Four Things in Stock Photography You Must Know – Stock Photography Ep. 4

Hey everybody, it’s me again, and this is my new video on how to sell your photos online. In my previous video I was talking about things that you have to keep in mind while creating photography for sale. I mentioned nine things. Let’s see one more time what those things were. Number 1. file format and size. Number 2, photo composition. Number 3, sharpness. Number 4, overfiltering. Number 5, white balance. Number 6, noise. Number 7, copyright. Number 8, model and property release, and number 9, no spamming. Today I want to divide this list into two groups. The first group are the things that you might, or might not have to do while creating stock photography, because it really depends on the quality of the original photo if these actions are needed or not. The things that belong to the first group are: photo composition, sharpness, overfiltering, white balance, and noise. The rest of the things in the list belong to the second group, and those are: file format and size, copyright, model and property release, and no spamming in metadate. Always keep in mind the things in the second group. They are really important if you want to sell your photos online. Let’s see now how do we go through this group of things on one example. This photo is seven years old, these are my son and my nephew planting onions in the garden, helping my parents, so I used the moment to grab the camera and take a picture of them. And this is actually a pretty good seller. First, i’m gonna be talking about the copyright, because the process of removing logos and brand names from the image is the process that takes place during the image editing. So, we have to do that before we save the image, of course. So, this image for example, had a logo on one of the shoes. It was not really prominent, but i had to remove it anyway. The logo was here and I’m going to zoom there so you can see that better. As you can see now there is no logo there but if i turn off this top layer the logo will show up. There you go. So, I had to remove that because i didn’t want the image to be rejected because of that. I’m going to turn on the top layer again, and the logo disappears. That was the only logo on this image, but you always have to be careful with logos on the clothes, on the buildings, brand names and that stuff. You always have to be sure to remove that, because the image is going to get rejected. Then you have to correct that later and resubmit the image, and if you don’t want to go through that hassle just be careful the first time you edit the image. And now, let’s check the image mode, the image color mode. So, I’m gonna go here to the image menu, click on it, go to mode, and as you can see the check mark is already at RGB color mode and that’s how it should be. If the check mark is at any other place please put it here and confirm. As I mentioned before, all today’s cameras already save their images in this mode, so you probably don’t have to think about it much, but it’s good to know where this information is. There is another check mark over here, it says 8 bits per channel and that’s where the checkmark should be. It’s not important now to know what that is, but be sure to put the check mark there if it’s not. Now, when we’re done with checking the color mode, let’s put some metadata to this image. So, I’m gonna go here, click file, go to file info, and photoshop opens this new dialogue. It has few tabs on the left, it has some empty fields on the right, and the tab that we’re gonna be using is the first one, or basic tab. The first field on the top is called “document title”, and that’s where we have to put a couple of words, or a few words that are really relevant to the image. Not all agencies read this title. Some of the agencies just read the description, but we still have to put it because of those agencies that do. So i’m just going to put Boys Planting Onions. English language has rules about capitalizing certain words in the title. So, I put the link in the description that shows you how to do it and what kind of words should be capitalized. That’s not really important for the search engine, but it just looks nice and professional, so when the customers find your image the title will look professional, which is also important sometimes. In this second box where it says author, just put your name, and author title is not really important. But, the description box is important, because some of the websites, as I mentioned, don’t read the title. They just read the description. In this box we have to put more details about the image, but still, avoid using spammy words because your account might be banned if you use spammy words in the description. So, there is one rule about the description. Some of the websites don’t accept descriptions that are shorter than seven words. So, you have to be sure to put at least seven words in the description. So, I’m just going to put two boys planting onions in the garden and that’s already seven words. 