Stock Tips: New Series on Stock Photography for OMP Members

Over the next few months, Dave Crowther (OMP Member #78597) will be contributing a series of helpful articles on how members can get in on the lucrative business of stock photography.

For those who may not know about this aspect of the industry, Dave explains that stock photography is a supply of photographs licensed for specific uses.

But what does that really mean?  Let’s use an example.  Let’s say that a worldwide women’s fitness magazine wanted to do an article supplemented by several pictures on staying fit during pregnancy.

The magazine would typically go to a stock agency and search for a selection of images of depicting pregnancy with the following criteria:

  • Different ethnicities
  • Different colors of hair
  • Different ages
  • Different stages (trimesters) of pregnancy
  • Exercising both indoors and outdoors
  • Exercising with her husband
  • Exercising with a friend(s)
  • Exercising with her children

The magazine would then pick 4-5 images that they liked for the article and then pay a reasonable licensing fee to the agency to be able to use those pictures in their article.  The stock agency would have model releases on file that allowed the images to be able to be used in print.

If they had chosen to hire a photographer to shoot those scenarios, they would have had to hire multiple models in different stages of pregnancy, ethnicities, ages, hair colors, makeup artists, assistants, models to play the husband, friends, children, etc.  The shoot would have been very expensive and would have taken a long time to complete.

So the magazine is able to choose exactly what they want and get a license to the images for use immediately without slowing down their production schedules.

Shooting stock photography allows you as a photographer to receive a portion of the license fees paid by the designers for the images they use in their deliverables.

NEXT TIME: How you can get started shooting stock photography

Image by Dave Crowther

See more of Dave Crowther’s work on his Portfolio

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