Last week, I gave you a couple of simple strategies to keep on top of what’s selling in the stock photo world. If you missed that issue, you can read it here.

Now, let’s look at how to see what’s selling specifically on the stock sites where you submit (or plan to submit) photos.

This is something you can do right now, as you read this. It’ll take about a minute. Here’s how to follow along:

  1. Think of a few topics that you would like to photograph. These can be activities you enjoy, people you know, things in your hometown, etc. Or, if you recently took photos of some activity, thing, or place, you can use that.
  2. Open a web browser and go to www.istockphoto.com.
  3. In the search bar, next to the big magnifying glass, type in one of the topics you chose in #1. Ex. Europe train travel, mountain hiking, wine tasting, shopping, French cooking, etc.
  4. To the right where it says “images,” change it to “photos,” so you’re only looking at photos and not illustrations.
  5. Hit “enter.”
  6. On the top-left of the screen, click where it says “Refine” and under “Sort by,” select “Most popular.”
  7. Scroll through the images to see what people are buying in that topic. Take note of: the colors and contrast, the composition, the look and feel of the photos, the actual content of the photos.

Next time you plan to bring your camera along to an activity you love, try this first to see if it gives you some ideas. You never want to copy someone else’s photo, but you can always learn from what other people are doing right.

[Editor’s Note: Learn more about getting started selling your photos online in stock agencies – no matter how much or little photography experience you have – in the Breakfast Stock Club e-newsletter. It’s once a week, and it’s free to join, here.] 

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