Have you ever wondered exactly how to break into the world of commercial photography? Well, the simplest route is through stock photos. It’s both the easiest and fastest method to getting your images published virtually everywhere—from websites to blogs and even print brochures.
If you’re interested in trying out stock photography but don’t know where to begin, here are 11 essential tips to help you sell your very first stock photo. Don’t worry, it’s easier than you think.
01. Find a good camera
A good camera doesn’t need to be costly. You can start with a compact or a bridge camera if you don’t have a big budget. Just remember to read up on reviews of the camera model before you buy, so that you can pick one with an excellent lens and a good ISO performance. In other words, it has to be capable of taking sharp photos in a variety of lighting conditions.
If you have a bit more money to shell out, then consider purchasing a DSLR or a mirrorless camera. They not only have more features than regular cameras, but they also have interchangeable lenses, allowing you to capture a wider variety of scenes. Alternatively, you can also buy used cameras for even less.
02. Invest in a quality lens
The kit lens (starter lens) that comes with your DSLR camera takes decent pictures for regular use. However, if you zoom in and look at your images carefully, you’ll notice that they’re not 100% sharp.
The only way to solve that problem is buying a good quality lens. You can buy zoom lenses from old film cameras. Although they function much just like your kit lens, they’re often better because they’re designed for professional use and are quite cheap these days. The best ones are 28mm-75mm and 35mm-75mm—they offer an excellent range to let you shoot from up close and from far away.
Once you have enough experience with the zoom lenses, consider using a prime lens which doesn’t zoom in or out. Although that sounds like bad news, the image quality of prime lenses is far more superior than zoom lenses. There are many options out there, and the best ones are 35mm and 50mm for starters.
Since you’re most likely using a crop-sensor camera, using a lens meant for a full frame camera would magnify your scene 1.5 times. Therefore, a 35mm would be equivalent to a 50mm, while the 50mm would be more like an 85mm. Keep this in mind when choosing a lens. If you like shooting up close, then go for 35mm. If you typically shoot farther away, then 50mm would be perfect.