Stock photography is sometimes overlooked by photographers, but it can be a surprising way of developing your craft.
Learn how to get started in stock photography and what you can expect from it!
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What is stock photography?
Stock photography is a term that describes images licensed for a specific use. Having gained popularity in the 20s, stock photography is nowadays embedded into the world of digital communication and online marketing.
In times where businesses can access wider and more diverse audiences via online advertising — but also where the competition for attention is high— there is now a greater need to acquire better quality imagery and at scale.
Stock photography platforms are the places where one can buy this type of media. The different existing websites will then differ on the price charged per photo, the contributors’ acceptance method, the contributors’ exclusivity requirements, and the degree of curation of the images, among others.
Why get started with stock photography?
If you are a photographer and haven’t tried stock photography yet, you should consider it as a powerful way of sharing your talent and a potential revenue opportunity. While it will require some effort and education from your side, there are good and solid reasons why you should give stock a chance.
1. Possible source of extra income
Stock photography can be a great source of extra income. You can upload your work to stock platforms and potentially earn money from existing content whilst creating new work.
Stock offers clients an option to license content when they are unable to produce it.
2. Additional exposure
When you place your work on stock platforms, you gain exposure to a whole new audience of global buyers. If you are a contributor on platforms like Adobe Stock, you can reach millions of clients and Creative Cloud users.
3. Insights on the industry
One of the main advantages of stock photography is that it can help provide you with insights into what clients are looking for and help you get inspiration regarding what to shoot.
Through Adobe Stock’s Discord channel, you can receive access to exclusive industry reports, trends, info guides, webinars and more. This way, you can plan your shoots ahead and make sure there is demand for your imagery.
4. Flexible schedule
Imagine no deadlines, no meetings, and no one telling you how to do your work. Stock photography provides you the chance to work according to your terms and pace. You can upload the content you want and when you choose to do it.
Even if you decide to produce custom content for stock, you are the one setting up your schedule, budget and guidelines. It’s up to you.
5. New clients
If you love to shoot custom content directly for clients, you don’t need to see stock as a mutually exclusive option. Promoting your stock portfolio can invite your new clients to dive into the richness and diversity of your collection and productions.
6. Release forms are provided
Stock photography can be quite strict when it comes to reviewing and validating your work in your portfolio. Images must be free of copyright issues, and in some cases additional permissions must be provided. In these cases, stock photography platforms can also help
you by providing model and property release templates for artists and models to
fill out and sign.
Contributor Insights | Bernard Bodo
Bernard Bodo is a Cherrydeck photographer and Adobe Stock contributor from Novi Sad, Serbia. Armed with his lens, he strives to create story-driven lifestyle photography.
Previously a graphic designer, Bernard used to describe himself as the middle man between the client and the photographer. Frustrated with the position, he grabbed a camera and adventured into the photography world. Today, he’s a passionate photographer creating compelling images for a range of global clients.
Tips to get started with stock photography by Bernard Bodo
“Consistency is the most essential. Shoot, edit and submit photographs to the stock agency and do the process on a regular basis, continually. That is the most effective way to improve your skills and find your own style.”
“Try to think like a customer while developing concepts and ideas. Visualize all the places where your photos can potentially show up, and keep in mind that those photos need to have commercial value.”
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