Stock photography – choosing your portfolio
Now that you know a little bit about what stock photography is and what commercial royalty free and editorial licenses mean you are ready. Go create an account with the agency you wish to work with, or with more than one agency if you so desire and let’s select what you will be uploading and what you will leave behind.
Start looking through the best sold images from the stock agency you are planing to upload to. Check out the most popular and most downloaded images to make an idea on what sells. Keep in mind that the images you will see in the most downloaded area are pretty old and they had a lot of time to mature into so many sales but, certain stock photography subjects will always sell so your images will have as good a chance as any.
What you should add to the upload folder for your commercial images:
- coloured landscapes where the sky is blue and streaked with white clouds; spring or autumn shots are a winner
- portraits of your friends and family that are shot in good light and have a feeling to express (happiness and joy, children playing, lovers showing affection, older people caught in a tender moment)
- good shots of pets
- well lit shots of food and food related items
- nice kitchens, living rooms, bedrooms and hotel and resorts rooms that show neat interior design skills
- beautiful sunsets and sunrises
- conceptual images, if you have shot any, if not, it’s time for you to start
- business related imagery; if you don’t have any you will start making some soon as this is pretty much a staple subject in stock photography
- other awesome shots you have lying around on your hard drive 🙂
Images that will go in the editorial folder are:
- travel images of known landmarks
- street photography
- sport events
- images taken in shops and malls
- good images from car shows
- other awesome shots that include copyright or people you can not remove 🙂
What you should leave behind:
- general family and friends photos (those that are for you personal albums)
- the 50 shots of a red rose you took last summer. If you have a really good one you can put it in the commercial folder, but be honest, is it really good?
- snapshots that are obviously….well…snapshots (there really is no other word for them)
- images of animals that are shot in less than spectacular setting, lighting and lack in composition
- anything that is poorly lit, has way too much noise, looks distorted, is tilted to one side when it should be straight, looks as if it got into a fight with grizzly bear and the bear won; you get the point, anything that does not look cool enough is out
You have made your selection and you think you are ready to upload your images and start selling? Well, you’re not.
In my next blog post: about copyright and the model release document.