As a photographer, you end up taking loads of shots, whether to practise with different camera modes, try out a new lens or just because you like the subject. This often leaves you with a load of pictures that you don’t need but that are pretty good. Therefore, selling them to companies who offer stock photography is a way to make some money from these shots and also get your name out there as a professional. But how do you make the most of your images before selling them?
Don’t underestimate standards
Some photographers think that stock images don’t need to be of the best quality but this can be a mistake, especially if you want to get paid for them. Sure, if you are giving the images away, it doesn’t matter if they are a little out of focus or the light isn’t great. But to make money from them, they need to be top quality.
To ensure the best quality photos, make sure you inspect them at a high resolution. If you check them at a small resolution, little flaws and problems can vanish but if you get the resolution up then you can spot any little issues that a quick editing can resolve before submitting them to sites.
Use good editing software
For many, photo editing software still stops with Adobe Photoshop although there are some very good competitors out there. For most professionals, the combination of Adobe Camera Raw and Photoshop is the best way to get high quality shots with the former doing the bulk of the work and the latter doing the fine tuning. Photoshop is famous for its advanced tools and these can make a shot go from good to great very easily.
Make sure you save the file when edited in the highest setting available. So when you save a JPEG, move the slider right up as far as it will go to get the most data into the file and therefore the best quality. Some sites use EXIF data for important, so check this out before submitting.
If you don’t know what SEO is, then go do a little research. Your photos will be accepted better if they contain keywords that are relevant to the content and mean the stock image website can easily attract visitors with them. Don’t go over the top and stuff the tags full of words but make sure there are a few relevant ones. For example, if the picture is a lighthouse taken off the coast of Norfolk then keywords could include Norfolk, lighthouse, ocean view, sea view, coastal view and such.
There is a huge demand for stock photos but there is also a demand for high quality images. Web designers, bloggers and others who use stock images now rank the quality of the shot alongside the content of it in terms of importance. This means your shots need to be useful, high quality and well tagged to get the best income for your images.