Works on pho­to stocks can bring a good income to pho­tog­ra­phers, and this is not a myth. More­over, it is not nec­es­sary to be a pro­fes­sion­al and use expen­sive equip­ment — some man­age to cre­ate pic­tures using a smart­phone that sell well. But how do pho­tog­ra­phers do it? The secret is in the gen­er­a­tion of fresh ideas and the abil­i­ty to stay in trend. Read in this arti­cle what kind of shots are most in demand on pho­to­banks in 2021 and what begin­ner stock pho­tog­ra­phers should know about.

Pho­to: libreshot.com

What are photo stocks

Pho­to banks, or pho­to stocks, are sites where users sell their pic­tures or illus­tra­tions. They are main­ly bought by design­ers, edi­tors, mar­keters, but not only.

Images can be sold mul­ti­ple times for a flat fee each time. Accord­ing­ly, one suc­cess­ful shot can bring prof­it for sev­er­al years if it remains rel­e­vant.

All pho­to­banks can be divid­ed into two cat­e­gories: macro- and micro­s­tocks. The dif­fer­ence between them is in the type of license and the price of images. On macro stocks, each pho­to can bring up to $ 200, so pho­tog­ra­phers and the con­tent itself are care­ful­ly select­ed here.

Begin­ners should start with micro­s­tocks, which sell pho­tos for prices rang­ing from 20 cents to $20-$25. The require­ments for pic­tures here are much low­er than on macro stocks, but you can earn on the vol­ume of uploaded frames. It is also allowed to sell the same pho­tos mul­ti­ple times.

How prices are formed for images

A ques­tion that inter­ests every­one who plans to sell their work through pho­to­banks. Con­di­tions for earn­ing on all por­tals are dif­fer­ent. Let’s take one of the pop­u­lar pho­to stocks, Shut­ter­stock, as an exam­ple. On it, prices for a pic­ture range from 25 cents to 3 dol­lars. The price range is affect­ed by the fol­low­ing fac­tors:

  • Author’s pop­u­lar­i­ty. The more pho­to down­loads on your account, the high­er the val­ue of the work will be.
  • Num­ber of sub­scrip­tions. This fac­tor affects the num­ber of pos­si­ble down­loads of images per month.
  • License. Per­son­nel intend­ed for com­mer­cial pur­pos­es are val­ued high­er.

For each down­loaded image, the pho­tog­ra­ph­er receives a cer­tain fee, but most pho­to banks have a min­i­mum thresh­old for with­draw­ing funds. On Shut­ter­stock it’s $35.

Which pictures sell best on photo stocks in 2021

There are sev­er­al trend­ing areas, work in which gives pho­tog­ra­phers a sta­ble prof­it on the sale of inter­est­ing shots. Begin­ners should take a clos­er look at these top­ics and form a fair­ly large data­base of works that will be in demand — not only this year, but also in the future.

Business theme

This direc­tion has always been in demand and remains so until now. There are no pre­req­ui­sites for a decline in the pop­u­lar­i­ty of this top­ic. Even against the back­ground of the cri­sis, entre­pre­neurs con­tin­ue to do busi­ness, albeit not so inten­sive­ly.

Pho­tos on busi­ness top­ics can be very dif­fer­ent, and for shoot­ing it is not nec­es­sary to use mod­els and pro­fes­sion­al equip­ment — arrange an impromp­tu pho­to ses­sion in your office. Pho­to: www.pxhere.com

This cat­e­go­ry on pho­to­banks is divid­ed into many small areas, and no one for­bids you to try your­self in each of them. For exam­ple, you can spe­cial­ize in shoot­ing busi­ness acces­sories or even gen­er­al sta­tionery for school­child­ren. Or you can shoot por­traits of busi­ness peo­ple in expen­sive suits in an office set­ting or just against a neu­tral, sol­id back­ground.

Genre shooting

Most­ly these are por­traits of peo­ple engaged in var­i­ous dai­ly activ­i­ties. In pho­to­banks, such works have always been and remain pop­u­lar. The main thing is to be smart and cre­ate a lot of dif­fer­ent pic­tures. Here are some basic ideas that begin­ners can start from:

  • stu­dents sit at a lec­ture in the audi­ence,
  • pas­sen­gers wait­ing for board­ing in the air­port hall,
  • a girl buys fruit from a stall in the mar­ket,
  • a cou­ple in love walks along the alley on a sun­ny day,
  • mechan­ic repairs a car.

