Sunday, February 26, 2012

Concept ideas for stock photography

In my previous post I highlighted the importance of concept presence in the images created for stock photography. So what does actually concept in stock photography means? Concept is the idea you put in your photo, it’s a theme, and it’s a message if you like.

Many photographers at the beginning of their career in stock photography overlook importance of making their photos that way that they could be used for business. Biggest part of clients at stock agencies is designers who are hired for a project; it could be to set up a website, to create a good cover for a book or a magazine, it could be to make an advertisement etc. So to be able to sell your photos you need to think like a designer too.

Look around yourself when you are somewhere in the town and you will see that you are surrounded by photos which are used to promote all sorts of businesses. Go to a bookstore and have a look at covers of books that catch your eye, do the same with magazines. Pay attention to billboards on the streets and posters in the supermarkets and shop windows. Analyse that information, think about what you like in those photos and why they caught your eye. Make a list of types of images you saw and break it into categories. This should help you to see the trends and what kind of photos designers prefer.

Remember, you can be creative and even artistic, but make sure your images have a clear concept; so that the viewer wouldn’t need to guess what you tried to show in your photographs and you will see that designers will love your images.

Read here more useful tips about stock photography and concept: What Images are in Demand by Stock Agencies?

Saturday, February 25, 2012

How to Make Money with Stock Photography

If you are reading this post there are most likely two reasons for this: firstly, you are interested in photography, or already are very much into it, and secondly, you want to know if you can make money selling stock images.  I remember doing the same thing not that many years ago when I decided to turn my hobby into business; I was looking for information about stock photography and what it takes to become a stock photographer. 
I decided to write this post to share my own experience after being in stock photography industry for 2.5 years.  That might sound like a short time, but believe me, it’s enough to gather information and learn what stock photography is all about.
So what actually makes stock photography different from lets say artistic photography?  Stock photography initially is aimed for promotional purposes to help a business grow.  For that reason stock images are less artistic and more conceptual.  That’s right, concept is the king factor in stock!  Whether your images have a clear concept and speak for themselves will be a deciding point in their success.  Second place on the list is quality, without high quality, your photos are unfortunately doomed. Third honourable place takes the size of your portfolio.  There is an opinion that in stock photography income starts to become significant when number of photos in your portfolio reaches 500.
Being a stock photographer doesn’t only mean taking photos though, this business demands much more dedication than that.  Photographer should be up to date with trends, events and don’t forget about seasonal changes.  Among other things are: post processing, adding key words, uploading to agencies and the more of those you join, the more time it takes to upload photos. 
So let me tell you this, if you work hard, have plenty of time, because stock photography it’s a game of numbers as well as quality, then you have all chances to succeed it in.  Stock photography is a good way to make money with your photos, but it's a demanding way that takes a bit of time to see the results of your work.  You cannot make big money overnight, neither over one month time, but if your photos are good, they will keep bringing you sales even after a long time, because this is how stock photography business works, your rewards aren't a one off thing, it's a collective return paid for your effort.
Here is an article that has more detailed information on the subject:  Getting Rich with Stock Photography Part 1: Dream or Reality?