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Stock Photography FAQ

What subjects should I photograph so I can sell them as Stock Images?

Most of the photographic specialties have been taken up and many non-dated images that are already on file will take a long time to grow obsolete.  These images include animals, sunsets, clouds, and natural landmarks (Aurness and others, 1990).

"You need to find out what the buyers of photography want, then shoot it.  Many photographers shoot what they want, and then are dissapointed in [their] stock sales.  If you have the image the publication needs, they will buy it from you [regardless] of [your] level of experience or your established name." (Nelson, 1995).

  • Get suggestions from your agency.  Many agencies regularly publish a "Want List" for their photographers.

  • Read Publications that relate to the market you want to sell to.

  • Keep up on the latest trends and predictions.

  • Examine existing stock catalogs.  Determine what ideas are trying to be communicated, and illustrate the concept in OTHER ways.  Show who YOU are as a photographer - don't copy others! (Scanlon, 1996)

  • Try looking through a Book of Familiar Quotations, and try illustrating some.

  • Work up to shooting 2 or 3 self-assignments each week if you can.

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This Site Last Updated  
August 14, 2015