What is best when shooting stock…colour or black and white photographs?
Do you shoot stock in colour or black and white for stock?
Good question and the most obvious answer is colour because you are keeping your options open. I.e. if the buyer wants to use black and white he can convert the image himself but still has a colour version should he need it.
On the other hand, one could argue that unless someone sees a finished image in black and white, it may be hard for them to envisage it otherwise. Hmmm, a toughie!
I would suggest that you credit most buyers these days with an ounce of intelligence and submit the majority of your work as colour although should you take a shot that only looks good in black and white, submit it as black and white.
For example, this “grungy” shot of some kids skateboarding had no feeling or value to me in colour…it just didn’t work. Once I converted it to black and white it came alive somewhat.
Once again, it was rejected by a couple of agencies and accepted by others. The editor at Dreamstime even put it in his favourite “picks”…sigh…”ours is not to reason why…”.
Try to use bold colours that stand out when shooting stock, and use the colours when considering framing and cropping the end result. Buyers at most websites look at thumbnail images as their first “port of call” and the brighter, more colourful images will always stand out even at that small size.
These two images were taken at the same location in Spain, but which stands out more when you see only the thumbnail sized images?
Whenever you are shooting any travel or outdoors subject, always look around and see if you can inject some natural or complimentary colour to the shot.
Colours can be so important to a photo. When I used to shoot properties for a living, if the sky wasn’t the right shade of blue or the light wasn’t right to enhance the colours, I would go back later in the day or even another time altogether to get the shot I wanted, after all, these images sold houses and “the dream” for many people. My job was to capture and present that “dream”.
Next Page – Composition