Post processing photos for stock photography
My first advice to a photographer who is just starting out is: always shoot raw, you never know what you will want to do with the pictures.
Why post processing is important
Because you want to maximize the potential of your images, and there a few ways of doing that, but first and foremost is to have an appealing image to upload.
I am sure you landscapes look great on their own but you can make the colors pop out more, the contrast to be stronger, the horizon to be perfectly straight and the composition even better with a little post processing.
You can capture the most beautiful of sunsets and it will look magical to you because you were there to witness the real thing, the actual moment, but now you have to make it just as spectacular for the potential buyer who will view your image.
Take a look at the above images, they are the same photo, the first one is a best seller at Dreamstime, the second one is the untouched version of the same image.
When you shoot images of people take your time and correct imperfections, be careful not to over-smooth the whole face but keep some of the features strong. Enhance the eye color to bring out the expressions. Remove stray hairs from the face, blemishes, dark circles.
You can find numerous tutorials that will teach you how to work on the model’s face to bring it close to perfection.
When shooting objects make sure there are no spots on them, sometimes this can happen even when they are clean.
Remove any copyright at this stage, look at the image at 100% to find anything that might be a problem further down the road. Remember that it is your responsibility to upload a copyright clear image.
If you plan to submit editorial images you can still enhance them but keep it simple, make your images pop, but don’t change the context too much so that the image keeps close to the reality. You will, of course, not need to remove any copyright from editorial shots.
Last but not least: don’t forget to have fun while doing this task, it might seem tedious, but some really nice pictures and future best sellers can turn out from it.
In my next post, you will finally get to upload and submit your images.