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Photographer John Lund flips his wig in this humorous self portrait and stock photo.
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Stock Photo ArticleCreating A Conceptual/Fine Art Stock Photo with Adobe PhotoshopPicture of the Devil - Creating a Stock PhotoFire Breathing DragonsConceptual Stock Photography - Sell Stock PhotosShooting People and Location Stock Photos AbroadRoyalty Free - Rights Managed - Micro Stock - Stock Photography PricingHindu Gods - The Hindu God Ganesha - Picture and StoryStock Photos…the Highest Form of Commercial PhotographyPictures of Dog Breeds - Shooting Stock Photos of Miniature PoodlesDominatrix Pictures - Photo Shoot and PhotoshopFemale Photography - Photographing the Human BodyPicture of a Wrecking Ball Produced with Adobe Photoshop ToolsPictures of Cows - Being Creative Taking Pictures of a CowPictures of Lions - The King of BeastsTaking Pictures of the Great Wall of ChinaShooting Stock Photos in the Himalayas – A Travel Adventure Photo-ShootPictures of Snakes - Taking Stock Photos in Mumbai, IndiaGetting Started in Stock Photography: Choosing Your Stock Photo Equipment CorrectlyStock Photos - Selling and Marketing Your Stock Photo ImagesPictures of Money - Lots of Different Kinds of Money PicturesUsing Sailboat Stock Image and PhotoShop to Make a Unique New Hot Stock PhotoSelling Your Photos as Greeting CardsFunny Monkey Pictures - Stock Photos and Pictures of Monkeys or BaboonsTiger Pictures - Shooting a Tiger for StockStarting a Stock Photo CareerFilling Small Business Needs in Stock PhotographyCreating Stock Photos with Strategic AlliancesPhotography Tips from a Pro on Shooting in Low LightThe Power of PositiveFunny Pictures - Funny Pics of Animals and PeopleBumbles, Blunders and Bad Luck!Crowd sourcing, Micro Stock and MoneyCreating a Conceptual Photo ImageThe (Information) Road to Stock Photography SuccessUse Your Photo Shoot Estimate as a Selling ToolHow to Generate Effective Ideas for Stock PhotosBlend Images - A Modern Day Stock Agency Photo Success StoryTaking Pictures of Backgrounds For Producing Great Stock PhotosHow to Shoot Successful Lifestyle Stock PhotosDiversify Your Stock Photo Business - Selling Photos on Mugs, T Shirts, and Printed Merchandise!Beginner Photography Tips - Understanding the Role of ApertureFive Quick Tips For Great Pet PhotographyTurning Doctor Visits Into Hot Selling Medical Stock PhotosSelling Stock Photos to the Largest Market of AllCreating A Successful Concept Stock PhotoChoosing the Right Stock Photo for Your Small BusinessMaking A Living At Stock PhotographyChoosing the Right Concept Stock Photo For Your BusinessHandshake Pictures and Images in Advertising and Business CommunicationsBeautiful and unusual Pictures of Lighthouses and Lighthouse Images with Beacons and Stormy SeasAnimal AnticsMotion FootageMassage Cats ArticleJohn's Galleries of unique stock picturesJohn's Stock Photo ArticlesFunny Pictures Of AnimalsPictures of Cute Cats Doing Funny ThingsFunny Pictures of Elephants Doing Extraordinary Things! Flying elephants, Disco ElephantsFunny Animals - Pictures of funny animals like cats, dogs, cows, and MoreFunny Dogs - Cute Puppies - Cute Dog Pictures - The Funniest Pictures on the Net.
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Starting a Stock Photo Career

 The demand for stock images, and consequently stock photography, is exploding.

Picture of a monkey in an office on the phone conducting business
PIcture of office monkey on phone  
Picture of a man working in an office with a monkey on his back
Picture of monkey and office
photograph of a man with a monkey on his back
Monkey on his back
picture of gas pumps and nozzles  
Picture of gas pumps
picture of a person holding a gas pump nozzle
Picture of gas pump nozzle
stock photo of gas pump nozzle
gas pump nozzle
picture of a waiting room full of patients with injuries
Picture doctor waiting room
stock photo of bored people in waiting room - ethnic people
picture of people waiting
Photo of a lion sitting in a chair next to an anxious asian man
business man and lion picture
   

Starting a Stock Photo Career

I firmly believe that now is the most exciting time ever to be a photographer, and to be shooting stock.  There are more tools and more opportunities than ever before. The playing field has been leveled.  The demand for stock images, and consequently stock photography, is exploding.

Of course, there is more competition than ever before, a glut of photography in the market place, and tremendous downward pressure on prices.  Still, over all, I believe the opportunities outweigh the difficulties.  Let’s take a look at some ways to get a stock career going in these exciting times.

To succeed in stock photography think long term

There isn’t a professional photographer I know, who doesn’t look back at his early work and cringe at least a little bit.  I know that while there are images from early in my career that I am still proud of, there are definitely images that are embarrassing.  Even now there are at least four images in my Getty collection that I actually wish they would take down.  Oh well.  To actually be able to earn a living from stock is going to require a significant body of work.  That will take time to build up. While you’re building up your body of work there are other, at least in my opinion, important steps to take.  

Create a web presence

Get a web site up to showcase your work.  Optimize for the search engines.  There is no doubt in my mind that there people looking for stock photos will increasingly be looking for and finding stock pictures on the web sites of individuals as well as agencies.  I personally am preparing for that by migrating my images on to my site and providing links to the agencies that carry them.  If you want to, or need to, market and license your images yourself there is an increasing array of tools to help with that process.  It is getting easier and easier.

Create images that are needed

Study the market to find out where the holes are.  I am guessing that the market does not need a lot of businessmen on cell phones.  But there are plenty of images that the market does need.  Find those holes and fill them with images that you have passion about shooting. Study the images are used in magazines, on book covers, bus shelters and on the web. 

Search the web and search on the agencies to see where there is a need for images.  Put yourself in the shoes of someone looking for an image to advertise your business.  Just yesterday I put myself in the shoes of a business owner and searched to see what I could find.  I started out imagining myself as the owner of a dry cleaning business.  I came to the realization that, at least in my mind, there is a definite need for images in that business sector. 

It is amazing that with the unfathomable number of images out there, the number of “holes” is so encouraging!  Also, there is always a need for concept images such as “teamwork”, “success”, “standing out from the crowd” and others that are new and different.  You can’t go wrong with quality concept images.

Focus on Quality

Quantity is important, but quality is more important.  Quality content is increasingly vital.  In the early days of stock quality was not an issue.  It is now.  Recently, Yuri Arcurs, the world’s top micro stock shooter, who has also been shooting traditional stock for a year now, told me that he believes shooting successful micro stock is more difficult than shooting for traditional stock, that the standards are actually higher.  Whether that is true or not, the quality bar has been setting awfully high.  Consider it your job to raise that bar even higher.

Slow and steady wins the race

As you create your quality, relevant, images, submit them to agencies, post them on your own site, optimize that site, and stick to it.  Like the tortoise and the hare, one day you will wake up and realize that all the time and effort have been worth it.  You will be your own boss, can work from anywhere at what you love to do, and have an income stream that is only limited by your willingness to do what it takes.