Photo Tripping America

Shooting Stock Photos Suggestions #3

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Once you understand the camera settings that most stock agencies require, you can jump into shooting images specifically created for those agencies. Today we’ll cover some more suggestions on what types of photos are popular with stock photography companies so that you can get more practice in “shooting stock.”


Seasonal Themes

Taking random pictures is a sure way to have random sales.  If you are building a portfolio of images that can eventually create passive income, plan your photo shoots around seasonal and holiday themes.  It will make gathering props and lighting a lot easier in the long run.


Shooting Stock Photos - Christmas Lights on Old Chevy TruckWhy not take advantage of this year’s Christmas season to capture a series of images related to having the family home for the holidays?  Or shoot a series of images around all of the Christmas cooking, baking and decorating that occurs in kitchens across the country.  Don’t just pull out your camera to take one or two shots of the kids opening presents.  See how many different ways you can shoot one brightly wrapped package in the studio or in natural light from a window, utilizing different angles, perspectives and depths of field.


Kenosha Pass Fall Colors - Photo Tripping AmericaWhen Autumn rolls around here in Colorado, we have to fight for camera space in popular “color” destinations.  Make good use of that time and capture not only images of trees turning stunning shades of orange, gold and red, but other signs that indicate the seasons are changing…deeper forest shadows, leaves on the forest floor, hay bales in the field, etc.  Better yet, capture images of people enjoying activities in Fall, like picking through a pumpkin patch or a picnic in a grove of changing aspen trees.  Hot apple cider always denotes Autumn for me…


Keep in mind when shooting seasonal projects, that art directors, magazine editors and even blog artists will be looking for those images months before the real season arrives.  In other words, shoot this year’s season or celebration in anticipation of selling the images six months before next year’s season returns!



Italian Boys Legs - Photo Tripping AmericaCapturing “groups” can mean a variety of things:  groups of people enjoying the same activity, groups of items that belong together (or not), or groups of related subject matter.


Now that the world is literally brought to our doorsteps by the internet, most stock agencies want images of people that represent that colorful world.  Diversity in age, skin color, ethnicity, and religion creates images that will always be sought after.  Placing those people in diverse backgrounds will provide even more interesting photographs.


Shooting Stock Photos - The Lone Chili PepperDo you remember the children’s song “One of these things is not like the other?”  The very concept that song suggests can help you design enticing photo shoots.  Put together a group of like objects, then add one object that is very unlike the others.


Your homework for this week is to (1) shoot a series of images reflecting the season you are currently experiencing or a recent holiday, (2) in that series shoot some images with at least one person enjoying the season or holiday, and (3) create some images that reflect groupings, whether it be a group of people, plants, foods or stationary objects.  (4) Within that group, shoot a few images with one item being different from the others, and highlight it in some way.


Keep building your repertoire of image styles, using what you learned in the last list of suggestions with what you’ve learned here. Now you’re ready to move on to Shooting Stock Photo Suggestions #4!


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