Stock Photography Tips

Have you ever wondered what it took to improve your success with stock photography? Well, there are many things to consider when getting into this business. Stock photography is currently a large and potentially profitable market when one understands how it all works. In this article, we will be taking a look at nine stock photography tips that will drastically improve the quality of your images.

9 Stock Photography Ideas

1. Set up the Right Lighting

Our first tip in this list of stock photography tips involves learning how light falls on your subject. Generally, photos with dark shadows from the camera’s flash are not well suited for stock photography. If you’re taking outdoor landscape pictures then you will definitely want to consider the positioning of the sun when taking your photos. Try visiting the scene at various times during the day in order to consider which lighting makes for the best scene. By choosing the appropriate lighting, your stock photographs will be of a much higher quality; setting them apart from the rest.

2. Take Lots of Photos

Another tip for being successful at stock photography is to increase the number of photos you take. The more you have, the more you are likely to sell. Having a higher volume of work is a key factor to consider as far as microstock photography tips go. This is also important in discovering which subjects are working better than others for you.

Stock photography tips such as this one could also lead to you discovering a niche to get into, which will definitely result in more sales. You also have the benefit of gaining more experience by taking more photos.

3. Find a Niche

Stock photography is a field that has a lot of competition. In order to really stand out from everyone else, you should try to find your own unique style or subject matter. By experimenting with this, you are likely to find a niche that has little to no competition yet is still in demand. Finding a niche can be fun as well, find something that you enjoy; someone else is sure to enjoy the subject as well. Having a niche is one of the microstock photography tips that definitely leads to success in the market.

4. Add Keywords to Your Photos

When it comes to selling stock photography, adding appropriate keywords to your work can definitely increase the chances of customers finding your photos. Experts recommend choosing anywhere from 20-25 keywords that are relevant to the work in question. Carefully observe your photographs and aim to extract the words that they are trying to express.

By choosing unique, relevant keywords you are more likely to reach the customers who are most interested in your subject. This will greatly improve your chances of making sales.

5. Choose the Right Equipment

Next on the list of stock photography tips is choosing the right equipment for the job. For instance, if you’re looking to zoom in and take a close-up picture of a certain flower, you would want to go with a macro lens. These lenses are designed to capture close up and high-quality details of the subject; however, this lens isn’t great for taking landscape photos.

Note: Our list of 16 macro photography tips might come in handy to some of you aspiring to become stock photographers. 

If you wanted to take outdoors landscape photos the better option would be a wide lens. Choosing the right lens for the job will give your photos a more professional touch. By not using the right equipment you may see noise in your images when fully zoomed in at 100 percent later on.

6. Watch out for Brands and Logos

This is a common issue when it comes to taking stock photography in cities. Be sure that you don’t accidentally capture trademarked images in your photos. This could be anything from fruit stickers to cars and will lead to your stock images being declined.

It is recommended to learn a bit of Photoshop as a stock photographer so that you can professionally edit out some of these problems from your photos. If you are new to image editing, see our 10 quick Photoshop tutorials for beginners.

7. Look at the Demand

Competition is natural in this line of work, yet some areas will have far more demand than the supply can provide. This is where you come in; research what’s currently highly in demand and capitalize on it, if it’s not something you’re against of course.

As far as stock photography tips go, this one can help to jump-start your career if you’re finding it difficult to get into the market. This can also lead to filling your portfolio whilst you work on taking photos of specific subjects that you really want to capture.

8. Check Your Photos at 100%

Another in the list of stock photography tips to really consider is viewing your own photos at 100 percent. Your photo may look perfectly fine zoomed out, but when buyers are considering purchasing your work they will carefully inspect your photos. Your photos should definitely not be grainy and blurry at 100%.

This can be avoided by choosing the right equipment when taking particular photos. It’s recommended to take stock photography at a low ISO setting (100 ISO is considered best).

9. Leave Some Space around the Subject

Our last point to consider in stock photography tips is to leave some space in your photos. Most companies that buy stock photos like to add text to the image. By leaving space for headlines and other text, agencies are more likely to choose your photos.


Companies that publish magazines will definitely go for the photos that both look good and have enough room to add in the text without taking away from the scene. Finding a perfect balance here is key to being a successful photographer. And there we have it, nine stock photography tips that will help you improve your art and set your work apart from others. Are there any other tips that you would recommend for taking stock photography? Feel free to comment in the section below.

Leave a Comment