How to Win at the Stock Image Publishing Game

I discussed how your images can earn you some money in a previous post and feel that the topic of stock image publishing should be revisited, this time with more of a focus on getting ahead in what is essentially becoming a very competitive sphere. With thousands of people realising just how easy it can be to upload a few of their pictures and earn some good money through each download on platforms like Shutterstock, iStockPhoto, Shotshop, etc., it’s becoming a rather competitive market, but there are some basic fundamentals you can effect to make sure your images stand out firstly, but perhaps most importantly, are so-called “money images” — those images which people want to use as stock imagery.

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Learn Some Editing Skills

Basic editing skills will do, but learning how to edit and manipulate graphics with something like Photoshop can become very addictive, to the point where you can even create graphics that are popular amongst publishers seeking stock imagery. The basics will do for now though, like perhaps blurring the background around the main focus of the image, adding or subtracting shadows which look out of place, reducing the noise of a particular photo, etc. The more advanced your editing skills are however, the more sellable images you’ll be able to create and upload.

Use Your Real Name

It’s not so much about making a name for yourself (well it perhaps partially is), but more about opening yourself up for direct requests for custom stock image projects. That is if you’re more than just a contributor to stock image sites and you perhaps have some graphic design skills or photography skills you can sell directly. If you use the same name on those platforms as you do on something like your portfolio website, publishers can contact you directly to perhaps get some regular work in sourcing or creating custom stock images and graphics for them.

Get the Right Equipment

With specific regards to learning some editing skills, you need to have the right equipment if you’re serious about getting ahead in the stock imagery market. The smartphone camera versus DSLR camera debate brings to light the many pros and cons of each of these choices in equipment, but you likely already have a smartphone, so get a DSLR camera as well. Some really good DSLR cameras available from the likes of Clifton Cameras will produce clearer pictures than what even the best camera in a smartphone can produce, with these types of images proving to be much easier to edit or rather not needing all that much quality-editing. You also won’t be stuck with only the digital zoom offered by a smartphone, but some of the best-selling stock images are those which involve a bit of motion — the motion of people to be precise.

The bigger sensor and quicker shutter of a DSLR camera makes it perfect for capturing those particularly popular stock images involving some people jumping up in the air as an expression of joy and/or freedom for instance, and it’s in those tiny details wherein you can get a real competitive edge to get ahead in the stock image publishing game.