Shutterstock Presents story submission

In the spirit of “can’t hurt to give it a shot,” I submitted my story to Shutterstock Presents, cross your fingers that they decide to feature me… Here’s what I submitted:

My professional photography career started when my kids insisted I get a “real” camera before a 2004 trip to the Grand Canyon. Since then I have enjoyed a growing photography career, learning through workshops and online courses, and sharing what I am learning with others.  I focus on nature, travel, and editorial stock photography. 

I first applied to Shutterstock as a challenge to improve as a photographer and to explore alternative sources of income as a single mother. I then realized that it was a great avenue to highlight my lovely home state of Michigan (https://www.shutterstock.com/g/smontgom?searchterm=michigan ).  I love taking stock photos during “photo days” in various towns in the area, such as Detroit (https://www.shutterstock.com/g/smontgom?searchterm=detroit) and Ann Arbor ( https://www.shutterstock.com/g/smontgom?searchterm=ann+arbor ). I find it rewarding seeing my Shutterstock photographs used in articles about downtown Detroit companies, such as Compuware (https://venturebeat.com/2014/09/02/mainframe-veteran-compuware-goes-private-for-2-5-billion/ ), or Fodor’s page on America’s best main streets ( https://www.fodors.com/news/trip-ideas/americas-best-main-streets#!14-south-main-street )

I also appreciate the power of stock photography in advocating for social justice, making available photos of marches in Ann Arbor, such as the Hash Bash in support of marijuana legalization to Shutterstock, (www.shutterstock.com/g/smontgom?searchterm=hash+bash), and then seeing them appear in news articles ( https://www.metrotimes.com/detroit/reminder-if-michigan-city-councils-ban-marijuana-shops-residents-can-bring-the-issue-to-the-ballot/Content?oid=19586631 ). Likewise I can support the rights of immigrants by taking photos at marches such as the pro DACA rally in Ann Arbor (https://www.shutterstock.com/g/smontgom?searchterm=daca ) and then, through Shutterstock, find such photos used in relevant articles (https://sojo.net/articles/dhs-rescinds-obama-plan-protect-4-million-undocumented-immigrants )

A side fun project has been my editorial logo series, which makes for an scavenger hunt-type of experience  in searching for company logos in signs and store fronts  (https://www.shutterstock.com/g/smontgom?searchterm=logo

I would be an interesting photographer to feature because not only do I use stock photography to support growth in my area and for social justice, I also educate others to give photography, specifically stock photography, a shot. I share my story and giving aspiring photographers step by step recommendations on how to get started through my blog at SusanMontgomeryPhotos.com . I am also unique in that in my day job during the school year I am a Chemical Engineering faculty member, a lecturer at the University of Michigan. Through sharing my photography story I aim to encourage others who might not think of themselves as “artists” to explore that side of their lives. 

Thank you for your consideration,

Susan Montgomery

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Milestone – Canton Fine Arts Exhibition 2017, 2 sales!

I noticed recently that I never posted about the Canton Fine Arts Exhibition, which was quite a thrill, oops…

I took a chance and submitted Paris Locks to the Canton Fine Arts Exhibition in 2017, which was accepted in the AAWA Summer 2017 Juried Show and in the 2017 Blueprint magazine, and it got accepted!

PARIS – AUG 7: Close-up of some locks at the Pont Neuf in Paris, France on August 7, 2016. It is the oldest standing bridge across the Seine river.

So I attended the reception, and you can imagine I was walking around looking at the art and thinking “wow, the others are really artists, I don’t know if I belong here…” and then I noticed that there was a red dot on the description of my photo. I took a deep breath and walked over to the organizers to see if the red dot meant what I thought it meant, and lo and behold, my framed photo had sold! Not only that, but a woman in front of it was asking for contact information for the artist because she also wanted to buy it… Tee hee, I enjoyed telling her that I was the artist. She asked me if I could remove the “John” and “Maggie” names and substitute the names of her friends who loved Paris so she could give it to them as a wedding present, and indeed I was able to, with the magic of Photoshop:

So two sales, yey! I was really feeling like an artist then…

You can see the photo in the video of the exhibit, it’s behind the juror’s head when he is discussing the Exhibition.

