Requests, needs, wants, and pet peeves from a buyer

Careful Businesswoman Analyzing Contract

Just a few pointers for contributors:

Please go for ethnic diversity wherever possible. Assume there are "young smiley white people" versions of whatever you are photographing. Distinguish yourself from the crowd and you'll pick up buyers like me.

Please please PLEASE get away from glamour actors and models. If you're not selling anything (I make eLearning modules for a non-profit hospital), they look preposterous. Give me middle-aged and older people. Real, average-looking people with wrinkles.

Ditto on "husky," "full-figured" (i.e., overweight) people. Something like 2/3 of the US population is overweight, yet this is the most glaringly underrepresented group in image collections. People want to see people who look like they do. Should be easy to find.

In keeping with the striving for authenticity, get people out of suits and ties, please. At least here in the West, everyone not on a C-level wears business casual, no ties.

Ban the smiles. Again, everyone does smiles, so distinguish yourself with people looking serious, bored, concerned, distracted, etc. Or just neutral. I assume you don't work among people with dippy grins pasted on them for no reason, so don't force me to choose among only these images.

Related to the above, don't overdo it. I don't want comic, over-the-top, caricatured expressions. They're a complete waste of my time and your pixels. Strive for plausibility, authenticity, and naturalness. Cheesy emoting gets old really fast.

STOP PUTTING STETHESCOPES on doctors and nurses. If this is the only way you can convey your subjects' profession, you need to get into a new line of work. Next time you go to a clinic or hospital, count how many doctors and nurses you see actually wearing stethescopes. The DON'T WEAR THEM!! STOP IT!!!

Nurses, custodians, food workers, and others wearing uniforms are more likely to wear simple, non-adorned versions--or if they aren't, it is still best to give solid colors, no-collar, no-piping, no-frills. I can change a solid color to match the colors used at my institution, but I can't do anything with a pattern.

Do NOT cut people's heads or shoulders off. If I had my way, everything would be full figure on a white background--then I can choose where or if to crop, not you. If you go to the trouble of removing the background (thank you), don't undo the value of what you've done by lopping off the crown of a head or a shoulder or whatever.

Thanks for considering!

Photo credits: Petarneychev.

Your article must be written in English

September 04, 2016


Thanks Paul for the feedback 😀
I want to especially thank you about mentioned shooting old people 'as they really are' and using larger size people, instead of models !
I am guilty of always looking for the most attractive people to shoot!
Great blog - given me something to think about !

August 20, 2016


Thanks Paul for your input. :)

August 20, 2016


Good blog! Thanks for sharing :)

August 10, 2016


good blog Paul! sometimes when we are only on the artistic side we lose focus on what the buyer wants... wish we heard more from the mouth of the buyers!

August 09, 2016


My doctor wears dress pants and a shirt. No lab jackets or smocks.

But he does have the stethoscope around his neck.

August 09, 2016


Thanks Paul for sharing your buyer's experiences. It is really useful.

August 08, 2016


Nice blog! Thank you for sharing!

August 07, 2016


You need to tell the people that vet our images because if they don't choose them it does not matter how many us photographers shoot no one will get to see them.

August 07, 2016


Spot on advice!

August 07, 2016


Good post, thanks Paul.

August 06, 2016


Wonderful information and I'm so glad to hear that someone wants real life photography bc that's what i do. Unfortunately I also work a full time job as a probation/parole officer which doesn't leave me a lot of spare time right now to do what i really love. I will try to get some shots in that you may like as soon as possible but be patient please as I'm just getting started. Still a lot to learn about uploading, consents, etc. Thanks for giving me a goal.

August 06, 2016


Thank you for taking the time to give such great feedback! It's so valuable for us to hear a buyers point of view, K-

August 06, 2016


Very valuable information, thank you! It's refreshing to hear someone championing unique and authentic details in the aesthetics and subjects on here.

August 05, 2016


Thank you for your input!

Related image searches
Peeves related image searches
To provide you with additional information about how we collect and use your personal data, we've recently updated our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. Please review these pages now, as they apply to your continued use of our website.