Secrets to Getting Sales from BANNER Images
Banner images, also known as panoramic or panorama, can be a difficult segment of the stock industry to figure out. But if you can come up with a winning concept, they can be a significant impact on your overall sales.
The first thing you need to know about banner images is how to make them. Most photo editing software packages have the functions required for stitching multiple pictures together. It's extremely simple to do but most photographers never think of creating banner images. If you're out doing photography and see a scene that will work well as a panorama, all you need to do is take a series of pictures and stitch them together later.
Therefore, creation and execution is the first step.
Now that you're remembering to create banner images, the next question is to figure out what will generate sales. There is no one person who can tell you everything about selling banner images but I can pass on some of the secrets I've learned on to you.
Secret #1: Quality! It is imperative you learn how to create an image that will stand out among the millions of other images available for sale on the internet. There are thousands of tutorials on the internet you can access for free that describe various techniques for creating an image. There are thousands of top-notch professionals selling their images and they set the bar for what buyers are looking for. You can't be intimidated about their level of skill. You can be their equal in quality if you take the time to learn basic photography and photo editing skills.
Secret #2: Concepts! An image that instantly conveys a concept has a greater chance of selling. If you stare at it and have to scratch your head trying understand what is in the image, that will greatly reduce the ability to get sales from that image. One of the greatest misconceptions and myths I've seen in online stock is that an image has value because it was accepted by a Reviewer. Reviewers are trained to check off a series of minimum requirements for accepting an image. If an image meets the minimum requirements, it will be added to your portfolio. Strong concepts will sell.
Reviewers will reject the worst of the worst but weak concepts will never sell despite being accepted.
Secret #3: Simplicity! An image that speaks well to a particular subject and does it in a simple manner has a greater chance to sell. If the image speaks directly to whatever the buyer wants to represent visually, your chances of getting the sale increases. If the concept is "Green Energy," how can you say that in an image and do so in a simple way?
Secret #4: Think like a buyer! Buys purchase images for their books, blogs, and print material. For whatever subject you are creating, think of the buyer who has a need for a visual reinforcement to the subject they are addressing. Does your image speak to the topic? Or is it generic and weak? Try to zero in on whatever the buyer is trying to zero in on with his presentation.
Secret #5: Mastheads! Think about it. Where are panorama images used? They are most likely used as mastheads for printed material or at the top of web pages. An abstract image might be used as a background with text inserted. If you're going to submit an abstract, it's best to submit an image that will look good with text. If the text will get lost in the design, it may not sell as well as you would like.
Secret #6: Experiment! What secrets have yet to be discovered for selling banner images? Through experimentation and trial and error you can find your own secrets that others keep to themselves.
In the end, it's not about finding specific subjects that sell because there are too many to mention. Even if you discover a hot subject, you will struggle compared to theirs who are successful if you can't compete with the quality and execution of skill contributors. Keep the image simple and executing the concept well is what generates sales in the end. Some subject sell better than others and you should experiment and learn which niches give you success.
And don't forget that the way you get into banner images is to remember to do them! Take those multiple images when you're out shooting and stitch them together when you're doing your post editing.
Photo credits: Wisconsinart.