Stock photography is a speciality that most photographers know about, but only a portion of the community specialises in. That’s no surprise because it isn’t something you can easily execute, but that doesn’t mean you should feel deflated if you are looking to start a career in it.
Demand for content is at an all-time high by businesses in Asia as spending on campaigns go up. More and more brands, media and agencies are looking to use stock images available on visual marketplaces as they are easy to find, affordable and can be used across many different platforms.
PIXERF is a marketplace that focuses on Asian stock content and many of our photographers are earning a decent living from it. Today, we share some tips and tricks on how you can get started on the right foot and start licensing stock content to businesses in Asia and beyond.
#1 Get ahead of the trends, know what everyone is buying
Stock content, like anything in the visual space, follows trends and demands. There could be many factors that determine trends – from Instagram, trending topics and discussions on social media, to a certain look set by the creative, visual or fashion industries. For example, ‘diversity’ and ‘multi-ethnicity’ are some buzzwords floating around visual content trends. Brands prefer warm lighting and images that are not over-produced. Staying ahead of the trends and knowing what is popular helps you to produce sellable content.
#2 Plan your budgets, stretch your dollar
Setting up stock image shoots doesn’t have to be expensive. You don’t need to get the most expensive talents, best wardrobe or props. Some of the best selling stock images on PIXERF are simple flat-lay food shots with some styling. Shoots can even be done in a non-studio environment, such as your home. It’s all about post-production. Can’t afford talents? Approach friends and family. Simple set ups, multiple situations, big opportunities.
#3 Choose at least one speciality
There are multiple categories and industries when it comes to stock photography. Finding those which are in demand is the first step; the second is choosing the ones that you can execute regularly and at reasonable speed. Don’t have access to a studio? Then photography genres that require intensive lighting and props may not be the most suitable. Don’t have the budget or access to models? Go with something that requires affordable props. Let the post-editing do the magic.
#4 Be everywhere, at once
The marketplace model is growing more popular with photographers because it allows them to retain the rights to their images and enables the assets to sit on multiple platforms. This increases visibility and expands their network. It also increases the chances of them being licensed multiple times. On PIXERF, we focus on Asian visual content, so it is a great place for photographers to upload images from and around the region, because that is what our buyers are looking for.
#5 Have an ‘agency’ mindset
It’s not good enough to simply shoot stock. Now, creators of these assets need to know how they are going to be used. You almost need to put yourself in the creative shoes of agencies or businesses that do execute these kind of campaigns. How much ‘white space’ do they need? What kind of models are great for certain types of products or services? What kind of colour grading or style are creatives focused on now? Being able to answer these questions will help tremendously in the long run.
We hope these pointers can help budding or even current stock photographers or videographers up their game and do better in this particular industry. Are you a creator with more questions? Don’t hesitate to drop us an email at email@example.com. We will be happy to help!