Stock Photography – Are you on the Buyer’s Schedule?

There is a commonly overlooked timing factor when shooting stock photography. Often times, photographers will take seasonal shots within the season itself like a box of chocolate in February and a snowy landscape in December. If you are looking to sell stock photography, this is the biggest mistake you can make. You’re too late!

A large market for stock photographers is the magazine industry where a photo buyer’s needs tend to be anywhere between 3-4 months earlier than the actual period. For example, a summer issue for a magazine needs to be written and prepared months in advance for it to be ready for a summer release. They need the shots when they are putting the magazine together, not once the final draft is being duplicated.

In order to assure your best chance at selling stock images, you have to get onto the buyer’s schedule and provide these seasonal shots much earlier.

January – Mid-March

Generally, this is when buyers are looking for materials for their spring issues. Get out there in the first few months of the year and start thinking of anything spring related:

  • Moving
  • Home Renovation
  • Gardening
  • Spring Cleaning
  • Spring Break
  • Weight Loss / Dieting / Fitness

Mid-March – May

When we start getting close to the second quarter of the year, magazines are already starting up on their summer issues. It may take some getting used to but get into the summer mind frame and take those shots!

  • End of the School Year
  • Vacations / Trips
  • Festivals
  • Summer Sports / Water Sports
  • Summer Apparel
  • Boating / Sailing
  • Restaurants / Dining
  • Outdoor Activities

June – Mid-August

When everyone else is enjoying their summer break, you need to be thinking of the Fall season and get these buyers what they need:

  • Back to School
  • Back to Work
  • Halloween
  • Thanksgiving / Family Meals

Mid-August – October

Take out the Christmas tree and decorations early if you have to but you need to start thinking of the holiday season at this point:

  • Christmas / Religious Holidays
  • Decorations / Traditions
  • Family Gatherings
  • Presents
  • Ways to stay warm
  • Winter Tools / shovels / snow blowers
  • Winter Apparel
  • Winter Sports / Snowboarding / Skiing

November – December

Enjoy the holidays but don’t forget to stay focused and get those buyers the shots they need for their upcoming Valentine’s and early year issues:

  • Valentine’s Day / Love / Relationships
  • Easter / Bunnies / Eggs
  • Sports / Football / Superbowl
  • Early Year Festivals

If you want to sell more stock images, you need to adapt your shooting habits and timing to accommodate the buyer’s needs. It may take you a little time to get into the groove and adapt to thinking of Valentine’s Day around the holiday season but the added sales will definitely make the effort worth it!

Happy shooting!

The Marketing Team

This entry was posted on Friday, August 27th, 2010 at 2:16 am and is filed under Articles, Business of Photography, Miscellaneous, Photography Genre, Stock Photography. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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