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How to take stock photos that sell

9th August 2021   /   5 minute read

How to take stock photos that sell

There have never been so many options for selling your photographs as they are in 2021.

B2B, B2C, social media, stock photos websites, or prints are all great options to earn an extra income from your photography.

This article will suggest ways to maximize your stock photo income with creativity, professional photography techniques, and photo manipulation. So, if you want to become a better photographer and take amazing photos that sell, read further!

The best-selling stock photos

Stock photos are used for billboards, brochures, magazines, websites, posters, blog articles, newsletters, company social media posts, and so much more. Because of this, the demand for quality stock images has increased significantly in the past few years.

As a photographer, it’s a good idea to create collections of professional photography that are likely to bring you a profit in the long term and create a passive income source. There’s no winning formula to develop profitable stock images, but there are some key features that all bestsellers seem to share. 

Let’s have a look at them to know the types of photos that have a high demand.

Original and spontaneous stock photos

Today, you can find stock photos on any possible subject so, generic images won’t do the trick anymore.

Instead, our advice is that you research popular stock platforms like Shutterstock or Getty and see what others did before you and come up with different ideas or implementations on an idea. 

You don’t want your stock images to look exactly like everyone else’s, so don’t be afraid to be creative and innovate. 

Remember that staging authenticity is a difficult task, so you can start by observings people’s natural body language when interacting with each other, eating, or texting. This exercise will help you develop an eye for details.

Allow models to be themselves while taking photos and surprise candid moments and interactions. 

retouching images

Stock photos that follow trends and technology

Staying connected with what’s happening in the world, whether it’s the latest virtual reality technology, a social media event or a global problem will give you ideas to create relevant professional photography. 

As a topic becomes mainstream, the need for stock images increases. Keep in touch with world news and social media to anticipate market demand. While some subjects like office photos, pets, and mom-kid time are evergreen, others are on the rise - like veganism, LGBT rights, world pandemic, or endangered species. 

Shoot subjects that you’re familiar with

Let’s take your home town for example. If you’re a local, you know all the secret spots that make it unique. You can take photographs of landscapes or architecture from a new angle and give it another perspective. For example, there are thousands of photos of the Colosseum in Rome, but maybe a new angle will compose a spectacular new image.

Think like a marketer

Most of the time, stock photos are used in creating advertisements. This means the creative working with your photo will need space to add a copy or other graphics. Make sure your images don’t feature any brands and avoid clutter. Some great pictures for creatives are those with a minimalistic or even transparent background.

retouching images

Do you want to remove the background from your studio images?

Give PixelPro.Ai a try! This image editing tool will automatically remove the background from your pictures so you can upload them to your favorite stock photo platform in no time.

Take some time to research your keywords

The right keywording is one of the most critical aspects when trying to sell stock photos. Even if your images are amazing, if you make it hard for people to find them, you will lose many business opportunities.

Look how other photographers use keywords and think like a buyer. Then, analyze the kind of emotion or situation your images transmit (warmth, family, sadness) and try to explain in words what your image is about.

The recommended number of keywords is 20-25, but they all have to be relevant. 

Don’t go overboard with image retouching

As we discussed before, some of the bestselling stock photos look authentic. So airbrushing your model’s features too much, adding too much contrast or saturation can hurt your sales.

Keep image retouching and photo manipulation to a decent level, so your images will look natural.

Some brands are even looking for raw-looking images, so don’t be afraid to show some imperfections. 

Do you want more photography and image editing advice? Check out our blog


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