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Lesson 14 Introduction to Stock Photography´s archives ↓

Lesson 14: Page 01

Lesson 14: Page 02

What do you love to photograph?  Do you want to make money at it so you can continue to shoot what you love best?  Love and money are the two main reason photographers enter into photography and the stock photo business.  The sooner and more efficiently you channel that love and treat your photography as a business, the sooner the money will arrive.

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Lesson 14: Page 03

This is a great example of being in the right place at the right time.  As I was exploring from the road, I came around the bend to see the sun break through the fog.  This image has been one of my top selling nature images and after 20 years on the market, it continues to make nice sales each year.

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Lesson 14: Page 04

There are several reasons why these clients buy stock photos.  The first reason might be that a stock photo says what they are trying to say, delivers the message about their company. Possibly they don’t have a budget to pay a photographer to do a photo shoot on assignment. Maybe they have time constraints and no time to setup an assignment shoot with a photographer.The content you are trying to access is only available to members. Sorry.

Lesson 14: Page 05

Some landscape and nature photographers still shoot with a large format 4×5 view camera.  This will give you a spectacular 4 inch by 5 inch film image.  You can also do the same with a 6cm x 7cm SLR camera, and even a 6 x 4.5, but you won’t have those wonderful swings and tilts to change perspective and focus like the 4×5 has.  (There are some medium format cameras that have models with the ability for tilting the lens board, but you can also get a perspective control lens for your 35mm.) Keep in mind you need a superb scanner to digitize those various film formats. Instead, why not use a 4×5 with a digital back or the latest Hassleblad digital camera? These will cost a lot of money but if the photographer desires these large formats that is the way to go.

Like I said, “some photographers” prefer to shoot this way, but WHY? Today’s digital cameras are amazing. In addition, look at the end use of the image these days. I was published by several calendar companies that would only except 4×5 inch transparencies. NO 35MM was their rules. Today they accept digital files from the highest resolution cameras. But really, think first about where the images will be used, or even more, look at how much print is being done. Your image will most likely be used on the web in many cases. Calendars and magazines will obviously want good enough resolution, but the need for a 4×5 digital file is rare in my opinion.

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Lesson 14: Page 06

STOCK PHOTOGRAPHY CONCEPTS

Successful stock photos are often successful because they illustrate a concept.  It is not uncommon for a client to be looking for a stock image that says a specific concept. Some sample concepts that are popular are: Teamwork, Success, Competition, Family, Happiness, Pride, Performance, Quality, Reliability, Trust, Work, etc.The content you are trying to access is only available to members. Sorry.

Lesson 14: Page 07

STUDIO STOCK PHOTOGRAPHY

I created a lot of stock imagery in the studio.  Does this mean you need a studio? Absolutely not!  Some of my earliest stock photos that were successful I created in the garage-my first studio.  If you want to set up a studio or a garage studio you will need a few items.  Lights, reflectors, light stands, sawhorses for tabletops, booms to hold lights, spring clamps, backgrounds, to name a few.  In future lessons, we will discuss studio stock photography techniques more in depth.The content you are trying to access is only available to members. Sorry.

Lesson 14: Page 08

Like all stock photos, the success and appeal of an image depends on the subject and the skill of the photographer. Today’s stock photographers have to be determined, aware, and able to respond to a constantly changing world.  You must be aware of changing lifestyles, demographics, trends, fashions, technologies, etc.  The most successful stock photographer will almost have an ability to see into the future and foresee coming changes in these areas.  They will have good “instinct” to upcoming subject demands and have produced images that are already available when these trends become hot. Your camera….never leave home without it.The content you are trying to access is only available to members. Sorry.

Lesson 14: Page 09

Keep in mind the stereotypes that prevail in our society, whether valid or not.   For example, many years ago, as I was building my stock photo files I planned a mother/baby shoot. I hired a great looking young woman to be the mother.  She was possibly of Italian or middle eastern descent and had a wonderful, naturally light, tan look.  I also hired a baby to be her child, thinking this was going to be a perfect match.  Not paying enough attention, we spent hours shooting: holding and feeding the baby, changing diapers, reading to the baby, rocking chair, and so on.  When I began editing the images I noticed that the baby didn’t really look like hers.  Her facial features weren’t evident in the babies, subtle differences in skin tones weren’t close enough and this was later validated by my stock agent’s comments.The content you are trying to access is only available to members. Sorry.

Lesson 14: Page 10

More traditional colors, Reds, yellows, greens, blues, and grays have a much longer life span than the trendy colors.  I believe that red is the color of eternity as it is a color that has always worked, always will work, and is a safe bet for making a subject stand out.  However, keep current with the publications you are shooting for and find what they are buying and stick close to that.  The last few years, colors have been very subdued, more pastel and muted, with a light and bright, almost blown out look.The content you are trying to access is only available to members. Sorry.

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