When you upload your images in stock photo sites, you will soon notice that you will have to place each image in a specific category so it is more convenient for the buyers to find the shots they are looking for. A little bit of browsing through these categories will give you a fair idea of your competition and also what buyers are looking for. Here is a list of popular categories and how your images can hook the interest of the buyer:
People – what better way to reach an audience than by depicting ethnic diversity. There is a high demand in photographs of different cultures, races, genders and creed, young or old, happy or sad. There is a consolidated universal need for such images. Clients prefer candid images to show the more authentic side of everyday life all over the world. Remember that candid does not mean ‘snapshot-ish’ but rather an unposed and more natural feel. When photographing people with recognizable faces, make sure you get model releases to be able to use the images commercially. Being in a natural setting would be ideal, but if you will be working in a studio with models, pay particular attention to details. Make sure that clothing, make-up and hairstyle complement each other and drive home the message you want to convey.
Abstract ideas – it is important that you know the types of abstract concepts that are being used in the market. You can use these as a basis for your creative ideas and add twists of your own. Images depicting concepts that are valued in the market are joy, fear, health, success, and tranquility. It is not easy to present an abstract idea in a visual and clear manner, which is why there is a big market for it. Abstract ideas can also cover a wide range of possible usage, which would mean a big client potential.
Food and drink – simplicity in food and drink photography is important. Keeping things as simple as possible and avoiding clutter in the shot will allow the viewer to focus on the actual subject. The other props in the photograph should merely support and enhance the dish rather than overwhelm it. Freshness is also a key element. Make sure that if you’re photographing fruits, vegetables or meat that they are absolutely fresh. Images of food that are usually served hot often look better with the inclusion of steam. It is difficult to capture real steam wafting from a hot dish since the dish itself might not be hot after hours of food styling. Fake food steam from a steamer works well as a substitute.
Abstract – these images are often used as backgrounds for magazine covers, or as pc wallpapers. Texture, shapes, patterns and colors play a big part in abstract images so utilize your composition techniques to show them off in an attractive way.
Technology and industry – with the steady growth of e-commerce and the internet being more popular than ever, images related to computers and online connections are a constant need in stock photography. Industrial shots are also popular, especially since the world is now very attuned to the effects of technology and industry to the environment. Avoid cliché shots such as computer sockets and wires since these have been done to death. Unless your image is presented in a more creative way, in which case cliché subject or not, it can still entice a buyer.
Business and commerce – with today’s society focused on work and making money, images of professionals talking on cellular phones and wearing Bluetooth earpieces, images of bills and coins, briefcases, office equipment, board meetings, and the like are very much in demand. Again, it is easy to fall into the trap of cliché shots here such as the businessman carrying a briefcase or a close up of a handshake. These images could be technically perfect but if the visual is too common, it can border on being boring. Try composing the shot in more unique way, maybe change your camera angle or add a prop to make it your own.
Travel – many travel photographs are used to illustrate many of the travel destinations and leisure spots and there is a never ending demand for new and unique images. You do not have to travel to far-off places to upload great shots. Your own environment will do since what is ordinary and a part of your own geography can be exotic to buyers who live in the other parts of the world. Images of your historical landmarks, of local culture and customs can be a hit so be sure to take photos for stock next time you go around your city or countryside.
Sports and action – sports are a big part of a people’s culture. Images of an athlete’s triumph and defeat bring out a sense of empathy in the viewer. Photographs depicting sports activities fill a need in the niche based market. If you have sports that are popular only in your country, take advantage of this fact by taking a lot of stock photos. There will not be much supply for it and you can be the photographer who can dominate that particular segment.
Holidays and celebrations – Every year there is a greater demand in images for the holidays such as Valentine’s, Christmas, Halloween and Thanksgiving. Clients have a never-ending need for a fresh source to illustrate every event for different purposes. The great thing about these events is that it is very visual, with all the décor and cheerful atmosphere that seems to envelop everyone. It wouldn’t be hard for you to take photos that are visually appealing and vibrant during holiday season.
Older adults and kids – Not many photographers like working with young children or seniors. As a result, there is an increase in the demand for clients to use stock photos for images of this kind. When taking stock photos of children and the elderly, make sure they are relaxed and comfortable with having their picture taken.
Health care – Any image in relation to the field of health care such as doctors, nurses, medicine, and the like are saleable since the market is still wide open for these kinds of images.
Nature – although extremely popular and with this category near to bursting with images, buyers cannot seem to get enough of nature shots. From insect shots to sunset shots over the ocean, this category is rife with images that appear very similar to each other. Creative composition and lighting are essential in this category if you want to be noticed.
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