Milestone – Photos accepted by Blueprint 2019 (and 2018…)

Was happy that the University’s Blueprint magazine accepted three of my photos this year, and I had a lovely time at their Celebrate Creativity Art Show earlier this week. I realized then when I came to post it that I never posted the 2018 acceptances, so I’ll list them both here.

In 2018 I submitted some photos from our trip to the Canadian Rockies and others, and the three Canadian Rockies submissions got accepted:

Maligne Lake explorers
Maligne Lake kayaks
Herbert Lake reflections

You can see them in print in pages 50, 51, and 61 in their book here.

This year I submitted three photos from our trip to Machu Picchu for the 2019 edition, and they got accepted, yey. They were kind enough to make prints of the photos for the art show, as I just didn’t have/find the bandwidth to manage printing and framing them…

MACHU PICCHU / PERU, August 16, 2018: A llama rests amid the ruins of Machu Picchu.
MACHU PICCHU / PERU, August 16, 2018 : A llama watches the terraces in the ruins of Machu Picchu.
OLLANTAYTAMBO / PERU, August 15, 2018 : The condor, puma, and snake on this lamp in downtown Ollantaytambo represent the sky, earth and underworld in Inca tradition.

I’ll add links when the online issue is out. I’m so appreciative that the Blueprint student group makes the time to allow community members to share their art…

Sony World Photography Awards and National Geographic Your Shot entries

Getting an early start on New Year’s resolution to enter more photography competitions to test myself further. I entered these three photos from our Machu Picchu trip to the Sony World Photography Awards :

OLLANTAYTAMBO / PERU, August 15, 2018 The condor, puma, and snake on this lamp in downtown Ollantaytambo represent the sky, earth and underworld in Inca tradition.
MACHU PICCHU / PERU, August 16, 2018 A llama rests amid the ruins of Machu Picchu.
MACHU PICCHU / PERU, August 16, 2018 A llama watches the terraces in the ruins of Machu Picchu.

Best wishes to you in YOUR 2019 photography adventures,

Susan

P.S. Update, just submitted the shots to National Geographic’s YourShot , we’ll see if they like it there…

I’m on Instagram now… Now what… ?

So I decided to explore the use of Instagram, with a goal to publicize my more editorial photos and make connections with other like-minded photographers, so I started an Instagram account and posted some of the editorial photos I’m most proud of. Check it out at https://www.instagram.com/susanmontgomeryphotos/.

This made me think some more about what my mission is as a photographer.  My current version is “I am a stock, travel and editorial photographer, with a goal to use my photography for social justice and to spotlight the best of Michigan and places I visit.” Needs work, but making progress.

I’m curious how others use Instagram… Any suggestions?

In the meantime,  best wishes on your photography adventures,

Susan

Update – Now I’m at “I’m a stock, travel and editorial photographer with a passion for social justice, the state of Michigan, and new places.”

Accepted by Pond5 stock photo site!

I recently learned of Pond5, a stock site that used to be videos but started accepting photos, so I thought I’d give them a shot.  I submitted some sample photos, including my best photos from Shutterstock and my favorite Detroit photos, and I was delighted to learn that all the photos were accepted!  You can find the portfolio at https://www.pond5.com/artist/smontgom65

Pond5 first set 2018

We’ll see how they do, just excited to check out a new site…

Best wishes on your photography adventures,

Susan

Milestone – Ten thousand hits!

As I’m posting the milestone article on having 2,000 photos on Shutterstock I noticed there is another milestone to mention, SusanMontgomeryPhotos.com has passed 10,000 hits! Reviewing other such milestones:

August 15, 2014, 1,000 hits, so 5 years after I started, or avg 200 hits a year.

August 24, 2015, 5,000 hits, so an average over 6 years of 833 hits per year – quick rise due to publication of an article I wrote for Digital Photography School.

So with 10,000 hits by July 19, 2018, the average over 9 years is 1,100 hits a year, hey, on the upswing!  I’d like to think some of those readers got some tips that improved their stock photography, or were encouraged to continue on the path… Very satisfying.

Best wishes on your photography adventures!