Free stock images

Free stock images / Alternative Payment Options

“Images for goods trade”

Everybody wants something for free… this is as good as it gets. Note: this ONLY applies to images and galleries that appear in my portfolio. I also now accept sponsorship, please Flattr me! Or use the Flattr button at the bottom of blog posts. For more info, see the Hidden Costs of a Wedding Photographer, or Consequences of Working for Free, what photographers and circus performers have in common.

Buy this image

Business relationships do not always need financial transactions. These are important, but not in all cases. Some times it can be beneficial for both parties in a transaction to trade rather than purchase. If you wish to use or license one or some of my images, or wanting special access to a gallery I am quite prepared to just give you the image(s) or gallery without receiving payment. In return you or your company can send me to the equivalent value (as negotiated) in items in my wish list shown below. Benefit for you and your company depends on your local situation, as you may be able to claim expenses from your employer, taxes, or other, and make big savings on your project. Of course, all items sent should have been legally acquired and transactions be legal in your country. My motive? I’m intending to fill in gaps, upgrade, and expand my creative capabilities. So, to make savings for you, here is my wish list in order of preference all prices approximate. New, near-new, or second hand is fine:

  • Film scanner: Nikon Super CoolScan 8000 or 9000 ED, with spare Nikon FH835m 35mm, and FH869g 220/120 glass filmstrip holders (USD$1,800- $2,200 + $56, and $250) (it’s getting very hard to find good scanning services) <– Really needed!
  • Camera, main: Canon 5D MkIV (USD$3,500)
  • Camera, second: Canon 5D MkIII (USD$2,500)
  • Camera, video: Nikon KeyMission 360 4K Action Camera & PowerDirector 15 Ultra Kit (USD$750, link)
  • Lens, wide: Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L III USM Lens (USD$2,200)
  • Lens, normal: Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM Lens (USD$1,700)
  • Lens, long: Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM Lens (USD$1,900)
  • Lens, art: Meyer Optic Görlitz Trioplan 100mm f2.8 (for Canon EF-mount; Euro 1,500; link).
  • Lens, art: Lensbaby 35mm Burnside (USD$499)
  • Lens, art: Lensbaby Velvet 85mm (USD$499.95)
  • Flashes: x2 Canon Speedlite 600EX II-RT (USD$480 each).
  • Camera grip: Canon BG-E20 Battery Grip for EOS 5D Mark IV (USD$350).
  • Software: Adobe LightRoom 6 upgrade (USD$100).
  • Amazon Gift Certificates (up to USD$5,000 is possible).
  • Batteries: x4 Canon LP-E6N Lithium-Ion Battery Pack (7.2V, 1865mAh; USD$65 each).

*Prices may vary.

Buy this image

Please don’t send anything until we’ve discussed the arrangements by e-mail, phone, or Skype. I will need confirmation that you have acquired the item(s) or have confirmation of an order to be delivered before I can send or allow access to my images. I would also need to receive the items within a reasonable time frame. Any import duties I prefer to be reimbursed for, especially for items valued over USD$1,000, but goods to be ordered and delivered from within Japan will avoid import duties (eg: Another reason to check before sending is that some goods might not be available to send to Japan from Amazon in the US.

Didn’t you use Sony / Minolta? I used Minolta lenses because they produced stunning results, and I grew up on the Minolta system long before this system was passed onto Sony in 2005. Now, I’m shifting over to Canon because of needs of modernisation, flexibility, better support, and longevity.

Why so many things? Upgrading, filling in gaps, expanding my creative options, and giving latitude for us to negotiate with.

Trade values and benefits

For trades:

  • Individual Royalty Free (RF) and Rights Managed (RM) images are available for licensing at the stated prices as seen for the specific image in my PhotoShelter account. You will have FTP access to specified images for free download once you have sent confirmation that the item on the wish list has been acquired and in delivery.
  • Individual and small-batch images are available for direct financial purchase, as well as for this images-for-goods trade.
  • Batch purchase discounts can be negotiated but for financial transactions only, and coupons for actual financial transactions only are available from time to time (coupons only apply for PhotoShelter / PayPal-based purchases).

