THe glory of a story
Thoughts and threads of passion and experience that have woven the fabric I call my life. Sharing experiences, memories and ideas so that they are out in the world for you to find when the time is right.
THe glory of a story
I’ve been working at becoming very intentional about my Dreamstime submissions, ever since last November when there was an email sent out regarding the possibility of quick sales and a list of all the places that a people are searching for stock photography that the site was missing. I read the list through and realized I had photos from dozens of the towns and areas that were listed. I hadn’t really been paying any attention to my Dreamstime account for ages, so I took a look at it, and low and behold, I had accumulated over $38 in sales over time. Minor I know, but it caused me to actually start thinking about my stock photography again.
I’d started with submitting my photos to Dreamstime in 2013. I’d always thought I was a pretty good photographer, so if there was a way to make a little something off the emerging stock photography website business, why not give it a shot. I think the first submission I sent in about 50 pictures...and I think they rejected 49! I was shocked and appalled that the reviewers for Dreamstime had such poor taste and appreciation for photography! But with every rejection, they would give an explanation as to why the photo had been rejected. With every explanation I was given the opportunity to research, learn and improve as I had to look up things like ‘Rule of 9’, Golden rule, stuff I’d never heard of being an amateur picture snapper.
Over the next days, I managed to have 21 of my photos accepted. Then came the day that I got notice of my first Dreamstime sale! I was over the moon excited, as I tracked down Cecil and shared with him my fabulous news!
“How much did you make,” he asked, always the practical one.
“.42”, I told him, still excited, even when he gave me the look that said 42 cents wasn’t much to be that thrilled about. So I had to explain to him, “I know it’s only 42 cents, but here’s the thing. This week Dreamstime announced that they had reached the milestone of 21 million stock photos. Only 21 of those photos were ones that I’d taken and yet someone picked one of mine! How exciting is that??” Apparently for him, it wasn’t that exciting. Who’d have thought!
I continued dabbling until I reached somewhere under 70 photos, then left it be, because it was a lot of work making sure that each picture was formatted and appropriate to their submission requirements. Eventually I decided it was too much work and time, and quit dabbling. Until last November.
So back to then, I looked and realized that I had accumulated sales over time, little by little, although they weren’t adding up to big cheques, it finally occurred to me that I only had to do the work once, and after that it was out there and available for as long as I chose to leave it. That some of the few photos that I had uploaded had been chosen several times, and if I focused my attention better now, this could be another source of residual income over time for years to come, even when I didn’t feel so much like doing it any more.
So it began. The sorting, categorizing, reviewing of the thousands and thousands of pictures on my hard drive. As of today’s writing, I am now up to 863 photos in my Dreamstime portfolio. I’ve still only accumulated $128 in sales, but heck that’s quadruple what I had 4 months ago, so I think I’m on a roll! In the big pond, I’m still a very, very tiny fish, but I enjoy swimming in the creativity that this endeavor affords me, so it’s all good.
Now for what’s been coolest for me! In February we were back in Manitoba for ‘I love to Read’ month, and the opportunity to share a couple of my children’s books. The last night of our stay we booked a room in Winnipeg, close to the airport, with a restaurant and pool, so that any of the kids/grand-kids that wanted to see us before we headed home to BC could do so. We ended up being given a room on the 5th floor. I didn’t notice the picture until we went back down to the pool a little later, and there beside the elevator was a photo that immediately caught my eye. I realized upon closer inspection that it was actually one of mine! It was a picture of a lovely fall reflection in a pond in Northern Manitoba that I’d taken on one of my trips home from Thompson. When I pulled up the picture on my Dreamstime app, even the clouds were identical. Once again, it hadn’t been a big money making sale for me, but I realized that one picture had been purchased at least 6 different times. We never know who purchases them or for what reason, but I have to tell you that it was one of the coolest things ever to see one of mine adorning the hotel hallway. Who’d have thought!
I know that this isn’t going to be a get rich quick project by any means, but as a creative, I think that any time we find a way to share our ‘stuff’ with the world and know that it’s been seen and appreciated by someone along the way, it’s a win. So for now, I’ll just keep putting it out there, because sometimes it’s not about feeding the bank account. Sometimes it’s about feeding your soul, and as days go by I’m learning more and more about what things actually make that part of me sing! I’m discovering that the things that I loved to do more than anything as a child beginning to find her way in the world are pretty much the same things that I love to do more than anything today! Life took over, got busy, got crazy and chaotic for a lot of years...but now, offered the opportunity to do things that bring me absolute joy, I’ve discovered that most of the gifts I arrived on this planet with and buried for so long are still the things that make my heart sing today. Knowing that is perhaps one of the greatest gifts I’ve received!
The trip back to Manitoba in February was steady going, and quite frankly, busy, but we knew it would be. I knew it would be, planning a last minute trip to go back to share the stories I’ve written and published. Setting up as many schools as I could to try and justify the dollars out against the heart tugs in. It was hectic, and for one who keeps working towards slowing life down, because that’s what the body is requiring, it took a little extra oomph to get through most of the days. But it was wonderful and it was all that I’d hoped it would be.
One of my favourite mornings was spent at Long Plain School, sharing Shane’s stories with children learning in a place where my Mom was the kindergarten teacher for over 30 years. It was so cool to see how many people who are still their either remembered her, or were taught by her at one point in their lives. An extra bonus that day was getting the chance to speak with Travis Roberts, the morning show host on Country 93.1 in Portage la Prairie. It was really interesting to hear what was required to do the work that he does, as well as to see the interest that was inspired in the children, with the biggest message being to get your education, and you can achieve anything you set your mind to.
I was really lucky that in the last hours of our stay in Manitoba, I had the chance to head into the studio with Travis and talk about the books, Shane’s story and the lessons carried forward and shared because of him. The session aired after we’d returned home to BC, and with my time adjustment challenges, I missed catching it online, so Travis was kind enough to send me the clips used on radio, and has Kindly given me permission to share them with you here, if you missed it as well! Thanks Travis, both for sending the clips and for allowing others to share their stories and their passions through your medium. It is truly appreciated!
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