Photos that sell on Microstock Photography Sites.
The number of microstock photo sites on the net is a clear indication of the huge demand for stock photos. Whether it is Rights Managed or Royalty Free photos, businesses all over the world are in need of high-quality photos.
Who is buying photos?
Advertising agencies and design firms need good quality high-resolution photos, books and magazine publishers need photos, web designers and bloggers also need quality photos. These are but just a few that constantly need photos.
And now that high-quality Royalty Free images are easily available from microstock agencies, nobody is bothered to hire a photographer to shoot photos; unless it is a specialized project.
Why are they buying photos?
The obvious reason is convenience and price. Now it is easy for anyone to go to a microstock photography site and buy a royalty free image for a few dollars. They can download it immediately and use it for almost any project without worrying about breaking any copyright laws.
It is so convenient.
For example, if a design firm needs a photo of an orange, it might be a bit of a problem to shoot it himself. Or if an advertising company in Britain need a photo of a pride of lion, it is easier to buy from the microstock photo agencies rather than going to Africa to shoot the photos.
Where are they using these photos?
Look around you. The books on your shelf, the calendar on your wall or desk, the recipe books, the posters in the malls, all of them need photos. A graphic design company will need photos to design flyers and brochures. There will always have demand for good photos.
What kind of photos is selling most?
Photos of people are the ones that are always in demand and most downloaded from microstock sites. People in the beach, malls, park, pub or in the office… are all in demand.
What makes an advertising agency or a publisher to buy a particular photo?
When an advertising agency or a publisher want to buy a photo, they most often will be looking at a few things as below:
Message: Every photo, especially photos of people should convey a message, a feeling and emotion. With just one glance, the viewer should know exactly what the photo is trying to tell.
Distraction free: A photo taken with a smartphone will come out in perfect sharpness. But this is not exactly what the buyer is always searching for, especially with portraits. They want to direct the viewer’s attention to the center of attraction. Look at the portraits on the microstock sites, the center of attraction will usually be in focus, with the surroundings beautifully out of focus.
Less is more: Often a close up is what it needs. It is not necessary to always include a face.
Variations: If you are shooting with a model, then shoot a wide range of poses and compositions of the model. See the picture below. Customer will find this convenient to select the one that suits his need.
Copy Space: When you take the photo, please keep this in mind; there should be a space for customers message on the picture. This is true for all pictures, not just for portraits. On photos for greeting cards or special purpose photos, sometimes you leave an obvious space (see pic 1) and on other photos provide an area where the customer can use to put his slogans or messages.
If you are just starting with microstock photography, then there are categories that don’t require you to spend even a cent. Flowers, birds, pets are a few. It may not have the same demand as for the ones with the people, but it will still sell and help you get started and make you familiar with various microstock agencies rules for accepting pictures.
What do you think? Share your story in the comments.