Even before I pick up my camera to start shooting my stock photography, the one thing I like to keep in the forefront of my mind is a solid understanding of my purpose. I want to know exactly why I take the photograph and how I’ll use it. For example, will it be a placeholder, still life, or an accompaniment to an inspirational quote? Knowing this helps me a when lot I’m styling the setup. For example, if I’m going to use the photo for an ad or a stock image, I might need room for text or, if I´m going to use it for an article I´m writing for my blog, then I might need it to fit a certain theme or headline. If I’m photographing a lifestyle series of a location, a restaurant or an interior, I make sure that all the photos flow together. I also consider a color palette. Colors are important when I am creating themes.
I also think about the feeling I want the viewer to have when they look at my final photo. The atmosphere and mood of a still life can be created by the choice of props, color tones, backgrounds, settings and of course the choice of lighting. I also consider my personal style and just before I take the photo I´ll ask myself if it will fit in well with my portfolio. It´s a good way to keep my mind on the ball, so to speak, and stay true to my style.
When creating a stock stylized stock portfolio consider the following:
- The purpose
- The theme
- The color palette
- The feeling/atmosphere
- Your personal style
Stock photography in a nutshell
Purpose: For a blog post about self-care
Theme: Home Escapes
Feeling: Sprong is here, relaxed, quiet
Personal style: Modern and feminine
- Kitchen counters or tables
- On the floor
- Tabletop or a bench
- Anywhere with good light
- Great Backgrounds:
- Tea towels
- Colorful paper from an art shop
- Old wooden doors
- Make your own
- A white/black reflector or board (v-flats) I’ve done this with leftover pizza boxes!
Popular Props & Objects to Photograph:
- Vintage things Desserts and Cakes
- Coffee & Tea Breakfast, Snack or Lunch
- Photos & Cameras
- Homemade things
- Seasonal items (Christmas, Easter, Spring, Summer, etc.)
Ideas for shooting angle and composition:
- shoot from above and below
- Use reflectors to open up shadows.
- Use the 5 degree rule, move 5degrees in either direction to get a different perspective
- shoot the details
- Allow some negative space for text or logos
- Remember the rule of third
- Play with depth of field
I want to know what you think and about starting with stock and still life photography. Dish in the comments. Ask me questions share your thoughts. Feel free to join the Instagram Facebook group as well where we inspire and share feedback on photos and support each others IG posts as well.