Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Stock Images

With all that has been going on in my life recently (school, vacation, and a wonderful get-away way up north), I have just now found some much needed time to submit some of my stock images.

I have been working with some images “on the side” and thought that I’d share some of them with you. I’d like to take a moment and discuss some of the things that the stock sites look for, and the problems that I run into with some of my images getting rejected. Then I’d like to give some ideas and examples on how to fix up your images, and get them accepted as good stock images!

But first, a relative and mentor of mine has recently fallen into a “full on stock image mode”. I have tried in the past to get him more involved with shooting and selling stock photography, with little success. After a lot of heated conversations and a ton of stock photography cramming sessions later, he has recently (and seriously) looked into the world of stock photography. I am happy to report that he is looking to further involve himself in stock photography as a way to get some extra income. Great!

But what do I know about this topic that I could offer as advice (to him as well as all of you)? Well, let me add that he has been doing his homework. A flurry of links has come to me (via my email), and all of them are from him. He wants me to excel in stock image sales, right along side of him, and that is why I consider him both a relative and a mentor. He includes me in his good wishes, and that is some kind of wonderful.

A problem of mine is that I have told myself (in the past) that I will start getting serious about stock photography as an income and not just a side hobby. Well, I start out doing some shoots, but then get caught up in other ideas. I have worked some long evenings in the studio setting up and shooting some fun stock image themes, but then it’s always on to something else. So, I hope that he listens to what I have to say, and that he does not do what I do.

First of all, here are a few great links from some great stock photographers. These folks are happy to share their experiences, their mistakes, and their successes with us all. These are great blogs to add to “your favorites” as they are informative, inspiring, and honest. What else could we ask for? I love the fact that some of these blogs shed a lot of light on the topic of the submission, rejection, and re-submitting process of your stock images. There are also some links to blogs that deal with the actual setting up and the shooting of stock images. Great stuff through and through!






Here are the problems that I most often encounter when submitting my images as stock, and what you can do to get them re-submitted if they are rejected.

*Faces …. Get releases for any and all people that are recognizable in your images. This can be easy if you explain up front to the people that you photograph. Cary model/property releases in your gear bag so you can have some handy.

*Trademarks… What stock companies look for are any things that may be trademarked. This can be anything from brand names to book titles and art. I like to use a healing brush type action to edit out any and all rejection causing items.

On the "before image" up and to the left, I had to zoom in and remove all of the names and logos on the sail of the windsurfer. I later did a color corection and addad some blue color to the sky.

*Noise, grain, and chromatic abbreviation….. Blow your images up to 100 percent and look at the noise, grain, and. If you see any, you must remove it. Try using a tiny bit of gausien blur to remove a little bit of noise. Another trick that I use to remove artifacting is a open an image up in Photoshop and create a new layer. Use "overlay as a blend mode on the new layer. Next, add a high pass filter, and then press "cntrl (+) I" to inverse it. Than adjust the new layers opacity to taste.

More great information is coming soon in an up and coming blog entry....

Good luck in your stock career!

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