There are countless videos on YouTube with many tips and tricks on what to do and not do in stock photography. Sometimes it’s hard to keep track of it all. We want to make sure our creators have all the information to shoot and upload in a way that actually helps your photos sell. We are fortunate to have been able to interview six Youtube creators who make content that we love about the topic. Here are their answers to the question: “What is the #1 piece of advice for stock photography creators?” For more tips, feel free to check out their videos and the Wirestock blog.
Oliver King from "Olly King"
I think the thing that’s been most useful to me so far is shooting concepts related to emerging industries. New business concepts and new technologies are typically underrepresented, so naturally, this is an opportunity for stock creators. Anything underrepresented or new is what makes the most sales for most photographers. I found a niche with CBD oil and marijuana products because it’s only been recent that those things have come to the business world. I would also say that time-consuming setup shots like long exposures will make sales because anything more technically difficult is likely to be of value to someone who can’t manage that kind of shot with a smartphone.
Find more from Oliver on his YouTube channel
Toma Bonciu from "Photo Tom"
Stock, in my opinion, is a game of huge quantity at decent quality, focused on 3 to 5 categories uploaded on a constant basis. And now I'll explain a little bit. I've been doing stock photography and video since 2012. This comes from my own experience. I believe that in order to have many sales you should upload as many images and videos as possible. Don't let the goal of achieving perfection stand in your way. Going for the perfect image or video will take the time that you could put in making several other variations of the same idea (this is the way you should think of a shoot, either for images or videos: idea/concept). That's why I'm saying huge quantities at the fair quality. You should choose 3 to 5 categories and upload there constantly, meaning 2 to 4 times per week. The reason is to stay on top of a category when someone is searching for new content. The agencies that buy all the time will not look at popular images or videos because they already have those but focus instead on new and fresh content. If you have only a few categories you can dominate that or at least have a slice of the potential of that category. It's true that some categories offer better returns than others but you should choose depending on your style and capabilities to produce content.
Find more from Toma on his YouTube channel
Beth from "Handicraft Films"
You can view stock photography like a slow-moving train. It’s going to take time and effort (a lot of it) at the beginning. It’s going to feel difficult and slow for a while in order to get that train to move. But if you can keep at it and set weekly or monthly goals that are realistic with your schedule (say 10-20 uploads per week for example), then before long you’ll start to see some progress. The train will start moving and you’ll start seeing that first trickle of profits rolling in. The beauty is that once you’ve put in the work, your photos will work for you. Keep at it and soon enough that train will be running fast, earning you passive income each and every month.
Find more from Beth on her website
James Wheeler from "Photerloo"
Regarding my piece of advice, it would be to upload quality photos consistently, often I see photographers upload to stock sites in spirits then move on to something else. Try to upload a couple of photos every day, even if it is just some quality photos from your phone. They all build your portfolio.
Find more from James on his YouTube channel
Ryan Fowler from "Ryan Fowler Photography"
My piece of advice would be to create images that showcase something that others have seen in a new way. For example, if someone is photographing a protest, be in the action and show a true perspective. Or, if you're in a city that has a popular building, ask yourself: "what could I include in this photo to make it different and stand out from the rest?"
Find more from Ryan on his YouTube channel
Gui Siebert from "Creative Income"
Quality and Quantity can be friends. When it comes to selling stock footage/photography, we often see people arguing whether to focus on quality or quantity. But the truth is you can balance both. Contributors that just got started usually spend too much time trying to perfect their files without even being sure if it will sell. And let's face it – no one does. That's why I always suggest creators save time by uploading multiple simple files before uploading a few complex ones. This will let you measure the need for that subject and will help you decide what to work on next or what deserves some perfectionism.
Find more from Gui on his YouTube channel