A Beginners Guide to What Stock Photos Sell Best

Selling stock photos is one of the best ways to earn money for photographers. If you are a photographer having a desire to sell stock photos but don’t know where to start, we have got something nice for you in this blog. There are several factors that decide the value of a stock photo in the online market and what stock photos sell best, and we are going to talk about all those factors here.

If you are a beginner in this game, take a look at the points mentioned below to start selling your stock photos.


People are always looking for photos that feel natural. You can achieve it either by shooting something from real life (which might be quite difficult) or you can arrange it in a closed environment. Your focus and effort should be in giving a candid look to all the photos that you shoot. There is a need for a model release form for getting a license to sell your photos.

If don’t have it then, the faces of the persons appearing in the photograph should not be clearly visible. This work can be done very easily if your friends and some of the family members agree to be a part of it but they should sign the form before starting the photoshoot.

The world is full of such inspiration if you spend a little time outdoors and observe the way people interact with each other. Only after you have got enough ideas, you can sell photos.

Your stock photos should express something

Whenever you are shooting a photo, keep in mind that it should express something. The outdoor pictures should have an expression like joy (as in a party where people are having a good time), excitement (when someone is surprised), or sorrow (looking at the faces of people whose supporting team has been defeated).

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This is the way should do it outdoors. Such photos can be best captured during some events. For the outdoor photos, a proper knowledge about lighting is necessary. Proper gear should be used based on the season as you know the intensity of sunlight depends a lot on seasons.

If you are looking for some inspiration indoors, keeping your camera focus close to the faces will give meaning to your photos. Best indoor photos like this can be captured on occasions. Though you can also create an occasion like feeling if you have suitable persons to do that.

The same is the case with indoor photography. Look for the source of light whenever you are shooting a photo. In order to have perfect photos, you should have proper lighting at the place where an event is to be organised.

Keep an eye on the trend

You can grab a spot in the online market only if you are going with the trend, and that you also know what stock photos sell best. There are several resources that may help you in knowing about the trend. The best option is to join a site like Shutterstock. Here, they will get you notified about all the emerging trends. Incorporate your ideas with the trends to create a perfect photo.

Whenever you are shooting something, the picture should be based on a familiar message. Using concepts like modern tech may be sounding for the younger generation but not for all. And when your photo shows something like love, joy, sorrow, etc. everyone is going to take the message.

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It doesn’t mean that you can’t use the modern tech in your photos. You should use it very often but use the modern tech to express the feelings of someone like old people having a good time talking to Alexa or anything like that.

Create your own genre

There are a lot of companies around the world that publish their own stock photos, and they also know what stock photos sell best. So, you should look for an inspiration that companies haven’t considered yet. This is the only way you are going to grab people’s attention. If you take a look at the most searched terms for stock photos, you will find a term that has hardly any competitors.

Search the idea that you think is unique, and see if there are such photos available on the internet. Once you are able to find a gap, work on creating photos that would fill those gaps for people, and hence you will get your own customers.

Now the price:

Money plays a very important role while buying something. No matter how unique a photo you are selling, if the customers don’t find it too expensive, it is not sure that they will buy your product. This section of the blog will tell you about the pricing strategy for your stock photos:

There are some questions that you need to ask yourself before you decide the price of your photo and these questions include:

  • How many similar search results are there if someone searched your image and what is the price range of those images?
  • Does the quality of the image matches with the price you are claiming for it?
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Only after getting proper answers to these questions, you will be able to set the proper price for your image. Now there are some questions that need to be acknowledged for the clients, have a look at it:

  • How are they going to use your image?
  • What is the time span of the usage of this image?
  • Where are they going to use this image and what should be the size for it?
  • What are they planning to sell using this image like in international market or local market?

Conclusion: what stock photos sell best

We have mentioned a lot of things that would be of great help for amateur photographers on what stock photos sell best. This is a nice profession if you are good at observing details. This is a career worth pursuing and it will get you enough money too.

Just keep your camera with you all the time as you don’t know where you are going to find a perfect shot, it can be anywhere. Make sure that your image is holding a concept in it because people are always looking for some story in a picture.