All these per­son­nel are in demand to one degree or anoth­er. Try to find the most in-demand nich­es and des­ti­na­tions, or bet­ter yet, cre­ate diverse shots to increase your chances.

In genre shoot­ing, you just need to show your imag­i­na­tion and think about what shots will be more pop­u­lar in the pho­to bank. Pho­to: stocksnap.io

Product stock photography

Pho­tos of all sorts of items are very much in demand, but they must be orig­i­nal. If you take a pic­ture of a juicy green apple against a white back­ground, this shot is unlike­ly to inter­est any­one: there are a lot of these on pho­to stocks.

Now var­i­ous instal­la­tions and pho­to still lifes are more val­ued. Also at the peak of pop­u­lar­i­ty is the shoot­ing of items and acces­sories for busi­ness. You can focus on pho­tograph­ing edged weapons, tools for var­i­ous pro­fes­sions, cos­met­ics, and so on.

Shoot­ing food for pho­to­banks is a sep­a­rate big top­ic. But, in short, quite pop­u­lar basic prod­ucts are bread, choco­late, burg­ers, cakes, seafood and fruits.

Interiors for photobanks

Shoot­ing can be done in offices, apart­ments and many oth­er places. The top­ic is not as exten­sive and pop­u­lar as the pre­vi­ous ones, but it also deserves the atten­tion of “stock” pho­tog­ra­phers. You can shoot almost any­thing, for exam­ple:

  • strict office inte­ri­ors,
  • hous­es and apart­ments,
  • sep­a­rate rooms (chil­dren’s rooms, bed­rooms, bath­rooms),
  • hotel rooms (from bud­get to lux­u­ry),
  • fit­ness rooms,
  • shop­ping cen­ters.

The inte­ri­ors of all these rooms can be filmed togeth­er with peo­ple who go about their busi­ness in them. In this case, inte­ri­or pho­tos turn into genre pho­tos, which are even more in demand.

Shoot­ing the sit­u­a­tion in the office, you will get this shot in two direc­tions at once: inte­ri­or and busi­ness top­ics. Pho­to: stockvault.net

Landscape photography for photo stocks

For pho­tograph­ing land­scapes, you can even get by with a bud­get cam­era. The top­ic is very exten­sive, so it breaks down into more nar­row­ly focused:

  • clas­sic pho­tos of nature (polar ice, bright trop­ics, forests of the mid­dle zone),
  • urban shots (busy or pic­turesque streets, car­ni­vals and fairs, views of cities),
  • under­wa­ter pic­tures,
  • frames of indi­vid­ual pic­turesque places (water­falls, rocks, tur­bu­lent rivers, majes­tic trees).

The advan­tage for begin­ners is that pho­to­banks do not require high­ly artis­tic land­scape shots, which are valu­able in them­selves and can be dis­played in a gallery. In the media indus­try, sim­ple land­scapes are in demand — com­plete­ly ordi­nary, but well filmed. They are used as ele­ments to cre­ate oth­er works. For exam­ple, a milk pack­ag­ing design­er might buy a pic­ture of a rur­al land­scape with a cow from a stock pho­to bank.

How to make more money with photography

Final­ly, we want to give aspir­ing stock pho­tog­ra­phers some use­ful tips that will help you increase your income through high sales vol­umes:

  • Use key­words when pub­lish­ing works, as it is for them that users often search for the right shots
  • Shoot sim­ple things with­out both­er­ing with the com­po­si­tion, as pho­to stocks usu­al­ly buy mate­ri­als for oth­er work, not fin­ished mas­ter­pieces
  • Learn to think like a design­er or a jour­nal­ist who is look­ing for images for a ban­ner or a new arti­cle.
  • Bright sun­ny shots are more pop­u­lar than dark gloomy ones
  • Pre­pare pho­tos for major hol­i­days such as Feb­ru­ary 23, March 8, Valen­tine’s Day, New Year, Christ­mas
  • It is more con­ve­nient to work on Russ­ian pho­to stocks, but for­eign ones bring high­er prof­its
The­mat­ic shots sell very well in antic­i­pa­tion of the hol­i­days. Pho­to: www.pxfuel.com

To start earn­ing con­sis­tent­ly by upload­ing your work to pho­to­banks, you need to be active. Shoot some­thing reg­u­lar­ly and upload new pho­tos, and do not expect that from one or two suc­cess­ful shots you will receive a steady income.