Promote Yourself with Stock Photography
by Amy Renfrey
Do you own a “prosumer” camera? Are you one of those people often referred to as an enthusiastic amateur? If so, you should consider using stock photographic sites to begin promoting your work.
This is something far more challenging than it might initially sound. Consider that you could have the most professional quality photographs, but if you don’t select the proper subjects and then pair them up with appropriate “keywords” to describe their relevance, they could be lost in a sea of similarly themed images.
How do you figure out which sort of photographs you should be taking and submitting? Generally, you should visit a handful of the stock photographic sites and use their online tools to see their most “popular” or frequently downloaded images.
Then, don’t take any sort of pictures in these categories. Instead, do what all successful business people do and find a “niche” to fill. For instance, if you really like to do travel photography you might want to look through the available images, see the ones that appear in droves, and find an area not being taken well care of. Consider nature, people, and lifestyle photographs while developing travel destinations photographs.
Additionally, it is a good idea to consider individual subjects or objects instead of overall scenes and frames. For instance, a graphic designer might be looking for a great photo of a single chess piece, a fork, or a wheel from a car.
This sort of photographic work can be creative and challenging, but also fill a definite niche. When creating portfolios of this kind you will soon see a regular number of designers using your work.
Remember that these are sites that rely on photographs specifically for use in publications, websites, and business more than almost anything else. This means that you really have to begin gearing your photographs to meet such needs.
This translates to a level of professionalism that you may not yet have perfected, but which you can get a good sample of by browsing through the popular downloads.
In addition to selecting the right subject matter and taking top-notch photographs you will also have to understand the terms under which you are releasing these images for widespread usage.
For example, no one gets rich immediately from their success at such sites, and some photographers wait several years before a profit on their work is realized.
In the meantime, however, they are perfecting their skills, beginning to master the sort of subjects that are “hot” or selling well, and getting to know which of the sites are better matched to their skills and needs.