One of the most thrilling parts of selling stock photos is the element of surprise.
Once you build up your portfolio, it’s fun to login to your sites to see which of your stock photos have sold.
And while some stock photo sales are predictable, other times you feel like you really hit the jackpot.
That’s what happened to Breakfast Stock Club member Theresa St John recently when she logged into Dreamstime. Theresa managed to sell 51 photos in a single sale! I’ll let her explain how she did it below.
51 Reasons you should take more than one picture
By stock photographer and BSC member, Theresa St John
A few years ago, I didn’t know a thing about stock photography.
I grew up with cameras and can remember, quite vividly, following my Dad around the yard with an old vintage Brownie. I learned about photography as we went along. He was a great teacher, and I was an eager student.
Dad loved bugs. The bigger, the better.
But we’d hunt them down anyway, pinning them to a cork board. Afterwards, he’d take what seemed like a gazillion pictures. I would whine a little and ask him, “Why so many?”
He’d respond, “Why not?”
I stumbled across Breakfast Stock Club in 2012. It was a life saver. Dad had just passed away. I was filled with grief and hoped to get lost in the art of taking pictures.
Plus, the mere thought of stock photography was intriguing! Could I really take photos and sell them online?
In 2013, I attended the Ultimate Money-Making Photography Workshop in Miami. That’s where I truly realized how stock photography might play an important role in my career.
My Dad’s love of taking many pictures of the same thing followed me. I learned to take photos from different angles and in different lighting. Oftentimes, I would return throughout the year and capture the same image in different seasons.
I enjoyed taking photos of most everything, but stock photography changed my way of looking at things. Now, before I aimed my camera, I found myself studying a scene, purposefully thinking about who might be interested in purchasing it. Would they want a vertical shot – maybe for a magazine or book cover? Maybe they’d rather a horizontal shot, with lots of copy space for advertising.
All of a sudden, Dad and the thought of his ongoing photo series hit me. What would happen if I started taking sets of the same thing, like he did? I could concentrate on angles, time of day, and close-ups. Maybe someone would need several photos — for a blog, article or book.
Oftentimes, with stock, you just never know.
Last summer, I met up with a friend in Cleveland, and we spent the day visiting the zoo, botanical garden, and wandering through an art museum. We crammed a lot of sightseeing into our five days together.
What a beautiful place Cleveland was! The architecture was stunning, the gardens breathtakingly beautiful and the art museum deserved more of our time. Needless to say, I took about 1,000 pictures.
I know, I know, “Why so many?”
When I got home, it took days to edit and upload the very best as editorial stock on Dreamstime.
And many sold, here and there over the next year, which made me happy.
However, two weeks ago, I logged onto the site and imagine my surprise to see that someone had just purchased 51 images from our five days in Ohio!
Here are a few that sold:
I’m glad that taking a series of people, places and things has become such an important part of my stock photography process over the past few years. Gone are the days of taking just one or two images of, well, anything.
Except for bugs. Thanks, but no thanks. I’ll pass on that one, Dad.
Thanks for sharing your story Theresa! We can all learn from this experience… in fact, next week, we’ll delve further into “working the shot,” and how it can help your photography improve instantly.
[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.]