Shutterstock is secondary, B, now

Like many creatives and content creators, my photo’s and footage can no longer be found first at Shutterstock. I had to temporarily disable my portfolio here out of protest, Shutterstock slashed royalties by about 73% in the middle of a pandemic on June 1. This has a massif negative impact on our income and is really offensive. For example, the Matterhorn sunrise photo on this site deserves far more than a minimum of 10 cents (yes, you read it correctly: $0.10!). This is why I view Shutterstock only as a secondary, B, stock site. I won’t upload my new photo’s here as quickly as I do to AdobeStock.

So for all the customers, if you are looking to buy stock photo’s, please go to AdobeStock. They do respect and value their contributors, and have decent royalty rates. You can find my portfolio on AdobeStock under ‘Licensing’ if you want to take a look, or follow this link:

#boycottshutterstock #NoLongerAtShutterstock 

In gallery Questmas winners 500px

Very cool that my photo ‘First Light’ is in the gallery 2018 Questmas winners! It’s very rewarding to see it in this Gallery. Especially after al the effort it took, I hiked to the Riffelsee from the Stellisee and had some cold nights in a in a single wall tent, to take this shot. And I could barely take it, because a group of photographers were being aholes and destroyed the reflection by peeing, yes you read it correct, in the lake and standing in my frame….

Editors’ Choice at 500px

I’m honoured that another photo of mine is Editors’ Choice at 500px. It’s very nice to be appreciated like this, and to get a bit of recognition for the architecture and minimalism/graphic photography I like to do, but do way to little. Thanx 500px, it is really motivating!


Link to photo at 500px:



Stockphotography and copyright

One of the original photo’s of the copyright infringement: colorful sunset at Amphitheatre des Troi Gaules and Basilica Notre-Dame de Fourviere.


As a photographer who sells his photo’s at stock sites like Shutterstock, AdobeStock and iStock, I aften see my images in magazine’s, ad’s and mostly on internet. It’s part of the fun to see where and how your photo’s arre used.

Recently I could ad Instagram to that list. No, not as a repost or a feature, had severely edited my photo’s and put them in his feed. And there is no fun in that, someone who suggests that your photo’s were taken by him, and get all the credits for them.

Because photo’s have been taken from my Insta or 500px before, and posted on Insta after editing, my initial thought was that Nathanyel Bensemhoune had also stolen my photo’s, and breached my copyright.

I contacted him about this and when I didn’t receive a reaction, I filed a copyright invringment report at Instagram. After this he contacted me. It turned out he had bought my photo’s on shutterstock, and mailed me the invoice. After much theatrical surprise and supposed innocence that he could not use my photo’s on social media with crediting me, he agreed to adding my name to the photo’s. However, by now Insta had removed the photo’s (as a reaction to my report) and this caused a lot of stress on his side: the photo’s (mine!!!) were really very important for his Instafeed… Eventually the images were restored and I was credited for them.

I had to do some research, but this is what Shutterstock says about copyright: 


YOU MAY NOT: Falsely represent, expressly or by way of reasonable implication, that any Visual Content was created by you or a person other than the copyright holder(s) of that Visual Content.

A lot what you see on Instagram is heavily edited or fake, and unfortunately theft of images is also common. However, this kind of fraud was new to me. Someone like Nathanyel Bensemhoune, who calls himself Visual Storyteller and Photographer, is buying stock photo’s to place on his Insta feed as if they were his own. Not only illegal, but also frauduleus and morally rejectable: he is deceiving his 188K followers and potential clients. It shows very little self-respect and respect for other peoples work to earn your money in this way. Form the person who brought al this to my attention, I heard that he is suspected of stealing photo’s in the past. All very sad indeed.

This was a sobering learning experience, where for me the social part of Social Media has disappeared. However, I now know more about copyright regarding stockphotography. And it’s clear that I will take firm action if something like this happens again. 

Interview Creative Review

A while ago, I was interviewed by Emily Gosling, for an article in Creative Review. Subject: silence, solitude and tranquility. And how I, as a photographer, contribute to this visual trend, that’s in the spotlight at Adobe Stock.

By the interview I was more or less forced to take a good look at my creative process. What is it I do exactly, what’s part of the process is conscious and what is more subconscious? And how can I visualize successful photo theme’s, ideas and concepts even better? Fun, informative and inspiring. I hope to be able to work with all of this on several locations in the French and Swiss Alps in the coming six month’s!

Read the complete article at Creative Review


In the Spotlight at Adobe Stock

It’s really an honor to be in the contributor spotlight at Adobe Stock!

Adobe Stock spotlight about me:

Sander van der Werf is an outdoor enthusiast and landscape photographer whose images of the great outdoors inspires wanderlust and tranquility. As we explore the idea of Silence and Solitude and the importance of quietness for creatives, we spoke with Sander about what sparked his love for the outdoor and his career in stock photography.

Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your background?

SW: Although I’m the son of a photographer, I never really got in photography until I went to Art Academy Minerva in Groningen. I studied illustration and took a photography class, as well. It wasn’t until much later that I started taking photography seriously. In 2005, I went on a long hike in Sarek, in Swedish Lapland, with two friends. It was an awesome trip and I took a lot of photos. Different outdoor magazines took an interest in the photos, and that was my entry into outdoor photography. And I’m still passionate about it until this very day!

To read more, go to the blog

Third prize with a photo quest on 500px!

Recently I was awarded the third prize with a photo quest on 500px: Seeking light in nature. I’m very happy with this great honor and the prize: I won an Olympus PEN F plus a a Profoto collapsible reflector sunsilver/white. The photo, left, was taken on Iceland during an awesome sunset on mountaintop Valahnùkur. It was on of the view moments we saw the sun during an almost three week trip on Iceland. The timing was great!

Link here

Les couleurs de soirée

On February first, I was able to take one of the shot’s I really wanted of Lyon. A colorful sunset at Amphitheatre des Troi Gaules and Basilica Notre-Dame de Fourviere. Yes I know, I know. This evening shot from Croix Rousse toward Vieux Lyon is a big cliché. However, I still love the view here! Especially with such colors in the evening sky. So I’am very happy that my patience and perseverance (I went here several times without seeing a magic sunset) were finally rewarded. I got my ‘couleurs de soirée’.

New page: LYON CITY

The page LYON CITY was added to the website. I hope to be posting a lot more photo’s of this beautiful city in the coming weeks, since the weather and light is really good for photography in Lyon in autumn and winter. FRANCE has become FRANCE OUTDOOR, with only the photo’s I shot in the great outdoors of France.

Jury winner photo contest Outdoor & Adventure of NatGeoFoto

The photo I had submitted to the photo contest ‘Outdoor & Adventure’ of NatGeoFoto was declared winner by the jury! Wow, obviously I am happy with this prize and with the words of the expert jury! Aart Aarsbergen: ‘alles klopt aan dit beeld, de sterrenhemel, het verlichte tentje omlijst door het berglandschap. Het is een bijzonder sfeervol beeld, technisch in orde, met een evenwichtige compositie.’ Very nice to see this photo published National Geographic Magazine 9 (september 2016) and in the theme special ‘Outdoor & Adventure’ in National Geographic Traveler (expected 8 september 2016). NatGeoNL