About this guide
This is a look at what it means to be a photographer for robertharding. The agency was founded in 1972 and is one of the world’s most respected travel photography libraries. Our content offering is now diversified and covers the environment, sustainability, lifestyles, culture and nature. We concentrate on high-quality creative material for use in newspapers and magazines, TV and video, advertising, business and corporate publications, as well as websites, blogs, and other new media.
Note for Newbies – What are you getting yourself into?
If you are a photographer who produces excellent images or footage, and have not been represented by an image library or agency before, you will receive good service from partnering with us. We are not a “pile ‘em high and sell ‘em cheap” operation. We care about photography and want to get the best financial deal for any images or footage we sell. That benefits both us as a business and you as the photographer. We don’t sell microstock for pennies.
We also strongly edit our selections for quality, as well as doing the keywording for you. We do this to save photographers the burden of a tedious task, and to ensure that the keywording is consistent over all our creatives’ content.
We regularly send out emails and messages to our photographers and videographers detailing “wants” that we have received from clients, or if we perceive a gap in the market where we can licence images.
Although it is tough and highly competitive to be in the stock photography sector, we are still here. That is because we see this business sector as a partnership between creative individuals and ourselves – we have a global distribution network of more than 80 partner agencies worldwide to ensure there is an image stream from your work. Any photographer who regularly produces high-quality saleable images is an asset to our business.
We pay a monthly distribution to our creative contributors. You can read about some of our photographers by browsing around our blog.
What Makes robertharding Agency Different from Others?
Q & A with Mike Watson, Head of Business Development
Mike says, “We are a great home for a range of photographers and videographers who are looking for a bespoke experience of what its like to work with a professional stock agency. Many large agencies have largely withdrawn from supporting their contributors on a ‘one to one’ basis and we are pleased to say we have done the opposite, which is one of the reasons we are seeing new contributors who haven’t previously worked with a stock agency contact us.”
The agency has very close relationships with all of its photographers, distributors and customers, nurtured in many cases over decades. Mike continues, “Our agency has been working with contributors for over 40 years and we have also led the way in adapting our licensing model to suit the needs of our customers and contributors without unnecessarily diluting the buying experience or earning potential of either.”
What are the benefits of being represented by RH as opposed to other agencies?
“We work one to one with our contributors and the relationship isn’t left to an algorithm or email newsletters. We send individual creative briefs on given subjects to our contributors prior to them undertaking a shoot. The agency also individually professionally keywords free of charge each image to ensure compatibility with key distribution platforms. Our direct site www.robertharding.com is highly curated and we do not just accept any image sent to us. What this means is is that your content is not diluted by millions of other images being added to our platform daily. On other sites clients have told us they are swamped, and can’t find the images they need.”
How much could I earn?
Mike says, “We are not a microstock site and our customer-focused approach to licensing reflects what the customer wants to do with your images and video. Our clients are looking for high-quality content and recognise our pricing is fair and reasonable in return.”
He continues, “Our key aim is to encourage our contributors to shoot relevant content which can be used for commercial purposes. Your earnings are linked to regular submissions of accepted content and to playing to your strengths and having your own individual ‘visual signature’.”
Tips for being a top photographer
robertharding’s News section of the website features insights into the world of their photographers and top tips.
“It’s a marathon, not a sprint” – photography advice by Alexandre Rotenberg
Travel photographer Alexandre Rotenberg loves exploring new places – preferably by bicycle – with the aim of capturing stunning images that provoke a strong emotional response. Shortlisted as Travel Photographer of the Year 2017, Alexandre is also the author of ‘The Brutally Honest Guide to Microstock Photography‘. We asked him his top tips for taking better photos.
Alexandre says, “Aim to tell a story, in the case you’re looking to capture travel photography. This means that you’ll have to be super patient by 95% observing / 5% shooting, while the story (hopefully) unfolds before your eyes. Try to ask yourself the following while observing: what’s the relationship between the subjects? What emotion(s) are you trying to capture? Is there any way to reinforce the story you’re communicating by improving the composition, lighting or focal length, etc?” Read more here.
Insights from Shanna Baker
Shanna Baker describes herself as: ‘an ordinary gal with an extraordinary case of wanderlust’. She seeks bold, colourful images that celebrate places and people far and wide. When not exploring the world with a camera, she works as a magazine writer and editor in Victoria, Canada.
Can you recall a favourite experience on your travels?
I’ve been lusting after the thought of an African safari since I was a kid and finally had the opportunity to go to Kenya last year. I tried to talk myself down, so sure that I’d built the Maasai Mara up in my mind to mythical and unrealistic expectations over so many years— but, oh my goodness, it was even more incredible than I could have dreamed. Getting to see wild elephants on the savannah particularly overwhelmed me. Plus lions and leopards and all kinds of antelope and warthogs and bison—it all felt surreal. Read more here.
More tips from robertharding Photographers:
- Reinvention is key. Just keep going out there and taking pictures. The experience outweighs the reward in most cases. – Neil Emmerson
- I love the thrill of capturing wildlife and nature. Seeing natural behaviours in the wild is a privilege and to capture it in camera is just fab. – Janette Hill
- Invest in other photographer’s workshops and buy quality lenses over the latest and greatest cameras, also a tripod is essential but purchase a decent one first time out because this is one area I have made so made bad investments and it makes a huge difference to your photography, it also teaches you to slow down. – James Kerwin
- Research is crucial in advance of the trip, having a comprehensive shoot list and knowing which are the sunset and sunrise shots. – Gavin Hellier
Submission Guidelines in a nutshell:
- Stills: File size must be a minimum of 5100 x 3400 pixels and saved as best quality jpg, 8bit, Adobe RGB(1998) colour space.
- Mobile Phone cameras – We will accept images shot on mobile phones for our Royalty Free collection that have a minimum 8 megapixel camera. Images should be uploaded to our portal direct from the mobile device.
- Images must be free of sensor dust, digital artefacts, colour blocking, excessive noise and over-sharpening.
- Images must be no older than 3 years.
- Photos must be submitted on an image exclusive basis and not be represented by any other stock agency, this includes sister images or similars.
- Video: Accepted Formats H.264, 4K or Full HD, QuickTime, Best Quality.
- Duration Minimum of 5 seconds. Suggested maximum of 30 seconds. Durations longer than 30 seconds is allowed if the content justifies it.
Model and Property Releases
- These are essential if there are recognisable people/buildings in the shot.
Drone Images and Video
- We accept these, but creators need to be in full compliance with legal regulations where the material was filmed.
How to apply
If you would like to join robertharding and be part of our team of professional media creators we recommend familiarising yourself with our image galleries for an idea of the standard and subject range our customers are looking for.
Please complete our short registration form and upload an initial submission of 5 photos, we will be back to you as soon as we have reviewed your submission. Don’t get put off if your submission is rejected as the bar is set pretty high. We will give you help and advice and encourage you to make another submission.
At robertharding.com we are looking for talented photographers based anywhere in the world, who can shoot creative material that we can sell. That’s our business model and it has worked well for over 40 years. We edit and curate our images and video very carefully, so only the best is available to our clients. It is not easy to become a contributor, but we do everything we can to support creative people and enable them to pursue their vocation, while we do the behind the scenes grind of keywording, marketing and selling the images and footage.
Telephone +44 (0) 20 7478 4000
Image and video licensing queries:- email@example.com
Contributors queries:- firstname.lastname@example.org