1,2,3,4,5,6,7. Yes. Now, of course, you can extend this and put more details, but still, use just words that are relevant to the image. Search engines look for this description, and they will be ranking your image better if the description contains relevant keywords. I’m going to extend this and say two boys playing and planting onions in the garden on a sunny day for example. Or, we can add the word springtime, or spring for example. In spring… The next important box is the keywords box. You can put keywords there, of course, keywords that are, again, relevant to the image, and divide them with comma, but you have to think about enough keywords if you want your image to be found. Also, you don’t want to go overboard and write 200 keywords, because most of the agencies except maximum of 50 keywords. I never use Photoshop to keyword my images, because it can be really time consuming to find even these 50 keywords that are relevant to the image, especially if you’re not very good at English. There is a free software that helps you with this a lot, and the software is called Xpiks, and i’m going to show you how it works in a minute. So, for now, we’re just gonna skip this box. We’re not going to save keyword information with the image in Photoshop, and we’re going to move to the copyright information. The copyright information is usually set to unknown, but you just have to set it at copyrighted, and put your name over here, or your alias. I usually use my alias, so i’m going to put Dreamframer here, and now when we have all this information, we are ready to save the image. So, I’m just going to click OK, go to file, and save the file as it is, in Photoshop format, because if I need to edit it later, and we submit the image, all the information is going to be saved and I can just re-edit the image and upload again. So, I’m just gonna click save, and the image is saved along with the information that we just entered, and the picture is saved as a project, as a Photoshop project in PSD format. We can’t sell the image like this. We have to save it as JPG to be uploaded, and i’m going to show you how to do that. However, before doing that, I want to point out something about the size of the image. I mentioned before that different agencies have different rules about the minimum size of the image they accept, but all agencies except images that are 6.3 megapixels or larger. There is a reason I’m talking about the size of the image and the reason is the price. At most agencies, not everywhere though, the larger the image – the higher the price. However, there is a higher chance for the image to be rejected if it’s not super sharp, or if there is some noise in the shadows. So, you basically have to decide, either you’re goinna be uploading full size images and risk that some of the images are going to be rejected, or you’re gonna shrink the images to the minimum acceptable size and have higher acceptance rate, eventually end up with more images in your portfolio, and earn more money this way. I decided to shrink all my images to close to 6.3 – 6.4 megapixels last year, and I really noticed that my acceptance rate went up, and my sales also went up, even though my images were not extra-large. Some people say that if your acceptance rate is high, the search engine will rank your images higher, and i truly believe that. So, i’m going to show you how to shrink the image the right size. I’m gonna check the image size by going to the image menu and clicking image size over here. In this dialogue it’s important to notice a couple of things. First width and height, and they are connected. Be sure that the connection between these two is active, because when I turn it off like this, if i change the width, the height is going to stay the same, so the image will be stretched. So, you want to be sure that this here is active. So, when you change the width, the height changes accordingly. The units are the next important information. Right now it says pixels. If it says anything else like inches, or centimeters, or points, just click pixels and leave it like that, because you need to know how big the picture is in megapixels. And for that we have to multiply the width in pixels width the height in pixels. So, I’m going to pull out the calculator, and I’m going to multiply the width and height. Unfortunately, Photoshop doesn’t have the tool to do this. The calculator says that this image is 11 million 7 hundred 12 thousand 400 pixels big, which is basically 11.7, megapixels which is almost 12 megapixels. So, I want to shrink this image to the size that is close to 6.3 megapixels or a little bit more than that. So, I’m going to click here to delete this, and type let’s say 3400 pixels, and as you can see the height is also changed accordingly. So, I’m going to pull out the calculator, multiply these two numbers now. The picture is still kind of big. It’s 7.7 megapixels, so I’m going to shrink it a little bit more. I’m going to try with 3100 and now multiply again, and this is this is about perfect. 6.4 megapixels. So, I’m going to accept that and leave the height and the width to 3,100 and 2075, but before the shrinking we have a couple of resampling options. Right now here it says bicubic smooth gradients. There are few other methods to shrink or enlarge the image, but you’re going to be using only two. One of these two is a bicubic smooth gradients, the one that’s already chosen, and that one is good for both enlarging and shrinking. And the other one is bicubic sharper, which is good for reduction of the size, because it makes the picture a little sharper. So, I’m going to use this one in this case, and i’m just gonna click OK. Now, when the image is shrunk to the size that I wanted it to be, I’m just going to zoom and check the image at 100% again, to be sure that everything is fine, because this is the level of zoom that reviewers are going to be using to review the image. So, if you’re happy with the result just go ahead click file, click save as, choose JPG instead of PSD, and just click save. Now we have