Skip to main content

photo & video

Shooting for Stock Photography

Lesson 5 of 19

Briefs, Trends and Inspiration

Geo Rittenmyer

Shooting for Stock Photography

Geo Rittenmyer

buy this class


Sale Ends Soon!

starting under


Unlock this classplus 2000+ more >

Lesson Info

5. Briefs, Trends and Inspiration

Lesson Info

Briefs, Trends and Inspiration

Briefs, Trends, Inspirations. But what is needed for the agencies to put into a catalog that is selling. This is an important part of stock. And this is what really getting into an agency, how it really helps you is, are these trend reports. So if you're not in an agency, you can find these, you can go online, you can search for them. In the bonus materials, I have a few links to some of them, and you'll actually get the gallery stock one that Jen talks about. It's actually being given to everyone who gets the course as a PDF. What they are are they are a bunch of images, and a little synopsis of different areas where photography is needed. So one of them might be on, I know one of them was on millennials, so this millennial generation. So the idea is we want to capture young adults, late teens, early 20s, out there in their social groups, interacting, using their devices and kind of give examples of those pictures that are selling. So it gives you a reason inspiration to go out and sh...

oot these pictures. And what happens at these agencies as you get a trend report, they ask for these pictures. You go out and shoot a bunch of them. They like them, they love them. They put them into these curated galleries, and they send these out to different agencies and advertisers and magazines, and these magazines this is what they've been wanting, so they get this collection of these pictures that are just curated shown to them. So it's like freed advertising for your pictures, and those are the ones that are initially seen. So they'll see one of your pictures that you took and love it and would be oh we need to use this one. So it's a great way to keep shooting and actually seeing your work have a better chance of being sold, so these are kind of the idea of getting into an agency. If you're not in an agency, there's plenty of other places to go out there and get inspiration. The internet is definitely one of them. I like to pick up a magazine, and foot through magazine, look at all the pictures. I'm sure you guys do that too. That's what photographers like to do. Next time you're flying somewhere, show up to the airport 30 minutes earlier, go to that newsstand, all those magazines. Just pick them up and just flip through. It just gives you an idea of what is being sold and what's being used out there. And then also take note of kind of the style, the color toning and the feel of it. All that stuff it's even more relevant now. And more important. And these briefs will and trend reports kind of show you that, give you an example. So right now, this sort of kind of low-fi look, that's like the Instagram filter look on pictures, is really popular. And we'll talk about how to do some of that later on, when we get into the retouching and toning part. But keep an eye on that. If you see a picture in a magazine, that kind of inspires you, has the look you like, take your phone out, take a picture of it. Only use it for your personal use and then delete it, but use it as inspiration for how you want to take some photos. If you have an idea for a photoshoot, and you see these pictures that are toned and these really cool muted tones, then go ahead and do that processing to your pictures. It helps, it helps a lot. And you learn all of this, in these trends, and just by staying out there and watching. One of the links I put on there for looking at stuff, is Vivo, which is music videos. I don't know if you guys watch music videos, maybe not. It's always been sort of an inspiration for me. A lot of times I watch the videos with the volume off, because I don't like the music, but the visual part of a music video is always kind of fun, because it's an area where people who are really creative are kind of trying new things and doing new things. And so I take a quite a bit of inspiration off the looks of music videos, so it's something that, I'm sure everybody has their favorite places for inspiration. That's one of them. I'm sure people hear of Pinterest. Pinterest boards, yeah another good way. There's some people out there who are fantastic at curating Pinterest boards of like visually awesome things and have a look to them. Those people maybe they are photographers, maybe they're just people who really have an eye for visual stuff, and they're sharing that eye with you. And you get to kind of see that and then you can use that as your inspiration for creating these new looks. The trend reports and staying up with what is out there is super, super important. We'll talk a little more kind of in the production part of it about finding subjects and we'll reference going back to these to find where your actual subject matter should be about. Definitely, keep being inspired. Just as we finish this part up, one thing to keep in mind with stock photography is the goal is to make money. Absolutely that's the first goal. But a goal that's almost as important is that it's a way to keep you shooting what you want and shooting new stuff. That gets you out there trying new things. When you see these new pictures that are doing well and selling and what an agency is asking for, it makes you think okay let's go and try something new. Let's evolve my photography. What you're taking for a stock shooter, what you're kind of testing and trying out is not necessarily gonna go on to your portfolio. It might not even really work. But it gets you trying different things and it gets you thinking about different things. And all it does is better your own personal work. And makes whatever other photography you're trying to do even better. So if you can make a few 100 dollars to a few 1000 dollars a month off of stock photography and you can just dump that back into taking more pictures, it's just a snowball effect. Your pictures just keep getting better. You'll keep getting more stock. It'll keep generating more money. Your portfolio will get even stronger and bigger and better and you'll get big ad jobs. And you will be able to buy your own island somewhere. (audience laughing) So we'll talk about these trend reports a little more, when Jen comes she'll talk about them. Do you guys anybody out there have a place where they like to draw inspiration from? Anybody want to share? Instagram. Instagram. Yeah Instagram is a good one. It's so fast, it's so quick. It's like instantly looking at stuff, but yeah there's tons of motivation, inspiration there. I wish I was better at social, but Instagram is definitely the one that I like to at the end of the day just scroll through and see what's out there. I just work for a digital marketing agency, and we often had to look for stock photography for our clients, to send out just a list of what we thought were the best for kind of the look and feel they were going for. And I found a lot of inspiration on Stocksy actually. I think they do a great job with their collections. Yeah that's true. Yeah Stocksy is a good one. There's a lot, you will see on the list that I gave. There's a lot of agencies out there and the big thing now are these curated galleries that these places are doing. I know, yeah Stocksy does that. A lot of them do that where yeah they kind of give you a sort of topic, and then they curate a gallery of awesome images, like 25 to 150 of them. And then it's like the best of the best. And it's yeah definitely a great place of inspiration. It's where I look for inspiration all the time. I have a couple of tabs in my browser that are always open and I'm always just looking at them. There's a few other ones out there. Behance is pretty good for people who are trying different personal projects from all around the world. That's on there. 500Pixels is another site that's got tons of stuff coming up on it. So those are definitely ones to check out. Those are on the list of inspiration points that I give. Anybody else? Any other inspirations? Flickr. Flickr, yeah. I haven't used Flickr so much. I wish Flickr was so good but they're still good, but it's just I don't know, I feel like they haven't quite kept up with some of the other sites in the coolness. But Flickr is also great. Especially for like the sub genres, if you're aerial, underwater, there's so many people sharing what they do on there and it's a great place to kind of see what other people are doing and get inspirations and ideas to make it even better. That's just a cover of an old one from 2012. That had no pictures on it. So I figure it'd be okay to show here. This is kind of the front of it. So normally you open it up and it will be lots of pictures, some type describing what's looking for. And sometimes it will be one topic. Sometimes it will be 10 topics. Any question? Can I ask a quick question, really quick about model releases? Yes. What do you do if the person you have a photo of has passed away? Like I have a picture of my grandpa that I want to submit to stock. I would ask your agency. That stuffs a little tough. If it's a family member, if there was rights to given to an estate, then the estate executor would probably have to sign off on that. If it's a family member and there was none, then it's probably okay to use, it's probably fine. Check on it. I don't know, if you have a real dysfunctional family that fights over everything, you might want to be a little careful on that, but that's a really good question. Something I really don't have an answer for. Maybe reach out to some other people, lawyers, agencies, see what they say.

