Field Report:

The Non-Glamorous Side of Photography

Agriculture Photographer, inga spence Interview

Cows on Farm, Del Norte County, California
Cows on Farm, Del Norte County, California

Professional agricultural stock photographer, inga spence is based in Northern Nevada. Having specialized in this niche for several decades, Spence has successfully evolved along with the industry. Let’s get her insights on the evolution of stock photography.

Did you have an interest in the agriculture industry prior to taking up photography, or were there other reasons for specializing in this niche?

I was definitely interested and attracted to ‘Agriculture’ prior to getting involved in photography… so I felt quite comfortable working in this field.

There’s been a lot of griping from pros that have seen licensing rates drop significantly over the past five to ten years. How has this impacted the way that you approach the business?

I feel that the main reason that licensing rates dropped is because certain large agencies have reduced their rates considerably, not considering the photographer. If there was a cohesive approach on this issue, the rates would stay the same, or should increase. Considering how the cost of equipment and travel expenses have risen, not to mention that these agencies are now dealing with digital files and their cost of converting 35mm is no more. (In other words, agencies should have better commission rates for the contributors)

You’ve spent many years to build up a significant library of images in both the 35mm and digital formats. Producing a body of work like this surely doesn’t come without costs. So what is your opinion about aspiring professional photographers that believe that a good way to get ahead is by giving images away for free in exchange for a photo credit?

Certain photographers are willing to ‘sell/give away’ at any cost not realizing that the end result will also hurt them in the future… degrading the whole profession… tearsheets are an item of the past. I believe that photo buyers don’t really look at credits. It’s the image that counts.

Red Garlic

Red Garlic

Should hobbyists care about valuing their work even if they have a day job to pay the bills?

YES, definitely. Many a great and present ‘professional photographers’ started photography because they enjoyed it. If the shoe was on the other foot, the hobbyist most likely would feel different. Many pros are still working other jobs in order to follow their dream…

Hiker in Foggy Old-Growth Redwood Forest, Del Norte County, California

Hiker in Foggy Old-Growth Redwood Forest, Del Norte County, California

Any photography business announcements or personal projects that you would like to tell us about?

After some 20+ years in agriculture, photographing worldwide (but not completely limited to that specialty). I am really interested to become more diversified. But agriculture will always be a part of me…

I appreciate the opportunity to express my feelings.


inga spence photographer


August 8, 2008 - Posted by | Interviews, Photographers, stock photography | , , , , ,

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