/
Single post
Resources for better photographs, Stock photo tips

What makes for a good stock photo?

So you have been taking photographs for a while and thinking you’ll try stock photography. Now you have to think like a stock photography buyer and their needs are. Just because it’s a nice photographs doesn’t mean you’ll get accepted into stock photography sites. A good friend of mine is an amazing photographer, but the photos he takes are not ones that sell. So what sells?

Think good quality photos. See Resources for Better Photographs for ideas on how to improve your photography.

Think commercially. Photos of flowers and animals abound on stock photo sites, but those that sell are unique, such as my orca whale, shot on vacation in Vancouver:

Orca near Vancouver, BC
or very clean shot of unique poses, like my best selling squirrel shot.

Squirrel staring at you, on white with shadow

That one took me over an hour at the University of Michigan diag to get, total serendipity, curious squirrel on a sidewalk, and then another hour to clean it up…

Think in terms of impact and iconic photos. I shot lots of photographs at a Relay for Life event, but you can see that the most popular ones are the close-ups of the flags, which have the most visual impact:

ANN ARBOR, MI - JUNE 22: at the  Relay for Life of Ann Arbor event on June 22, 2013 in Ann Arbor, MI.

See the Stock Photo Sightings category for more examples.

Think clean photos, without distracting backgrounds. Really look around all the edges of the photos to make sure nothing is taking the viewer away from the key message. Take another squirrel photo that sells quite well:

squirrel eating peanut

Nothing but squirrel and grass there. I even cleaned up the grass in Photoshop to make sure nothing took the viewer away from squirrel.

Think totally white background. Users of your non-editorial photos likely will want to use them in their own settings, so you need to provide them “isolated” photos, with just the object in a totally white background. You can get a quick idea of how to clean up your photos to get that background here.

Plaid gift box

Think perfect focus. People buying stock photographs might end up blowing them up a lot, so photos have to be in focus at 100% magnification. I wrote some suggestions to achieve that perfect focus here.

Realize it takes a lot of time to get the right photo. Take the Flamingo sculpture in Chicago:

Flamingo sculpture in Chicago

It took me over an hour and over 50 shots to get this one photo. I moved around and tried various angles to get just the right view of the sculpture, waited for enough people to be walking under it to give it a sense of proportion, yet with no one distracting from the shot. Or my best-selling Ann Arbor Art Fair photo:

Ann Arbor's South University Art Fair 2011

I stood at that spot for over 20 minutes looking for just the right shot – enough people to fill the shot, nothing distracting from the main theme, a nice couple holding hands enjoying the day…

Lots to think about, but it will come naturally soon enough. Keep in mind the saying “don’t take the shot, make the shot!”

Advertisements

About Susan Montgomery

I'm a stock photographer, with focus on editorial, classic cars, travel, and nature.

Discussion

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Posts by date – Hover on date to see subjects

June 2014
M T W T F S S
« Feb   Jul »
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
30  
Follow Susan Montgomery Photos on WordPress.com

Click to follow Susan Montgomery Photos.com and you'll get email notifications of new posts - thanks!

Join 74 other followers

Blog Stats

  • 9,010 hits

Here are other photographers whose blogs I follow

Tom Plevnik photography

One picture could change your life.

Weekly Fifty

Exploring the wonders of creation through a 50mm lens.

From Hiding to Blogging

- My Essays for the Essences in Life

Brian Gaynor Photography

Capturing Life's Beauty One Photo at a Time

The Learning Curve Photography

by Toronto Photographer Brian Carson

michaelpoolephoto.wordpress.com/

Michael Poole Photography

Through Open Lens

Home of Lukas Kondraciuk Photography

Lightscapes Nature Photography Blog

Kerry Mark Leibowitz's musings on the wonderful world of nature photography

1001 Scribbles

Random and Abstract Lines

Blame My Gypsy Soul

Travel & Photography

Vit Peyr

Original Photography

Sebastian Stead - My Photography Blog

Hi! my name is Sebastian (You can call me Seb!) ...welcome to my Blog. I'm a photographer from Worcester (where they make Worcestershire sauce) UK. Thanks for dropping by! Hope you enjoy my work! :)

Peterchad's photography blog

Peter Chadwick photography

lyndamichele

Just another WordPress.com site

Images Of Antalya

Unique & Stock Images Of ANTALYA

ICI & LA NATURE PICTURES

Walk and Bike in France. www.icietlanature.com

Joshi Daniel Photography

Images of People Photoblog

Globe Drifting

Global issues, travel, photography & fashion. Drifting across the globe; the world is my oyster, my oyster through a lens.

%d bloggers like this: