Photos of people do sell better than anything else in stock. Not sure who will model for you? Consider… you!
Stock photographer Danny Warren loves outdoor adventures with family and friends. So much so that it’s become his niche in stock. And some of his best-sellers are self-portraits.
Since this month’s Breakfast Stock Club Premium Challenge theme is “Grand Adventure,” I asked Danny to share his adventure selfie technique, below. Read on to learn how to sell photos from your own adventures.
Keep in mind that you don’t have to be a mountain climber to take photos for this month’s theme. “Adventure” could be taking a road trip… trying a new ice cream flavor… jumping into a cold lake… getting on a plane… the possibilities are endless.
How To Sell Photos of Adventure Selfies
By stock photographer, Danny Warren
As I rounded a corner of the popular Horsetail Falls hiking trail in the Columbia River Gorge, I saw a faint path branching off that led straight up the slope. Could this be the way to the ominously named Devil’s Backbone I had read about? There was no sign at the intersection, but it matched the vague description I had printed out, so I left the comfort of a known route and scrambled upwards.
I was on a mission. My goals were twofold: to spend the morning exploring a new and beautiful place less than an hour from my home, and, to return home with a few stock-worthy images to sell, taken from a unique and seldom-visited vantage point.
I made slow but steady progress upward, using handholds and footholds at times, trying to follow the faint path through the cliffs. Gaining almost a thousand feet, I came across the unmistakable narrow ridge high above the surrounding trees.
After catching my breath, I started exploring the space for perspectives that I could juxtapose my model (myself), against the rugged backdrop. I set up my tripod, pulled out a tiny $25 remote control, and started taking images on a 2-second delay to give me time to hide the remote. I tried a few different angles and concepts, but in each I attempted to convey a person surrounded by a big pristine environment.
This photo, which I took that day, has become one of my best-selling stock images and has brought in over $3,700 in royalties − not bad for a morning of work!
Adventure-themed pictures like this have proven to be a highly marketable subject in stock photography. Likely because it conveys many different positive big ideas: health, wellness, and active living just to name a few.
Think of how an image of a couple on a sailboat can be used to express the idea of freedom, or how a mountain climber can represent hard work and determination and you can understand why adventure images sell so well.
I’ve carved my niche with a stock portfolio full of images from hiking, camping, and climbing trips I take. I’ve found this field of photography so incredibly rewarding because it both pays well, and even better, I get to find real adventures in the process. I couldn’t ask for more!
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.