Blog van het beeldbureau Imageselect
If you not only love to take pictures but also have a good technique, then you must have thought of selling your pictures at least once. It is widely believed that it is almost impossible for an amateur photographer to make money from their hobby - but of course, this is not the case. Original, high-quality, and beautiful photos can find its buyer regardless of the subject. And yet, some photos scatter almost instantly, delighting their author with new sales, while others can wait a long time for the finest hour. In the experience of people who are well versed in the field, stock photography is the place for “fresh and simple” mid-range photography. Tip: It is highly desirable that your photos look good in miniature. In order for pictures to be the best selling and original, it is very important that the thumbnails are clear and on the search results page your work stands out from other images.
High-quality and even highly artistic photographs are not always sold on microstock successfully. Why? It's simple - every image offered for sale must have commercial potential.
A commercial photo is not just a snapshot, but a product that can be profitably sold.
The commercial potential of photographs is expressed in the possibility of using these images. Each photo is bought for specific purposes: advertising goods and services, posting on thematic sites, printing in the media, and much more.
The commercial value of photographs consists of three main components:
the right topic
Three key features of all photographs
Best-selling pictures have three main components, each of which has a big impact on the popularity of images among buyers.
Choice of topics. It may be a suitable model or item; an object located in some context that expresses some idea; something abstract that only gains meaning when used in a suitable context.
Execution. How well you shot the photo and how you used your skills to convey a mood or idea. Lighting to create the necessary atmosphere, using light or dark colors, choosing the focus of the image to emphasize a moment.
Keywords and description. With their help, you can further emphasize the meaning of your photo and allow buyers to find it when they search on the site.
Another feature is that hot topics attract a lot of photographers, and new content on those topics is loaded every second. Avoid clichés and add to your portfolio only those works that offer a new perspective on familiar things, to avoid getting lost among thousands of such pictures. You can also draw attention to your photos with the help of the author's retouching.
I would like to dwell on the choice of the subject of the image in more detail, since many believe that this is the most important element. In fact, the "idea" that you have even before you start working on a photograph. At the same time, without good design and the correct selection of keywords, even pictures with good topics will not become the best selling.
What types of photos are selling best?
Photos with people are the most popular goods on photo stocks. As you walk through the city, turn around - faces are everywhere. And now we are not talking about the faces of passers-by, but about those who are looking at us from billboards, stands, shop windows, and so on. Now pick up a glossy magazine or just a small booklet - the story is the same. Any business and advertising constantly need new faces.
It is worth noting that the usual portrait photography "for a passport" is not the place for stock photography. Faces expressing emotions are in demand: a happy girl, a man in thought, a sad child ... People standing at attention are also not an option. Action, movement, lifestyle - that's what photo stocks need. An excellent example would be indoor photography: a beautiful athletic girl in the office, a tired young man shifting papers in the office, a happy family resting in the park.
Stock photos of most frequently searched dishes and products
You can leave these photo sessions in case of unexpected downtime. Food images get instant feedback in creating an audience environment. Unsurprisingly, food images are not only bought from stocks by those who have anything to do with cooking or food production. Popular subtopics include healthy eating, cooking, ingredient selection, and vegetarian diets.
Sports and a healthy lifestyle
Pictures of healthy, energetic, and cheerful people, like pictures of happy families, generate positive associations in the minds of their current and future clients. These can be photographs of professional athletes, as well as amateur athletes, photographs of several generations who went out together on a morning run, as well as illustrations of rare sports.
To be the best selling pictures, they must express some idea, even if it is just a photograph of a "wilderness" or "field". In order not to be completely unfounded, we want to emphasize several obvious recommendations that are useful when shooting natural and city landscapes.
Just green grass under a blue sky (i.e. a bright, sunny landscape) can be bought for use as a backdrop in various advertisements.
The same is true for the simplest winter landscapes, but New Year and Christmas themes are added to them - announcements of some sales, for example. Therefore, such pictures should not be neglected.
Any landscapes with people greatly increase the interest of buyers in them, in comparison with the same landscapes without people. Even if people are far away, only silhouettes. If they're in the foreground (and have model releases on them), that's great.
Landscapes, by which it is impossible to understand exactly where it was filmed, are in greater demand than those with an explicit geographic reference. It's simple - they are versatile.
If you can draw, you might consider selling illustrations. Illustrations have good sales potential as they provide fresh ideas, but at the same time, they will become very out of date in a few years. Some types of photographs are already outdated, such as photographs with hairstyles or some technology. But every time you think of illustrations, always imagine how they will look ten years from now.
Icons and navigation button sets for websites are also popular, but they take quite a long time to create compared to photographs.
So what photos sell best?
On the microstock only sells stock photo. It has its characteristics and its own rules, and most importantly - its purpose. The task of the photo is not just to please the eye, its task is to be useful to someone in use. You need to focus on the types of photos that are for sale or currently in demand, and then meet that demand to generate a more stable income.