Any photographer offering free photos should have a good reason for doing so. The art – or science, if you prefer – of photography is one which takes a long time and a lot of effort to perfect; my own learning curve started twenty eight years ago, when I first entered the basement darkroom of my school in the first year I was there. Since then, I’ve tried to take photos for myself and I chose to spurn a commercial aspect for many years. However, an immense amount of time and effort has gone into achieving the technical and creative level I’m at now, which I don’t want to disregard or give away for free. (Collaborative photography aside.)
An increasing level of skill and an increasing recognition of my photos from other people – not just loyal family and friends – has given me the confidence I need to make more of an effort on the commercial side of things. I wrote recently that I am now taking bookings for wedding photography, based on wonderful praise from several people over photos I’ve shot in the past year or so. Before that, I wrote about how I now take the less creative shots as well as the ones which challenge and interest me, in order to fill out an archive of photos which potential clients will be able to use. The next step for me is to gain a wider audience for my work; not just through through Flickr, Facebook or my own website, but also further afield.
All of my photos offered at Flickr under this attribution license are also available to order on a royalty-free basis; that means a potential client pays a one-off fee and may then use the un-watermarked version of the image for any purpose, as long as they don’t sell the photo on. Such is the case for a nighttime shot of Blausee I took a few years ago, which is now featured on the website of the electrician who installed the lighting system. I’ve also sold a shot from Edinburgh recently, which will be used by a web agency there for a commercial project.