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Stock photography advice - Victor Habbick gives us a few ground rules for supplying to stock libraries.
Victor Habbick is a photographer, artist, designer and member of ePHOTOzine's Pro critique team. His work is published world wide and he supplies stock markets on a regular basis. His advice will range from kit choices and editing software to supplying agencies and finding inspiration. He describes his work as having commercial sensibilities with a touch of the surreal and you can find out more about this by visiting his ePHOTOzine profile or by visiting his personal website: Victor Habbick.
Here's his tip:
"As part of my business remit I also supply around 1 dozen stock libraries around the world with a variety of shots. As the popularity of these site increases so does the quality of the submissions so if you intend to supply any of them here is a few ground rules you must take care of if you are to make a success of it.
Check each company carefully as regards to their requirements, payment schemes etc.
Check out what other people send in and what gets accepted and for that matter what gets rejected and why.
Do not give them more of what they have if you have nothing to add to the theme that makes it better.
Make a note of what is missing and try to fill any gaps in the market if you are sure they want them. Many site have a regular wants list.
Bigger pays better. This is when having a pro camera does come into its own as a good quality well exposed shot with a big pixel count will pay more than that of a similar image but smaller. Pixel counts of between 4000 and 6000 pay best. Do not upsize your shots and do not sharpen any of your shots in or out of camera leave this for the buyer to do.
Get used to rejection and remember that sometimes what one company knocks back another one takes.
Do your research and keep up with fashions and trends without been a slave to them.
The composite shot (to the right) has sold well for me on various stock sites. The model (my daughter Nicola) photographed against a 7 x 5 foot light tent. A series of shots were taken on the theme of emotions on the mobile phone. Any of the shots would allow the designer ample space to drop in copy or if they wish they could easily cut it out. I usually supply a cutting path for ease of removal and it also up's the chance of your image been chosen when designers are up against the clock and have no time for complicated cutting out. Make up and hair has been applied in a youthful modern fashion and she was clothed in a casual but semi business like fashion to appeal to the corporate market. All these things have to bee taken into consideration if you are to appeal to a wide market and potentially increase your sales. And it goes without saying that the shot must be sharp, well exposed and free from any blemishes last but not least it must be Model released."