Building Your Foundation
"It's all very natural," I said to a fellow stock photographer when she questioned me about why one should specialize, in the stock photography field.
"We are all specialists, not only in our photography, but in everyday life."
Look at the magazines you subscribe to. They follow a theme, don't they? Open your garage door, or your storage area. Your belongings reflect a certain few themes -- perhaps gardening, fishing, wood working. Your clothing also follows a theme. So do your home's interior decoration and landscaping.
Same with your music and art preferences, or TV watching. They're all in a few specific themes. You specialize in your tastes.
If you look at the photos you've taken to date, they intrinsically follow some specific theme(s). You might gravitate to light and airy shots. Or your pictures might be dark with moody backgrounds.
Many beginning stock photographers start out by capturing scenics on their smart phones. Most of these scenes are not much different from typical post card views. As these photographers advance in competence, they develop a style. And it's this style that sets one photographer apart from another. It's a signature that makes you unique.
DISCOVER YOUR STYLE
Your pictures will speak to you. You have a specialized feeling for what you capture in your images.
Once you recognize your theme, or themes, it's time to refine your style and your content. But go easy on modifying anything abruptly. In some cases, you'll discover that some of your earliest photos are the best.
In regards to getting your photos “out there,” in the not-too-distant past about all that was available to you were exhibits and lectures. It was difficult to sell your photos yourself. Photobuyers like one-stop shopping, and they formerly opted for the convenience of a stock agency.
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The Digital Age of photography
and Internet communication has changed
all of this, and allows the individual
photographer to display pictures for
the world --and photobuyers -- to see:
DVDs, on-line services, personal
websites, text-centric sites, photo
sharing sites, blogs.
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You can be a part of it. If you focus your stock photography on a select few themes, you’ll have consistency, which will attract photobuyers who need your kind of stock photographs, due to their own theme focus, that matches yours. -RE
As an editorial stock photographer you are going to find much more enjoyment when you are photographing subject matter that you like to take. Learn more about how to sell photos at PhotoSource International and the PhotoSourceBANK, Pine Lake Farm, 1910 35th Road, Osceola, WI 54020 USA. Rohn Engh is director of and publisher of PhotoStockNotes. Email: info[at]photosource[dot]com Fax: 1 715 248 3800; www.photosource.com