Stock Photos Are Created, Not Taken
Here are some ways you can get some stuff accomplished on little or no budget!
1) There are generally local models that want to build their portfolios almost everywhere. It seems like it has been a fair trade, I generally require the signing of a model release for a "TFP" shoot with a model. They get shots for their portfolio, I get stock photos.
2) You can make a set almost anywhere! The night, a garden hose, and a couple speedlights can be used to make a nighttime rainstorm. A white sheet in your living room with a couple of speedlights can give you a white background. Take your model on location to a school, in front of a worksite, on a desert mesa. Create great bokeh with city lights or a shop window and a narrow depth of field. You can do all of it without spending anything besides travel time.
3) Try keeping a list of concepts that you would like to do and look for the opportunity. For instance, my wife and I were out on the road and we passed Coral Pink Sand Dunes in Utah. We took a one hour detour and I ended up with several stock photos, a sand dune texture, time slippling away (sand running through my wifes fingers), hair blowing in the desert, and a "solitude" shot with a single tumbleweed on the dunes. These were all things I had on my concept list, and one day the opportunity presented itself.
Photo credits: Val Armstrong.
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