The microstock photography industry’s continuous growth has captured the attention of many photographers. With marketing and advertising budgets continuing to be reduced, and businesses becoming more and more familiar with microstock photography, the use of images from microstock agencies is increasing dramatically. Many photographers around the world have noticed this trend, and have discovered that microstock photography can be a valuable source of income.
One of Photokore’s goals is to encourage, and help, aspiring stock photographers to enter the stock photo industry. Here’s a few hints for photographers who want to enter the stock photography industry:
1. Before you even take a stock photo, remind yourself that 99% of stock photos are used to promote/sell a product or service. Will the image you are about to capture do that? Proper focus, lighting, composition, and avoiding noise is all important – but so is the subject of your photo, and how you take it. Everyone enjoys looking at beautiful photos. But end-users purchase ‘useable’ photos… your image needs to be useable by commercial end-users.
2. Before you even go to shoot an image, do a little research. What types of images are being used in print ads, billboards, brochures, websites, etc? Do they evoke an emotion? Do they portray a concept? Are they composed and cropped so that there is room for text? Doing a little research prior to shooting will give you more chance of success.
3. If you’re going to take a stock photo, do your best. Sound obvious? Take a step back and consider what you are about to shoot. Do you have the right equipment? Do you need a reflector? (Don’t panic… making one out of aluminum foil and cardboard is easy). What about lighting? Can you use natural light? If so, where should you place your subject (object or model)? Should you shoot in the morning or evening? There’s a lot you can do to get your shot right, regardless of the equipment you own. Photokore offers many tutorials for aspiring stock photograhers, you can view and download them at http://www.photokore.com/tutorials/main
4. If you’ve been studying the stock photo industry, you are aware that people photos tend to sell well. But that means you need to deal with model releases – how do you approach people and explain model releases? How do you convince people to sign them? Start by asking family, friends and relatives. As you gain confidence, you’ll be able to approach strangers. Learning about, and dealing with, Model releases takes a bit of extra effort, but the returns can be worth it. You can download Photokore’s Model Releases here http://www.photokore.com/help/legal/index
5. Be realistic, and don’t waste your time. Microstock has been around for a while, and there are thousands of pro and weekend amateur photographers submitting photos. The days of submitting ‘anything’ (snapshots taken on vacation, snapshots of flowers in your garden) passed several years ago. But, if you put some thought into the subject of your photo, and some effort in how you capture it, you could join the ranks of photographers earning an income from stock photography. Join Photokore http://www.photokore.com and upload your photos now!