Photos By Rikki » SF Bay Area | Freelance Photographer

all about stock

See the badges? It’s iStockphoto. Yeah. I’ve been accepted at iStockphoto! Woohoo! So now what? Well, it’ll be capturing photos with potential stock acceptance in mind. So how does one shoot for stock photography? For starters, I dug through my archived images looking for photos to upload for review. I submitted 22 images. The review process takes about a week as you can just imagine the amount of uploads iStock receives every single hour. Of the 22 images, 8 have been accepted and 2 are still in the queue. If my math is correct, that’s a hit rate of 40%. I suppose that isn’t bad given the fact that these submissions are simply photos I’ve already previously taken prior to being accepted as a stock photographer.

So what images sell? In short, EVERYTHING… well to an extent. The best images tend to be the professionals at work specially at a business setting. When taking photos, think of lifestyle images, specially ones that showcase different races and/or cultures. The only thing to remember here is that whenever there is a person that has a distinguishable face or feature, the stock agencies will most often ask for a model release.

I submitted an image showing a couple exchanging rings at a wedding. The crop was just showing the hands and the ring. The reviewers rejected my photo because I didn’t give them a model release as they thought the hands were still recognizable. Strict enough for you? So you’re probably wondering which images made the cut. Well, here are a few samples.


I probably have a few more images that I can upload direct from my old portfolio. However at this point, I’m already thinking of shooting for stock. Whenever I have sessions, I still think about the value of stock and what it can bring. I know it’ll be slow-going the first few months. However, all I need is one good image that has a high selling value for business and I’ll be on a roll. The hard part though is making that first sale. It’s been a few weeks now since I’ve had my first image approved and so far zero sales. But then again, my portfolio is still in its infancy.

Time to pick up the camera and start shooting again. Click on the badge below to see my growing portfolio.

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