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Utilizing Adobe Stock: From Shoot to Sale

Lesson 2 of 6

Examples of Mat's Stock Work

Mat Hayward

Utilizing Adobe Stock: From Shoot to Sale

Mat Hayward

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Lesson Info

2. Examples of Mat's Stock Work


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2 Examples of Mat's Stock Work Duration:19:22
3 How to Shoot Stock Duration:11:03
4 How to Submit Stock Duration:07:18
6 Making Money with Stock Duration:11:10

Lesson Info

Examples of Mat's Stock Work

I will show you some of my work. The primary focus on my photography business, I shoot full time, I shoot entertainment and events, celebrity events, portraits, things of that nature. That's not for Adobe Stock. If people ask what kind of photographer I am, I'm not a stock photographer. I shoot shock in addition too because my entertainment, while it does keep me very busy, it's not seven days a week. I do have down time. While I have off time, I shoot stock, upload that and that's passive income for me. I get it up online, it's there forever until I take it down. While I am out shooting an event, I'm still making money on my stock content that I uploaded the week before. I'll just show you a few examples of my editorial work. Just to clarify, Adobe Stock is selling a commercial license and so you need to have a model release to sell that. We do sell editorial but all that content is sourced through Reuters. Contributors can't submit editorial right now. Some examples of my editorial w...

