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Author Topic: Tips on generating ideas for stock  (Read 9713 times)

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SME

« on: June 04, 2013, 02:51 »
0
I basically have all the gear I want and need, and am a contributor on most agencies. However aside from food and general objects on white I find it hard to come up with ideas for stock photos.

Do any of you have any methods or tips or activities that may assist me in coming up with ideas?

Like looking at other stock photos and generating a unique variation? Something that provides results, because it's becoming frustrating!


« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2013, 03:20 »
+1
You could look into concepts.
Take a look on the headlines in the media:

Rain, flooding, police, arrest, climate, politician, .... whatever
there are many concepts that come op regularly.
Some of them can be photographed.

« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2013, 03:49 »
+1
I basically have all the gear I want and need, and am a contributor on most agencies. However aside from food and general objects on white I find it hard to come up with ideas for stock photos.

Do any of you have any methods or tips or activities that may assist me in coming up with ideas?

Like looking at other stock photos and generating a unique variation? Something that provides results, because it's becoming frustrating!
Finding things that will sell is the hard bit and the also the thing that people are least likely to help you with.  Look at adverts, magazines etc and see what is being used.

« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2013, 05:15 »
0
An easy way to get inspired is to look at the most popular images in different agencies. You should not copy particular images, but search for ideas there.

« Reply #4 on: June 04, 2013, 05:16 »
+10
I basically have all the gear I want and need, and am a contributor on most agencies. However aside from food and general objects on white I find it hard to come up with ideas for stock photos.

Do any of you have any methods or tips or activities that may assist me in coming up with ideas?

Like looking at other stock photos and generating a unique variation? Something that provides results, because it's becoming frustrating!
Finding things that will sell is the hard bit and the also the thing that people are least likely to help you with.  Look at adverts, magazines etc and see what is being used.

Yeah, it's easy to sign up and buy equipment.  Harder to create.

SME

« Reply #5 on: June 04, 2013, 06:39 »
+2
Yeah, it's easy to sign up and buy equipment.  Harder to create.
Very helpful.

Thanks for the other suggestions though. Still finding it hard however.

« Reply #6 on: June 04, 2013, 06:47 »
0
The best thing you can do is shoot the things you know a lot about.  I know absolutely nothing about sports, so that subject is taboo for me.  But if you (or some one in your family) have a hobby (music, ballet, gardener), profession (baker, farmer ...) of special interest, then you are likely to make better photographs of that subject than anybody else, and you don't even have to do any research!   Then, after shooting the subject on white, start shooting it "in action" or against the background where it belongs.

SME

« Reply #7 on: June 04, 2013, 06:52 »
0
The best thing you can do is shoot the things you know a lot about.  I know absolutely nothing about sports, so that subject is taboo for me.  But if you (or some one in your family) have a hobby (music, ballet, gardener), profession (baker, farmer ...) of special interest, then you are likely to make better photographs of that subject than anybody else, and you don't even have to do any research!   Then, after shooting the subject on white, start shooting it "in action" or against the background where it belongs.
Hey thanks, that's a good suggestion. I guess my hobbies are computers and gadgets, so it is limiting in that sense, but yeah, I can expand on other things.

« Reply #8 on: June 04, 2013, 07:05 »
+3
Go for a walk or a bike ride and take your camera with you. It can be in the city, the suburbs, industrial areas or in the countryside. There are stock opportunities everywhere ... you just have to have your eyes open to see them.

I liken it to 'seeing' $50 or $100+ banknotes lying around, that are invisible to most people, but obvious to the alert stock photographer and just waiting to be picked up for free.

As well as being an enjoyable and healthy way to spend some time, it can often be surprising lucrative. I have done many such walks/rides that have netted me over $1K in sales over the next few years.

« Reply #9 on: June 04, 2013, 07:07 »
0
Not sure where you are from but I sometimes breeze through junk mail.  It's usually full of stocky kind of images. Finding your own calling is the key to success.  A large percentage of concepts are spoken for and while you are still welcome to shoot them you are competing with the already successful ones.  To be different it's really an issue of equipment, skill, creativity, salability and, in the case of some shooters, getting their feet into site locations (stadiums, airports, etc.).

« Reply #10 on: June 04, 2013, 08:08 »
+2
People have a tendency to photograph pretty things:
Pretty flowers, pretty, women and pretty landscapes.

But it can help you to do the opposite.
Fx "broken". Photograph everything broken: broken glass, flat tire, broken piece of wood etc.....
or everything rotten.
Those pictures also sell and they are not so abundant as the pretty ones.