Gallery Access Packages

You can access only one gallery of your choosing (which contains multiple images) that appears in my PhotoShelter account, including any new additions / updates to that gallery. To access more galleries will require additional images-for-goods trade.

  • Value of goods of up to USD$1,000 gives one month of access for up to ten downloads per each image in one gallery in my PhotoShelter account, which allows for one year of Rights Managed use*, or and a print run of under 10,000; single country distribution. (Since the maximum number of downloads is ten, I recommend you to download the largest file size)
  • Value of goods of up to USD$2,000 gives one month of unrestricted access for one gallery in my PhotoShelter account, which allows for twelve months of Rights Managed use*; unlimited print run; single territory distribution (example, Europe, Nth America, or Australasia, etc).
  • Value of goods of up to USD$4,000 gives three months of unrestricted access for two galleries in my PhotoShelter account, which allows for fifteen months of Rights Managed use*; worldwide distribution.
  • Value of goods of up to USD$6,000 gives six months of unrestricted access for five galleries in my PhotoShelter account, which allows for twenty-four months of Rights Managed use*; worldwide distribution.
  • Value of goods of up to USD$10,000 gives twelve months of unrestricted access for ten galleries in my PhotoShelter account, which allows for five years of Rights Managed use*; worldwide distribution.
  • A new Jaguar XJ or Jeep Wrangler makes me your gimp.

* Images may have other restrictions, such as no model release available, and therefore may not be suitable for commercial use. Please inspect the gallery or ask if you are uncertain about model and property releases. Otherwise, a budget might be required to cover the basic costs of hiring a model and assistant, and other necessary expenditures.


Where can you get the goods from? B&H, eBay, Amazon, and Amazon Japan are the best choices, but it’s best to be sure that the goods are ordered from a reputable seller. B&H Photo and Video may be possible (I’m not sure), but with “wire transfer” payment only if attempting to send direct to me. Otherwise, B&H will send to your company’s credit card address, and then you’ll need to forward it on to me (probably a good idea to confirm no problems with the order yourself before forwarding it on). Jaguar XJ’s don’t fit in post boxes very well.

An example of a gallery:

If you are having problems seeing the gallery (not all browsers can show this), see the portfolio version here: Okunoshima, Rabbit Island.


Another option for delivering items on the wish list is that I could find a place that stocks an item locally and I ask them to hold it. I would get their bank payment details and forward them to you. You could then do a direct money transfer and the item is then available for delivery or pick-up usually on the next working day. You would get your receipt through the post to claim back on expenses or other (I think I can get both a local Japanese and English language receipts for you). This saves you the leg work, you still make a saving, and import duties are avoided (especially as some items may attract these).

Especially if sending goods from outside of Japan, please insure the item for delivery against loss and damage, and signed-for receipt is perhaps best for your piece of mind. Finally, thanks so much for your time in sending me the items on my wish list. It’s greatly appreciated.


Q: What if I find a lens for you that is valued at USD$2,000, but I can get a good secondhand one at USD$1,000? A: Great! I’ll credit you for USD$2,000, and you make a nice saving.

Q: What if I find something similar to what’s on your list, but cheaper? A: I already have a lot of gear, and so probably already have it and not happy with it, so I need to upgrade from it.

Q: What will happen to the old gear that you’re superseding? A: Not much is being superseded (except one troublesome lens), I’m expanding my creative options. Otherwise, most of my current gear will still be used and is still an essential part of my kit. My current SLR camera will become a ‘second’ or spare (all photographers have backup cameras). Unfortunately, some gear (especially camera bodies, flashes, and software) become obsolete within a few years, and so some items like these continually need replacing.

Update: As a (very) long time Minolta/Sony system user, I have been unhappy with how Sony has taken over the Minolta camera system (now known as the “Sony A-mount”). The lens quality has changed, and the local English support is now non-existent. Furthermore, there is growing uncertainty with the A-mount system, as the E-mount system seems to be superseding the A system I have invested in over the years. Consequently, I plan to move over to the Canon system, which appears to have longevity and is much more widely supported with more third-party options.

