Interview with Noah Lang

Interview with Noah Lang

Noah Lang is an adventure photographer living in Honolulu, Hawaiʻi on the island of Oʻahu. He has a ton of great photos in his gallery, and an awesome blog covering his hikes. Check out his online print store if you would like to support his work, and follow him on Instagram!

When did you first start shooting photos?

It was right around 2017 when I bought my first full-frame camera because I wanted to have better photos of the places I was traveling. I didn’t know much about what I was doing and I followed the slowest learning curve out there, but I’m happy I’ve stuck with it because it has given me much of what I have today.

How long have you been shooting stock photography?

Honestly, I don’t. I gave stock photography a try with the massive library of photos I’ve built over the years to come to the realization that it’s not worth it. My photos are more valuable in my hands than to be sold for pennies on the dollar to who knows who, which could be my online competitors. Therefore, I decided to get out of the industry because it’s really not one that I find a lot of hope in.

Was the adventure-themed content always the main focus of your photography?

Yes! I’ve always taken outdoor photos, which has in a way transitioned into travel photography in order to support my business, but outdoors, whether hiking, climbing, or wildlife has always been my main focus.

What website platform do you use for your blog, and are you happy with it?

I use Squarespace, and I would say that overall I’m happy with it. However, I wish they would listen to their creators more because there are some obvious improvements they could make, especially someone as myself who is so invested with more than 100k monthly readers. That being said, the platform is easy to use, and for the most part, it has allowed me to seamlessly grow my audience.

I noticed you are using Pictorem for your print store/fulfillment. I’m considering using them as well. Why did you choose Pictorem, and have you been satisfied with their platform/service?

I chose Pictorem initially because I didn’t like platforms that make money when you’re not. However, with Pictorem, they only make money when you do too. I have order some of my own prints and have been very happy with the quality, but in general print sales are next to nothing. I mean in seven years of photography, I’ve sold less than five prints. I’m not sure if that has to do with the platform, but I do believe it’s a myth that photographers make a living selling prints or stock photos, as those would be the unicorn cases out there.

How are you handling marketing?

I really don’t participate in marketing of any kind. For my website, I’ve always believe that good writing and good photos will do more than focusing on keywords, especially when relevant key words make their way into good writing naturally. I guess what I’m saying is that I’ve never done keyword research beforehand, and everything has worked out well for me through hard work and dedication.

How do you monetize your work? 

The vast majority of monetization is through the website, especially blogs. When people are looking at my content I generally make money from products sold, tours sold, or ad revenue. Outside of this, there are countless other ones that contribute as well, but those are the big three.

Do you produce content exclusively for one stock agency, or do you upload to multiple websites?

I still sell videos on stock photography websites because I care much less about them, but generally I stick with the biggest and most reputable agencies, like Adobe, Pond5, etc. The little niche ones that nobody has ever heard of are quite spammy, and I would avoid them at all costs.

Do you use multi-marketplace upload tools?

I use MicrostockPlus because as anyone knows it’s impossible to try and put them same metadata into each file individually across platforms. Additionally, I like how MicrostockPlus is relatively free unless you’re uploading a ton of files every day or using a lot of storage.

I’m not sure what that would be, but I do really like my Denali photo walking off the summit, which can be found:

Climbing Denali’s West Buttress: My Experience and Advice — noahawaii
On June 11, 2021, at about 4:15 p.m., I summited Denali for my first and likely only time ever.

What is your most popular blog post?

My most popular article is my Oʻahu post.

98 Best Non-Touristy Things to Do on Oʻahu — noahawaii
When I show friends and family around Oʻahu, I always have a long list of ideas to make a fun trip outside of a touristy vacation. Most people want that local Hawaiʻi experience, with only a few must-see touristy places throughout their trip, and that is exactly what my intentions were for writin

Where do you see yourself going next? Do you have any major plans for new content?

I have a lot of trips planned, especially to continue to grow my website. For now, these trips mostly consist of trips to the mainland U.S., but in the coming years, they will expand internationally, which I really look forward to.