Do business images still sell well as stock photography?
I haven’t really attempted shooting business images yet but I think it is something I must try. Some would say not worth attempting to break into because of the sheer volume of business images already out there:
- Business teams
- Business people
- Handshakes over a keyboard
- Telephonist with headset and nice smile
- More handshakes
- Businessman in suit jumping for joy
- Handshakes over a pile of paperwork and a calculator
- Businessman in suit jumping for joy in green field with blue sky
- Businessman in suit jumping for joy with mobile phone
- Handshakes with office block in the background…
…all popular images and it would take some doing to compete with them.
Although saying that, the business stock photography industry is huge and there is always room for improvement. If you can dedicate some time to it and have some radically different ideas, then go for it. I may even delve into this market myself to see if I can make an impression.
If you are going to have a bash at business, here are some key things to think about:
- List all the types of businesses you can think of, fishmongers, ironmongers, post office, clothes store, building, demolition, finance, banking, real estate, photography, videography, health foods, gymnasium, tourism, motor, gadgets, computers, dog training, manufacturing, oil, mining, jewellers, glass blowing, stock broker, painter, decorator, accountant, lawyer, salesman, doctor, dentist, shopkeeper, road sweeper, milkman, teacher, student, jockey, footballer, pub landlord, electrician, author, soldier, sailor, candlestick maker…
- Can you or do you have the ability to shoot them?
- Do you know anyone in those businesses?
- How many themes, contexts or situations can you think of to go with each career or job?
- Can you add humour or a different angle to what is already there?
You see, when you start to break it down, once again, it is endless…
- Fishmonger in his shop
- Fishmonger underneath a pile of fish
- Fishmonger serving happy customers
- Fishmonger filleting fish
- Fish filleting fishmonger
- Fishmonger being eaten by a fish
- Fishmonger waiting on harbours edge for boats to come in
- Fishmonger collecting fresh fish from port early morning
- Fishmonger handing over cash for fresh fish
- Fishmonger eating fish and chips
- Electrician up a pole sorting cables
- Electrician having a break and cup of tea in customers house
- Electrician working on fuse housing
- Funny shot of electrician with dirty face and smoke coming from his messed up hair
- Electrician unloading van
- Electrician being welcomed at the front door
…and then when you think about the current economic climate and trends and how they affect businesses and employees…
- Mother of two working on computer at home
- Family business being run from garage
- Queue outside the job centre
- Person filling in application form
- Person opening letter of rejection
- Person opening bills looking worried
These are just ideas coming off the top of my head but you should get the idea?
When you sit down and start to plan out ideas and shoots, they should start to flow easily. Break things down as far as you can, write them out and pick the juicy ideas that are both feasible and have potential.
Again, don’t think too hard about what might and what might not sell. Any positive action is better than none. I remember when I first started to painstakingly process, keyword and add titles to over 1,000 images that I had on my hard drive. I didn’t know if they would sell or not. I didn’t even know if they would be accepted.
I just got my head down and got on with it. It took almost 6 months to complete and upload to just 4 agencies but the income from that initial hard work has paid dividends for years.
The business stock photo industry may be saturated but once again, climates change, new ideas spring to mind when new policies, rules, laws and climates appear. Try to think of the future and what it holds and shoot that future before someone else does.
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