this dialogue where Photoshop asks about the quality of the image. The higher the quality – the larger the file. For the pictures to be accepted the quality has to be between 10 and 12. There is no really visual difference between 10 and 12. The only difference is the size of the file. Level 10 will give you much smaller file, but if you don’t have problems with your internet connection, if you have fast internet just save the image at maximum quality, just in case. So, I’m going to click OK, and now our image is saved as JPG, and all the information that we entered, as author name, and description, and copyright, is inside the image. I’m opening now that free software that I mentioned before. The software is called Xpiks, and I posted the link in the description for you to download it. So, I’m just going to click add files here, find my image, and Xpiks is going to ask me to import existing metadata. Existing metadata is the information that we entered in Photoshop, so I’m just going to click start import, and as you can see there is our description here, there is the title. All the other information is there, but it’s not visible, so you don’t worry. Your copyright information and name is not deleted. So, let’s find keywords now. To find keywords i’m going to click this Suggests button here, and the new dialog opens. On the right side you can tell the software where to look for keywords. There are three major agencies listed over there, and I always use Shutterstock, and that’s my bestseller anyway. So, I’m just gonna leave it like it was before. Over here in this field I have to type a couple of keywords that are relevant to my image. In this case, the keywords would be for example boys planting onions. When I click search, the software searches for similar images on Shutterstock, and as you can see my image is there as one of the best sellers for these keywords. So, I’m gonna choose two or three images that are similar to my image, let’s click mine too it doesn’t matter. Now, as you can see, the software already extracted all the keywords from my image, and added them to this box. So, I’m going to add a couple of more pictures, for example this one, the boy already has a hat, and this one. Now, in this upper box where it says suggested keywords, we have keywords that are overlapping between these three images, and we have a lower box that says other keywords. We just need to go through the top box and make sure that all these keywords are relevant to our image. So, let’s see: boy, gardening, plant, garden, spring, nature, onions, soil, vegetable, organic, growing, nutrition, grround, green, cultivating, male, working, outdoor, child. Okay, all these keywords are relevant. We have 19 of them. At this point we can leave it like this, or we can add more keywords. Adding keywords is easy. You just have to go to this lower box and click this little plus sign over here, and the chosen keyword will go to the upper box. So, let’s see: landscape, adorable, they are not really toddlers, agriculture, little, gardener, farmer, helping, brothers, grow, kid, bulb, springtime, growth, farming, farms, natural, cultivation, care, healthy, sunny, brother, family, worker, agriculture. Now we have 43 words, and that’s enough, especially for this tutorial. I’m not gonna torture you with finding more keywords. So, I’m just going to click add suggested keywords, and close this dialog. Xpiks saves one file next to our image, and that file contains all this information that we just entered, but we have to save it first. So, to save this information with the image we just need to click this check mark over here, and click save, confirm, start export, and the image is saved with all the metadata that we entered, and all stock photo agencies will be able to read this information when you upload the picture, so you don’t have to enter the same information over and over again at every single photo agency where you want to sell the photo. Since we’re done with this we can turn off Xpiks, and the image is ready to be uploaded. Now let’s talk about the model release, because this picture requires a signed model release to be accepted for sale in the first place. What is a model release? A model release is a paper, a legal document, signed by people who are in the photo, or their legal guardians, parents for example if the people in the photo are minors. This paper basically serves as as a permission to sell the photo with these people in. When you start taking pictures of people, for sale, it’s always easier to start with your family, friends, and cousins, because it’s going to be easy to ask them to sign a model release for you. When they do that this just scan paper, or take a picture of it, and upload it along with a photo in th special section of the website that sells photos online. Later on, when you gain some experience, you can start hiring models. You will still have to ask them to sign a model release for you even though they are professionals. And you can even sometimes ask strangers on the street to sign a model release if you really took an interesting picture of them. And that will be all for this video, I hope you liked it, if you did press that like button, make a comment, subscribe to my channel. I’m gonna be uploading videos weekly, I’m going to cover all the details about selling photos online and making money that way. I also have another playlist that is called Photoshop Tutorials, and I have some very very exciting things to show you guys, so I hope we’re going to keep in touc! See you! Bye!

