Understanding Stock Photography

By: Nicholas Normandy

Stock photography can be a much overlooked sect of digital photography. Although, portraits, nature, abstracts and so on are more known through out the photography community, that isn't to say that stock photography isn't as important. What makes taking stock photos so different to all other types of photography is the applicable means to which stock photos are presented. Other types of photos such as portraits and macro sometimes don't have a definitive analogy to where such photos lie. A portrait can carry the quality of being a 'portrait' with no other applicable use besides the art in itself. Contrarily, stock photos have a very clear purpose and may even cross the line as to calling them a job instead of a type of photography. A proper explanation of stock photography is needed in order to further pursue the career.

First it is important to know where the term stock photos comes from. This is term coined, more fluently, on the internet, and most of the time it refers to selling and buying photos through a stock photo site. A stock photo site is a place that anyone can sign up and upload their photos in order for buyers to purchase their pictures. You can earn money based on whatever guidelines the site may have. A variety of people purchase stock photos mostly for job related reasons. The most popular frequenters of stock photo sites are graphic designers, marketers, magazines, and advertisers. They may use the picture in whatever way the want, they may edit the image or leave it completely unchanged.

In order to learn how to become successful in the business of freelance stock photography you need to know what buyers want and how it differs from regular photography. Depending on the practices of a job, buyers need digital stock photos for specific purposes that make it easily editable or accessible. They might need pictures of macro, landscape, and industrial subjects but just presented a little bit differently than what most are use to.

Advertisers might need pictures of self-directed compelling premises, that easily convey what they are trying to sell. Graphic designers want digital photos that are easy to edit that lack complex backgrounds and over shadowing. Also, a lot of jobs need several different versions of the same picture in order to find one that will do the project justice. Meaning pictures of the same subject but presented at different angles and camera positions. For a more comprehensive tutorial on how to take stock photos go look at thetutorials and jobs in digital photography.

That is the basic explanation of what stock photography is. It can seem simple but learning the complexities of how to take profitable digital photos can take a while. If you are looking to pursue a career doing this freelance and on your own, then dedicate enough time, work hard and you will have something to show for it.

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