Already got hard drives full of impressive imagery? You could make a killing with stock photography...
WHEN papers, magazines and websites need an image, they often don’t have the time or budget to commission a pro
photographer. In these instances, editors often turn to stock websites, where there’s always a wide selection of images for specific subjects. For example, if a story calls for an image of a specific flower, stock sites such as Alamy and Getty will have a strong supply of such subjects. Most stock sites allow instant sign-ups, while others review your work before publishing images on their sites.
Be aware that stock sites take a percentage of any sale, which cuts down on profits. It can certainly pay to do some research on different stock sties and work out which gives the best deal for the photographer. Percentages range from 60/40 in the photographer’s favour, to 80/20 in the stock site’s favour. In recent years newer stock sites, such as 500px, have offered better rates.
2 Hig h qua lity
Stock sites all have strict quality control procedures , which may force you to change how you work. Requirements for minimum image size mean you can’t simply crop in on an image, as it could well fall below the acceptable file size quota; so if you’re the sort of snapper who shoots fast and loose and fixes the composition in Photoshop, you may have to change to a more disciplined workflow.
3 Excessive retouching
Like restrictions over file size, many stock sites have guidelines over how much retouching can be done to an image. In the main, colour, contrast and sharpener enhancements are tolerated, but effects like dropping in a new sky are simply not allowed.
4 Caption info
When it comes to stock photography, a great image is not enough. To accompany the photo, you must also add key information about the subject, where it was taken and other details that will make it easy for a buyer to source exactly the sort of image they need.
TOP AND Abo ve The skill in creating effective stock photography is finding creative ways of communicating topics that affect lots of people. This ‘captioning’, as it is known, can take a long of time, so it must be factored into your workflow. One useful technique is to set up a number of keywords in Lightroom, which can be added to each image as you import it. Once added, they become part of the images’ metadata – info about the camera, lens, exposure settings and so on.
Stock images need captions, so photographers looking to make money from this genre of photography need to be aware of the extras stock websites demand from you.