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Thread: Problems in taking stock photographs

  1. #1

    Default Problems in taking stock photographs

    I am interested to know what are some of the typical problems photographers faced when taking stocking photographs to sell.

    Personally, some of my problems include
    a) no suitable talent
    b) no suitable venue
    c) no suitable props
    d) no suitable attire
    e) insufficient lightings

    I mean, these are all problems which money can definitely solve (with the exception of perhaps venue). How about the rest?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Problems in taking stock photographs

    just some:

    keywording - takes loads of time to keyword
    developing of personal style and USP - need time to evolve...

    quality of pictures - some starters may think highly of their pictures but they aint seen nothing yet...

    hope these helps.
    Don't brag about your accomplishments; Show us your future works.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Problems in taking stock photographs

    Quote Originally Posted by JacePhoto View Post
    just some:

    keywording - takes loads of time to keyword
    developing of personal style and USP - need time to evolve...

    quality of pictures - some starters may think highly of their pictures but they aint seen nothing yet...

    hope these helps.
    very true..then they get pissed when pple comment negative on their shots..

  4. #4
    Senior Member Sion's Avatar
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    Default Re: Problems in taking stock photographs

    Quote Originally Posted by aoelof View Post
    Personally, some of my problems include
    a) no suitable talent
    b) no suitable venue
    c) no suitable props
    d) no suitable attire
    e) insufficient lightings
    Work out what you can shoot within your means and ability.

    It doesn't always have to need a model.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Problems in taking stock photographs

    Tx Sion, yes, very often we have to work within our means.

    What I am trying to find out here is do other people share the same kind of issues as me or are there more? Will just like to know for my own knowledge.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Problems in taking stock photographs

    Quote Originally Posted by JacePhoto View Post
    just some:

    keywording - takes loads of time to keyword
    developing of personal style and USP - need time to evolve...

    quality of pictures - some starters may think highly of their pictures but they aint seen nothing yet...

    hope these helps.
    Hi JacePhoto,

    agree with the points which you mentioned. Those are the "aftermath" of the photoshoot conducted. I think that selling the stock photographs taken is a totally new set of problems.

    But for the conducting of the photoshoot? Do you face any issues / problems which lead you to find your own set of solutions such that these can be solved to shoot what you want to shoot?

  7. #7
    Senior Member Sion's Avatar
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    Default Re: Problems in taking stock photographs

    Quote Originally Posted by aoelof View Post
    Tx Sion, yes, very often we have to work within our means.

    What I am trying to find out here is do other people share the same kind of issues as me or are there more? Will just like to know for my own knowledge.
    Yes we all have the same kind of problems.

    I shy away from taking shots involving models.

    However you can shoot editorial stock without having to secure model releases.
    Last edited by Sion; 3rd September 2009 at 02:16 PM.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Problems in taking stock photographs

    Shoot raw, avoid using in camera sharpening, get model release forms (if you are using models).

    Main points are pictures have to be technically perfect and cover "commercial" subjects e.g. at the spa, lab work, office life, etc. Just visit a stock photo site and check the most popular pictures to have a better idea about marketable subjects.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Problems in taking stock photographs

    Quote Originally Posted by Unloaded View Post
    Shoot raw, avoid using in camera sharpening, get model release forms (if you are using models).

    Main points are pictures have to be technically perfect and cover "commercial" subjects e.g. at the spa, lab work, office life, etc. Just visit a stock photo site and check the most popular pictures to have a better idea about marketable subjects.

    Yup. This is a good one. Your technique must be so good that no sharpening is used.
    Don't brag about your accomplishments; Show us your future works.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Problems in taking stock photographs

    Quote Originally Posted by aoelof View Post
    Hi JacePhoto,

    agree with the points which you mentioned. Those are the "aftermath" of the photoshoot conducted. I think that selling the stock photographs taken is a totally new set of problems.

    But for the conducting of the photoshoot? Do you face any issues / problems which lead you to find your own set of solutions such that these can be solved to shoot what you want to shoot?

    yup. Always. Each shoot leads to a solution to the previous (and the accumulation of more gears). Right now for me, photography is still an evolution process.

    For the problems, issues and how i rectified them, i actually documented it in my book 'Quantum of Light'.
    Don't brag about your accomplishments; Show us your future works.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Problems in taking stock photographs

    I have been doing stock photography for the past 3 years.. and initially i had the same exact problems listed by you guys. I had no idea what to shoot and where to shoot..i wanted to shoot lot of models but i had no idea how to start... but start i did.. How?

    Rule one is keep it simple.. dont over think and over stress yourself. Start small maybe say with one agency at a time and learn the dynamics of the stock industry. Research on things like what sell and what dont. Its not always necessary that pictures with models sell the best. Infact my top sellers are architecture shots. As for the model shoots.. i started by taking my own pictures in my room, then i made my brother a model and slowly my friends.
    So in my opinion, the hardest part is taking the first step, things will flow once you took your first step.