100 Replies to “Four Things in Stock Photography You Must Know – Stock Photography Ep. 4

  1. You're THE best channel to be subscribed to, for information on how to submit stock photos. I LOVED this video! Thanks so much for all your hard work in presenting this series.

  2. I shoot in adobe RGB format, if I uncheck the box in save as jpeg will that be ok? Or should I shoot in srgb for stock photos, thxs for the great video was very helpful

  3. Hey, first off thanks for the video. Your tutorial is packed with useful information and I even picked up the meta software. One question regarding the part where you changed the mega pixel size down from 11.7 to 6.4 manually using Photoshop. I'm using a Nikon B700 (I know by far not the best camera for this but its what I have) which will shoot up to 20 MP resolution. I get a lot of noise at 100% so for someone like me would it make more sense to shoot at a lower MP right out of the camera settings opposed to making a manual adjustment strictly if I were concerned about acceptance rate?

  4. Sorry but a few things are wrong. I haven't watched it all because of this. I'm an experience stock photographer but just watched out of curiosity. Firstly with models, the facts you've mentioned in the video and some comments aren't right for all stock agencies. Sometimes ANY people or parts of people, even shadows, need to have releases. However, you don't have to have releases to sell as editorial at all. Even in your video you blurred out a logo, but as it's an editorial video you didn't need to. Another point is about setting the colour bit depth to 8 bit. You should always work in the highest bit depth you can, and usually 16 bit will be more than a DSLR so it is sufficient. When you convert to a jpg for upload is when it's converted to 8 bits, but up to that point, why reduce it? You always need to retain as much detail as possible in post. Also with the colour profile, Adobe RGB retains more colour details so you shouldn't restrict it to sRGB until jpg conversion AFTER processing. The colours will change very little between those 2 so that is usually not an issue.

  5. Great !! this channel is horribly awesome 😀 I find it so useful.Thank you very much. Hope you make more videos 🙂

  6. Thanks for all the information, this was the video I was looking for 😀 just started with Shutterstock 3 days ago and let's see how is going. Gonna use the software for the tags!! Greetings from Peru.

  7. I have a problem with downloading my first photos to shutterstock. It continues sending a message that my photos contain a mistake. Even after the correction. Could you say what would be the reason?

  8. All of your videos are amazingly helpful for beginners like us. Thank you so much. Love and best wish from China .

  9. I just started thinking about stock photography, just a beginner. I love your videos but just started to view them. I feel I have a few good photos; but as you said, I would need to use photo shop, which I don't have yet. I would like to try my hand at this. How many photos would you try to get uploaded just beginning?

  10. What about the model release for African tribal people who are illiterate and isolated, or tribal Indians in the rural areas that are not easily accessible?

  11. Thanks for the tip of lowering the image resolution! I got shutterstock to finally accept some photos they had rejected several times before because the subject was out of focus according to them or because it had too much grain due to me trying to sharpen it so it wasn't soft. Anyway thanks! Great videos 🙂

  12. Thank you for all advices DREAMFRAMER. I tried Xpicks and keyword suggest does't work. "SSL connect error problem"?
    Do you have some advice to solve this problem?

  13. HONESTLY, I've never come across ANYONE else online that actually takes the viewer (baby) step x step through the process… Nothing left out and nothing unnecessarily added. This makes the tutorial easy to follow along. two big thumbs up!!

  14. Can you please suggest that, for, what is the right time to put keywords– by xpiks when I am preparing images or to put keywords at the time of uploading the images( as they are asking not to put any copyrighted keyword )? Can I upload the same image to the other sites after uploading in 123rf ?

  15. Is there any way to see in others photos how popular they are? To see how many times it’’s been downloaded at a particular stock photo company?

  16. This video was extremly helpful, but please tell me something about the model release. I notice there are a lot of pictures of celebrities for example either on Shutterstock or Dreamstime or other stock photo sites…. I don't know if I am right but I guess the ones who take those pictures and sell them don't send permission papers to those celebrities. How is that happening? I am asking because I have some pictures that I find good for selling but there are people in them actually strangers so I cannot send them any papers because the photos were taken some years ago :. How mandatory is this? Thank you!

  17. Hello, Good Night thanks for such valuable information, my question is the following, if I have photos that have been taken by photographers (book of professional that´s to say, photos for modeling) which some sessions were paid by me, but for other photo sessions, I did an exchange with the photographer, that is to say, I lent him my image from the photos that he took to upload them on his website in exchange giving me those same photos that he shoot me in a CD, Do I have the rights to upload these photos? If the answer is yes Could I upload these photos in different microstok?
    Greetings and thanks in advance

  18. Really good and detailed information for all beginner Stock photographers, really appreciate your efforts to make this video available.

