Below are links to three of the stock libraries I sell images with.
It's been my intention for some time to start offering guidance for those wanting to start earning money from Stock Photography. I've had a ridiculously busy summer due to the amazing weather, but have now decided that this is the time to start this in earnest. My nephew Ben and I are starting to put together a timetable for the videos we are going to produce, I've started work on my e-books and e-articles and though the Stock Photography Workshop pages have temporarily disappeared, they are being worked on and we hope to launch those workshops at the start of next year.
In the meantime I'm going to start making posts much more tuned to how I approach a shoot and what I do when I'm there. What kind of pictures I look to create, what gear I use and how I post-process the images. As you will realise from many of my recent posts, the kind of image that Stock Photography Libraries look for is changing somewhat and I'll be reflecting that.
So rather than just post a series of images with a brief description of what I did and used, I'll be going into this in more depth and explaining why I create the images I do.
DON'T IGNORE YOUR OWN BACK YARD (Literally!!)
I do a lot of testing. A couple of days ago I got a mint S/H Nikon 24.0-85.0 mm f/3.5-4.5G Lens. So I went out into the garden and conservatory to test it out. Rather than just shoot anything, I made sure that I came up with some images that I could upload to stock image libraries. Now domestic shots are very popular and indeed my home interior shots are amongst my best sellers. The conservatory above is unusual and quite big. It was designed by my wife Ann and pictures of it have been published all over the world. I must have sold 1000+ images of it in the last couple of years alone. If you are a regular reader you will recognise the terracotta table and the metal chairs with the mosiac pattern. You probably won't be surprised to learn that I bought them for the conservatory specifically because I thought they would look good in a photography. The chairs in fact are pretty uncomfortable, but they do have 'conservatory chic !!!'
As to the other images, Roses are always a popular subject, but make sure the images are saturated and blemish free. The nettles shot and the stream is a nature background shot. Don't ignore weeds, because flower and plant images don't always have to be artistic, aesthetic images of beautiful botanical examples. I sell a lot of stinging nettle images. And we bought some 'hurricane proof' pegs which are fun to photograph. Though the notion of sitting through a hurricane and thinking "At least our washing won't blow off the line' is somewhat surreal!! However the point here is, don't ignore the domestic. It may look ordinary to you but it could be just the image that a picture researcher is looking for.
KEEP IT SIMPLE
When shooting for stock it's important to remember that images get used as backgrounds or even as part of other composite images so it's a good idea to shoot images that are straight on to a subject or have a large amount of space for text to be added.
It's important to shoot places that you know well or are local in every season. Often picture buyers will plan a feature for a certain time of year and want pictures that reflect that.
SHOOT DIFFERENT SIDES TO A SUBJECT
When visiting a stately home recently I was struck by the contradiction that there was a protected deer sanctuary, that is locked off to visitors and yet this trophy room with the heads and antlers of killed animals was part of the 'tourist experience'. Think about a group of pictures can illustrate a story from different points of view.
SHOOT FROM ABOVE IF YOU CAN - INSIDE AND OUT
Shooting from above is knows as a 'mock aerial'. They sell very well because it's unusual and separates the images out from 'tourist snaps.'
Shooting downwards inside is obviously not as easy as it sounds, but there are an awful lot of pictures around looking up at or inside buildings, but very few looking down.
So, that is an idea of how I would approach a shoot. If you find this useful or you would like some other kind of information, then use the comments section below or on the various Google+ groups.