No, this isn’t about my longing for my former days as a smoker.
It’s simply a picture of a camel, with its face partially covered, taken about an hour after sunrise in the desert of southern Qatar near the Khor al Adaid Inland Sea.
It’s an image I recently added to my stock image portfolio at Picfair, a newish agency I recently began working with after the behemoth Getty’s purchase of Demotix and Corbis –and subsequent burial of hundreds of my images there– left a big hole in my stock options.
Stock has never been a large income source for me, but even with minimal effort I was able to count on three or four sales a month through Corbis and Demotix, primarily for editorial use. That’s largely the licensing that Picfair makes available, a one-size fits all one-time use agreement that only bars advertising and merchandising usage.
The best thing about Picfair is that the photographers set the price; Picfair just adds a 20 percent handling fee on top of that. That certainly beats the pennies and nickels that most of the current larger crop of stock agencies can put in your pocket.
I have no idea what to expect, if anything, but they certainly seem to be worth a try. The company’s selection is small but growing, with plenty of high quality work to be found. I’ll keep adding to the portfolio despite my only fear: that one day they’ll succumb to an offer from Getty, rendering all the images invisible once again. The best we can hope for is that that day isn’t on the near horizon.
For the benefit of those who’d like to give Picfair a try, I’ll revisit this in a month or two to provide a better picture of my experience.
The demise of Demotix and Corbis is also forcing the relocation of a few dozen photo essays. To give them a more permanent home I’ll be republishing them in my photo essays section so cleverly entitled, photoessays.bobramsak.com.