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The Outdoor Enthusiast's Guide to Photography & Motion

Lesson 47 of 67

Choosing an Agency


The Outdoor Enthusiast's Guide to Photography & Motion

Lesson 47 of 67

Choosing an Agency


Lesson Info

Choosing an Agency

choosing an agency. Um, one thing I want to really talk about here is who is the right place for you? Um, you have two different. Define whether you want a relationship with them or not. Um, questions I think you should answer is you want to royalty free. Um, you know, boutique or major boutique are usually highly specialized, so you might want to have more than one agency. May be your food photography goes over here. Your photography goes here, and your nature photography goes here. Nothing wrong with that. Also, that diversity might give you a little more security in different revenue. Um, how much will you make? That's a big one. Um, I won't answer that. No one really will. Because it very so, so, so much. Um, it depends on the size of the agency. You're with the type of licensing you're in. Um, the kind of contracting negotiate, etcetera, etcetera. I could tell you it's declining in general for a lot of people. Relatively flat, I'd say for a lot of agencies as well, but be reasonab...

le, but it doesn't mean there's no business there. It's a multibillion dollar business. Um, there's a lot of business. A lot of money to be made. Just be reasonable. You know, you're not so unique that your images are gonna be flying out the door. No one mine included. I'm actually show you my royalty report. Next. On a minute. She have any images I sold last month? How much I made? Are you hoping your agency will build your name in your brand? They will help put a name and a brand is built with a campaign and not on Lee. By selling stock, um, you're not going to go and low 10 images up and your brand is ruined because they were five years ago. And, God, I learned so much more about photo shops instead. Knocking impacted business. Guarantee it won't. I have old stuff? No cares. Here we are. Right. How to cultivate a relationship with your sales reps when I say this, Be nice. Be nice. That's the best way. Tell them where you're going, What you're doing what you're up to, who you're shooting for. If you're shooting video, we're not Cultivate a relationship. Let people know what you're up to. Show them you're an authority on your subject matter and own genre. I keep repeating it. It's incredibly important. It's vital to understanding things. This is what my royalty report looked like last month. This is the gross sale. This is the contributor. Royalty. I realize they're small. Ah, you know, this is like one big client who did a big buy. This is a pretty typical month for May to the boil month of June. Anyway, the last reporting month. And you know this. If I you know, I actually put all of my royalties back into the company. But if I were a contributor, this would be my cut. So $185.25 dollars. $25.155 125 105 125. This is what I sold. I sold products less than 10,000 pieces. Web or electronic Blogger News Blogger News a book editorial, Commercial education. Less than 100,000 copies. Indoor display in advertising. Bunch of those Weber Elektronik Blogged news. Look at the average rate anywhere from 75 to $370 with most being at around 2 50 to 300. And that is why we're looking at revising our prices because this is the trend in general as it moves forward prices air starting to sort of become similar everywhere. Which means it becomes about direct sales, marketing opportunity, relationships with specificity of your images and how well you know and owned the genre that you're shooting in. I was wondering earlier, when you talking, we're talking about having the client do effects and change. Are you submitting these two stock as raw files? Auras J pegs? Yeah, that's a great question. They are limited in what they can do, right? That's true. Yeah, that's a great point. No, you're not submitting raw files. Your you should be and a bullet. I don't believe anybody's obtaining raw files. A, um there's a couple things that will happen. Um, you will submit publication ready, J pegs high quality, ready to go 300 peopie I at the largest resolution of your camera, which is increasing by the day. Right. Um color Spacey. Adobe RGB 1998. Um ah, a pit. Um, that's pretty standard. We have a lot of clients who will request a raw file, highly recommend people shoot Rauff. They're in stock because we will have not very often it's not like all the time, but I mean, you want to make the sale if you have the raw file available, and a lot of times it's not because they're manipulating their actually need to get a larger resolution out of it. In the color separation print process requires the raw to do it the best they can do it. A lot of times we use the actual J. Peg is the reference file, so they can color match. Um, but it's a great question, but I have never seen somebody requests the raw for the purpose of editing the image