Dieter SpearsAbout Me

Dieter Spears is a Nashville Commercial Photographer also with over 80k licensed stock images worldwide. Dieter specializes in stock and product shots. He also is a movie producer, just finishing LWA – All Saints Eve, and starting production on DeathHaus. He is the writer and director for DeathHaus.

I have been wanting to put together a site to feature my photography. I’ve been the owner of InhausCreative officially for 10 years, now. In those 10 years, I’ve worked with some international and Fortune 500 companies. I’ve created Identity Packages, Promotional Campaigns, Developed New Products, Taken Products to Market, Produced Promo Videos, and the list goes on. Everyday is an educational experience, and I really enjoy learning and mastering the challenges.

Through the course of doing business in Nashville, TN, I have discovered that I really enjoy photography. I had a taste of it in high school, but that was old school, the time and art of taking a picture and developing it was at the time slow and hit or miss.

At the time, buying images for my clients, from Getty and Photodisc, was very expensive. I was doing a lot of tradeshow large format images and the average cost of a royalty-free image was $500. Trying to be smart in business, I wanted to figure out a way to create my own images and charge the $500. Digital cameras were just coming to the consumer market, though they were very expensive.

I got lucky, my uncle loaned me a Canon D60. I lined up a few quick jobs and made enough to buy the Canon 10d. Well, it was easy to line those jobs up and the client was very happy with the images, I saw this as quick money. Now, for the record, I was shooting in Automatic and had a general idea of how to create an image the proper way with camera knowledge, good lighting, and better lenses.

Early Stock Images

Early Stock Images ©dieterspears

One day, in 2005, I was looking in a trade magazine I saw an ad for iStockphoto.com. The ad said images were only$1. What!?! I’m buying/selling images for $500. My mind was reeling, I don’t have to shoot or buy from Getty? I can get an image for $1 and sell it for $500? Well, that was a no brainer. I signed up and started buying images from iStock. This was gravy for about a year ,and then I had a client say, “Hey, this image is on a site called iStockphoto.com and it’s only $5! Why are you charging us $500?” Luckily, I had a very tight relationship with the company. I explained to them that up until 6 months ago images did cost $500 and iStock was a new thing. I adjusted their price and realized, that iStock was growing out of its “Designer’s Little Secret” phase and beginning to go mainstream.

At that point, it was back to my camera. I still wanted to get a premium for images. I had a small collection of images at this point that I would call, “stock.” Being a designer, I always would shoot with “stock” in mind. I would leave copy space, try to find an interesting angle, or shoot with other designers in mind. Once, again, I was reading a trade magazine, and a part of the iStock ad was a call for new contributors. It finally hit me in the head! I had always thought it would be cool to be a Getty contributor, but, I really didn’t know how to truly use my camera and wasn’t know as a photographer, nor did I have a large portfolio, so, finally I could have an outlet to sell my images.

Some Of My Favorite Images

Some Of My Favorite Stock Images

While many photographers were moaning about the new “microstock” industry’s “micro payments,” I understood that with a global audience and global distribution, micro would add up. I have a client who has an international company and their product sells for pennies, he makes millions! So, I thought to myself, what images do I have that are good enough and would sell? I studied iStock for a little while and realized that I had niche area of images that iStock was lacking. So, I signed up, got approved, and on March 3rd, 2006 uploaded my first image. Boom, in only three month’s I hit my 100th download! How cool! Someone on this planet needed my images. Realizing this was a numbers game, I started uploading more and more quality images. Like clockwork, the more uploads I made, the more photos I sold.

In Action

Like everything I get into, I want to be the best at it, or at least be perceived the best. 😉 I had a few friends that were professional photographers. I had lunch with them and told them that I wanted to become a “Stock” photographer and that I had found iStockphoto and was now a contributor. Those of you who are true microstockers know what their reactions were. They acted as if I had the plague and wanted to kill their first born. One of my friends said that it was a total waste of time and it was a total insult to get paid so little for my creations. I explained to him that I wasn’t a real photographer and this was just a way to make extra cash. I could tell that photography wasn’t going to be a topic of conversation with him. Another photographer friend, Steven Long, also denounced the iStock concept, but wanted to invest in me and help me become a better photographer. (Thanks Steven!!!)

Steven had some nice studio lights that he wasn’t using, so he loaned them to me. He gave me a few lessons in shooting in manual mode, and BAM!, I was hit with the bug. IStock sales were growing, I was developing an addiction to daily download stats, I was now creating better images, and some of them I even felt looked professional. Now, there were no more excuses, I had gear, I had an outlet and I had momentum. I really started to get involved, I started attending iStock “mini’lypses” (get togethers by other iStocker’s, with the intent to shoot a weekend worth of stockworthy images – named after iStock’s annual iStock’a’lypse event). I watched, asked other photographers about cameras and lighting techniques.

Green Grass

My Most Successful File On Istockphoto.com ©dieterspears

In 2010, I’m starting my sixth year with iStock. I’ve been successful enough to become a diamond-level contributor, and I’ve been exclusively uploading to iStock (hence the crown next to my username on iStockphoto.com).  This year, iStockphoto asked me to become an inspector and with some great training, In 2010, I became a proud member of the iStockphoto inspection team.

For the last few years, Gold and Diamond Level iStockphoto members have been allowed to upload to Getty Images. We are allowed to contribute to their Photodisc and Istock Exclusive Collections. At the end of 2010, Getty asked me to be a “House” contributor and assigned me my own personal editor out of New York, Wow, I have an Editor. A “House” contributor is a full fledge contributor to Getty Images, and can upload to all of their companies. Having my own editor is cool, the Editor goes thru the images that I have chosen and inspects them and assigns them to which catalog is a best fit.

2015, I fell into the role of Movie Producer, I used my creative knowledge to be the second camera operator, I help edit about half of the movie, I recorded ADR and built the Soundtrack and foley, and produced the final mix of all the audio.

2016, I’ve been doing a lot of foley for various movies and TV pilots for Anam Multimedia. I’m shoot stock video. I’ve also written my own script and am going to produce and direct it. It will feature the haunted House Nashville Nightmare. We are in production now, and the rest of my year will be geared to making this film.


Looking for a Commercial Photographer in Nashville, then look no further. Dieter Spears is available for your next project. His expertise in lighting and knowledge of his camera, allows him to focus on getting the most out of the images that you are looking for with your project. He has a complete studio and can shoot at a minutes notice. His success as a “Stock” photographer and an inspector at iStockphoto , gives him the availability to shoot all types of styles.

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