Q: How can I trust you? A: I can ask you the same question, but that’s not the point. The point is, I want return customers, and you need images for more than one project. Assuming you are satisfied, I’m hoping you’ll come back for more, and you’ll tell your colleagues. Importantly for me, I’m hoping to establish long term relations with you and your company. My wish list is limited, and once the lenses that I really need have been acquired, then I am pretty well set up. In the future, I’ll just need to replace cameras as these become obsolete quickly, upgrade software… not much for quite some time. So, currently I’m wanting expand and upgrade gear, but in the long term be looking for proper financial benefit, preferably, from satisfied-repeat customers. Finally, concerning trust, once I have entered your e-mail address and access dates into the computer database, gallery access becomes automatic, little chance of human-induced errors. I can extend your access to galleries already subscribed to (for proper trade in benefits or financial transaction), and transfer access from you to someone in the same department as you, but only in the same company of course.

Q: What if I want more than one gallery to access? A:Great, send more stuff (e-mail me).

Buy this image

Q: About your costs… ? A: The package deals above are priced with a number of factors in mind, which include losing control of what some of my images will be used for. This can include that my images may be used for large world-wide advertising campaigns, which means the value you are getting is immensely more than normal costs. It’s a risk and a gamble, but I think you would be getting a brilliant deal. Of course, you still need to add (c) Andrew Blyth [year] in the credit line.

Q: Can I ask you to go to a Tibetan monastery to photograph monks, and then to photograph insurgents in Afghanistan? A: For a new Canon 5D MkIV, new 24-70mm f2.8 and 70-200mm f2.8 lenses, expenses, premium level travel insurance, and a Jaguar XJ I’ll lend you my services.

Q: Do you really need a Jaguar XJ? A: No, but it’s way cooler than my current jalopy.

Q: The quantity of images in each of your portfolio galleries is different. A: Yes, and I have little control over that. Why? Because some genres or tasks can be more difficult than others. Some times there are unique difficulties at an event, which greatly impacts on the quantity that any photographer can present (usually the very large crowds creates a variety of problems of access). Also, all photographers wish to emphasis quality over quantity. As new images related to particular galleries become available, I will be adding them. It’s important for me to keep you satisfied and wanting to renew your gallery access.

Q: What if I want to cancel my subscription and get the value of my money back? A: Because of the nature of the deal: images-for-gear, that would be difficult. If in six months of a 12 month gallery access you wish to cancel, I can’t return half a lens. It would be unfair to send you money since I have not received actual financial benefit, I simply don’t have the liquidity to spare; I need to eat and pay my rent. Consequently, I’m afraid to say that all agreements are final, cancellations and returns are not possible.

Q: What if I don’t like the gallery, or want to change gallery? A: double-dipping is not fair. Choose wisely.

Q: A Jaguar XJ? A: I’m not serious… but for the right job… why not?

Buy this image

Q: I thought you gave me free access to that gallery! Why do I still see that lime-green “Buy” button? A: 1. Are you in the right gallery? 2. Ignore it and use the grey download button; you won’t be taken through any purchasing process. 3. If you still are having troubles please let me know and I’ll fix it as soon as I can.

Q: So you like Sony. Do you want a Play Station, too? A: Grrrr… I was in the Minolta system! I grew up with that system before it was handed over to Sony and their shoddy customer service network. Don’t get me started on Sony! [insert scowling face]

Q: Why are you doing this? A: Many reasons, (1) micro-stock makes it hard to update and replace gear that is becoming obsolete; I need to update gear. (2) Clients need to make a saving. (3) Educational: clients see quite clearly the kind of expenses photographers face, so clients realise why an image should cost so much.

Q: Will you really go to Tibet for me? A: I’m a busy person, the Chinese government make it incredibly difficult (usually legally impossible), but I’d love to visit one day, so please give me an excuse to try, and I look forward to that Jaguar XJ. If it’s Kyoto… at the drop of a hat. 😉

Lens: Sony or Minolta 500mm Reflex f8 mirror (approx USD$350 – $500)


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  2. Currency Trading System says:

    You gave tremendous positive points there. I did a search on the topic and found most peoples will agree with your blog.

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