ork, this is the best quarterback in the NFL today, Russell Wilson of the Seattle Seahawks getting slimed by Nickelodeon for a promo shoot. He was getting ready to host the Kids Choice Sports Award. I'm not gonna go into deep stories in all these pictures but this one was particularly gratifying 'cause I had just got my 1DX Mark Two and this was the first time I was able to test it in the motor drive, like really high speed shutters. This was a one-time shot. You can't retake this photo and so I was very, very relieved. When I look at it today, I'm still relived that it came out. Do lots of work with Nordstrom. They bring in different celebrities for different promotional products and what not so Gwyneth Paltrow was in. I was a house photographer in the red carpet for the Oscars a couple years ago which was super fun. This is a personal portrait project I'm working on with celebrities. This window is my grandmother's house for 100 years and a remodel happened so it got taken down. I put different celebrities behind it. I had exclusive access to cover Adele here in Seattle, Sia, Radiohead. One of the best shows I've ever seen in my life. St. Vincent's incredible. I do love to shoot the crowd. It's always super fun. This shot illustrates the fact that country fans are the craziest. This is not even remotely close to the crazy shot. There's Wiz Khalifa. I tried to find a picture where he wasn't smoking but that just doesn't exist. Common. There was a Back to the Future reunion at Emerald City Comic Con a couple months ago. Stephen Perkins, my favorite drummer, my favorite band invited me to take pictures of him behind the stage at the Gorge which was like dream come true. Trent Reznor, another one of my heroes, approved these pictures which was great. All this stuff is super fun. I enjoy doing it. If you told the 16 year old version of me that I was gonna be shooting Metallica when I was I'd be like yeah whatever loser. You're such a liar. But it happened. It's really cool and I love doing it and I make money doing it, but it has a really short shelf life. The show, I shoot, or the event, it'll get ran, pictures will be published in newspapers and magazines, blogs and whatnot for the following week and then it really drops off. I do get residual sales here and there but that's the exception, not the rule. While I'm shooting this, these guys, I have them sign model releases. I can't submit this to Adobe Stock, but when I'm shooting a show, I can submit this to Adobe Stock. I am looking for opportunities even when I'm on a different kind of assignment, I'm looking for content that I can create that I can sell through stock. This is online. This has tons of sales and it sells every week. This is a pretty generic image. You can't recognize the people, it could be any stage in any town in the USA, any band playing. I don't even remember who the band was. You've got good negative space so I'll see this in use all the time. This is another example of a stock photo that I created while shooting a concert. I see this in articles all the time. Don't be that guy at the concert holding your phone up and I totally agree, don't be that guy at the concert holding your phone up. It's super annoying. There's a point to all this, why I'm showing you this content. I want you to pay attention to the next five images that I show you. Got U2, arguably the biggest band in the world, Oprah's a pretty famous person, AC/DC, I got The Boss, I got Sir Paul, shot him. Those five photos combined, if you took the sales, they pale in comparison to how much money I earned on the next photo that I'm about to show you. Are you ready? It's gonna blow your mind. Tah-dah! (everyone laughs) It's like, what? That's so stupid, right? Freaking jelly beans? But it's the truth because this picture's been up for a couple of years and just in Adobe Stock, this one has sold 334 times and the other variations have as well. Wide range of sale. Prices now go into the money aspect. This solves a lot of what's called and extended license, which an extended license is required if the customer's gonna use your image on a product where the primary value is the image and so T-shirts, postcards, in this case I've seen it on wrapping paper. You wouldn't buy the wrapping paper without the picture so they buy an extended license. This picture sells quite well. I'm not showing you this to advise you to take pictures of jelly beans and upload them to Adobe Stock. That market is mine, okay? (class laughs) I'm just telling you to show that you just never know what is gonna sell. I didn't plan to take this photo. My daughter had a high school project and she had to basically start up a candy store. We did this fun shoot, bought all this candy, and had her covered in it and surrounded and whatnot. Super fun pictures and then I thought, well I've got these piles of candy, I've got the lights already set up, snapped the picture, I'll get around to uploading that no problem. It's made me tons of money. Consistently it still sells day after day, week after week. Something to think about. Way back in a long distance away, I was a wedding photographer. Wasn't the best, wasn't the worst, but my prices were not super cheap and I had some couples that couldn't afford my rates and so I worked out a deal with them where I give them knock $500 off of the package or whatever in exchange for them signing a model release allowing me to sell the images of them for commercial use. I go into graphic detail on what that means. I tell them you sign this, you might see your picture on a billboard, on the cover of aa box of cereal, cell phone advertisement, who knows. Everyone was really happy with that and then now it's been 10 years since I shot a wedding, these pictures are still earning money for me. They've made much more money then I ever would've gotten charging them at full price for my wedding package. That's something to consider as well. I photograph the people that are in my life. These are my daughters, that's Savannah in the back and Sophie. Sophie just turned 14 and Savannah just turned and this picture is still selling for me. It's passive income and it's a good excuse for me to pick up my camera and take pictures of my kids and my wife 'cause when you're a photographer full time, it can be kind of a burden to go and do pictures when you're off, when you're resting, you're at home. This is a good excuse for me and sometimes I just need that extra little push. A couple years ago we did this shoot. My daughter and her friends. I've known these kids since they were babies. I gave them each $20. The parents, we all know each other and so I explained to them what the model release is about. We have great fun. They get the pictures for their Instagram and all that good