There are two main reasons that a photographer should consider creating their own stock images. First, you can make some money from all those random, good quality shots you have taken that are currently not in use. Secondly, you can get your name out there, have it associated with quality photography and build up an online reputation that can win you work. So how do you create those stock images?
Choosing your subjects
If you are searching your back catalogue or plan to go out specifically to take stock images, then spare a moment to think about the kind of images that are more likely to sell. To do this, think about what stock images are used for – primarily on the internet for websites, blogs, marketing and other publications. Sometimes they are used by print magazines but they often have their own in-house photographers.
Therefore, when considering this, think about the kind of images these people want. They probably don’t want shots of the family holiday, unless it is the scenery, architecture or other sights. They probably don’t want pictures of your kids but pets can be worth considering as animal related sites are always looking for fresh images.
Not all stock photos need to be from the outdoor world. Stock photos are a great way to practise your composition. Look at some of those shots of a laptop, mobile phone, stationary and such that you see when you go to a stock photo website – they can be done at home with the right equipment and lighting. Businesses are always looking for good quality images such as these.
Most popular categories
If you are looking for inspiration and are unsure what to photograph, then look at the most popular categories based on the websites who supply them. There is high demand for:
Food and drink – anything from a glass of wine, fruit, a meal or even a fruit tree filled with fruit or a grocery bag full of food
Business – as mentioned, those laptop and mobile phone shots are the stock images used by businesses and this can include items such as money, a notebook as well as people shots such as business people, groups in meetings and seminars.
Hobbies – every hobby will have a hobby blogger and they will want images so anything from wool and knitting needles to gardening gear and gym equipment will have buyers.
Nature and outdoors – this includes animals, pets and wild, as well as outdoor scenes right down to a single acorn on a tree. Take as many different types of shots in each location and you will find buyers.
Seasonal – make use of the seasons to get shots for the big events such as Christmas and Halloween.
Once you have some ideas about the photos you are going to take, next look at the technical side of things. You want high resolution images that are clear and well formatted. Large, crisp images are popular while lower resolution images can be accepted in some situations, though will likely make you less money.
Consider the lighting, especially in those still images. Look at the different types of lighting you can use and don’t be afraid to experiment with lots of different shots, even if only one good one comes out of it.