Stock Photos Are Created, Not Taken

posted on 24th of july, 2013

If you have been around stock photography for any amount of time and paid attention to forums and blogs you undoubtedly have seen the phrase "Stock photos are created, not taken". Does this mean that you have to set up every situation and spend a ton of money of props and models? If you are like me, you don't have a large budget for creating amazing sets and hiring teams of models.

Here are some ways you can get some stuff accomplished on little or no budget!
1) There are generally local models that want to build their portfolios almost everywhere. It seems like it has been a fair trade, I generally require the signing of a model release for a "TFP" shoot with a model. They get shots for their portfolio, I get stock photos.
2) You can make a set almost anywhere! The night, a garden hose, and a couple speedlights can be used to make a nighttime rainstorm. A white sheet in your living room with a couple of speedlights can give you a white background. Take your model on location to a school, in front of a worksite, on a desert mesa. Create great bokeh with city lights or a shop window and a narrow depth of field. You can do all of it without spending anything besides travel time.
3) Try keeping a list of concepts that you would like to do and look for the opportunity. For instance, my wife and I were out on the road and we passed Coral Pink Sand Dunes in Utah. We took a one hour detour and I ended up with several stock photos, a sand dune texture, time slippling away (sand running through my wifes fingers), hair blowing in the desert, and a "solitude" shot with a single tumbleweed on the dunes. These were all things I had on my concept list, and one day the opportunity presented itself.

In summary, do a little planning and take advantage of what is available and you can "create" stock photos without a huge budget! Just don't let those opportunities slip away.

Comments (7)

Posted by Cosmostellar on July 29, 2013
Enoy reading your article, it's good to get some encouragement. Thank You.
Posted by Onime on July 27, 2013
i'm agree with your article. thanks for sharing
Posted by Photoncatcher on July 26, 2013
thanks,good ideas
Posted by Vcarmstrong on July 26, 2013
Thank you very much. :)
Posted by Peanutroaster on July 26, 2013
Good advice - Took me a while in the beginning to realize I shouldn't be driving around randomly looking for shots rather coming up with ideas and then creating them. You have a great portfolio! Been watching your growth as a photographer for a while.
Posted by Infokus408 on July 25, 2013
good ideas. most of my shots are setups.
Posted by Arturoosorno on July 25, 2013
Very useful ideas to produce no only take images, thanks

Comments (7)

This article has been read 1059 times. 2 readers have found this article useful.
Photo credits: Val Armstrong.

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