Saturday, October 6, 2012

It’s all About Production (Sort of)

The most successful stock photographers all have one thing in common, they consistently produce images. Some produce copious quantities while others produce higher production value photos...but they all consistently produce day in and day out.

Successful Stock Photographers And Production
Every successful stock photographer I know has one thing in common. They consistently produce. That may just be the key to everything. Production. The more imagery you produce the more your chances of success. The more great images you produce the greater your chance of success!

Which Image Will Be The Best Seller
It is a weird thing in stock photography, that you never know exactly which image is going to be the best seller from a given shoot. I always think I know which one it will be but more than half of the time I end up being wrong. One change I have made over the years is to create more photos from each shoot. More images from a given shoot increase my chances of having one or more images that qualify as “best sellers”.

Images That Are Needed And Wanted
For some stock shooters “production” means hundreds of images a month, while others, including me, think twenty images a month is a lot. I bet there are even successful stock shooters who shoot fewer photos than that!  In any case, in order to make production a worthwhile undertaking the results of that production have to be images that are needed and wanted in the market place.

A Mix Of Imagery
Whether you are shooting microstock or one of a kind Rights Managed imagery, to make your production effective you have to study the market and make images that fill a need appropriate for the time and effort that go into them. If not, your business will slowly starve to death. My own approach is to create a mix of easy-to-produce RF oriented images and higher-value Rights Managed images with distribution aimed at getting those images in front of the maximum number of viewers. But whether the photos are easy to produce or require days for a single image, I only create images that I believe fill a clear need and will sell. I am not just using a shotgun approach!

Setting Goals And Upping Production
One thing that has really helped me to up my production of stock photos is by setting goals. When I set the goal of creating an average of four images a week I was doubtful that I could achieve it, yet six months after setting that goal I find I am actually exceeding that number…though not by muchJ. When I study the photographers who I know are doing well in stock it seems to me that success lays in the simple formula of creating a lot of well-targeted imagery with appropriate production values. I also get the impression these successful stock shooters are careful in spending their money on shoots but are willing to invest enough to insure an appropriate production quality for the market they are shooting for.

Create Images!
Success is a process of understanding the market, understanding distribution, and understanding one’s own strengths and weaknesses…then setting goals and getting to work. Just as I have seen that the most successful photographers are the ones who truly “produce”, I have seen a ton of photographers who forever linger on the outskirts of success by virtue of their procrastination whether it is from an endless “need to prepare”, build a “body of work” or focus on the obstacles rather than the prize.  To succeed toss those excuses aside and create images!


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Excellent blog! I love everything about photos. I have really been mesmerized by many good photographers and travel bloggers since my childhood. I was always surprised by seeing some people who live their life by travelling all around the world. They are born to take photos for others to see the beauty of our world. I do follow many blogs of this kind to see the world and to know more about it. Most of them are interested in posting photos only. But I love to know more about that place. I feel good and refreshing after reading about the facts and beauty of those places. TV channels are the other source of my craziness. TLC, animal planet, History TV etc are my favorite ones since I was a child. I don’t know why, I was very interested in watching those. My parents use to grab remote from me to change the channel. I think this is the reason of my interest towards photography. I used to dream of being a channel anchor. Then the happiest thing in my life happened. I was gifted by a camera by my dad for my birth day. The precious moments of my life could be captured. I used to take a lot of photos and videos. The memories of every family trip and festival are safe because of those clicks. My cousins used to say that I am born to take photos. The next gen of our family can see these things only because of photos. They can know how we looked like. We can remember share different stories of these memories when watching these photos. But I couldn’t capture something really awesome yet. When I see any good photo, I always wonder why I can’t click such photos. Some people are there who are extremely talented to capture everything in a beautiful way.

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