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When you bought your camera, if you’re like most people, you took it out of the box, turned it on, and started shooting. You may have briefly glanced at the instruction booklet… or maybe not.

I don’t blame you. Who wants to spend a bunch of time trying to read and decipher a camera manual that might as well have been written in Greek? Especially when you have a shiny new toy in front of you.

Fresh camera, new out of the box.

Playing with your fresh camera, new out of the box,

On top of it, many camera menu systems are also complicated and confusing. Most people just go with the factory defaults and call it good.

That’s ok for the most part when you’re starting out, but there is one pesky setting you should find and possibly change RIGHT NOW.

It’s your camera quality setting.

Some cameras come directly from the factory set to shoot at a low quality setting.

Why would anyone do that?

Because shooting at low quality creates smaller-sized image file, which means you can fit more photos on your memory card.

But the problem with this for stock photography is that you actually want the largest and best-quality images possible.

When you think about it, you’re selling pixels. The larger the image file, the more useful it will be for photo buyers, and the more sales you’ll make.

So dust off that user manual (or do a quick online search) and find your “quality” setting.

If you’re already shooting in RAW, you don’t have to worry about this. Carry on. (What’s RAW? Read about it here.)

But if you’re shooting in JPEG, make sure your camera is set to “high-quality,” “fine,” or “super fine.”

You’ll only have to change this once, and it can make or break your photos for stock.

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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