stuff and it's cool. Here's my daughter's friends. It's like a cultural melting pot. We talk about diversity and so these pictures really sell in many, many different outlets. This was a shoot I did with a model local in Seattle at the Adobe gym and I had brought my daughter Savannah with me to help move lights around and whatnot and just kind of be there and observe. Then I put her to work. Hey, drop the reflector. Got her in there and this is the picture that sells more than that of the model. Something to think about. Here's Hudson. Isn't he so cute? He's the best. This is my guy and he is my best selling model by far. He's always got this smile on his face. We've set out the seamless white stuff and do a product. Groomers buy this picture all the time and just general maintenance. We were at the vet, he had fleas, the filthy little animal. We got flea medicine handed to us by the veterinarian and I'm like wow, talk about custom packaging. Here's Hudson. This was Adobe week and Photoshop. I want you guys that are learning Photoshop, think about proportion 'cause check out how huge this freaking cat is. (class laughs) It's all about scale. My wife Leanne, I do pictures with her and Hudson all the time and these sell well. I mentioned to you the video so if you guys have a DSLR, on the back of the camera is that little switch. It goes from still to video. Flip that switch and then just create a little five second clip or 10 second clip with no audio. This clip sells fairly regular for me. I'm not a great videographer. I'm not really that good but I can hold the camera still for a good five, 10 seconds and that sells. You don't just think he's a total pretty boy. I will show you that Hudson, his modeling fee, the great thing about working with dogs is that his modeling fee is just once piece of popcorn, but I do like to show this picture to keep him humble because he's totally got the derp face. I capture that and it inspired me to take this picture in the same shoot. I'm horrified, horrified to admit to you that this picture has sold quite a few times. The last time I saw it, it was a fishing hook company and they had photoshopped a hook in my mouth and I'm getting yanked out. Oh my gosh. I'm not afraid of public humiliation to make a buck. Don't judge, it's just what I do. I love traveling. This is a good excuse for me to pick up the camera. My first trip to Manhattan. This was two in the morning and the Brooklyn Bridge is completely empty. I set this up. This picture, I enjoy doing that. I'm gonna do it anyway but then, most photographers have pictures just sitting on their hard drive gathering dust. You take the picture, you process them, and then unless you're diligent about printing, they kind of sit there. Adobe Stock is a good way for me to get it out in the world. I still see them. I'm gonna take this picture regardless but I might as well make some money in the meantime. Same with Berlin, just walking around middle of the night, shooting all the amazing architecture. Buildings, we'll talk about intellectual property quite a bit coming up but, generally speaking if a building is more than 120 years old, you don't need a property release and so this is fair game to post without a release. It's an excuse to shoot your home town. As a Seattleite, you go out. Like I said earlier, you go out and shoot the Space Needle probably not that often. If you're a tourist who comes here, of course you wanna get that picture. This is an excuse for me to travel my home town and take pictures and make money doing it. It's again that incentive. This picture, you're just gonna think I'm a monster but, this is my dad Pat. Poor guy, he's walking up, he lives kind of in an isolated area in the country and he's walking up to the mailbox and he slipped and he fell and a terrible break in his ankle and he's laying on the street for half an hour before a car drives by and they pick him up and take him to the hospital and I get the call, he's at Walter Reeds. I go down there and I see they put him on the top floor and there's floor to ceiling windows and beautiful light and I'm just like yeah! (class and teacher laugher) My dad's like, what are you so happy for? I'm like, well this is good. (class laughs) I had my daughter Sophie with me and I'm like, Sophie hold your grandpa's hand. Sophie's like, I don't wanna. Hold his hand! (class laughs) We did all these pictures. It was great. You shoot when you can. You take advantage of the moments you can. This is a shoot we did at the San Jose headquarters of Adobe for a video. This is Diego, he works in customer service at Adobe. Friends and family. He's not a professional model but he killed it. He did a great job. You don't have to work with professional models to get good stock content out there. Those of you that are photographers, you ever had anybody in your family or a friend contact you and say hey, can you shoot my niece's wedding for a super discounted rate or can you come over and do some senior portraits or whatever. It goes with the job and it can be kind of a nuisance but it is what it is. Well my sister Megan takes that to a whole nother level. Megan if you're watching, I'm sorry. Her kids have been very active in ballet forever and there's a school down in Portland. They needed some shots and so Megan calls me and says hey, this dance school, they need head shots of the girls. They're going on a competition and the general studio shots are marketing and I told them you'd come down and do it for free. It'd be great, can you do it next week? I'm like, I'm sorry what? (everyone laughs) How many kids and head shots, oh I get to drive three hours that way and three hours back, and how much I'd get? Oh free. Oh man. No. She's upset. She already committed, she's like what? Then I got to thinking about it. Kind of reminiscing about my wedding days I'm like, wait a second, okay. I called her back, said alright I'll do this but you need to talk to the parents, 'cause anyone under 18, a parent needs to sign the model release, you need to explain to them in detail their picture could be on the cover of a box of cereal and a cellphone advertisement or whatever. If they all sign releases then sure, I will do that. I went down, had a great time with these kids. They're amazing dancers, they're super fun, we got lots of good content. We set up these shots inside of the studio. Everybody signed a release and I thought, oh these are good and they sell periodically. We did some fun portraits and whatnot. I gotta tell you first though, when I got there, the kids were like, what kind of cereal are we gonna be on the cover of? They were totally obsessed thinking they were gonna be on cereal boxes. So I'm thinking, this is amazing, it's gonna sell super well. This maybe