Marketing Your Stock Images
I learned a long time ago that when it comes to nature photography, few photo buyers care whether or not the image has been manipulated. The vast number of publishers of calendars, jig saw puzzles, note cards and magazines just want striking images that sell their products. They don’t care how you get them.
Therefore, I will often revisit images in my stock library and think about ways of combining them or otherwise altering the colors, the contrast, or the texture to produce something new that may appeal to a buyer. Sometimes I create images that make sense from a commercial standpoint, and sometimes I go off the deep end and come up with something so wild that, if I were a gambler, I wouldn’t bet money that it would sell. Ultimately, I am shooting in the dark – meaning that I really have no idea if an image will ever sell. It’s all educated guesswork. Even though I’ve been doing this for a long time, I still feel like I really have little idea whether or not a photo will sell.
And sometimes the people who should know, like photo editors in stock photo agencies, don’t know. I’ve submitted photos in the past that were rejected for one reason or another (“the photo isn’t conceptual enough, the concept doesn’t apply to the market, it’s too weird, it’s not trendy”, etc.) and then I sold them directly to end users through unsolicited submissions. Then, when the owner of the agency saw my sales, he threw up his hands in surrender and accepted my images in the files.
The four images I’ve uploaded here show where I started and then where I ended up. My original idea was to create a tropical paradise type of shot, but then I got a little crazy and played with various filters and layer masks. Will these sell? Who knows? But I sure had a lot of fun.