December 14, 2017

Thinking Of Shooting Stock Photography

How Best To Sell Your Stock Pictures


Girl Feeding Horse © Frank Marchese

Thinking of developing a stock photography library with the intention of selling images to stock photo agencies or directly to advertising art buyers or magazine photo editors? Consider shooting what you know first.

Shoot What You Know

If you are already shooting in a specific category already say sports where you know in this category clients do in fact buy images, then it would be smart to stick to what you know best. As an example, if you are an avid snowboarder or skateboarder, then you probably have access to other boarders just like yourself. Board sports is a great niche. Honing your photographic skills and doing it with something you love makes perfect sense. Here's why. If you love what you do you're more than likely to invest oodles of hours into your craft. And because you're investing time, you'll more than likely whether it becomes obvious or not to you, develop your creative eye. Your attention to detail will be sharper. Your sense of composition becomes more refined. You'll improve your editing process.

Shoot Variations

Shoot close-up. Shoot pulled back. Shoot with different lenses. Shoot different angles. Change your depth of field. Vary the focal point of interest. If you are shooting skateboarders shoot non-action as well. Faces. Individual and group shots. Shoot different emotions. Give your potential client as much dramatic POV shots you can. Don't be one note. Get your client excited about your work. The more variations you provide the client the less likely he will be bored. And right now you may only be thinking of selling stock, but don't be surprised if your work is good enough to warrant a paid assignment. It happens.

Keep It Simple. Keep It Real

Watch your composition. Try not to junk up the shot. Shoot real moments. Watch out for fake expressions. Too many times photographers often think and shoot as if their finger is glued to the shutter sending the motor drive ripping forward. There still is a thought process taking place while you shoot. Slow down your caffeinated self and think before clicking the shutter. Remember you're the one who will be editing your files.

Know What Sells

Again referencing skateboarders. Look at what is being published in magazines. Learn from it. But avoid shooting cliches. Cliches are overdone, tired, and should never be portrayed in your work if you ever really want your work to stand out. If you haven't already start a Tumblr account. Tumblr is eye candy. Here you can show off your images and hook up with other photo junkies who may re-post your work. And get yourself a Flickr and Facebook account. Build a WordPress Blog. And don't forget to tag your photos. Agency art buyers and art directors along with photo editors are always looking outside the normal stock agencies channels. It's their job to find images to use. Shooting what you know and loving what you do will take you far in stock photography.

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