Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Stock Photography

A small sampling of my most recent stock photos on 123RF, one of 4 sites my stock photos are available for download for a fee.....Of the many genres in photography, I enjoy doing macro and landscape photography for stock, black and white street/documentary photography/medium format film for me.

Microstock photography business is rather different in that photos that sell well may not be the most awe inspiring ones, and you don't really need 20 megapixel DSLR to start. Rather, buyers look for images that can used on their blogs, ad brochure, print media, book cover to illustrate a point, convey a message. They often will do additional post processing work, cropping out something they don't want, merging with another photo to make a collage. It is more important to have a crisp sharp shot, where point of focus is well thought out. I highly recommend if you are doing macro photography to always use a sturdy tripod. Although good stock photos are often isolated in white, they don't always have to be so as you can see from my screenshot below. I always keep a small journal and collect photo ideas from magazines before I throw them away, I find that very useful when I am searching for ideas.

To go to my 123RF stock photo page, click here

register at 123RF as buyer/contributor

Need a cool gift? check out my CafePress stores:

Stock Photo Tear Sheet

Now this first one (left) I am pretty excited about, the cover of a magazine !!! something to do with Spanish debt and the looming Euro sovereign debt crisis. This was a shot I took early morning in Playa del rey. Varsity canoe teams were having their Saturday morning practice and I caught them in action going down Balboa Creek canal.

The second photo below (top right) came from a trip to Rodeo Drive and Beverly Hills a few years back. Trendy shoppers and fancy boutiques make for good photos. I managed to shoot quite a few stock worthy photos, and many made it to web pages and travel sites.

It is much easier to find one's photos these days. Google recently added a pretty cool Image Search feature, one only has to drag a photo and drop into the search box and viola, a list of links where that image is used appears. Superb tool! It allows a photographer to find where an image is being used quickly (hopefully the image had been downloaded and paid for and used within licensing guidelines). It also makes it easier to check if the image might be used without permission. Using this new Google Image search feature, I have been able to find where my images are used and save the links and screen shots for my own reference.

This last one below was from a more recent shoot, a simple make shift studio set up, with daylight bulbs and shades I bought from Home Depot. It was one of those days, I was looking for things to shoot, and have been staring at the measuring tape on my writing desk (mustard yellow in color, can't remember where I got it from though)... Hunting for a second object from my kitchen to make a theme, I settled on a large measuring round spoon...and an image was born.

Have had over 2000 downloads from three stock photo sites since I started doing stock photography, not too shabby I suppose. Seeing where an image is used (or could be used) and the context in which it is used gives me good feedback, and makes me a better stock photographer. Has the income paid for my camera equipment you ask? Not just yet, getting close though and I have stopped buying more equipment so I can get caught up (if my equipment does not break down before then). I have a modest set up, Canon 10D, a good macro, medium telephoto lens and wide angle lens, tripod, home made studio light set up and some accessories, I prefer natural/subtle light.