Reflections on Stock Photography
I’ve recently been reflecting on the changes to the photography industry over the years, in particular, the stock photo industry–the one I’m engaged in. To say that the digital revolution has shaken things up is a monumental understatement. Combine the former with the advent of the world wide web and electronic file exchange and we have two ingredients that have forever altered the way images are used, purchased and shared. But that is monstrous topic that I won’t address in detail now.
My First Magazine Cover
What did come to mind in my reflections about my career was the fact that 20 years ago, as I was beginning to make ground as a free lance photographer, I had my first magazine cover and feature published in the 1995 November issue of Alaska Magazine. I remember that process, which included stuffing slides in plastic sheets and sending them to the magazine editor for review, and corresponding back and forth via letters through the mail.
Since then I’ve been carving out a life and career in photography, that continues to change and evolve with the times. The whole process of exchanging image content and communicating has changed considerably. This is duly illustrated by a recent publication in Alaska Magazine, nearly 20 years to the date, which features a photo I took of an Arctic fox on Alaska’s Arctic coast. The whole file exchange and communication process for this publication was quite different. Everything was pushed through space electronically–including communication and image content. Furthermore, instead of having my pictures stuffed in metal file cabinets in my office, they are all available on line through a searchable database, which is how this picture was selected for a cover placement. My how the times have changed.
Since my first publication in Alaska Magazine, they have faithfully and frequently selected from my image archives for their many articles and issues. Thanks Alaska Magazine for a relationship headed into the third decade!!! I’ve watched the magazine change over the years–from type of paper, to layout, to the logo, and I’ve seen a lot of editors and designers come and go with the magazine–but I’m very happy to still be a frequent contributor, and glad the magazine is still viable to its many curious readers about this fantastic state.
History of Alaska Magazine
In my office sits a stack of issues of the Alaska Magazine (formerly the Alaska Sportsman) that date back as early as the 1950’s. Nearly 65 years of Alaska history to browse through during a dark and chilly Alaska winter. I’m hoping to find some ideas and inspiration in these pages, to fuel further work and progress in my own exploration and documentation of Alaska’s epic places and unique people.