anatomy of a successful stock photo

My fiance is a much more active and experienced stock photographer than I am, but I do have a growing portfolio of stock images, and some of them do fairly well. This photo was purchased again today (for the third time in less than a week). It’s not my favorite photo, but it’s a favorite among buyers–why?

I think this photo is a good stock image for these reasons:

1.) Versatility. This image could be used to represent secrecy, silence, or intimacy–in many different contexts. It could fit in anywhere from a public library to a lingerie store.

2.) Anonymity. The model’s face is only partly visible. If her eyes were included in the photo, this might still be a good shot, but the image would be more personal, and perhaps less versatile. The eyes might also compete with the hand gesture for the viewer’s attention.

3.) ease-of-integration into design. It would be easy for a graphic designer to clone out the bit of clothing on the lower left and expand the black canvas to the left to incorporate this image into his or her design. Some good stock photos have a white or black background on all sides, so the canvas could be easily expanded in any direction.

4.) Ethnicity. In my observation, the majority of stock photos use caucasian models. Photographing models of other ethnicities provides a useful option for clients with an interest in diversity.

Tech info: Fuji S2 Pro with Nikkor 70-200mm f2.8 AF-S VR lens. Elinchrom Ranger with one strobe head, modified with a Lastolight Umbrellabox. Photographed in front of a black velour background.

Hush now

Hush now


1 Response to “anatomy of a successful stock photo”

  1. 1 globalinternational
    July 21, 2009 at 12:56 am

    i think this is a nice photo and attract peoples towards it ,
    any way nice blog , i like it , keep it up and keep working .

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