in a very different way. It's on Lee to been increased. The lot of divers also don't necessarily do a great job on their J peg. Are they over sharpen or something? So sometimes the raw files requested for that reason. But yeah, you're submitting high rise, ready to go, J pegs. Yes, video clips for stock do grade them for release. Or do you grade them neutrally and ask mo You recommend any particular Kodak? Yeah. Great. Great. Great question. Um video codex color grading. Most people are asking for either pro rez for 22 or h T. 64 Codex and they're looking for four K and smaller. Um, I would say it's probably gonna trend up very quickly because of the proliferation of six K footage that's being shot. I guess there's a lot of that will go that way but mastered and four K and color graded. Yes, they won't fully color Great Eclipse in 86 for Apple Progress for 22 and I'm actually gonna in capturing stock. I'm actually talk a lot more about that in that class because there's there's a lot to that and that is complicated. The other problem is the file sizes or beasts. I mean, a photo, you know, it could be, what, 30 Meg stops where? A video file. If you're uploading to an agency a lot times people ship hard drives because, you know, you could be talking about two gigs per file. Um, so we've had upload that have lasted days before. If we're putting him in the cloud, and that's just not realistic. So, um, that's generally what we're seeing. You know, we've been told that people will accept dnx. I think a lot of the trend moving forward is dnx file format, which is an avid, um, file format, and it's starting to become more standardized because H 264 could be very challenging to process for some software. Ah, yes, another question. So when someone submits to say a niche for and they're submitting a library, But how about how many? I mean, what what are you looking to see? Or is an agency expecting to see from a photographer when they submit her application for that? Um, when reviewing an application, you're looking at consistency, style and the diversity of subject matter. So first thing is, are they shooting at a pro level or not? Yes or no? Very simple question, as long as the work looks like it's professionally shot and processed, because I see a lot of, like, really bad HDR Second CHD are there out gone? Don't consider if it's poorly done. Nothing wrong with shooting issue of your processing in a way that looks natural. But if it looks like that, everything, every shadow and highlight or the same not gonna happen, So first, is it Are they shooting on a pro level and then I would kind of subject matter do they have? It is a diverse enough that bringing them in for so for our agency is a diverse enough that they're gonna be separated or they could be competing against everyone else. So if I see things like, you know, the same waterfall here and there, whatever in the portfolio or if it's like I'm seeing delicate arch oh, faithful police falls and Iceland's Skog a fost falls you're not getting it is the same five things. But if you go and show me an incredible portfolio of Yellowstone National Park imagery, that's backcountry lakes and alpine lakes and mountains were places that people just skip or drive by and the photograph beautifully. 100% your in because you're showing me places that are popular in a new way where you're pushing beyond just the usual stuff you might show faithful in a really new way to and that be okay, but you don't want to see a portfolio of just those things. You want to really see diversity. Um, the numbers themselves are not as important. You know, we're not just looking for somebody to come in with 2000 images to start. Um, we would expect if people want to project any sort of realistic revenue, about 500 images would be would be a good place to get to. But if they're shooting actively and they're working hard and they start with 100 images, that's cool. That's fine. It just depends. Some agencies have no requirements and have lots. They all differ for case the case. I'm really speaking about us in this case.

Class Description

Great outdoor photography starts with a love of adventure and exploration. Learn to maximize your skills and optimize your potential with this complete guide to capturing photos and video in the great outdoors. Award-winning photographer and filmmaker Ian Shive will go in-depth on how to create a story through stills and motion in any environment.

Throughout these lessons, Ian will cover scouting and planning, capturing photo and video, and understanding how to get an audience for your final project
Ian will cover:

  • Permit needs and location scouting essentials
  • Gear basics & prep
  • Introduction to using drones
  • Fundamentals of moving from still photography to capturing video
  • How to capture landscapes 
  • Composition and lighting techniques
  • How to handle low-light situations
  • How to capture for stock photography and video
  • Getting your work seen in print and publications
  • And more!

