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Top 20 of “Do´s & Don´ts for a good stock image”
  1. Do show a clear intention in all of your photos, whether it be to show a human interaction or the beauty of a landscape.
  2. Do make luminous and bright images whenever possible, as clients are not usually looking for dark and dull to meet their image needs.
  3. Do focus on the positive side of society and the positive ways to discuss an issue.
  4. Don’t be descriptive with very general wide angle shoots which show a ton of subjects in the frame, none of them with visual prominence.
  5. Do define clearly a foreground, middle ground, and a background whenever possible.
  6. Do search out good photo angles early in the morning and late in the afternoon. For really creative imagery, avoid the “the ten in the morning to five in the afternoon hours”.
  7. Don’t shoot buildings/monuments on grey overcast days unless the sky forms an interesting/dramatic backdrop. Use those days to concentrate on details.
  8. Don’t shoot against the sun unless you are shooting a sunrise or sunset with an interesting foreground.
  9. Don’t forget the description and keywords! Images of places are worthless if they don’t have at least the names of the countries, towns, regions, cities, valleys, mountains, rivers, etc that appear in the image. But try to waste the minimum amount of time in administrative matters because this will reduce your production of images. In photography the most important thing is to shoot.
  10. Do make sure that your portraits have a shallow depth of field so that the face stands out noticeably from the background and make sure that the background is not so active that distracts from your portrait.
  11. Do make photos of people that appear natural in the action/emotion that they convey, not forced or exaggerated; avoid comic faces if there isn’t a well outlined humorous concept that has a clear critical intention.
  12. Do make standout images of ordinary people in everyday moments with enough copy (empty) space to give designers space to insert slogans, texts, etc. Agencies need images of all of the ordinary life activities, but they must be clean, well-constructed images and you should seek out the most professional attitudes/poses possible, even in your non-professional models.
  13. Do create images of people and objects with copy (empty) space, which gives designers space to insert slogans, texts, etc. These evocative images can meet the need of the advertising market, an important market for those who want to earn good money.
  14. Don’t forget the description and keywords (again)! Most images of animals and plants are absolutely worthless if they don’t have thorough documentation. Animals and plants should appear with their common name, Latin name, place where the image was taken, and information about whether the species is endangered, protected, etc.
  15. Do take images of industry, economy, technology, and medicine which clearly show the actions and processes involved in these fields. Here’s a few examples of specific areas of interest in industry and economy:
    • Shoot commercial harbours that have intense industrial traffic.
    • Shoot important roads and highways with intense traffic, especially of trucks.
    • Shoot railroad traffic, specially high speed trains, but avoid static shots of them on the station.
  16. Don’t forget the description and keywords (for the last time)! Most images of industry, economy, technology, and medicine are absolutely worthless if they don’t have thorough documentation. The documentation should include information about the process, machines, techniques, etc. shown in the image.
  17. Do be graphic and iconic: interesting signs and logos sell but make sure that they are not protected by copyright.
  18. Do be creative and explore unusual angles and frames. Everyone is tired of seeing the same old photos of the same old monuments again and again shot with the same classical lenses. However, avoid extreme distortion and don´t use the barrel effect without a good reason.
  19. Do work on developing a unique style and a flawless technique. In today’s market, that will be what sets your images apart, and gives them value.
  20. Shoot, Shoot, Shoot!! Don’t stop shooting. That is the only way to accomplish step #19.
If you have any doubts, or need further information, please contact
Raquel Gisbert.

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