Class Description

The world of stock photography can feel complicated, but commercial and editorial photographer, Geo Rittenmyer, will show you how to create and sell stock photography from any situation. In this course, he’ll cover the essentials of stock photography, the differences between royalty free or rights managed, as well as where stock is utilized in today’s world. He’ll also be interviewing an art director at a top agency to better understand what types of imagery stock agencies are looking for. 

Topics include: 

  • Techniques for shooting when traveling and what to think about when taking a photo 
  • How to set up a low-cost stock specific studio shoot 
  • How to utilize Adobe® Photoshop® & Lightroom CC to organize your catalog and keywords for easy access 
  • How to find a stock agency for your work 
  • When and where to use model or property releases 

Stock photography can allow you to shoot for your clients, as well as your passion. Get back to shooting what you love and make money at the same time! 

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

2017 Gallery Stock Trend Report

Sample Model Release

Sample Property Release

Stock Agencies List

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

Related Classes


Amy Vaughn

Personally, I really liked this class, but I can see why it wouldn’t be for everyone looking for information about stock photography. I’ve already researched and started doing microstock, but now I’m looking for more information about other options. This class was a good fit for me. Although Geo seemed new to public speaking and used too many fillers like “uh” and “um”, I found him likable and surprisingly relatable considering our different photographic niches. This class may be best suited for: Learning more about boutique galleries, rights managed stock and alternatives to microstock Seeing how this particular stock photographer works, gets inspiration and has been successful Getting ideas about current trends and sources for inspiration Getting the perspective of a creative director for a boutique agency Those interested in lifestyle photography May not be as suitable for: Broader and more in depth information about the variety of options in stock photography Those who want to focus on microstock New photographers who want detailed information about getting started and meeting technical requirements Those who prefer a more polished speaker

Carol Totaro

I thought this was a great class and have to disagree with some of the comments from the hands down viewers. The audience was listless and did not seem to be interested in being there. Do you know how difficult it is to stand up in front of a bunch like this and keep your mojo racing? Very difficult. Hardly anyone asked questions and they all just gave a lot of nods most of the time. If your read ahead of time the info on the class, you would see that he was going to go into Lightroom and workflow. Yes, some of it was a drag especially all those pictures taken from the condo at a FL panhandle beach. But nothing's perfect. Maybe I got a lot out of this because I am newer at photography. I was glad to know about his equipment. Everyone's personality is different and for all the talent and success Geo has enjoyed, he remains a humble and very likeable guy.

Christina Biasi

I loved this class! I cannot agree with some other reviews below at all Geo gives so much valuable information, and in fact I love his style much more than many other over-self confident speakers. He is sympathetic and likeable, and most importantly give very much valuable insights into stock photography. I just started with stock and got all my questions answered. I watched it already three times. The only part which I did not like so much was the post-processing part, because he could have explained better his workflow and why he chose certain actions. But that does not impact on the overall quality of the course. I can only highly recommend this class