The explosive growth of the Internet and the corresponding growth in Internet based commerce has created an unprecedented demand for digital images. Why? Because a picture tells a thousand stories. A Web designer can convey his message much more easily and effectively when combining text with images, than by just text alone.
This of course has created a situation where the demand for digital images is far exceeding the supply. It is not just web designers that are after digital images. It is also banks, insurance companies, teachers, magazine editors, entrepreneurs, eBay sellers, scrap bookers, lawyers, realtors, illustrators, business people, affiliate marketers, online vendors, marketers, professors, students, chefs, administrators, travel agents, graphic artists, clergy, merchants, writers, advertisers, executives, retailers and, and, and I think you get the idea.
This demand for images has created a wonderful opportunity for anyone with a digital camera (both professional and amateur) to create a secondary income stream by selling digital photos to online stock photography sites (also known as microstock photography sites)
The question that arises of course is what type of pictures should a photographer take in order to generate the most sales? The following paragraphs will point you in the direction of some sure fire winners.
People on stock photo sites usually buy photos of electronics, businessmen and women, money and other photos that may be beneficial to their websites or businesses. The great thing about stock photo sites is that there is no limit to the amount of photos you can upload. The more you shoot and upload the more money you will make.
In the Electronics category you are looking at things like computer monitors and keyboards, pc mice, DVD players, speakers, televisions, computer printers, car audio, cameras, mp3 players and other electronic equipment. These photos can be spruced up (for instance removing the background to make them generic and therefore useable in more instances) with some simple photo editing software.
In the business category pictures of businessmen holding money, briefcases or pictures where businessman are in communication with each other sell like hot cakes. Be creative: take shots in various environments i.e. office shots, pictures of your subject walking, talking on the stairs outside a building and pictures of people brainstorming. You can easily slip one of your friends or family members into a business suit and have them model for you. The key requirement of course is that they look professional.
Additionally photos with blank signs or pictures where your customers can easily edit or customise the pictures are also great online sellers.
There is also a massive market for good nature shots. It is important that there is an element of uniqueness and it is quite often best to edit your nature shots in some type of photo editor. It is more difficult to describe the types of nature shots that sell well in words, than it is describe the other categories that are listed.
Of course it needs to be said that the best means of researching what types of images are popular is by using your own eyes. It is rare for someone nowadays not to spend a good portion of their day in front of a computer screen, and through your web browsing you can begin to discern themes coming through as certain types of images that appear again and again.
This is where the money is. This is what you should shoot.