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6 Tips for Better Stock Photos

Creative Market March 29, 2024 · 3 min read

Stock photography can be a great way for both professional and amateur photographers to make a little extra money, or even a career. If you want to delve into the potentially lucrative world of stock photography, here are a few tips for taking photos that will sell.

Lose the Clutter

When you frame your shot, make sure that your subject stands out. Something like a speck of dirt to scratch on a table might be fine in some photography, but will stand out like a sore thumb in stock photography. Declutter your images and remove anything from the shot you think might be distracting to your viewer, or move the focus away from your subject.

Think Like an Advertiser

Stock photography is often used in advertising. That means advertisers might want room on the side of a subject to add text, or be unhappy if there’s another brand name featured in the shot. Look at your photo, think about how it might be used, and cater what’s in front of your camera to match that particular need.

Take a Few Different Shots

Take the same photo from a few different angles and with a few variations. An advertiser might really love a photo you took of an old man reading the paper, but really wants the focus to be on the coffee cup beside him rather than the paper itself. The same photo might also be a great fit for a reading glasses company that will instead want the focus on his spectacles. If you have a model posing for photos, try to take as many as you can. The more variety you can get, the better. You’ll sell more photos and get the most out of the time you’re sending with models.

Look for Imperfections

Your images might look great when scrolling through your photo album, but blow them up to full size and you’ll see a whole lot more. Before sharing any photos on a stock photography site, give them a detailed look over to make sure there aren’t any issues with them. Even the smallest issue can make a potential buyer decide not to purchase your picture.

Pick a Focus Topic

While it can be tempting to upload tons of different types of photos to stock photo sites, your best bet is to focus on taking stock photos of a particular subject. Focusing on a particular type of photo can help you get noticed on the site and can turn single image buyers into repeat customers.

Go Large

Advertisers will often need very large versions of your photos so they can edit them and use them as they need to. Be sure to take your photos at the largest resolution possible, and upload those high-res photos to the stock photo site you’re working with. Your potential clients will appreciate having the choice of buying several quality levels of the picture, and this small touch may end up helping you see more sales.

Popular Photos

To give you a better idea of what types of photos sell well, check out our popular photos section. Here are a few of our favorites that are trending at the moment.

Header image created using Don’t call me Nemo! and Steady.

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