Let’s say you know you need milk. So, you go to the grocery store and, on the way to the dairy section, a guy stops you and says, “Hey, I want you to buy carrots!”
Would you suddenly want to buy carrots, just because he wants you to?
… no. In fact, you’d probably feel annoyed that he’s getting in the way of your milk run.
Stock photo agencies are huge, open marketplaces where thousands of buyers are searching for what they need. They won’t buy your photos just because you want them to.
But if you can get an idea of what buyers are looking for, you will likely sell a lot more photos.
The easiest way to do this is to “act like a buyer.”
It’s very simple. Just go to a stock agency and type a term in the search bar.
Some agencies to try are:
What do you like to shoot? Or what do you already have photos of? Try searching for those terms. For example, I just went camping by a lake with friends in Central Oregon.
So, I might search for “camping by a lake,” “camping in Oregon,” or “backpacking.”
Next, you’ll want to sort the results by popularity. When I do that, I can see all kinds of camping and backpacking photos that sell.
What you’re looking for is:
- Concepts to try (NOT photos to copy)
- Colors and styles that are popular right now
- Anything that’s missing – subjects that might be in need, but aren’t on the site, yet
That will help as you’re going through your images, deciding what to send in to agencies… AND it will help you plan out your next shoot, too.
Here’s to your stock photo success!