3 Things You Must Get Right to Get Your Photos Online

posted on 9th of june, 2012

This photo uses the line of cheese wheels to draw the viewer's eye into the image.

It may not be easy, but it is simple. The three most important things to nail down if you want to get your photos accepted at this, or any, stock site are focus, lighting and composition. Subject matter and creativity go along way towards getting sales, but if these three elements are not in order, your image won't pass the initial screen by the reviewers. If it isn't online, it can't sell. It's that simple. Let's look briefly at each.

Focus-Remember to check focus at 100%. I struggle with this on my little monitor and sometimes I would miss areas of poor focus, so I'll share a tip that I use. After reviewing the entire image, select the areas that are critical to your image. For example, on a photograph of an animal, the eyes are probably a key area. Crop this area and review at 100%. Repeat for all areas that are critical to the image. Personally, I like to use a wide depth of field for stock, capturing as much of the image as I can in good focus. That way, a designer can choose to crop the image for use in a variety of ways. A tripod can be an indispensable tool to avoid camera shake and get that tack sharp focus.

Composition-a stock photo should be pleasing to the eye and organized in such a way that the eye is drawn to the main subject of the photo. Examples of organizing principles include the rule of thirds and the golden ratio. Consider colro, shape, movement, point of view of hte subject, and the use of negative space in your composition. Remember to check the background and foreground elements and make sure they support your composition! My very favorite resource of composition techniques is The Photographer's Eye: Composition and Design for Better Digital Photos

Lighting-It is important to have sufficient light that will allow you to use a combination of a fast enough shutter speed and low enough ISO to avoid digital noise. While you can widen your aperture to allow more light in, there is a trade off. A wider aperture gives you a smaller DOF, which can make a great artistic tool if used well, but also decreases the usable copy portion of your photo (the area in clear focus). As a general rule, avoid extremes such as blown out highlights and deep shadows that cause a loss of detail in the picture. Experienced photographers may break these rules effectively for special effect, but it is important to know and understand them.

I'll post more on each of these later, but for now I am gong to grab my camera and build my portfolio! Good luck to you in your efforts!

Comments (10)

Posted by Chanevy on June 29, 2012
Thank you for your kind words :-)
Posted by Rolmat on June 28, 2012
Very good tips, in deed.
Posted by Vcarmstrong on June 28, 2012
Nice blog. I love your greedy squirrel photo. I think that one will be quite successful over time.
Posted by Clearvista on June 11, 2012
Thank you, very interesting :)
Posted by Elianehaykal on June 11, 2012
That's a good, useful blog :)
Posted by Chanevy on June 09, 2012
You are very welcome-I'm glad some found it helpful.
Posted by Picstudio on June 09, 2012
Great blog!
Posted by FabioConcetta on June 09, 2012
Thanks for info, interesting blog!
Posted by Egomezta on June 09, 2012
Thanks for sharing this great tips.
Posted by Hanbaoluan on June 09, 2012
Very interesting and practical article, thank you for sharing!

Comments (10)

This article has been read 1456 times. 4 readers have found this article useful.
Photo credits: Cjh Photography Llc.

About me

I have had a camera in my hand ever since I can remember. I was always the kid that wanted to trot down to the scene of the crime, or truck accident, or whatever, and get the images that would document that event for posterity. I guess its no surprise that I am naturally drawn to editorial and journalistic photography!

Grinnell, US

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