Successful in stock photography?


posted on 18th of august, 2013

How do you get successful in stock photography?

Answer = Have a BIG portfolio of high quality images and in ALL different categories.
What images sell in stock then? - Almost everything. People, food, nature, animals
I have sold images of open doors.... Yes, a open door, a few times.


The stock image market is NOT about having a "great mind-blowing" shot, its about simplicity and versatility. How many companies and magazines need a beautiful waterfall with a nice sunset in the background? - Not so many actually, its a small market.

Who do you aim images for?

How many companies and webdesigners need a nice looking male smiling for their website support page? - A lot i'd guess.

Shoot conceptual images, images that can be used for MORE then one purpose.
This image can be used for a lot of different things.

It could be used as a person welcoming you to a website/restaurant OR he might be pointing/holding your latest product. Only your own imagination is the limit when you have access to stock images.
Most stock image are shot on a completely white background which give the buyer the opportunity to add their own background to the photo if they want. Its very simple and quick, it can transform the image to what ever you want. Changing the mood, location and purpose of the image.

Comments (14)

Posted by Edosaodaro on August 29, 2013
Great blog!
Great tips!
Thanks!
Posted by Lenutaidi on August 21, 2013
I think we must learn to think from the perspective of customer.And the customer who comes here wants cheap and affordable images immediately.Time has passed when an image banal,simple and uninteresting like a banana on white background or tomato,or an apple generates a lot of sales.The site is full of such images!The world is changing.We are a consumer society, we should not forget that.Everything you eat,dress,etc. sells!Of course you can continue to shoot what you love but not always what you like and sell it.And I gree with you:"Shoot conceptual images, images that can be used for MORE then one purpose."Conceptual and commercial images,not beautiful and sweet or cute images for stock if you wanna sell.:)Cheers:)!
Posted by Wordplanet on August 20, 2013
I certainly agree that all kinds of things sell. For me, I've found that the things I love to shoot, like travel and especially nautical images, have made a lot for me. So have abstract backgrounds. There are over a million hits for "abstract background" which would have discouraged me if I thought about it, but since I love playing with macro lenses, lights, textures, etc., I've continued to produce them and they sell nicely for me. On DT they have earned me more than any other category.

My next best category is travel, especially nautical images. There are nearly 25,000 lighthouse photos here on DT, so the competition isn't quite the same as for people and objects isolated on white, or for backgrounds, and one of mine is currently on page 1 if you simply search "lighthouse." My best-selling one has over 300 dls between DT and other micro sites, and most of them topped 50 DLs in a short time. I've found many of these travel images in magazines, on travel websites, in newspapers here...(More)
Posted by Fredbro on August 19, 2013
I agree with you for the big portfolio and for the pictures of all categories. I'm beginning so my portfolio is still small but I can't decide what to focus on so I just shoot anything that grabs my attention.
Posted by Vilaimages on August 19, 2013
Oh, I agree with Gmargittai. It's sometimes irritating to see how many similar isolated pictures of people with slight changes in gestures are approved. Hundreds of these photos with zero downloads. And then you try to upload a series of a subject with completely different setups, lighting, etc. and they get rejected for having too many similar ones that will compete with each other. I don't mind having two of my pictures competing with each other as long as the buyer buys one of mine!! :)
Don't these photos of people were the only difference sometimes is a slight different smile compete with each other? Ahh, so many things about stock are still a mystery to me...
Posted by Gmargittai on August 19, 2013
"How many companies and webdesigners need a nice looking male smiling for their website support page? - A lot i'd guess."

DT data base of 18,000,000 or so photos is full of smiling males and females. Most of them have zero downloads.

There is more to it than just a smile and a white background.
Posted by Gheburaseye on August 19, 2013
I agree with Your post. ;)
Posted by Matthiase on August 19, 2013
Are you speaking as a buyer ?
No im speaking as a contributor to the people who just started out in the stock business. I know people who still are pussled about why their "best shot" aren't approved. Stock photo aren't about the unique and best shot.
Posted by Matthiase on August 19, 2013
Good to know Eliane - I thought that too! I agree to "have a BIG portfolio" but I reckon you also should focus on what you are good at and what you like taking photos of - I still want to do this with fun in a few years time :)
Yeah, i haven't found my niche yet, im still figuring that out;)
Posted by Elianehaykal on August 19, 2013
:)

& also the model looks nice!
Posted by Haotian on August 19, 2013
Great point about the mind blowing shots. Those may well be the most unhelpful for graphic and layout folks.
Posted by Martingraf on August 19, 2013
Good to know Eliane - I thought that too!
I agree to "have a BIG portfolio" but I reckon you also should focus on what you are good at and what you like taking photos of - I still want to do this with fun in a few years time :)
Posted by Elianehaykal on August 19, 2013
Having recently bought a studio, shooting on white is the thing I'll try to do shortly. My husband, who works at an ad company is telling me that gray is better as it gives the designer the chance to to cut and paste without having to deal with an already badly isolated shot... I always thought the whiter, the better.
Posted by Davidwatmough on August 19, 2013
Are you speaking as a buyer ?



Comments (14)

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Photo credits: Matthiase.

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