I am officially a stock photographer. I’ve been shooting photos for The Practical Herbalist for years now, as have my partners Sue and Patrick. Until recently, though, I didn’t think of myself as a photographer. I was more an extremely amateur picture-taker in my mind. Sure, my work’s been published, but I published it myself. It wasn’t as if anyone had asked me if they could use my photos or I’d been paid directly for it. That is, until recently.
This month, I signed up for Pixabay. I read their submissions guidelines, and realized some of the photos I’ve taken for The Practical Herbalist, Practical Herbalist Press, and Real Herbalism Radio as well as my own website qualified. So, I submitted a handful to see what happened…And they accepted them!
Sure, some part of me worries when they realize what a poor photographer I am, they’ll kick me off. But not yet, the Pixabay public has spoken. Of the nine approved photos I have up there now, I’ve had ten downloads. Somewhere in the world, someone is using my work to illustrate a website, blog, book, marketing materials, birthday invites…something. That’s a pretty amazing feeling.
I took my first photo when I was nine years old. It was with a cardboard box camera I’d made as a part of a school project. Through childhood, I took tons of photos, mostly with Mom’s old Kodak. My favorite subjects were the natural world around me and my animal friends. Now, I use my iphone. It’s about as high tech as the old Kodak was back then, which means I know I’m playing with a tiny step up from a child’s toy as far as cameras are concerned, but it works all right for me. I still shoot a lot of animals and natural settings, but plants and herbs make up a larger piece of my photographic pie.
I spend very little time altering my shots; pretty much, what entered the lens is what I export from iphoto or Lightroom. I crop when I need to for a specific use, but generally I’m far too lazy to spend the time it would take to do the real bang-up professional job photographers like my husband or my sister do. As it turns out, that’s just fine by the Pixabay crowd.
If you’d like to see my photography, check it out on Pixabay. Eventually, I plan to add a little photo gallery to my website, but for now Pixabay is it.
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