Sunday, 31 January 2010


Continuation of My best selling picture.

This story happened during the "good old days" of photography. (My daughter Andrea in the photo was about 5 years old, she is now seventeen). Today this would be unthinkable. I could have written an article wondering, what happened to the stock? Was it because of microstock agencies? But let's go with the story.

My second bestseller picture, also through AGE FOTOSTOCK, came from a non published photo taken for a newspaper Sunday issue.
It was at the beginning of the nineties. The journalist Albert Cañagueral and I (There were the good old times when photographer and journalist still travelled together) went to Venice to do a story of the city through a family that had been making gondolas during the last 300 years, from generation to generation. It’s basic to avoid too generic subjects and find an original point of view. Finally, the story was published in EL DOMINICAL DEL PERIODICO DE CATALUNYA.

I wanted to take a good gondolier portrait, but light in the narrow channels is, usually, very poor due to the shadows of the buildings along them. So, in a clean, beautiful and sunny day, I rented a gondola for one hour, late in the afternoon (when the best light), asking the gondolier to go, back and forth, (away from the channels) from Piazza San Marco to San Giorgio Maggiore island. I paid about 50 € and it’s been one of the best investments of my life. My two Nikons were charged with Velvia 50 ASA slide film, one with a 28mm lens and the other with an 85 mm, and I kept shooting and shooting the gondolier during the entire trip.

None of the gondolier’s photos were published in El Dominical, but among the pictures AGE accepted later on ( they always edit pretty tight) there was a vertical shot, taken with the 28mm lens, that became ,through the following years, my second bestseller. It was even used in a pasta TV advertisement in Germany. AGE always asks the photographer to have a model release for the people appearing in the pictures, so they can commercialize them in any way: publicity, etc. That’s one of the reasons I have few people images in AGE FOTOSTOCK; I’m mainly a documentary photographer and can’t go on asking for model releases to everybody I photograph; it would be simply impossible. In this particular case I was lucky; the gondolier can’t be recognised because of the light.

Mi third bestseller? It’s a photo of my daughter Andrea. She was about 5 or 6 years old then.

She liked a lot to play with the telephone, simulating fiction calls. One day I found her phoning while sited in her toy car. She was so concentrated that I could set my Nikon with and 85 mm f/1.8 nikkor lens (one of my favourites for portraiture) on a tripod and even set a tungsten light bounced on an umbrella. Of course, no problem with the model release this time. AGE sells a lot of people pictures on daily life situations, but due to model releases, people attractiveness, locations etc, many times it does its own productions. Two colleagues and good friends of mine, Quim Roser and Kris Ubach, have started doing some stock shootings. The contract a few models, find a appropriate location, and, with a good lighting equipment plus an assistant, shoot thousand of photos in every of their 10 or more hours sessions.

Back to Andrea’s photo. The rhythm of sales was unstoppable; it would have beaten largely the dolphins and gondolier sales, but suddenly they started to decrease drastically till practically disappear. The reason? The telephone model she was holding had become completely old-fashioned

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