What to Photograph for Stock Photography

Updated: May 28, 2019

How and What to Shoot Effectively for Stock

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Stock agencies for photo and video

Shutterstock https://shutr.bz/2HTf8yuDeposit

Adobe Stock https://stock.adobe.com/

Pond5 https://www.pond5.com/

After being in the stock photography industry for 10 years, I have learned what’s best to shoot for stock photography and footage, and how to increase the possibility of licensing of stock media

Traveling for Images

When I first started shooting for stock purposes, I mainly shot landscapes and scenes that were unique to locations, which required lots of traveling. I would take lots of trips to scenic places, which would bear plenty of good material, but the costs of these trips caused me to operate at a loss, and I couldn’t make the money back on these trips. I continued this process for about two years, and I had realized that it would prove to be impossible to get any shots that could be licensed if I didn't have knowledge of the area- I wouldn’t know where the best places were to shoot, what was interesting in the area, or the best time to shoot. Shooting a little bit while on vacation is always good as I always make it a habit to take my camera everywhere I go, so shooting while traveling at your convenience is the best way to get shots far from home.

Shooting Locally

I began to travel to places near me, such as farmers markets or local neighborhoods to try to combine interesting places and locality that I could easily get to. As I did this, I learned that as I began shooting in more familiar, closer places I would have much more success in stock. However, traveling, whether near or far, has its own issues when shooting for stock. There is a certain unpredictability of what you’ll be able to shoot, or if you are able to get useful shots from what’s available. Combined with the costs of travel, even when traveling locally, sometimes shoots would operate at a loss due to the unpredictability.

Capturing Real Life

Through this, I have learned what is most effective for getting material for stock- photographing what’s most near to you. Even in daily life, though it may seem mundane to one, holds plenty of opportunities for successful stock shoots. As prices for photos and videos drop, it becomes important to not spend too much time or money on setting up for shoots. The fewer resources you spend on a shoot, the higher your chances of making a profit from the photoshoot. Shooting real-life people doing real life things is extremely accessible and efficient for stock, as those images tend to be more in demand. Over the years, I have found that the images I shoot with my family turn out to be my most popular images.

How to Know What to Shoot

It is important to understand what’s needed in terms of images. Everyday hobbies, my family, or traveling holds lots of value in stock, as these types of images are what’s in demand. Staged shoots and heavy setups are inefficient and have proven to not be needed. The best way to discover what’s needed in terms of stock is to listen and pay attention to everything around oneself, such as the news or what’s popular. I listen to the news while preparing for shoots, to learn what’s happening in the world and trends in technology and culture. Knowing what you need to shoot is important as it gives you a chance to be ahead of the curve in providing images for topics and things that will grow to be popular.

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