Just make sure, as usual with stock photos, that your compose the image so it supports the keywords you have photographed.

SME

« Reply #11 on: June 04, 2013, 08:22 »
0
People have a tendency to photograph pretty things:
Pretty flowers, pretty, women and pretty landscapes.

But it can help you to do the opposite.
Fx "broken". Photograph everything broken: broken glass, flat tire, broken piece of wood etc.....
or everything rotten.
Those pictures also sell and they are not so abundant as the pretty ones.

Just make sure, as usual with stock photos, that your compose the image so it supports the keywords you have photographed.
That's a great idea, and i myself was leaning that way too.

« Reply #12 on: June 04, 2013, 08:34 »
+1
People have a tendency to photograph pretty things:
Pretty flowers, pretty, women and pretty landscapes.

But it can help you to do the opposite.
Fx "broken". Photograph everything broken: broken glass, flat tire, broken piece of wood etc.....
or everything rotten.
Those pictures also sell and they are not so abundant as the pretty ones.

Just make sure, as usual with stock photos, that your compose the image so it supports the keywords you have photographed.

I agree, but not so much for Fotolia. They seem to prefer new, pretty things. At least, that's my experience.

« Reply #13 on: June 04, 2013, 08:39 »
0
Go for a walk or a bike ride and take your camera with you. It can be in the city, the suburbs, industrial areas or in the countryside. There are stock opportunities everywhere ... you just have to have your eyes open to see them.

I liken it to 'seeing' $50 or $100+ banknotes lying around, that are invisible to most people, but obvious to the alert stock photographer and just waiting to be picked up for free.

As well as being an enjoyable and healthy way to spend some time, it can often be surprising lucrative. I have done many such walks/rides that have netted me over $1K in sales over the next few years.
this is what i do and really love to do. Even my backyard has given some good sellers for my port. Even though i go on ride in the same routes i keep getting new stuffs for my port. I really find this refreshing as well.

« Reply #14 on: June 04, 2013, 08:43 »
+1
and again, there are other approaches to producing more images.

Lenses.
Fx take a macro lens and crawl through the forest undergrowth with your belly on the ground.
That would give you a shot per meter you crawled.

OR take a long tele and take a walk in the city, then photograph a hand on a purse, a hand on a cup of coffee, a fat ladys foot or a man scratching his ear.

Or perspective
Take everything from below, like the before mentioned hand with a cup of coffee.
Or from above.

When I do studioworks with models, I have found ou,t that in my composites I need more people taken from the back than from the front, so i try to forget the pretty faces and remember to take them from the back..
« Last Edit: June 04, 2013, 08:46 by JPSDK »

WarrenPrice

« Reply #15 on: June 04, 2013, 08:59 »
0
and again, there are other approaches to producing more images.

Lenses.
Fx take a macro lens and crawl through the forest undergrowth with your belly on the ground.
That would give you a shot per meter you crawled.

OR take a long tele and take a walk in the city, then photograph a hand on a purse, a hand on a cup of coffee, a fat ladys foot or a man scratching his ear.

Or perspective
Take everything from below, like the before mentioned hand with a cup of coffee.
Or from above.

When I do studioworks with models, I have found ou,t that in my composites I need more people taken from the back than from the front, so i try to forget the pretty faces and remember to take them from the back..

Great info.  And, the macro is good for photographing the poison ivy I got crawling thru the woods.   :D :D :D

« Reply #16 on: June 04, 2013, 09:31 »
0
and again, there are other approaches to producing more images.

Lenses.
Fx take a macro lens and crawl through the forest undergrowth with your belly on the ground.
That would give you a shot per meter you crawled.

OR take a long tele and take a walk in the city, then photograph a hand on a purse, a hand on a cup of coffee, a fat ladys foot or a man scratching his ear.

Or perspective
Take everything from below, like the before mentioned hand with a cup of coffee.
Or from above.

When I do studioworks with models, I have found ou,t that in my composites I need more people taken from the back than from the front, so i try to forget the pretty faces and remember to take them from the back..

Great info.  And, the macro is good for photographing the poison ivy I got crawling thru the woods.   :D :D :D
See, a whole new series of photos coming up. Poison ivy from above, from below, close and very close, then the inflamations, and a doctors hand and bandages.  10 well selling photos there!
Im glad we dont have that here. There is no undergrowth in Europe you cannot crawl through. The worst is The Mazurian swamps and of cource brambles.


Poncke v2

« Reply #17 on: June 04, 2013, 09:40 »
0


Or perspective
Take everything from below, like the before mentioned hand with a cup of coffee.
Or from above.



