STOCK SALES: INSECTS
By Jim Zuckerman
In my 'Making Money in Photography' course at Betterphoto®, many students submit pictures of insects and ask me if I feel the photos are marketable. The truth is that there is a very limited market for pictures of insects. Butterflies are the most saleable, of course, but after that most shots of these 6-legged creatures are used in textbooks.
The only way that you can make a transition from selling to the editorial market to advertising (where there is much bigger money paid per picture) is to do something outrageous with the insects. Either the subject itself has to be visually arresting or you must use another technique to create powerful images. One of the ways to do this is with shocking color.
Whether or not the photo is biologically correct is usually (but not always) irrelevant. In the photo below, for example, this jewel beetle does not belong on the Gerber daisy, but an advertiser wouldn’t care. A biology textbook publisher would care, but not someone who is looking for visual shock value.