Who makes a good stock photographer?
You don’t have to be a full-time photographer and you don’t need to have a degree in photography. To be a stock photographer, you need to understand how to make a business out of selling photos. What will ultimately determine your success will not be how lovely or surprising your photos are, but how well you can meet a commercial or even conceptual need with your images and make a profit on top. You could be a good stock photographer if you are willing to learn what the market demands, decide what image needs you can meet, and develop a work system that produces both quantity and quality of images.
If you don´t care what the market needs, but are determined to photograph burned out buildings or dirty feet, then you might not be a good stock photographer. You probably won´t be a good match if you want to make a name for yourself as a big shot artist, and consider that any stock agency should be honoured to work for you, selling your images. Don´t mistake your business relationship with an agency for an employer/employee relationship or a friendship.
Typical photographer misconception. There exists a very common misconception that stock agencies exist to serve photographers. This is actively promoted in certain markets or agencies either out of blissful, idealistic thinking or because it suits the agencies´ purpose to create that illusion. “The stock photo business is all about the photo buyer, not the photographer.” If you are shocked to learn that stock agencies exist to serve buyers, not photographers, you will need to take the next dramatic step of learning that stock photographers also exist to serve the buyers. We’ll get to that later though, because right now, I want to give you some good news. There are stock agencies out there that do give service to their photographers, and as a photographer, when choosing an agency, you should choose the one whose service, compensation rate offered, and sales quantity( proportional to the number of your images they represent) makes the right balance for you.