The importance of keeping a log of ideas as a photographer cannot be stressed enough, especially as I begin to embark on a journey to get a decent turnover from stock photography. This has come about during my recent mind dump of stock photography ideas, I found myself not being able to see the wood for the trees. There are a million things around my house that would make suitable stock photos but I overlook them looking for a bigger better idea, however my recent 365 project has made me see things in a different light.
When you're struggling for inspiration a list of photo ideas can always save the day and mine is building up nicely. As mentioned in this post, I'm still trying to find my style as a photographer so I'm keen to try as many things out as possible. Having stumbled across Ffffl*ckr (which is a great little web app that you should definitely check out) every day I have been religiously going through the photos available and making a note of anything I want to try out. This photo has given me an idea to pursue over the weekend, and I've found another hundred or so that I've made a note of. Whenever I'm sat at a loss over what to shoot I can just pull my list out and find one easily shootable in the timeframe. Some are larger projects that I'll have to undertake at the weekend, but that leads me on to the main point (which has changed about 4 times) of this rambling blog post.
Take what you can when you can and anything else make a note of. You'll find you soon stack up a good list of things/styles to try out for when you haven't got the inspiration. It'll take the pressure off when you really don't feel like shooting anything as the inspiration doesn't have to be there every single day. I certainly found it difficult to be instantly creative after a long day at work, so having a little scrapbook (I personally use google docs so it's available wherever I am) to hand when inspiration deserts me is really useful. However from a stock photography point of view this notebook and my 365 project have opened my eyes immensely to the vast range of things/people/ideas available for stock photography.
By testing my photography with new styles/ideas I am constantly stumbling across props/locations/ideas for stock photography. I feel the two are quite seperate in their requirements, but by keeping them seperate I can constantly filter out elements of my creative photography to use as stock photos. For instance from the photo at the start of this article, I took a ton of ideas involving the poker chips and playing cards to use as stock photography that you can see to the left.
There's a great article here by John Lund who talks about taking photos for the enjoyment of it and hopefully getting some useful stock images out of it, and whilst I would encourage that, creative photos aren't always the best for stock photography. I'd be more inclined to suggest that whilst you are out there taking creative photos spot the little things/ideas that would make good stock photos.
For any type of photography I feel this is very relevant. Be it wedding/portrait/landscape, and that isn't to say that stock photography can't be creative but taking your hat out of trying out new styles can open your eyes to a million suitable stock photographs. You just have to open your eyes.