Friday, April 29, 2016
A simple image with a clear and strong message is one of the keys to successful stock photography.
Power In Simplicity
There has always been power in simplicity, and now more than ever, simple images are one of the keys to success in stock photography. Think about…just about every image is chosen from thumbnail sizes on an Internet site. An image must communicate a message quickly and clearly at postage stamp sizes to in order to be considered for licensing.
Simplicity, Clarity And Impact
As attentions grow ever shorter the importance of simple also increases. A simple image communicating on idea in an instant is necessary to cut through the constant media assault that competes for our attention. An image is far more likely to be successful if it combines simplicity and clarity with impact.
Risk, Danger And Weak Links
While I do not yet know whether this image of the risk and danger of a weak link will sell well, I do believe the image is simple and clear. I also believe it has a stark beauty to it that makes it stand out among similar images. Just for fun, I did a search for “weak link” on the Getty site using the “best match” filter. This image will stand out!
Rust, Storms And Clearing Skies
Using a rusty chain accentuates the vulnerability of the metal. Having the weak link stretched out and with only one thin piece of steel still holding, adds to the drama. The stormy sky background indicates additional stress and turbulent times. The light on the chain is consistent with the last rays of the sun before the approaching storm, or for optimists, the sun breaking through clearing skies.
Copy Space And Cropping Options
Other attributes that I trust will make the image appropriate for as many uses as possible are that there is plenty of room for copy and that the image can be cropped to square or vertical as well as its natural horizontal format.
Blend Images And Royalty Free
I placed the shot with Blend Images as a royalty free photo. With Blend I can submit the image once and have it available through out the world. It will also be available on the Blend site as part of a highly curated collection (great for art directors and designers who don't want to waste time looking through a lot second tier imagery). Too, there are a ton of uses for it ranging from pointing out aging infrastructure to bringing attention to old and faltering paradigms. The list is really endless which favors the larger audience available for Royalty Free imagery. Oh yeah, and Royalty Free is simpler too…and there is power in simple!
Monday, April 25, 2016
Connection, networking and communications technology shown in an image that is easy to crop, has room for copy, and has visual impact results in a successful stock photo.
A Best Selling Stock Image
Since I created this image of a woman with the top of her head engulfed in streaming colored lights a couple of years ago, it has been consistently a best seller for me. When I created it I was hopeful that it would sell but I never would have guessed that it would be in my top 100 (actually it was my 16th best selling image out of about 10,000 images over the course of 2015).
Sales Reports And Trying New Things
I tend to obsessively scan my sales reports determined to glean information that will help me make images that sell well. But time and again what I come away with is that everything sells (okay not every single image sells, but pretty much every category does) and it’s impossible for me to know which images are going to be the best sellers. That opens the door for me to keep trying new things (like combining streaks of light with models).
Five Questions About A Stock Image
There are five questions I ask myself about an image to try and insure the image has a chance to sell well:
1. Does the image illustrate important concepts?
2. Is the image a quick read at thumbnail sizes?
3. Can the image be cropped to multiple formats?
4. Is there room on the image for inclusion of headlines and/or copy?
5. Does the image have visual impact?
Now no image needs to have all of these qualities, but the more of those questions get answered, “yes” the better chance an image has of being a successful stock image.
Concepts, thumbnails, Crops And Visual Impact
Connections, networking and communications technology are all concepts illustrated in this shot of a woman’s head intersecting with streaking lights, all important concepts in this digital age. I am pretty sure that at least one reason the image does well is because it can serve to illustrate multiple concepts. It reads quickly as a thumbnail, crops to square or vertical and it has visual impact. It really stands out on a page of thumbnails about “networking” or “connections”.
Eyeballs And Blend Images
I gave the image to Blend Images believing that is my best chance to get the most eyeballs on it. So far it has been licensed in India, The U.S., The U.K., Thailand, Germany, Slovenia, Korea, United Arab Emirates, France, Qatar, Canada, Taiwan and China…so far. And it’s a Rights Managed image…meaning it probably would have sold many more times as an RF image. But that is the subject for another time!