What shall I take photos of?

July 6, 2009

As I have said previously, I consider myself a very average photographer. I have a Canon 400D with a couple of lenses and while I have read enough photography magazines to appreciate how to improve a photograph from a simple point and shoot, I still don’t have the mindset of a stock photographer. You know what the best way to learn how to shoot stock photography? Trawl through the catalogs of the various stock agencies. Have a look at what other people are shooting, and most importantly, what is selling. Without realising it, you will start to think differently about how to approach taking images. At this point, especially if you have looked at my portfolios, you are probably laughing at all this advice, coming from someone with hardly any sales and a tiny portfolio of decidedly below average quality. Well yes, I am hardly qualified to give advice, I am merely regurgitating what the experts keep saying, but compared to where I was even just a few weeks ago, I have found this advice has really started to make a difference to my images.

My current methodology is to look through the existing images on the agency’s books and try to find subjects that have little representation yet a high number of downloads on the better quality versions. I know the likes of istock are still saying they want business images but there are already billions of them and all done with a higher quality that I can hope to achieve at the moment. So while I would love to take an image of a group of office workers staring at a computer or shaking hands on a business deal, I have decided that this type of image is not for me. I find ideas come to me in unlikely situations, like when I am out buying a sandwich at lunch time. I have made myself a list and when I get time, usually at weekends, I try to shoot a couple and upload them. I think finding a niche is good way to get established. At the moment I am still looking.


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