I like your thinking, but those are exactly the shots that I got rejected on shutterstock. They dont seem to like different perspectives. Thats exactly the issue I am running into at the moment. It all needs to be familiar looking. Hence the database is filled with all the same looking images. Your advice is spot on, but its really depending on the mood of the reviewer to agree with that. The last reviewers at SS didnt agree  ;)

« Reply #18 on: June 04, 2013, 09:47 »
+2
Thanks, of course they are traditionalists, and a photo from a different perspective is more difficult to take than the classic ones we have seen many times.

But still the overall rule applies: "All elements in the frame should support the main subject". So in an opposite coffee/ hand shot, it would be difficult to show it was coffee in the cup. So how would you do that?
Elements in the background? Not taken from below? repeating?
The colour of the hand or is there a spill?
A sack of beans in the background?

"It is the background that sells the picture"

I bet there is a series to be done with a cup taken from below and a blurred coffee colored woman in a golden dress in the background.

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #19 on: June 04, 2013, 16:39 »
0
OR take a long tele and take a walk in the city, then photograph a hand on a purse, a hand on a cup of coffee, a fat ladys foot or a man scratching his ear.
How do you get the releases signed?
Or editorial?

Poncke v2

« Reply #20 on: June 04, 2013, 16:53 »
0
OR take a long tele and take a walk in the city, then photograph a hand on a purse, a hand on a cup of coffee, a fat ladys foot or a man scratching his ear.
How do you get the releases signed?
Or editorial?
Those photos dont need releases, only on Alamy

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #21 on: June 04, 2013, 17:04 »
0
OR take a long tele and take a walk in the city, then photograph a hand on a purse, a hand on a cup of coffee, a fat ladys foot or a man scratching his ear.

How do you get the releases signed?
Or editorial?
Those photos dont need releases, only on Alamy

iStock too, since at least 2008 (can't remember if you sell on iS?):
http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=68478&page=1
But anyway, I'd just get hung up about whether the purse, the coffee or the shoe would need PRs.

SME

« Reply #22 on: June 04, 2013, 19:28 »
0
JPSDK, you have really given me awesome ideas. The crawling thing (perspective in the same environment) is a fantastic idea. I have both a wide zoom and a macro lens so I can work that out great.

« Reply #23 on: June 04, 2013, 20:29 »
0
Thanks, Good.
Then go for it.

« Reply #24 on: June 04, 2013, 21:26 »
0
I am newbie and started 4 months ago. I just keep myself occupied with objects isolated on white background.  There are many good ideas in this thread. I will try them in future.  I look for what would sell in future.  Example - Search in google "commemorative days" and "International days". You would get plenty of things to do for each of those days. Father's day is approaching. You can shoot few images.

The place where I live does not allow too much freedom to photographers. The hesitation to carry the camera in streets is always there in back of the mind. Photo-walks are pretty popular here and if you go in the group, you get good shots.

So, given the constraints, I make my own list of subjects/topics to shoot around.  At the end of the week, I get good list. I shoot once in a week and rest days are for PP.


« Reply #25 on: June 04, 2013, 21:43 »
0
See, a whole new series of photos coming up. Poison ivy from above, from below, close and very close, then the inflamations, and a doctors hand and bandages.  10 well selling photos there!
Im glad we dont have that here. There is no undergrowth in Europe you cannot crawl through. The worst is The Mazurian swamps and of cource brambles.

And here I was just worried about eradicating the Poison Ivy from my yard. I can see I need to grab the camera and macro lens before I get rid of any more.  Now I just need to find a willing model for that last half of the series.  ;)

« Reply #26 on: June 06, 2013, 06:35 »
0
on ss there are only 216 images of poison ivy.
There are a few isolated and some taken on location.

But none are iconish.

So there you go.
Stack a poison ivy on white.


« Reply #27 on: June 06, 2013, 06:42 »
0
on ss there are only 216 images of poison ivy.
There are a few isolated and some taken on location.

But none are iconish.

So there you go.
Stack a poison ivy on white.

How about a stack of poison ivy rubbed against skin then showing the welts that form and the scratching, bloody mess that ensues? Any models willing to pose for this? Jens? Anyone? ;D

« Reply #28 on: June 06, 2013, 06:51 »
0
Sure.
But then again.
We have a few poisonous plants here in Europe, some of them are very poisonous, in the deadly range.
Like this one, Cowbane: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cicuta_virosa
It is considered the most poisonous plant  of them all.

