Making your business secure with great longevity would be a wise move
…but how do you do that? By staying Ahead of the Game
My advice when it comes to kit is but the best you can afford before you start. Alamy, as we have seen earlier, used to require image files to be a minimum of 48mb uncompressed (when opened in Photoshop) but have lowered that to 17mb now.
Even so, by uploading high resolution images, you are not only future-proofing your work but you are also giving buyers and designers more bang for their buck…and they like that!
There are, at the time of writing, a few DSLR’s that throw out images above this resolution. Some of these may be fairly old by the time you read this but if you can pick one up at a good price, you won’t go far wrong. The images thrown out by these will be relevant to stock photography for a long time yet:
- Sony Alpha 900 – 24.6 megapixels
- Nikon D3x – 24.5 megapixels
- Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III – 21.1 megapixels
- Canon EOS 5D Mark III – 21.1 megapixels
To give you an idea of what size files these produce, a typical JPEG from the Canon EOS 5D Mark II (the cheapest of the above) is around 15 megabytes. When opened, uncompressed, in Photoshop, that file is 60 megabytes…perfect. In fact the resolution exceeds their minimum requirement with no need for upsizing.
These file sizes set by most professional stock agencies are there for a reason. They are the standard required for most applications such as double page magazine prints, promotional materials, billboards and so on.
Even if this requirement is increased slightly in the future, you are pretty well covered by owning a camera similar to the above.
Even the microstock photography websites now pay more for larger images. For example, some of my best images in the past were taken with a 6mp Canon EOS 10D and the file sizes are not big enough to demand the highest price any more.
Dreamstime images for sale vary in sizes:
- Extra Small
- Extra Large (upsized)
- Maximum (upsized)
This is similar for most other agencies so if you upload a relatively low resolution image from, say, a 6mp camera, the chances are it will lose too much detail to be upsized to even the extra large level which will diminish your chances of earning more from that photo.
However, don’t break the bank thinking you need the best cameras on the market. Cameras such as the Canon EOS 50D with 15.1 megapixels are perfect for stock and came in new at around £900 (half the price of the cheapest camera above)!
The same principles apply to glass. Get the best lenses you can afford and they will last you for years. They will also produce much better images on any camera.
Think about the future when shooting stock. As we mentioned earlier, think about trends and fashion, technology and lifestyle. How is it all changing? How will it change in the future?
Think about future events like the Olympics. You have around 6-7 years notice every time the new games come around so why not visit that place and shoot the hell out of it? Your images will have plenty of time to mature and receive downloads giving them a better chance of being found when designers, advertising agencies, travel companies and anyone else remotely interested in the Olympics start looking for images.
Electric cars, they are coming in the future. Why not think of abstract ideas to illustrate this idea? Make your images humorous and use Photoshop and your imagination to create topical stock photos.
A bit of work and thought put into your images now could pay dividends in the future.
Also, every time you visit somewhere new, photograph it and upload it. The chances are that place has changed and agencies always welcome fresh images for travel stock.
As time goes by, check your stats each year to see which images have sold the best in both your own portfolio as well as others. This will save you hours of wasted time trying to “flog a dead horse” as it were. Look to see which images have received zero downloads and learn from it.
I am sure your mind is buzzing with ideas now so I will leave it at that. Just remember to stay alert as to what is happening and build your portfolio around that.
Next Page – Stock Photography Earnings