After dabbling in microstock photography over the last three years there are a few main things I have learned that I think are worth passing on. These are not specific to one area, but a random collection of things that I have to remind myself of every now and then and that help me as I work:
- preparation – This could include planning, shooting schedule, project lists, brainstorm notebook, find a system that works best for you and use it. I currently have a chart with ideas of what I want to shoot each week / month alongside a list and sketches of photo shoots I would like to do. This means I can browse through choose what suits for the season, time of day, weather and resources on hand.
- research – before setting a big photoshoot of something do some research and see if it will be worth your while. For example I could do a photo shoot of a beautiful chocolate cake but because there are 1/2 a million images to choose from on shutterstock it is less likely that my image will be found than if I shoot something more specific like chocolate mud cake which has less than 500 images.
- focus, focus, focus – always make sure your images are clearly focussed. I have folders full of images that I love in thumbnail version but when I zoom in to 100% the focus is a little off or the depth of field is too shallow making them unusable.
- do it well – I have spent hours leaning over sets that I have created trying to get the shot I wanted only to find that it is not what market is looking for. Good, simple well shot photos sell. We don’t have to be the biggest, best or greatest photographer out there, we just need to be good at what we do.