Stock photography or microstock is among the industries that has been bred, perked and continued to be sustained by the Internet. This consists of stock photography photos that are sold online under certain types of licenses. The clients include magazines, book publishers, graphic artists, advertising agencies, web designers, filmmakers, specialty publishers, corporate creative groups, and interior decor firms among others. The use of microstock allows these clients to save time and stay on budget as the needs are met without hiring people or go on location to take shots. The fast-growing demand for stock photos is met by a multitude of subscription-based image libraries.
This demand has also made many photographers realize the potentials of stock photography as a source of income or business. These photographs need not have all the qualities of an artistic work to be sold. Photographs may be rejected not because they are not good but because they do not make good stock photos. So, what must a professional or budding photographers know about stock photography – the taking, submitting and selling?
Taking Stock Photography Photos
1. Take photos of subjects that sell. The purpose of stock photography is commercial and the images are to be used to promote or sell products, ideas or service. Take note of specific needs to help you choose your subjects. The prowess of knowing what sells and not can be acquired through diligent research of image libraries.
2. It is important to have the basic knowledge of photography and the right equipment to turn out photos that look professional. It is equally important to process images using a photo-editing program to tweak these as needed and for them to appear spruced and professionally done.
3. Consider diverse subjects – nature, travel, children, women, families. Think of lifestyle and corporate categories and what they may possibly need or want. Yet, do not take capture images in haste; always check out the important elements of making visuals like lighting, framing, focus, and composition. Take test shots to validate if what was visualized will come out as good on picture or print.
Submitting Stock Photography Photos
1. If models are used in the photos, it is essential to have Model Releases to protect the photographer and the agency representing the photographer against any litigation or ensuing legal issues.
2. The keywords sell the images and are therefore critical. These must be carefully researched and thought about. Proper tagging is important so these images can easily be located by the search engines and get to be seen by searchers without difficulty. The addition of as many pertinent tags to the images as possible increase the chance of being found.
3. Always consider fine details when adding the keywords. For instance, searchers need to narrow down the species or variety of grass that they are looking for. ‘Napier grass’ stands a better chance of the image being found and downloaded compared to ‘grass.’ Your submission may also be rejected when you are falsely using keywords to drive traffic to the image.
4. Proper categorizing of submissions can be as critical as keywords because many begin their search by using the categories. It is also important to avoid spelling errors as this can cause rejection of the submitted images as well as decrease download sales potential.
Selling Stock Photography Photos
1. To be able to sell you need to register or be a member of certain image libraries. There are a multitude of these in the Internet. Look for their sites, find out about their membership policies and learn about their rules.
2. Improve the potential of the images by staying abreast with the demands and that can be done through research in successful and leading image libraries and agencies. Get ideas and discover the trend but do not emulate. Holiday-themed photos need to be submitted in advance because the demand abruptly dwindles afterwards.
3. Be consistent with the highest quality megapixel image possible that allows clients to have a wide range of uses from billboard to web display. Make sure that there is no noise before uploading.
Finally, make sure that you are only submitting and selling what you have done yourself. Integrity and pride in your work will eventually pay off when you adhere to codes of ethics and exert enough effort. There are enough opportunities for stock photography photos and there’s room for another one.