Ghost Photographer

CERC Annual Conference 2012 - Canadian Parliament photo by Michel LoiselleUpdate – March 2018

Stock Photography – The story of one photo

Canadian Parliament photos by Michel LoiselleIt all started with this image. I license images to graphic designers at communications firms, advertising agencies and publishing houses. Those who purchase it usually do so for their clients needing a Web site, brochure, cover page or newsletter. The client may have requested a very “Canadian feel” for the piece and the designer found my Spring Politics photo on a stock photo site such as In fact, most clients never know that I’m the photographer for their project. To them, it’s just (ghost) stock photography. Who takes the photo is not as important as getting the right image. So how do I know where my stock photos are on the web?

Reverse Search and Finding the Image

I don’t always know who’s using my photos so I call on Google Images. It works by uploading your actual photo in the search box and letting Google find it for you on the web. I call it “Reverse Search”, instead of entering keywords, you enter an image. That’s how I discovered the CERC Annual Conference e-mag article – Targeting talentism. Canadian Parliament photos by Michel Loiselle

When I saw how they used and designed around my photo, I was glad… “this looks great”, the look is clean, tasteful right down to the use of fonts. When taking this photo, I knew that designers would have fun with this area, making the image a good candidate for a cover page.

So one more photo has gone full circle. I’ve created the image, published it to stock agencies and in the Canadian Parliament collection, then licensed it. I found the client with reverse search, and now can appreciate how it’s being used. It’s fun to see how other images turn out! As a stock photographer, it is very humbling to see the designers of CERC do such a great job with the photo. We always hope for this kind of turnout for our images and I get a good feeling when it happens to me, I feel good about what I do.



Knowing our Parliamentary PrecinctTulips on Parliament Hill The West Block of Canada 7 Year Parliament Project – Politically Speaking Canada in One Photo –  Design and ImagingHaunted CastleNight ShotsHey That’s My ImageMy Canadian Pride Is ShowingCanada Day on Parliament HillImages in Color and in Stereo5 Reasons to Use PhotosGargoyles on Parliament Hill Christmas on Parliament Hill — Live Music is Always Best — The Confederation Building — The Supreme Court of Canada


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