How to Take Successful Stock Photos

September 15, 2009 | Mark Goldstein | Photography Techniques | 21 Comments | |
How to Take Successful Stock Photos Image


7. It is the keywords that sell the images, so it is important to spend time selecting them carefully before submitting. Always think like a customer and think relevance.

8. When keywording, consider the finer details. Submitting images of animals or plants? A lot of buyers need to confirm the species of plant or animal, so if you have a plant, include the scientific name to enhance your download potential. Having 'flower' in the title is not the same as having 'Tiger Lily,' for example.  The same principle applies to animals. A dog image will have an easier time selling if it contains the breed as a keyword and in the title instead of just 'dog.' This also holds true for locations. Keyword 'London' as well as 'city.' Do not use the names of other cities in hopes of driving more traffic to your image - you will be rejected.

9. As with keywords, it is also important to properly categorize your image submissions, as many image buyers begin their searches via category.

10. Always spell-check your titles and keywords. Misspelled words will not improve your download sales potential and may in fact lead to your images' rejection.

How to Take Successful Stock Photos

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#1 kathramirez

I am always longing to know how to shoot stock photos perfectly. Good thing I found your post here. It gives me valuable information I can surely use in my photography class. Thanks!

1:24 pm - Wednesday, September 16, 2009

#2 cyborg

how to capture pics of moving objects?please let me know.

3:14 pm - Wednesday, September 16, 2009

#3 Premium Finance

wow nice photo!! and nice tips for budding stock photographers

6:14 am - Thursday, September 17, 2009

#4 hagen

Basic “tablestakes”. Missing several critical points to making successful stock images:

simple theme/story message, simple yet captivating image, clear subject (actual or implied), capable of taking text/captions etc within the border of the image (clear negative space) and must speak to the observer not you so look critically at your image

cyborg: three types of motion for you to research: implied, blur and panning (credit to Harry Nowell - look up his stuff - great work).

4:30 pm - Thursday, September 17, 2009

#5 Martin Metcalf

I just saw the photo of the runner on a billboard at a Sports Psychology conference I was working in SLC.  Great article.  Thanks for the tips.  Now to get more “Stock” focus in my shooting. - MM

1:41 am - Friday, September 18, 2009

#6 cit journo

For an easy way to make money off your photos and videos, try checking out

Sign up is free and you can upload an unlimited amount of news-related photos and videos, which they will sell for you to media outlets around the world.

Comission is up to 75% of the sale price, which is amazing!

I read on the site that their partners with Agence Frence-press, which is the 3rd largest news agency in the world, so they’ve got considerable street credit.

If you’ve got any exclusive shots from breaking news stories, this is exactly the place you want to sell them for you. You can even download an iPhone app to upload images directly and immediately from the scene. Android app is on it’s way.

Check them out, sell your news photos and videos:

4:57 pm - Friday, September 18, 2009

#7 gadgets

Is it usually allowed to upload the same image to multiple stock sites? Or is she just upload different images to different sites?

2:00 pm - Thursday, November 5, 2009

#8 Mac

Nice clear explanation and tips. Thanks!

12:42 am - Saturday, December 12, 2009

#9 San

to Gadget

you can upload one image to many stock sites

2:28 pm - Tuesday, February 2, 2010

#10 blue

very helpful. thanks!

2:51 am - Thursday, February 25, 2010

#11 Stock Picks

These are just stunning stock picks! I don’t know if I could ever be that good on my own. That’s just pure talent.

7:32 pm - Thursday, April 29, 2010

#12 Alan Stockdale

I have always found that take a good look at your image and ask yourself does it tell a story if it does it will most likely sell.

2:09 pm - Thursday, April 12, 2012

#13 Royalty Free Stock Photos

your pics are very stunning awesome work dude

9:43 am - Monday, August 27, 2012

#14 Chris

Very nice images and great way to get stock images.

6:07 pm - Saturday, December 15, 2012

#15 Veer @ Sell Stock Photography

Hi Mark Sir,

I search for Google How to Take Successful Stock Photos and i see your site nice post for stock photo this is very informative for me.
you are right Use a dedicated macro lens for the best results.

6:22 pm - Sunday, July 21, 2013

#16 Dmitriy Aseev Stock Photo

Keep in mind that stock photography is much more than microstock…

5:17 pm - Wednesday, October 16, 2013

#17 MD Yusuf

Taking Photos number 6 it’s cool. Fall in love

6:49 am - Friday, January 24, 2014

#18 Josue

Very Nice Stock Picture.. I hope to get to that level soon!

9:24 pm - Thursday, October 9, 2014

#19 Jessica Lillis

Taking Successful Stock Photos is not easy task. This article is very informative as if anybody follow he/she can do better. Keep it up!

12:05 pm - Saturday, May 23, 2015

#21 Eric

Good useful tips. I’ll give them a try.

12:23 pm - Friday, September 25, 2015