  19. I have the following dilemma: i have a nice 15.9MP photo with 4608×3456 resolution which i want to upload on shutterstock. the site clearly states that they prefer HD with 1920×1080 and 4k with 4096×2160. my problem is that I have alot of photos with over 5-6MP size but with weird resolutions (non standard).
    question1: -do I have to have both standardised resolutions (like HD 1920×1080) and over 5MP size of my photos or is enough to just have over 5MP size no matter the resolution?
    question2:-how do I modify a 4096×2160 picture to become a 1920×1080 one without cropping or damaging information?

  20. Sir, your Video was awesome, I m living in Dubai, if I am taking pictures of Burj Khalifa world tallest building in the world or any other famous scenery so in that case I have to sign any papers ?

  21. Sir one more thing I want to ask you, If anybody used any Picture or Image for his making professional video and same Picture or Image other people can use for their professional ? Is this Copy right Infringement ?

  22. Liked, subscribed, and activated notifications by bell icon. Nice video.
    I have just purchased Nikon d5300 and I want to earn with stock photography. Hope you will be helpful to me. Thanks.

  23. Great video, very useful info. That image is lovely, no doubt it sells. I got accepted to shutterstock, so will create a portfolio using your advice. Happy New Year to all photographers 🙂

  24. If I take a picture of a plane and there is a logo on it, is that a big problem? I see a lot of photos on websites like IStock which show logos of airlines. (sorry for my bad english)

  25. Hello Ivan, this is my first time I did see you´re videos, I did wedding photography, but have stop that because moved to a different country, I like the way you explain about stock photography, so I did put some more research in it to see if I can make something out of this. thank´s for you good work. Take care

  26. Thank you for all tutorials. I am a beginner in stock photography and your videos are most helpful. God bless you. However I have some questions if you be so kind to spare some time for them. If I have around 20 photos with similar theme, lets say artistic palette with oil colors in different angle and perspective, can I make the same description in all metadata or do I need to make different text for each of them? I have some more questions, is it ok if I contact you on your email? Thanks a lot in forwards

  27. So this might be the answer to what I've been wondering about for a while… Why is it that some people have 100 pictures uploaded and haven't sold any, and others have 8 and sold 4 of them? It's like the pictures are almost invisible without the metadata. Am I getting this right? (Besides of course quality.) It is important for the description to actually be ON the photo, not just added when you upload the photo?

  28. What if you capture a panning shot of a car, but you don't know the owner of the car. The driver is not exposed, just the car. Would you still need a model release?

  29. Dream Framer I have a question about the Meta Data. I uploaded maybe 60 images on Istock so far thanks to your tutorials however I think I didnt put in my name under the copy right. Is there a way to edit that meta data on images you have already uploaded?

  30. hello i just want to ask you that i am under 18 years can i upload photo on different website ? if yes any website u recommend ? thanks

  31. Dear sir,
    My name is Anwar.sir i want to know that my photos approved on shutter stock and i have been uploading since 5 month but stil not eraning money why ? Pls replay.i think iam weste my time pls pls replay

  32. Good day sir. I would like to thank you very much to help me change my life in a couple weeks of lessening of maybe 7 or 8 video of your channel on how to sail your stock photo on line.
    I am 51 and i stop photography when the film change to digital. i just got scare of the technologist. 1 month a go my doctor told me my back ad 10% left on one of my disc. so my construction life was over . My lovely lady at the same time a month before got me a digital camera and said it s time for you to go back to what you love. Well with in two week of watching your video my picture are for sale on line and got accept on the first try at shutter stock and i stock. SIR I WOULD LIKE TO THANK YOU VERY MUCH FROM ME AND MY FAMILY TO HELP ME CHANGE MY LIFE AT 51 WITH IN TWO WEEKS STARTING .
    My regards Réal ps keep up the good work cheers.😎

  33. How much money are you making from a sale ? If the model signs the release does that mean you own the picture ? What if you use family and friends and they want to get paid if the picture is used alot ?

  34. I am really glad that I stumbled upon your video. Your videos offer the best guidelines for those starting in stock photography. I subscribed to your channel. You are a great teacher and your explanation is simple and clear and without any overacting nonsense.

