Stock Contributor - Not Letting Fear Win! by Brea Persing


I am now a contributor to the stock photography community! This is a really big step for me. I say that because for the longest time I struggled with not thinking my work was good enough, the quality wasn’t high enough and that no one would purchase my photos. Some of what it was comparison. I was comparing my work to others and saying, “well, it’s not as good as theirs” or “it’s different”…blah, blah, blah. Comparison is deadly!

Here’s where some of my doubt came in…a long time ago I made a site and allowed people to purchase prints off of it, and no one did! As an artist, I took that personal, to heart, thinking I wasn’t good enough. I know that is not true, but it was hard to get out of that headspace. So I took the site down and decided I didn’t want to feel the “rejection” anymore. People had told me in the past that I had the “eye” for photography, and people asked me to photograph them…a couple of engagement sessions, a surprise proposal, a wedding, a band, etc. But some of my friends work was being published in the company magazine, and mine wasn’t. Insert the internal self-talk of “my work isn’t good enough to be noticed and printed.”

So, when I was thinking of joining the stock community, I went through some of these feelings again. Will my work be rejected? Is it good enough? Will anyone buy it? How will I process it if no one buys anything?

FEAR…fear is what was keeping me from joining. Many people will tell you they view me as fearless, but when it comes to feelings of being rejected, it used to paralyze me or make me take things into my own hands. It wasn’t pretty. It’s still a struggle, but not quite as much. I have long since had people tell me they loved my work, that it brought them joy. I let fear keep me from joining and selling images for nearly four years.

Even these last six months I kept putting it on my “to-do” list. Some of it was needing to go through my photo library, organize it and figure out what I wanted to contribute, but most of it was fear. About two months ago I saw an article about the top stock sites and did some research and then set it down, not to pick up for another month or so. Then, in February, I finally decided to take the plunge. I decided to punch fear in the face!

I signed up for iStock and Shutterstock! I started with iStock and they accepted ALL of the photos I had submitted! Woohoo. I submitted the same photos to Shutterstock and they were accepted too, with the exception of one. I was so excited! Besides amazing coaches and encouragers in my life, this validated my work, my gifting, the photo quality, etc. So, I started uploading even more!

I still struggle with the insecurity, a lot of artists do, however I’ve decided it’s not going to stop me from offering up my skills and photos to others. I may never make money from it, but on the other hand I might. But I will never know if I don’t try.

Putting yourself out there and your work can be very hard as an artist. But I am doing it anyway, no matter how uncomfortable it may be at times!

It will take a while to work my stock portfolio up, but I am confident it will continue to grow and people will start to purchase images! I just have to have faith that it will happen.

Nonprofit Marketing by Brea Persing


I hear it lot, “we just don’t have it in our budget to hire a photographer.” I understand, I do. Many nonprofits do not have a lot of “extra” funding. But just like in business, marketing is very important. People can't buy products if they don’t know there are products to buy. You have to spend money to make money. It’s an investment. Not a short-term one, but a long-term one. Marketing, paired with good design and photography, should be a HIGH priority. Let me tell you why. Good design and photography tells your current and potential donors that you are serious, professional and care about your image and cause. It tells people that you are serious about telling your story in a way that is impactful. It’s an investment and a very wise one.

Did you know that 65% of people are visual learners? People process visual information 60,000 times faster than text. In an instant, the right image can create lasting emotional impact. Pictures create change—taking a person from being a passive viewer to an active donor, client or customer.

Don’t believe me? Last year I partnered with a nonprofit, who will remain nameless because of security, where I took photos of their project and gave their website a makeover. We marked the progress of giving over the year and their profits increased by $47,000! That was a 20% increase! That is a sizable increase! It also means more people sharing the vision and cause of that nonprofit with others, giving them even more opportunity to gain additional funding.

This organization invested in a better, more visual way to share their story, and it made a difference!

What would your organization be able to do with a 20% increase in funding?

Want some more to read on this subject, here is a great article from NGO Storytelling: Why Your Nonprofit Should Care About Visual Storytelling.

"The Paper" Article by Brea Persing

ON THE JOB  — Brea Persing, Goshen, stands on the sand dunes of Morocco zooming in on a string of camels in the distance. Persing is a photographer who partners with nonprofit organizations and social entrepreneurs to raise awareness for their cause. She also works with businesses in the travel and hospitality industry and teams up with individuals who want a vacation photographer. (Photo Provided)

ON THE JOB — Brea Persing, Goshen, stands on the sand dunes of Morocco zooming in on a string of camels in the distance. Persing is a photographer who partners with nonprofit organizations and social entrepreneurs to raise awareness for their cause. She also works with businesses in the travel and hospitality industry and teams up with individuals who want a vacation photographer. (Photo Provided)

Article originally published on February 20, 2019 by “The-Papers” of Milford, Indiana and written by Laurie Lechlitner.

Photographer tells people's stories around the globe

    “I love observing other cultures,” stated Brea Persing, Goshen. “I enjoy sharing people’s stories across the globe. And I want to continue to use my photography skills to raise awareness . . . to make a difference around the world.”

    Persing has been a photography buff since she was a child. “I started taking photos on my parents’ film camera. My first digital camera was a little Canon PowerShot. I’ve always tried to capture the beauty around me. I love taking candid shots of people. I enjoy capturing colors and textures like old, rustic barns. And I really like taking closeups and showing the uniqueness I see everywhere.”

    Living overseas for the past 6 ½ years, Persing was a photojournalist and graphic designer. “I worked for a nonprofit organization for ten years and really enjoyed it.” She’s lived in Italy, Spain and West Asia.

    Whether she’s photographing a line of camels traveling through the sand dunes in Morocco or shooting in the city of Taipei, Taiwan, she wants to tell a story. “Actually, photographing people in Morocco was probably my most challenging assignment. Many people do not like to have their picture taken. I learned early that a photographer traveling in another country needs to understand and respect the culture and the wishes of the locals. Sometimes, just simply asking the person if you can photograph them, while smiling, is all that is needed. But if they say no, you need to respect their decision.”

    Her favorite residence was Verona, Italy. “I lived close to the downtown area. The city was very beautiful. I frequented the city shops and made very good friends there.”

    Another place she loved was Spain. “In the town of Málaga, I had a great view of the mountains right outside my window. I enjoyed walking around downtown, hanging out with friends at the port and buying fresh meat, fish and produce at the most amazing food market in town.”

    Now that Persing is back in Goshen, she longs to continue to travel with her camera. Though she no longer works for one nonprofit exclusively, her focus hasn’t changed much, “I partner with nonprofit organizations and social entrepreneurs worldwide to help them share their stories and raise awareness for their cause.”

    She doesn’t just stick with travel photography for nonprofits though. She also works with for-profit businesses in the travel and hospitality industry. And even more fun, she is a personal vacation photographer. “It’s a photographer that goes on vacation with you and your loved ones so you can enjoy all of the moments and memories you’re making without having to worry about capturing them yourself, or editing any of the photos afterwards!”

    With a smile, she remarked, “I see myself as adventurous and a risk taker. Traveling around the world, especially to a few places I’ve been, is not for the faint of heart. But I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

    Besides photographing her parents’ dogs, her hobbies include rock climbing, hiking, scuba diving and eating tacos. “I love trying new things and seeing new places.” While relaxing, she enjoys watching movies, playing cards, and hanging out with friends.

    “Every person and place has a story. And I enjoy capturing them.” Check out her Instagram: and website:


REVISION TO ORIGINAL POST: This was not a part of the original article, but I was so excited to see the article in print, I thought I would add the photo of me with the ink on paper here! :)