- Focus on developing a personal style.
Yes, successful stock photographers largely focus on creating usable imagery with a wide potential range of appeal. However, this hardly means there’s no room for creativity. In fact, the most successful stock photographers in the world have really mastered a couple of domains and developed styles that are not only useful, but truly distinctive.
That said, it’s important to understand that buyers are always looking for fresh, unique, authentic photography to purchase. Commit to becoming the absolute master of whatever image niche you occupy best and generating images that can’t help but stand apart from the competition. Keep the bar you set for yourself really high as well.
- Watch out for logos and brands.
If there’s one thing the average fledgling stock photographer learns a little too late, it’s to always be wary of trademarks, branding, and logos. Otherwise you face having otherwise marketable photos rejected more often than not. Brand names, logos, and branded graphics are intellectual property that belongs to the manufacturer of the product in question. No stock photo containing that material is commercially licensable.
That said, become hyper aware of such branding in the images you shoot. In the event capturing a branded graphic or a logo is unavoidable, be prepared to spend some time removing it in post-editing later on.
- Don’t forget to market yourself.
All successful photographers have one very important thing in common regardless of the type of photography they specialize in. They not only market themselves, but they make marketing a top priority. Sinking money into advertising is certainly one way to do this, but it’s not the only one, nor is the most effective.
Successful stock photographers aren’t just great at getting their best images in front of the right sets of eyes. They’re also thought leaders that have managed to build loyal followings of their own. If you’re serious about being a stock photography success, you’ll want to do the same at some point. Consider writing about your shoots, tricks of the trade, experiences, and everything else you’ve learned. You can publish your writings on your own blog, submit articles to other publications, or both!