Still I have handled it a few times, and as long as you do not eat it, nothing bad will happen (dont lick your fingers).
Poison ivy is something different, since it is the dust and vapour from the leaves that causes the reactions.
Im unfamiliar with that, so I dont know.
But let us make a deal. Ill pose and be a model with any European plant.....



« Reply #29 on: June 06, 2013, 07:01 »
+1
BTW... a story from real life.
I was a biology teacher in a 5the grade and took them out on an excursion to find plants and things.
In a bug we found the bitter sweet nightshade, wich is one of many poisonous nightshade plants.
I showed the plant to the children and told them not to eat the berries, since they were poisonous.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solanum_dulcamara

Normally such a warning sinks in, but nowadays children are brought up by disasters and aliens in Television.
So they ripped the plant from berries and ate them.
They ate all the berries!
Some children had multiple berries. And that is considered "unhealthy".

I had a lot of problems seeking correct medical advice and informing the parents.

However, noone became sick and there were no symptoms with any of the pupils. I didnt sleep well, that night.





« Reply #30 on: June 24, 2013, 09:43 »
0
I'm just getting started with stock photography. There sure is a lot to learn about the photography as well as the styles of photos involved.

So far I've been focused mostly on plants and landscapes. I'd like to get into using models at some point, but for now I'm working on objects.

One question that I have is about man made objects. Obviously we can't include logo's, trademarks, etc. but how do you determine whether a design of a product makes it recognizable? I've got a few photos of a kid's climber that I like (lots of colour) but I imagine the company that makes it could probably tell it was their design even without a logo.

SME

« Reply #31 on: June 24, 2013, 18:56 »
0
IKEA stuff is similar. Sometimes it is recognizable, sometimes it is not. I avoid anything that I think is risky so I don't waste my time.

EmberMike

« Reply #32 on: June 24, 2013, 20:21 »
0

I'm pretty open when it comes to microstock discussions, but there's one thing I'll never discuss publicly and it's how to get inspired or where to get ideas from.

Anyone can learn to click a shutter or draw some vector shapes. The really value of all this is in the ideas.

SME

« Reply #33 on: June 24, 2013, 20:26 »
0
I would have to disagree. Once you get the technical aspect of it down, it's really up to everyone's different nature. I mean you can arbitrate specific topics because they are holes in the industry, and that is probably some aspect you don't have to share, but all in all I think taking pictures of things you are interested in, know something about, and/or are close to you make up the bulk of most non-professional microstock photography.

So I guess the answer to the question really is, slowly explore what you find interesting, and wrap your technical know-how around it.

« Reply #34 on: June 25, 2013, 08:42 »
0
IKEA stuff is similar. Sometimes it is recognizable, sometimes it is not. I avoid anything that I think is risky so I don't waste my time.
Makes sense. I guess I'll try a few images and see where the microstock agencies draw the line.

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #35 on: June 25, 2013, 09:19 »
+1
I would have to disagree. Once you get the technical aspect of it down, it's really up to everyone's different nature. I mean you can arbitrate specific topics because they are holes in the industry, and that is probably some aspect you don't have to share, but all in all I think taking pictures of things you are interested in, know something about, and/or are close to you make up the bulk of most non-professional microstock photography.

So I guess the answer to the question really is, slowly explore what you find interesting, and wrap your technical know-how around it.

"Slowly explore what you find interesting"
Great advice for general photography, but for stock, it's generally the uninteresting stuff that actually sells.

« Reply #36 on: June 25, 2013, 09:35 »
0

I'm pretty open when it comes to microstock discussions, but there's one thing I'll never discuss publicly and it's how to get inspired or where to get ideas from.

Anyone can learn to click a shutter or draw some vector shapes. The really value of all this is in the ideas.

I guess I don't really have a secret idea generating method, so there isn't much to protect. I just draw a bunch of sketches and work on the ones that look fun.


« Reply #37 on: June 29, 2013, 11:03 »
0
Try listening to the news on the radio and converting all you hear into images in your head. Fx, news about economy or politics you can hear something like: "the ecomony has grown in 5% this month" . There you have a concept, try to "picture" that...

« Reply #38 on: July 02, 2013, 17:00 »
0
Next time my husband works on in the yard I'll have to photograph his arm a few days later - with and without the calamine lotion.

You've gotten some great answers to your question - if walking around a city with your camera isn't a great idea - take a walk around your house - try different perspectives of objects in their regular setting. Good luck!

« Reply #39 on: July 02, 2013, 22:12 »
0
A valuable thread. It's not about giving away secrets, it's about stirring up the creative spirit. Well done all...thank you. Many great ideas.


 

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