Whether photography is just a hobby to you or you’ve already turned it into a full-time job, selling stock images can be a nice reward for your efforts. The truth is, you’re not going to get rich this way, but these tips for making good stock images are going to help you earn as much as possible.
1. Use the light
You don’t want your photos to appear grainy, so one of the tips for making good stock images is to always use enough lights. Don’t vaporize your subjects but use a lot of light, as much as possible even. More light means better clarity, and you can diffuse the light to control the shadows. Simply bounce the light off of the ceiling or walls or move the source back a bit.
2. Stay away from clutter
Your subject needs to stand out when you frame the shot, and this is one of the most important tips for making good stock images. Some things can be fine in photography, but when it comes to stock photography, you must make sure to lose the clutter. Remove anything that might be distracting and declutter your photo, or don’t put the focus on the subject.
3. Use the focus
Your image needs to be in focus, and this can be a problem when you’re taking a shot because the image can look great on that tiny screen. When you try to edit it though, you notice that it’s not really in focus. Using a tripod or resting the camera on some solid surface could help you with this.
4. Think like your buyers
One of the best tips for making good stock images is to imagine that you’re an advertiser looking at your photo. Maybe they wouldn’t be happy to see another brand’s name or would want more room to add text. Think about how your photo might be used and try to match that need with your image. Would it work for advertising or look great on a blog?
5. Use the best possible quality and go large
Some people use low-quality settings to make room for more photos, but this is a mistake. You’ll still have enough room for all your photos if you use the best quality settings, and this is a must when you’re making stock images. The problem with low-quality images is that you can’t do anything to make them better. So, make sure to take high-quality pictures that you can sell. Don’t forget about the resolution either because you need the largest one so that the advertisers can easily edit the images as they please. This is one of the best tips for making stock images that might even improve your sales if you’ve neglected the resolution of your images so far.
6. The rule of thirds
If you’re a photographer, you probably know about the rule of thirds. You can divide your photo into thirds and see whether your subject intersects 2 perpendicular lines. You can always use editing software to better frame the subject by cropping the photo, but you should keep the rule of thirds in mind when taking the photo anyway. Don’t forget that you need the highest resolution and the best quality to edit your images.
7. Take a couple of shots every time
You’re using a digital camera, not film, so feel free to take as many shots as you want, the more the better. This will give you the option to choose the best picture, and if there are a few of them that you like, maybe they are a bit different, which could mean the world to your buyers. Don’t ever take only one photo, because more choices are always a good thing, both for you and your buyers.
8. Double check before sharing
Give your photos a detailed look over before you share them on stock photography websites. Make sure to look on the biggest screen you have and notice all the issues. Even the smallest imperfection could make your buyers give up on purchasing your photo, so double-checking is one of the most important tips for making good stock images.
9. Shoot from different distances and angles
I already mentioned that you should take a couple of shots, but don’t just take a shot after shot in the exact same way. Shoot from different distances and angles because this is crucial for stock photography. Maybe you took a beautiful picture of a desk with a laptop, but the advertiser wants the focus to be on the smartphone next to the laptop. This is why it’s important to take the same picture from different distances and angles – you never know what your buyers are looking for, and different ones will want different things to be in focus. Someone might be interested in what the laptop screen is showing while a furniture company will be interested in the desk. The more variety you provide for your buyers, the more buyers you’ll have.
10. Pick a type of photo
I know that you probably just want to shoot whatever you want, but deciding on a focus topic is important for selling stock images. It will increase your sales because the same buyers will look for your photos again. So, decide whether you’re a food photographer, travel photographer, or pick any other type of photo that you want, just make sure to choose a popular type that sells well, like the ones I mentioned. Learn more about how to make money with stock images and start making a profit by doing what you do best!