For four weeks, Ian will be your outdoor guide to capturing the beauty and greatness in nature. If you have a love for nature or adventure, join this class to learn how to turn your passion and social media posts into profit or exposure. 


  1. Bootcamp Introduction
  2. Storytelling with Stills and Motion Overview
  3. Elements of a Well-told Story
  4. Storytelling in Motion
  5. Choosing the Best Gear for Your Outdoor Project
  6. Gear for Drones
  7. Gear for Motion
  8. Inside Ian's Gear Bag
  9. General Advice for Preparation
  10. Virtual Scouting
  11. Weather
  12. Permits and Permission
  13. Model and Property Releases
  14. Health and Fitness
  15. Checklist
  16. Location Scouting Overview
  17. Location Scouting in the North Cascades
  18. Drone Introduction
  19. Drone Safety
  20. What Kind of Drone Should I Buy?
  21. FAA Part 107 Test: How to Prepare
  22. Telling a Story With a Drone
  23. Drone Camera, Lenses and Movements
  24. Selling Drone Footage
  25. Why Does a Photographer Need Motion?
  26. Establish the End User
  27. Identify Your Audience
  28. Build a Production Plan
  29. Create the Story Structure
  30. The Shooting Script
  31. Production Quality
  32. Composition for Stills
  33. Composition for Stills: Landscape
  34. Composition for Stills: Telephoto Lens
  35. Composition for Stills: Macro Lens
  36. Techniques for Capturing Motion in the Field
  37. Lenses and Filters for Outdoor Photography
  38. Capturing Landscapes - Part 1
  39. Capturing Landscapes - Part 2
  40. Capturing Movement in Stills
  41. Shooting Water, Sky and Panorama
  42. Understanding Stock
  43. Editorial vs Commerical
  44. Pricing Stock
  45. Producing Stock
  46. Shooting for Social Media vs Stock
  47. Choosing an Agency
  48. Assignments and Capturing Stock
  49. Stock Photography Market
  50. Create A Style Guide
  51. Stock Shoot Analysis
  52. Workflow for Selecting Final Stills
  53. Initial Editing in Adobe Bridge
  54. Reviewing and Selecting Motion Footage
  55. Keeping Track of Your Story Ideas
  56. Script and Story Structure Evolution
  57. Editing to the Content
  58. Music as a Character
  59. Business Diversification
  60. Business Strategy
  61. Pillars of Revenue
  62. Branding
  63. Partnerships and Brand Strategy
  64. Galleries and Fine Art
  65. Budgeting
  66. The Future of Photography
  67. Q&A And Critique



Ian was an amazing instructor.; very fun, enthusiastic, encouraging, and comprehensive. I hope to be able to return as an audience member for another of his classes. It is a privilege and a gift to have access via Creative Live to such a wealth of expertise. Thank you!

Cindee Still

Ian Shive is a dynamic speaker with a wealth of knowledge he is willing to share. He has had a magical path that led to his success. He touches on so many aspects of making, selling and creating images as well as how to market them and make an income from your work. It is so much fun to be part of the studio audience. The Creative Live staff are always so warm and friendly and they feed you like your on a cruise ship! Wonderful experience.


What a great class this has been. Thank you Ian Shive and Creative Live! Recently retired, I have set out to learn everything I can about photography and pursue this passion to capture the beauty in the outdoors. Creative Live has served as an amazing educational platform to help me learn everything from how to use my camera, the fundamental technicals, and learn about software and tools. This class brought it all together. At the end of this class my approach to photography and my images are different. Ian shares so much valuable knowledge that will change the way you go about taking a picture; from scouting a location, to thinking through the story and adding elements to an image to evoke an emotional response. My personal growth has been significant and I have changed to the way I approach creating an image from an Outdoor Landscape to an Outdoor Experience. Loved every minute of it, sad the class is over.