Yesterday I shot stock images. All day. It is quite an involved and time consuming process but I really enjoy it, especially when it all comes together.
A lot goes in to setting up and shooting stock. I thought about some ideas and played with some concepts a day or two before I shot only to come up with a completely approach on shoot day. Still, getting from that idea to a finished product takes a lot of work, especially when I am also playing the part of the model.
Probably the most difficult part is nailing the focus. Autofocus is not even an option. Manual focus is necessary to make sure the focus is in the same spot each time, especially in a series of images. I typically use light stands with focusable targets as stand-ins and then mark my spot with tape. Tape will mark my centre line as well as where my toes should be.
With focus nailed I can work on tweaking my posing. This means snapping a dozen shots, grabbing the memory card from the camera, downloading the images, reviewing them and then repeating the process until I have the shots I want. It is possible that hooting tethered would speed up the process but I am not set up for that.
When I am finally happy with my images the next step is post-processing, uploading and key wording all of which can take a fair amount of time. Then, you wait. You wait for the images to be check over and approved or rejected. This can take any where from days to weeks and it can be a bit nerve wracking wondering if your images are good enough to make the cut.
If the images are lucky enough to be approved then you hope that all your hard work is rewarded with plenty of sales. Of course, there is no guarantee. Images I have been most about have done nothing while others I uploaded on a whim have been successful. I honestly never really know if something will do well or not. I am hoping over time I will get it down to a science but at this point I am not there yet.