>Not all stock photos were shot for stock. That's probably not a secret to anyone (and if it was - then it isn't anymore). It's becoming increasingly more difficult to deliver successful content. That's probably not a secret to anyone either... at least not to those who take their involvement in microstock seriously. So, what do you do? Or better said - what should you do?
Concept. Concept. Concept.
Did I say that the concept is crucial? No, I only said concept. ;) So here it goes - the concept if your image(s) is crucial to its success. Very crucial.
If you had the exposure to all images which come in through the pending line as we, the editors have, you'd be surprised to see how many of them are just random shots taken on holidays, snapshots from family moments, etc. etc. Few of them have some potential and they make it through the review. Even fewer of them end up really selling well.
I'd say that it's one of the most common mistakes among beginners (and among some more experienced contributors). The shutter is released and only then is an idea prescribed to the image. You saw a nice looking scene and thought "Oh, why wouldn't this sell?" As I already wrote a while ago, you should be asking yourself a different question
. Now, one more question to ask yourself before uploading - "Why would someone buy this image?"
Enough about the problem. Let's look at a possible solution. Aside from planning your shots well
, make sure that you start with the concept
. There's nothing less likely to sell than a pointless image. The opposite is also true - there's nothing more likely to sell than an image with a clearly outlined (alright, and well executed!) concept.
So, next time whether you're shooting a family scene, a landscape or a plain composition of still life - do your homework well and clarify your concept. Is the family going to be happy or sad, in the park or at home, cooking together or watching TV? Is the landscape going to be enchantingly romantic or portraying the power of a storm? Is your still life composition going to show something unique and make a point, or is it going to be yet another apple on white background?
No doubt, you can get lucky with a shoot if you don't even consider a clear concept. However, should you begin by thinking of what message you want to express or communicate, your creativity will be unleashed as to how you can achieve this. You won't be limited to "What can I do with this subject that will sell?" but free in thinking "There's so many ways of expressing love among people! I'm going to start with the hug." In other words, you won't be limited by what a subject can offer, but by the potential of your concept.
And there's many many and different subjects that can communicate the same concept. Here's how variety comes to your portfolio!
Lastly, make a list of concepts you believe have potential for commercial use and see how many of them are already well represented on the site. Don't merely repeat the good old water-bottle-with-a-fresh-apple-healthy-life image. Go for something new and unique. If you really want to do a classic shot - make sure that your execution is flawless and new. Buyers love that.
Right, but what do I do if I can't come up with sell-able concepts... Hmmm... There's a tip for that too, but you'll have to click here to find it out
(pay attention to the brief text in bold, right next to the dates).
Now share what you think about all this...