Shooting for Stock Photography


Shooting for Stock Photography


Lesson Info

Variation of Angles

Unlike a lot of other aspects of photography where you're focusing on one subject or the picture is about a subject, for the stock stuff, it's not so much about the subject, it's more about the feeling in the environment, and being able to place yourself in those environments. Don't ever feel like you need to put on a 50-millimeter lens and stand there and frame a person up in the middle. And the rule of thirds, you don't even have to really pay attention to that too much. I mean, do both of those things, put somebody in the middle of the frame, put somebody in a third of a frame, but also cut somebody in half, take a picture of just somebody's hands up in the air, climb up on top of a ledge, on a bench, bring a ladder with you so you can shoot overhead. Put your camera on a monopod, hold it up in the air to get overhead, put your camera on the ground. If you're shooting the beach, dig a little hole and shoot up out of the sand. There's no limit, there's no right way, wrong way, just a...

lways be trying to find different angles. And then another angle that's really important, the POV, the point-of-view angle. Shoot over someone's shoulder. Put the camera right next to them, and get a picture of their hands out doing something. You really want to invoke the feeling that you're joining them. Don't hesitate to go right up next to somebody, shoot behind them, shoot their back, shoot the back of their legs, shoot just their feet, body parts, it's not about the person, it's about the feeling, and that's one thing that's real important for stock, is just have these variations, and realize that the picture is more, for the moment, for the feeling of it, rather than the subject. So I think that's probably one of the most important lessons that I'd like to share, is that stock photography is a way to really just try new things, and experiment, and just keep yourself creative and motivated. You're not under some kind of strict guidelines. There's not the pressure of having to perform when you're doing something where somebody's actually, has money invested in you. This is something that you do for yourself, so just getting out there and always taking pictures, and just always trying new things. And, after a few years of it, you really will see, it's odd what sells and what doesn't sell, and how stuff that was just kind of a, yeah, let's give it a try, or just a quick snap ends up being something that's really successful. Even when you're out on a stylized shoot and you're putting some money into it, don't just be like, I have these pictures that I saw that I like from this angle, and I'm gonna copy that, I'm gonna duplicate that. Sure, shoot that, maybe that's what you think's gonna work best, but don't feel like you can't get up high, get really low, crop into people, do some detail shots, just shoot as much as you can. Don't overshoot, don't complicate it too much, but just always be trying new and different things. And that's what I find the biggest joy in stock photography is, that I get to take a picture of anything that I want and try anything that I want.

Class Description

"I really enjoyed Geo's course. I am now much more encouraged about stock photography."
CL Student, Coastrbc

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!