much store all your photos in a cloud. And I know there are some, like PhotoShelter's kind of a big one. There's a lot of that for you. I think the cloud storage is something good. I'm using it a little bit, not too much just yet, but I'm using it more for moving stuff around. I've got a Google Drive. I've got a Dropbox; it's nice and full. I do use those, but I don't really backup my archive in the cloud anywhere just yet. I have a feeling in a few years that I probably will and it probably will be there. And I think more of what you would backup in the cloud is your selected images, your more important images, not a full take. If you go out and shoot 1200 images of somebody jogging, you probably don't wanna try to store that in the cloud. But you should probably hold on to that in a local hard drive. And then there are some services out there that you can pay for to backup your stuff. Again, I think that, my advice will be just to hold off at least another year or two and I think pretty soon, there's a good chance that we're all gonna be in a place where we're not gonna really lose anything ever again. We're gonna be able to pretty much plugin our hard drives, be able to put the pictures that we care about the most on a folder and it's just gonna live anywhere. And if your computer hard drive did explode, you would still be able to get those back. I think we're going that direction. I think we'll be there soon for photography. Photography is a little bigger than some other industries, and they're already there. So, I don't know if anybody use any of those services for backup. Not yet. And then for backup, safe deposit box. Does anybody actually put your most important pictures on a hard drive, and then you go to the bank and put it in a safe deposit box? No. I don't do that either. But there are some people that do that. And does anybody keep their backups in a separate location than your home, in two places? Somebody does. I do that as much as I can. I do have a hard drive that I keep in my studio that has a lot of my images that I have been working on. I try to keep those backed up. But I do double backup all of my stuff or if it's on a Raid, all of it backed up. But I do keep it all at home. So in theory, if my home burned down, then I'd probably lose a lot of stuff. So, hopefully that doesn't happen. Another thing with stock though is once you're with an agency and you do submit your images to the agency, you are submitting full resolution images to them. So in theory, all of my stock archive is there and no matter what happens, it's gonna be there because it's in the database at an agency. So, that's another plus to getting in with a stock agency. So, these are all the ideas for storage and backup, but it's really important to get a handle on that now, and especially as you move forward. Right now, you maybe have 10,000, maybe 20,000 images in your archive, and you'll get to the point where you've got 250,000 images in your archive. I'm not sure what I'm up to, but I think I'm getting close to 400,000 working in my archive for stock work, and these are full shoots. I don't have, obviously, that many pictures that are worthwhile. (chuckles) So, it's good to just really invest in that right now. So that way, in 10 years, when you go back and look at those pictures you took, you know exactly where they are. They're still in the same spot that you put in there 10 years ago. Basically, it might be in a new bigger hard drive, but same location. You're not unplugging and plugging in hard drives and scrambling to find stuff. So, any questions on that? Folks here are asking if you have a particular recommendation for cloud storage. I don't because I haven't used it yet. There are a lot of services out there. I just really haven't used it yet. I've looked into it a little bit. I've read about it. It keeps getting written about, but no. I know the big players, Google and Apple, are all doing that. I think Apple now has, you can basically backup your whole laptop into the cloud. So if your laptop disappears, you can get it all back. There's stuff like that, but when you're dealing with an archive this size that hopefully all of us will be dealing with, you're gonna need something a little bigger than that. So yeah, I think any of those will be good for select images, not your full archive.

Class Description

The world of stock photography can feel complicated, but commercial and editorial photographer, Geo Rittenmyer, will show you how to create and sell stock photography from any situation. In this course, he’ll cover the essentials of stock photography, the differences between royalty free or rights managed, as well as where stock is utilized in today’s world. He’ll also be interviewing an art director at a top agency to better understand what types of imagery stock agencies are looking for. 

Topics include: 

  • Techniques for shooting when traveling and what to think about when taking a photo 
  • How to set up a low-cost stock specific studio shoot 
  • How to utilize Adobe® Photoshop® & Lightroom CC to organize your catalog and keywords for easy access 
  • How to find a stock agency for your work 
  • When and where to use model or property releases 

Stock photography can allow you to shoot for your clients, as well as your passion. Get back to shooting what you love and make money at the same time! 

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

2017 Gallery Stock Trend Report

Sample Model Release

Sample Property Release

Stock Agencies List

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

Related Classes


Amy Vaughn

Personally, I really liked this class, but I can see why it wouldn’t be for everyone looking for information about stock photography. I’ve already researched and started doing microstock, but now I’m looking for more information about other options. This class was a good fit for me. Although Geo seemed new to public speaking and used too many fillers like “uh” and “um”, I found him likable and surprisingly relatable considering our different photographic niches. This class may be best suited for: Learning more about boutique galleries, rights managed stock and alternatives to microstock Seeing how this particular stock photographer works, gets inspiration and has been successful Getting ideas about current trends and sources for inspiration Getting the perspective of a creative director for a boutique agency Those interested in lifestyle photography May not be as suitable for: Broader and more in depth information about the variety of options in stock photography Those who want to focus on microstock New photographers who want detailed information about getting started and meeting technical requirements Those who prefer a more polished speaker

Carol Totaro

I thought this was a great class and have to disagree with some of the comments from the hands down viewers. The audience was listless and did not seem to be interested in being there. Do you know how difficult it is to stand up in front of a bunch like this and keep your mojo racing? Very difficult. Hardly anyone asked questions and they all just gave a lot of nods most of the time. If your read ahead of time the info on the class, you would see that he was going to go into Lightroom and workflow. Yes, some of it was a drag especially all those pictures taken from the condo at a FL panhandle beach. But nothing's perfect. Maybe I got a lot out of this because I am newer at photography. I was glad to know about his equipment. Everyone's personality is different and for all the talent and success Geo has enjoyed, he remains a humble and very likeable guy.

Christina Biasi

I loved this class! I cannot agree with some other reviews below at all Geo gives so much valuable information, and in fact I love his style much more than many other over-self confident speakers. He is sympathetic and likeable, and most importantly give very much valuable insights into stock photography. I just started with stock and got all my questions answered. I watched it already three times. The only part which I did not like so much was the post-processing part, because he could have explained better his workflow and why he chose certain actions. But that does not impact on the overall quality of the course. I can only highly recommend this class