One of the things I do in my spare time is taking stock portraits for platforms like Gettys, ShutterStock and Adobe Stock. I avoided this for a very long time because what people looked for in stock in the past has tended to be very contrived and posed photos which is completely the opposite of my style. This has changed dramatically in recent times -- with the advent of smartphones and mobile photography and platforms like Instagram, people want more relaxed, candid and authentic photos.
What is stock photography?
Stock photography is the supply of photographs for commercial use. For example, it might be used in business presentations, outdoor advertising, magazines, flyers and everything in between. There are different kinds of sub-categories of stock photography including higher priced macrostock to microstock which is low-priced and accessible.
What you need to know as a stock model
Why you would do stock:
- An opportunity to get a great portrait of yourself at a low cost
- If you are a professional model, an opportunity to add more to your professional portfolio
- It's fun! I often organize group stock shoots so you get to meet and chat with interesting new people
There are a few things that you need to know about being a stock model:
- Be prepare to sign a standard model release form that is provided by a platform like ShutterStock
- This basically consents the use of your image for business use
- As the model, you may not have control over how this image is used ("Hey! I just saw me in an ad for wines in Romania!")
- I might not be able to pay much (by way of discounts) for models since I sell Microstock which pays $0.25 per download
How to prepare for your stock portrait photoshoot
Here are a few tips:
- Plan your outfits carefully
- Avoid any distinctive logos or trademarks (e.g. Adidas 3 stripes, prominent logos on your clothing and accessories, etc)
- Come to the shoot rested and hydrated
- Think about bringing accessories that mean something to you (e.g. watches, spectacles, sunglasses, pocket squares, brooches, pins, scarves, favorite books, pens, etc) -- they can go a long way in making the overall ensemble "work"
Where can I view samples of your stock work?
You can view specific examples of my stock work at Shutterstock. Here is a gallery with a few select shots from recent stock shoots.