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Successful in stock photography?

New article posted: Successful in stock photography?
F/1.8 | Tamron 70-300 mm F/4.0-5.6 | Sigma 85 mm F/1.4 | Sigma 105 ...
Posted: 08/18/2013, 12:39:41 PM
Are you speaking as a buyer ?
Nikon D 700 and various Nikon lens.
Posted: 08/19/2013, 03:50:54 AM
Having recently bought a studio, shooting on white is the thing I'll try to do shortly. My husband, who works at an ad company is telling me that gray is better as it gives the designer the chance to to cut and paste without having to deal with an already badly isolated shot... I always thought the whiter, the better.
Posted: 08/19/2013, 05:28:51 AM
Good to know Eliane - I thought that too!
I agree to "have a BIG portfolio" but I reckon you also should focus on what you are good at and what you like taking photos of - I still want to do this with fun in a few years time :)
quality - also used for tests the Sigma DP1 and DP3 Merrill, before d...
Edited: 08/19/2013, 07:01:05 AM
Great point about the mind blowing shots. Those may well be the most unhelpful for graphic and layout folks.
Nikon 40mm Macro; Sigma 70-300mm APO Macro...
Posted: 08/19/2013, 07:35:05 AM

& also the model looks nice!
Posted: 08/19/2013, 08:31:04 AM

Originally posted by Martingraf:
Quoted Message: Good to know Eliane - I thought that too! I agree to "have a BIG portfolio" but I reckon you also should focus on what you are good at and what you like taking photos of - I still want to do this with fun in a few years time :)

Yeah, i haven't found my niche yet, im still figuring that out;)
F/1.8 | Tamron 70-300 mm F/4.0-5.6 | Sigma 85 mm F/1.4 | Sigma 105 ...
Edited: 08/19/2013, 10:13:08 AM

Originally posted by Davidwatmough:
Quoted Message: Are you speaking as a buyer ?

No im speaking as a contributor to the people who just started out in the stock business. I know people who still are pussled about why their "best shot" aren't approved. Stock photo aren't about the unique and best shot.
F/1.8 | Tamron 70-300 mm F/4.0-5.6 | Sigma 85 mm F/1.4 | Sigma 105 ...
Edited: 08/19/2013, 10:13:27 AM
I agree with Your post. ;)
Inkscape, gimp and other softwares
Posted: 08/19/2013, 17:32:07 PM
"How many companies and webdesigners need a nice looking male smiling for their website support page? - A lot i'd guess."

DT data base of 18,000,000 or so photos is full of smiling males and females. Most of them have zero downloads.

There is more to it than just a smile and a white background.
Posted: 08/19/2013, 19:07:04 PM
Oh, I agree with Gmargittai. It's sometimes irritating to see how many similar isolated pictures of people with slight changes in gestures are approved. Hundreds of these photos with zero downloads. And then you try to upload a series of a subject with completely different setups, lighting, etc. and they get rejected for having too many similar ones that will compete with each other. I don't mind having two of my pictures competing with each other as long as the buyer buys one of mine!! :)
Don't these photos of people were the only difference sometimes is a slight different smile compete with each other? Ahh, so many things about stock are still a mystery to me...
Photoshop CS6. ...
Posted: 08/19/2013, 20:51:48 PM
I agree with you for the big portfolio and for the pictures of all categories. I'm beginning so my portfolio is still small but I can't decide what to focus on so I just shoot anything that grabs my attention.
3 speedlights, tripod, 2 basic studio lamps and 1 large reflector....
Posted: 08/19/2013, 21:49:57 PM
I certainly agree that all kinds of things sell. For me, I've found that the things I love to shoot, like travel and especially nautical images, have made a lot for me. So have abstract backgrounds. There are over a million hits for "abstract background" which would have discouraged me if I thought about it, but since I love playing with macro lenses, lights, textures, etc., I've continued to produce them and they sell nicely for me. On DT they have earned me more than any other category.

My next best category is travel, especially nautical images. There are nearly 25,000 lighthouse photos here on DT, so the competition isn't quite the same as for people and objects isolated on white, or for backgrounds, and one of mine is currently on page 1 if you simply search "lighthouse." My best-selling one has over 300 dls between DT and other micro sites, and most of them topped 50 DLs in a short time. I've found many of these travel images in magazines, on travel websites, in newspapers here in the US and abroad, and have licensed them to calendar companies too. Not something a designer might need, but certainly something that is a popular travel image. In fact, between all the sites I'm on, lighthouse images have earned me way more than backgrounds despite the fact that I have only about 15 of them online.

Though designers can always use objects isolated on white, those types of images generally have not been big sellers for me. My best selling "on white" image is a wind turbine - it's had a little under 150 dls, so half of my best lighthouse seller, and it has only earned me a fraction of what each of my top lighthouse photos have, since the lighthouses are far more likely to result in ELs. My other on whites have under 20 dls, so they are not big sellers for me.

I guess my point is that it's easy to generalize about what you should shoot for stock, but DT's clients are so varied that it's easy to find a niche that works with the kind of things you enjoy shooting.

I think your image certainly offers a lot of possibilities and I can see you've really thought it through. Your instinct to shoot lots of different categories is a good one I think. With millions of images it's hard these days to become know for just one specialty, so having a lot of strong images is the way to go.

Good thought-provoking article!
studio strobes and Nikon speedlights ...
Posted: 08/20/2013, 20:09:51 PM
I think we must learn to think from the perspective of customer.And the customer who comes here wants cheap and affordable images immediately.Time has passed when an image banal,simple and uninteresting like a banana on white background or tomato,or an apple generates a lot of sales.The site is full of such images!The world is changing.We are a consumer society, we should not forget that.Everything you eat,dress,etc. sells!Of course you can continue to shoot what you love but not always what you like and sell it.And I gree with you:"Shoot conceptual images, images that can be used for MORE then one purpose."Conceptual and commercial images,not beautiful and sweet or cute images for stock if you wanna sell.:)Cheers:)!
Posted: 08/21/2013, 03:33:45 AM
Great blog!
Great tips!
f/4L IS USM, EF100mm f/2.8L IS USM, EF100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM ...
Posted: 08/29/2013, 17:45:05 PM