What Sells in Microstock?
They say people photos sell the best. Specifically business people. But what if your portfolio is shy of, say, 30,000 people images? Do your people shots have much of a chance against the competition? What should you be concentrating your shooting time and efforts on? Landscapes, Travel, Studio?
According to the Microstock Insider blog there are three key features in all stock photos:
Three key features of all stock photos
A good stock photo can be broken down into three main components, all of which must be correct to make a high selling image.
1) Choice of Subject, be it an appropriate model or props, an object sat in a context that creates some kind of concept, something quite abstract that only really gains a meaning when used in a matching context.
2) Execution, how well you took the photo, or how you used your photographic skills to express a mood or concept. Atmospheric lighting, high or low key, choice of focal point to add emphasis.
3) Keywording and Description, your choice further emphasizes the meaning of your photo and allows it to be found by buyers. (e.g. a street sign with diverging arrows, represents choice or decision, but only gains that meaning when paired with a title).
Taking a look at my own portfolio which at this point has a diverse range of subjects, here is what has sold in the past month or so (tabulated best I could into the top categories):
Portrait Photography - 20
Tabletop Photography - 24
Landscapes - 6
Travel - 5
Fine Art - 4
From this very unscientific review, I'd say that if you ONLY like to shoot landscapes and travel images, well, you should expect low sales. Even if I added my travel and landscape sales together they wouldn't beat people or tabletop sales. Now added all together, the non-people shots have more sales than people shots - although I probably have a lot more non-people shots in my portfolio.
Has anyone else done a similar analysis of their sales?
Photo credits: Peanutroaster.
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