Stock Photography Tips and Shooting Basics

July 2, 2014 Photography, General 0 Comments

When creating stock photos, always try to please potential buyers. These images get purchased by bloggers, magazine art directors, newspaper editorial departments and marketing companies, so keeping the images clean, simple and salable will help your images get picked up. Here are three stock photography tips to get you started in your photography career.

Sanford Brown Stock Photography Tips and Shooting Basics Photo Composition

Stock photos can show up in virtually any publishing format, and different publications will need different formats and sizes. That's why it's important to shoot the same subject a number of ways, offering the purchaser a choice. Start with the composition that's most pleasing visually, then do a vertical image with extra background space at the top (to accommodate a magazine's logo) and another frame with space on the sides (for text overlays in a newsletter). Keep the composition loose and allow the buyer to crop and modify the image for their specific needs.

Image Resolution

Unlike news photography or portraits, stock images may be printed as large as a billboard. Make sure your focus is sharp. Use a tripod to steady the camera to get the most crisp images possible. If you have a high resolution digital camera, use it on the largest JPG setting, or RAW mode, to get the highest quality image possible. When the photos are submitted to the stock agency, they will get priced based on the image resolution. If you offer a file big enough for large format printing, you can make more money. So, shoot big!

Photo Releases

Finally, if there are any recognizable people or public places in your stock images, you'll need to get permission to photograph them. Why? Because you're reselling photographs of these subjects and making money off their likenesses. Clearly state this in the paperwork. Use a copyright release form or property release form for each subject during a shoot, then make copies for the stock photo buyer and keep copies on file for yourself. You don't want a friend to be surprised when their face turns up on an ad for pimple cream, do you?

Have you sold your images to a stock photo agency? Share you best stock photography tips in the comments below for other Harrington College of Design readers.

Image source: Flickr


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