Photos and Graphics That Sell
If you’re any good at taking photos or you have a decent set of graphic design and editing skills, you’ll have no problem finding a job if you search long and hard enough. The typical photographer or graphics designer probably went into what are essentially creative and non-inhibiting fields as a means through which to earn money while they still enjoy their freedom, so it’s highly unlikely that you’ll be searching for something like an eight-to-four job as photographer or graphic designer.
One of the most effective ways through which these types of professionals or talented hobbyists consistently generate an income through their work is via photography and graphics clearinghouses and online stock image platforms. In the particular case of online stock image platforms, this is a very lucrative business for those graphic designers/editors and photographers who get it right. The lowest selling image can fetch around $1 every time it’s downloaded and these repeat downloads can run into the thousands! Virtual Reality (VR) is a particularly popular area of tech development which requires illustration or visual representation via a professional-looking stock image, so even if you were to set your price at $1 per image of this nature, the many bloggers, web designers, editors, etc. who would download such an image could really bump the numbers up to quite a sizeable total.
On some online stock image platforms however, the price for each image rises in relation to the quality of the image. High resolution images can fetch up to $72 and more per download, so just imagine how much passive earnings you could make as a photographer or graphics designer with just one of your good images which proves to be popular.
However, it’s not about being a talented photographer whose signature can be spotted from a mile away in all their photos, or the ground-breaking graphics designer whose vision in pioneering new graphic design concepts is unparalleled. Photos and graphics which popularly sell online are those which surprisingly have a bit more of a generic feel to them. In other words, if you take a picture which belongs in a highly specialised niche category or design an equivalent graphic illustration, the chances of it being downloaded multiple times are limited to those publishers who are active in producing content in that specific niche. Unless you’re targeting what proves to be a very popular niche, this is perhaps the one area in one’s career development path in which generalisation is a good thing.
So how do you do it then? How do you take pictures or create graphics which appeal to a broad spectrum of potential buyers?
You make use of a specific property of the photographic principle of Depth of Field. In this particular instance, it’s the deep property of DoF you should use. A deep DoF is one which would be used for photographing broad subjects such as landscapes, or when there’s no clearly distinguishable single subject you’re targeting. The idea is that such images are easiest to manipulate and edit for results such as blurring out one section (like the background) in an attempt to bring another section into focus.
These generic images which can be edited by the person who purchases and downloads the image are those which sell best.