Getting people in your images
by Scott Stulberg
In my course called Stock Photography Boot Camp here at Better Photo….one of the things that I stress the most is the importance of finding people for your images. The best selling photographs at just about any stock agency worldwide usually have people in the images. These are the most sought out images from so many advertisers all over and they need people of all ethnicities and looks for their images. These images, although not always the easiest ones to capture, can produce some of the top money making images for anyone with a desire to make money from their photos.
Probably the top category for shooting people for stock is Lifestyles. Some examples of lifestyle images are of family, work, success, happiness, the future, reliability, trust, food, time, teamwork, winning, competition, money, culture, conceptual ideas, school, education, computers and so many more. It can cover so many aspects of normal everyday life and these are probably the most needed images for so many stock agencies worldwide. I love finding people that have the right look, on the street locally or especially when I travel….and I ask them if they would want to model for me. I let them know that I will pay them or give them photographs in exchange and most of the time they say they would like to. Many of my students express to me how hard it is to get up the courage to ask strangers to pose for them……but in time it gets easier.
Below are a few shots from a shoot I did a week ago on the campus of UCLA , where I also teach photography. I had met these 2 adorable Korean girls and their mother in the video store and fell in love with them. I gave them a card, they looked at my website and then called me and we set up a shoot. They were amazing to shoot and I ended up getting some great shots from the shoot that day. Many of the shots are just typical everyday kind of poses and these kinds of images do extremely well for big and small stock agencies. These are typical lifestyle situations and when you set them up…you try and make them look as realistic as possible and not too posed. You will wind up with many winners if you think of good set ups and locations.
Getting people in your viewfinder is the key to money making images if you ever want to pursue shooting stock. But don’t forget to have them sign model releases or else those images will not be worth as much as they could. Model releases are the key to stock when shooting people. And shooting photos of people of every age and nationality is the key to making real money in stock!