sold ten times, not a big deal, but the picture out of this whole day, all these formal portraits and whatnot, the one that sells consistently all the time is this shot. Kids being kids. This is authentic. This is in a dance studio so it speaks to that but dance studios all around the country are using this image because they want to convey, hey come to our school. Your kids are gonna have so much fun. This was just them running around. This kid's got a blue slurpee tongue going on here. This is authenticity and this is what I'm finding sells. It's something to do your best. It's in a staged environment but you created an authentic look. My brother is a police officer. This is a fairly aggressive pose. I'm taking advantage of resources that I have available to me. I couldn't just go to a cop and say, hey can I get a picture? Grab your gun, it'd be cool. Get out of here. (class laughs) We did this and this seriously sells really well. Police are constantly in the news all around the world. This picture sells on a very regular basis. I did this shot as well. Trying to get in the details and I have to throw a disclaimer kind of a warning if you will. I'm the older brother by two years. My brother and I, we shared a room and I was pretty mean. I beat the crap out of him. I think he should thank me 'cause he's a pretty tough guy and I feel like I helped. He sees it totally different. I snapped this picture and that little jerk actually freaking tased me right after I took this. (class laughs) Be very careful and know your audience. Stock can be dangerous. I'm gonna show you another example of the potential dangers. I don't want you guys just signing up and doing this and thinking it's totally risk-free. It's a quick cell phone video. I was leading a workshop at Full Sail University in Orlando. Got my friends, all the students were kind of standing right here and this swan just comes at me. My friend Terry, he's like I'm out of here, he bails. I'm trying to keep cool but he was relentless. I didn't wanna go running off. I've got all these students. I'll just show a couple more of the attacks, viscous. Direct hit. I'm thinking, this is happening. I've got my cameras and I'm thinking to myself, how can I convert this into a unique stock opportunity? This is a unique moment. There is potential for stock here. I had an idea and tah-dah! (class laughs) Don't let any opportunity go to waste. This is lesson number one. This is a scene in Manhattan I came across. Totally unplanned. I had my camera, I snapped this picture, shot it at really wide aperture so you can't recognize anything but you can tell the scene. This is a picture that has found good success for me. I am always on the look. I do plan a lot of shoots but I also spontaneously grab stock as well. A house burned down not far from my place which was aweful but I did get some photos. This is clean stock. You can use this without model releases 'cause you just really can't recognize these firefighters or the scene. Actually this photo, before I scrubbed it, these little logos on there would need to be scrubbed to get rid of the intellectual property. Same deal. Came across this scene. I got rid of the logos on that tool. This picture sells quite a bit 'cause it's got this urban development of having the houses inside of there. That's where I see this. Chopping down the forest, making room for more people. Up north, about an hour and a half north of Seattle on the Skagit River. In December and January is the biggest gathering of Bald Eagles in the continental US. It's my favorite things to go up and photograph. I don't make a ton of money when I do this but I love going up there and taking these photos. It gives me something to do with the pictures. I'll print them out sometimes, but selling them through stock. I'm doing this to feed my soul, not to feed my family but I'm not gonna refuse the money for it. Last summer we went to Hawaii. Packed up the kids, the wife, we flew out to Maui and my wife had a schedule. She is like Tuesday at 8:30 we're having breakfast at this place then we're gonna walk on the beach, we're gonna hold hands, then we're gonna have lunch, we're gonna take a one and a half hour nap, and then dinner. It was scheduled out. I was going back place and saw the little flyers you see in hotels and whatnot and I saw this fishing flyer and I'm like oh that sounds good. I told Lea hey, I'm going fishing. She's like um, no. (everyone laughs) I'm like, honey I need to this trip. I took this trip, I brought my kids, I made a point to take pictures of them, my wife so I can write everything off on my taxes. I wrote the airfare off, I wrote the AirB&B off, I wrote lots of stuff off. I gotta shoot some stock honey. Fine, she relented. I got this shot. This sells. I caught a Mahi. This was the one I caught, I took that picture. That picture sells. Then I did that and I was the restaurant manager for a long time in seafood restaurants and so I know this conveys fresh seafood. You got the ocean and all that. If I would've really been doing my due diligence, I would've gotten the finished photo of the cooked fish to tell the story but I only did it with my phone and it wasn't very good. Don't judge. I brought a pineapple. Throw it on there. This is kind of cheesy stock but it sells but it's another example of the danger of shooting stock. Sneaker waves happen. Just be careful out there you guys. It is a big world.

Class Description

Want to make some extra money by selling images through a stock agency? Join Mat Hayward, a successful stock contributor to Adobe® Stock® and other agencies, as he shares his tips and techniques for shooting for stock, repurposing images trapped in your hard drives, winning at the search game and more. Learn how to accelerate your career by accessing millions of creatives on Adobe Creative Cloud® who need the work you’re already creating. This class is perfect for photographers of every level, from enthusiast to seasoned professional.


TS Gallant

I have been blindly trying to contribute to Adobe Stock and, honestly, floundering. This was eye-opening (and hopefully game-changing). Before, I was rarely submitting because I thought "well, they won't want this" or "this is too generic" or didn't even submit because I had wasn't inspired in any way. After watching this I was FLOODED with ideas and have filled several pages in a tablet with ideas to photograph. It's almost 2am right now and I don't even want to wait until I sleep! THANK YOU FOR THIS CLASS!

a Creativelive Student

It was really great having someone who works in the Adobe Stock department, at Adobe, teaching the class. Mat knows his stuff! Thanks for making a seemingly overwhelming subject simple.


Excellent class... informative and entertaining.