Coming back into work after taking time out to have children, one of the ways I got myself going was to submit images to Demotix, and on-line news agency. You would shoot, upload, and a couple of hours later the images would be available. Once you had done 10 stories you could upload and publish immediately, which obviously helped.
The great advantage of this for me was that I could do shoots while the kids were in school. Sales were far from meteoric but I liked the fact that the images remained on-line for potential re-use and you could see how many views they had received. I shot some political launch events, art events, gallery openings, some demos. There was a massive gap in what sold: famous people sold, other things did not.
Demotix was bought by Corbis a couple of years ago, which didn't worry me as I was already a Corbis contributor; it was one of the first contracts I signed when I left photography college 16 years ago. From each story of 20 to 25 images that I submitted to Demotix, Corbis would pick about 5 images to go on their website, and it was through this that most of my sales were achieved.
Sadly, in January this year, Corbis was sold to Visual China Group who are merging them with Getty Images. The Demotix website was closed down with no notice, leaving many photographers distressed, confused and angry. Soon, on 2nd May 2016, the Corbis website will be closed down too and not all of the material will be available through Getty.
The stock industry has been getting harder and harder over the last 10 years. Fees have got lower and lower, companies turn to Flickr and Instagram to source photos from people who are flattered to get a credit rather than asking for fair payment. Picture libraries have reduced again and again the proportion of fees which go back to the photographers. Demotix seemed like a good antidote to this but evidently it was not sufficiently profitable to be kept going.
Any previous blog posts here which I have linked to Demotix no longer work, so all I have from that time is a couple of screen shots.
RIP Demotix and good luck to photographers trying to still earn a living.
Anna Watson: photographer, parent, juggler