    If you want too have a look at my website www.ashwinphotosite.com and feel free to write to me if you require any advice
    Ashwin

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Problems in taking stock photographs

    in further to the questions raised, the other knowledge and insights gained (just to share) was when i am maintaining this local stock photo website... STOCK pictures, is to bring quality images to the business customer, bringing benefits to both parties. What i learnt as an administrator... is that the Customer is looking for CONVENIENCE. If this is not provided, you dont sell the pictures! I have listed the common things that do not provide CONVENVIENCE to the customer:

    - Dust spots - Even wedding photographers, semi-pro protographers send in pictures without checking their picture quality.
    - Pictures of no-commercial value - pictures of cats and dogs in HDB void deck... Why would people want pictures of those?
    - Pictures with no model release - not forgeting casual snaps in and around orchard road have no model releases.
    - Pictures that has been over-corrected - put yourself in the graphic designer's shoes, getting images that is over posterized/ over sharpened, how can you do editing/ photoshopping on such an image.
    - Low resolution - same point as aboved (this is why some stock websites specify the minimum type of cameras used).
    - Water Marking images - scared that the stock companies steal the photographs but in fact, prevent the sale of your own pictures in the end (this is inconveniening the customers). End day, just bear this in mind: Clients come to STOCK pictures, because of CONVENIENCE. If there is anything they still have to edit, correct, call up/ email and rectify, then forget it... They got no time for you...

    I replied another post about a model of having a 'port' with no clear frontal pictures of himself but the suggestion didnt rest with him well. Only people without real world experience would think that the clients would knock on your doors to buy your images.

    As for other questions like not having enough beautiful friends, venue or lightings to shoot, i would like to quote Zhang Jingna's (Zemotion). She said on her blog, when she first started out, she faced the same problem. All she could do was to ask friends to pose for her... So, isnt this what you may attempt to do as well?

    The other common problems when i first submitted for stock, I have listed other 'experience curves' here.
    Don't brag about your accomplishments; Show us your future works.

  13. #13
    KaroNowo
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    Default Re: Problems in taking stock photographs

    One of the major problems I have faced as a contributor is that my images are not "stock-oriented" or do not have any "commercial values". To make it simple: they are not images that are likely to be used in an advertisement.

    On the other hand, I deal with the designers who use stock pics in their projects. And it's true: you may be highly skilled and take stunning landscape photos, but this is not exactly what a photo buyer needs. Advertising industry (they buy a huge part of stock images) needs conceptual, stylized images - and usually they should depict people.

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    Default Re: Problems in taking stock photographs

    Quote Originally Posted by KaroNowo View Post
    One of the major problems I have faced as a contributor is that my images are not "stock-oriented" or do not have any "commercial values". To make it simple: they are not images that are likely to be used in an advertisement.

    On the other hand, I deal with the designers who use stock pics in their projects. And it's true: you may be highly skilled and take stunning landscape photos, but this is not exactly what a photo buyer needs. Advertising industry (they buy a huge part of stock images) needs conceptual, stylized images - and usually they should depict people.
    it depends, sometimes things like a car accident are just those simple but not-everyday shots that customers are looking for. And for those shots, i would say right time right place to be there is the key. Bring your camera with you everywhere you go, take things that are potentially useable perhaps even on a story telling point of view such as rushing legs during peak hour, taxis waiting in Q at the airport as some examples off hand. almost anything goes as long as you have your target audience in mind. The everyday pictures sells too

  15. #15

    Default Re: Problems in taking stock photographs

    Quote Originally Posted by sprintist View Post
    it depends, sometimes things like a car accident are just those simple but not-everyday shots that customers are looking for. And for those shots, i would say right time right place to be there is the key. Bring your camera with you everywhere you go, take things that are potentially useable perhaps even on a story telling point of view such as rushing legs during peak hour, taxis waiting in Q at the airport as some examples off hand. almost anything goes as long as you have your target audience in mind. The everyday pictures sells too
    but these everyday photos are oni applicable for editorial use only...and not for commercial sales...
    おれのflickrださ

  16. #16
    Senior Member Sion's Avatar
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    Default Re: Problems in taking stock photographs

    Quote Originally Posted by KaroNowo View Post
    One of the major problems I have faced as a contributor is that my images are not "stock-oriented" or do not have any "commercial values". To make it simple: they are not images that are likely to be used in an advertisement.
    Send the same photos to other sites and see what they say.

    "Not stock oriented" or "lack of commercial values" is often the term some QC inspectors like to use when they run out of reasons to reject your photos.

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    Default Re: Problems in taking stock photographs

    Some of my stock photos have received 5/5 ratings, and other usual comments such as "excellent composition, very nice, stunning etc. etc." BUT nobody buys it.

    the reason is simple, it might be nice to look at, executed 100% technically perfect, but if nobody has any use for it, who will wan to buy ur stock? U might have shot a brilliantly nice ultra super rare bird, but if there is no one in the world who requires ur picture, ur pic remains unsold.

    sometimes in life, its not wat u think it is, its wat the ppl think it is.. well, this is life.
    09 Oct 09 officially marks the date I become a canon convert.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Problems in taking stock photographs

    Quote Originally Posted by Sion View Post
    Send the same photos to other sites and see what they say.

    "Not stock oriented" or "lack of commercial values" is often the term some QC inspectors like to use when they run out of reasons to reject your photos.

    Sion 8-) and sometimes that exactly the problem. Stock is a business orientated visual industry and if the photo is incorrectly executed then even if its technically correct it will never sell. Been told that by my CD while working. Example some years ago some medium to big name nature photographers in the US found that their perfectly sharp/exposed flower pictures were being rejected by or not selling at all. The reason was that while perfect in technicallities they lack a sense of life, the ones with slight motion blur more arty pictures were what calendar industry was looking for.

    The biz is more than just shooting. Having worked in the industry I can safely say if you are a new one man outfit you got problems - too many hats to wear and work from. One person's skill set is never that good that you can be CD, AD, producer, biz manager, shooter, retoucher, & goofer as well. Most supplying to microstock can only shoot well within a narrow range to topics. It is not like in the 70's or 80's anymore, hookup with the right mamapapa outfit and they will guide you along. The big biz approach is if you are not up to speed, it's a call for the next one waiting in line.

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