Dreamstime has asked me to write a blog to share my knowledge of the stock photo business. First a bit about me. Before I found myself in the business of editing, marketing and producing images, I was a schoolteacher. Thus the art above. I hope to both teach and learn in this effort.
I studied zoology and that informs some of the imagery that I personally favor.
One of the first images that caught my eye is the one on the left. The simplicity of the composition emphasizes the majesty of the animal. The lizard image does just the opposite. By not focusing directly on the animal but filling the frame with the leaf, the image gives a sense of place. It works... [ Read more... ]
We all get "stuck" in a void of inspiration sometimes. I find that my best ideas often come out of the blue when I'm NOT consciencously trying to think of something creative. When that kind brain freeze sets in, try just taking a break from even thinking about your own work. Go to a museum or a good film or the bookstore.
American and British publishers are the biggest users of cover art for books but you'll find ideas in bookshops no matter where you live. (Hey! While you are there, pick up a book and have a read. Exercise the left and right side of your brain!)
Remember the point isn't to copy what you see but to gather inspiration about the kind and type of images that work. Mainstream hardcover books have a very short shelf life. The publishers want revenue results quickly to... [ Read more... ]
A pioneer in the stock business once said, "A good stock photo is an incomplete photo".
That doesn't make sense, does it? Shouldn't a great stock photo simply be a great photo? Sometimes, yes. But think about one of the reasons stock photos sell and the unfinished business of some stock photos make sense.
Look at these images:
Image on the left seems to be waiting for something to happen. Wouldn't it be a better photo of a stage where there was a play going on or a band or a singer performing? Not withstanding the need for model releases that are almost impossible to come by for such events, the empty stage is a great subject for several reasons one of which is as a foundation for multiple... [ Read more... ]
Did you post this one before? This looks a bit familiar to me... uhm.
Yes this is a comment to a post that came from long ago. I'm so pleased that people are going back to the old blogs and reading them either for the first time or again. But one of these days I will probably repeat myself as sometimes I wonder what in the world is left to write about! But then something occurs to me and off we go.
Wardrobe is key to a professional looking image. And the type of clothing that a model is wearing can enhance the salability of an image in more ways than one.
Here is a terrific image of a teen writing on the board in her classroom. The model's top gives a clue to the season: it is clothing that would only be worn in very warm weather. And since school is usually associated with the cooler seasons in most parts of the Northern hemisphere at least, the image usage could be limited if the user wanted to give the impression of a different season. (But then it is perfect for summer school.)
When shooting models in school interiors, it's best to show them in seasonal neutral clothing. It's not the clothing... [ Read more... ]
a lot of pictures are foreseeable and indistinquishable. As the American market becomes more and more on various ethnic plan and the business of announcement / design becomes more important and asking in the non-American and European markets, pictures have to have models of a lot of nationalities and places and even auto parts such as Acura Integra Starter but important thing is the uniqueness. Finally genuineness ' was the word of watch we accepted news of the purchasers for some time now.
Helpfull article and interesting debate. I'm an amateur just starting in microstock world. IMO when submitting photos starts to become a race for money, than it is not a hobby anymore and expenses go up also.
Erin Go Bragh translates to "Ireland Forever" and in the US where everyone claims to be Irish on St. Patrick's Day, it is often heard.
In parts of the world, March 17th is all about beer. Specifically, green beer. Very green beer tends to look like dish soap even under the best conditions. Better to concentrate on other Irish symbols that are more easily photographed or on only slightly tinted ale.
Creating holiday symbols is often easier for illustrators than photographers. After all leprechauns are very elusive creatures and besides they may be drunk all the time. Why else is... [ Read more... ]
I'm in San Francisco this week, staying near Union Square. There is a photographer on every corner snapping every which way. So how do to create images of a beautiful and much photographed city that will stand out from the competition?
A mentor of mine gave this advice to travel photographers. He said to visit all the places you think you want to photograph on the first day or two upon arriving in a city. Check out the light and calculate when the light will be best for shooting. Study the angle and best place to shoot from. Figure out where you will want to be to get the most famous shot. Then move around a bit to see if you can find a new angle or a... [ Read more... ]
Thanks for the good tips, Ellen. I have started reading them one by one from the beginning and intend to keep reading till i finish all. Together they are a very good Guide to Stock photography. One basic question as I am very new to this. Can such images be uploaded without a release? Photos of monuments like the Taj and city skylines, photos unique to the location.
Thanks a lot Ellen for adding my picture to this article. My picture is the one of the sailboat with the Golden Gate in the background. It is nice to get recognized like this. You are right about scouting an area out ahead of time. I was trying to figure out how to get some really different pictures of the bridge so I spent a whole day just walking around , asking questions, getting ideas. Then the next day it came to me. Ask one of the fisherman to take me out on the bay for the sole purpose of taking pictures. He agreed and I paid him for a private cruise. I took many pictures of the bridge that day and several sell almost daily now. I try to "think out of the box" all the time now. Makes it a lot more fun to. Thanks again
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Before you arrive in a new location, do research. Looking at map is not enough. Nor are guidebooks necessary the only printed form of information at your fingertips. Get a compass so that you will be able to anticipate how the light will be at different times in the day in different locations. If your shooting location is near the tidal zones, look up the tide charts. Read as much as you can about the place not just in guidebooks but go to the web archives of travel magazines to learn what's new.
Visit the city's website to see if there are going to be events that will interfere with your plans or that you can use in your images.... [ Read more... ]
You have to be lucky, but you can push your luck with proper preparation.
Good point. I rarely leave my camera at home. And many times I have been very happy, I had it with me. Luck or preparation?
But you seem to be a very lucky person - with so many really great photos in your portfolio. :) Or was it because of preparation? ;))
Hey, thank you for the Dennis Gray link. That guy is amazing!!
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