  35. A great informative video Sir
    You just earned a Sub
    Btw, I have a question
    Can we use Edited pictures to sell as Stock Photography or it needs to be as Raw as Possible?

  36. Hey
    Just wanted to ask if i would've have tagged the same photo like this for example
    lant, boy, child, green, childhood, gardener, onion, food, gardening, nature, spring, garden, growing, onions, vegetable, working, playing, family, ingredient, children, vegetables, two, little, toy, young, summer, education, greens, clothes, hair, outdoor, small, plays, soil, agriculture, activity, farm, ground, together, work, seedling, field, growth, toddler, rural, organic, nutrition, cultivating, cute, farmer, natural, kid, healthy, helping, sibling, seeds, fun, life, sunlight, brother, funny, background, sowing, adorable, play, plantation, cultivation, agricultural, day, nutritional, kids, grow, farming, farms, fresh, leisure activity, freshness, rural scene, responsibility, real people, playful, pre-adolescent
    Then would it be called spamming

  37. Thanks Ivan for these helpful and informative videos. I have been using Xpiks but have come across a problem. When I test the connevtion for both Adobe Stock and Canstock it always shows red. The other agencies work fine. I can't work out what I am doing wrong. For username I have been using my email address. Is this the problem? I would be grateful for any advice.

  38. Thank you For your helpful information. After editing my photos in photoshop it's converted into only 2MB. Although It's size is 5184*3456 and Jpeg. What can I do to enlarge it's space keeping the size same? Or,,, Is 2MB enough for uploading?

  39. Iván I have 2 questions:

    1) what about the names of restaurants or banks that may appear when I took a picture on the street, do I remove them also?

    2) If I have a very good picture where there is people and I didn't get the model release can I slightly blur their face or distort it to upload it?

  40. Very solid information, I had to learn allot of what this guy is giving you through trial and error, research and more trial and error over an extended period of time.

  41. When I put the image in XPix it won't let me save because the file name has special characters or spaces in it, but it seems I can't change the file name through XPix. Any suggestions or do I need to edit all the file names before I import them into XPix? My file names are imported with the title and the photo number (ex: July 770)

  42. Also, I resized the images in Photoshop exactly like you said, but when I look at the photo properties, they're actually smaller for some reason. Can you explain this to me?? I resized them to 6.4 in Photoshop but they're showing up as 5.5 MB photos.

  43. Robert Hartness

    Video 4 by Dreamweaver excellent. Although I knew the points covered and already use them in my photography, there were little nuances that I picked up, especially about keywords and the optimum size of a photo for acceptance by Photo Libraries

  44. Hello Dreamframer, thank you so much for your very helpful video. I had a question.. is it better to stick to a few categories of photos, or have a variety of subject areas? Doing my research before starting out. Thank you!

  45. Regarding the Model Release… How far do I need to go with that? For instance if in the photo there are people passing by and the picture is not about them, is it needed?

  46. I thought this was perfection! Thank you soooo much. Subscribed! Your the best I've seen. Answered all my questions!!!!

  47. I need your help to clarify something…
    On Shutterstock, if I take a picture of somebody on a public place, it is legal if I sell as an editorial picture.
    I have a few scenarios that need answers.

    What happens if:
    1) I sell the picture as editorial, and the person in the picture recognize himself somewhere and is not happy with it. Can I get in trouble?
    2) I take a picture from outside the United States, and in the country where I took the picture, I cannot sell it (even as editorial) without a model release. In this case, should I follow that country rule or Shutterstock rule? This means if I travel around the world, do I have to check the rules for every different country I go?
    3) The person is the main subject of that editorial picture and is not happy with it. Can I get in trouble?

    I hope you know the answers to these questions, or, if not, could you tell me any web site where I could find answers?
    Thanks a Lot

  48. You suck I did everything you said and my photos are not selling on istock, i wasted six months and made ten dollars, everyone you better not waste your fucking time with stock photography

  49. Hi, Thanks allot for the detailed explanation. I have uploaded some pictures to Alamy and which have already been approved, my question is, since I am very new to all this, I did,nt know that I have to copyright the pictures before uploading what can I do about that now since you said that nobody will buy them if we dont have all that information filled into the photos? What should I do now? Looking forward to hear from you. Thanks.

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