Tom Grill’s Daily Stock Shot Project

Posted on 2/8/2011 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (2)

For over 30 years Tom Grill has been teaching photographers how to take marketable stock shots. In mid-November last year he decided to take at least one stock photo a day for a year and post them to this blog. These are not images from his normal, planned stock shoots. Rather they are grab shots from things he is exposed to daily. Some will be taken while he is on one of his normal shoots, but all the shots will only be happenstance, not anything planned in advance as part of his regular shoots. He is also supplying information about the techniques used to create some of the images.

The idea is to see if someone can derive stock income by taking the concepts and principles he has subscribed to for years and apply them to everyday, grab-shot opportunities. This is a low-budget to no-budget project -- opportunistic shooting only.

To see how well it works, he will actually market the images through various stock agencies and towards the end of the project begin posting the earnings results. His schedule is such that he may not be able to post images every day, but he will make an effort to post at least once a week, and always have one or more images per day. The results so far indicate that this is a blog worth following.

Grill is the CEO of Tetra Images, a stock distribution network and supplier of RF images to agencies worldwide. He is also the CEO of Stock Photos America, and one of the founding members of Blend Images, a stock agency specializing in images of ethnic diversity. Formerly, Tom was the founder and principal photographer for Comstock Images for over 20 years. He lectures frequently on how to produce stock images that have the highest selling power.

Copyright © 2011 Jim Pickerell. The above article may not be copied, reproduced, excerpted or distributed in any manner without written permission from the author. All requests should be submitted to Selling Stock at 10319 Westlake Drive, Suite 162, Bethesda, MD 20817, phone 301-251-0720, e-mail: wvz@fpcubgbf.pbz

Jim Pickerell is founder of, an online newsletter that publishes daily. He is also available for personal telephone consultations on pricing and other matters related to stock photography. He occasionally acts as an expert witness on matters related to stock photography. For his current curriculum vitae go to:  


  • Ellen Boughn Posted Feb 8, 2011
    correction: Tom was the co-founder of Comstock Images with Henry Scanlon.

  • Shannon Fagan Posted Feb 11, 2011
    I took a click-through of the blog. I really like the concept, but the implementation might be a bit misleading. Some of the images indeed are grab shots; images made while walking around in daily life, etc. But others look to be in line with very deliberate props and setups used on stock shoots. The earnings should be good...better than random images.

Post Comment

You must log in to post comments.

Stay Connected

Sign up to receive our FREE weekly email listing new stories posted.

Follow Us

Free Stuff

Recent Stories – Summer 2016
If you’ve been shooting all summer and haven’t had time to keep up with your reading here are links to a few stories you might want to check out as we move into the fall. To begin, be sure to complet...
Read More
Corbis Acquisition by VCG/Getty Images
This story provides links to several stories that relate to the Visual China Group (VCG) acquisition of Corbis and the role Getty Images has been assigned in the transfer of Corbis assets to the Gett...
Read More
Finding The Right Image
Many think search will be solved with better Metadata. While metadata is important, there are limits to how far it can take the customer toward finding the right piece of content. This story provides...
Read More
Where Is The Stock Photo Industry Headed?
For new readers, or those who may have missed some of what I have written over the last few months, the following are a list of stories worth looking at to get a sense of where the industry is headed.
Read More
Photography As A Career
It’s that time of year when high school seniors are waiting for college acceptance letters and thinking about future careers. If you know someone who is thinking about photography as a career you mig...
Read More
2014 Stories You May Have Missed
For many the end of the year is a time to review past experiences and consider whether it makes sense to chart a new course in the year ahead. Stock photography has changed dramatically for professio...
Read More
More Stories In 2014 You May Have Missed
Every so often I put together a list of the most important stories we’ve published in the recent past. If you are engaged in the business of stock photography the links below are to stories that we’v...
Read More
Getty: A Three Month Review
In all the excitement about 35 million FREE images it is worth looking back at some of things that have been happening at Getty Images in the last three months. After watching revenue decline for the...
Read More
State Of Stock Photo Industry: 2013
If you’re looking for an overview of the state of the stock photo industry as of October 2013 the stories listed below are a good place to start. Regular readers of Selling-Stock will have seen all t...
Read More
Education Market Shifts To Digital
If supplying pictures for educational use is a significant part of your business plan you need to be aware of how the market is trending toward digital delivery and how that is likely to affect the p...
Read More

More from Free Stuff