Monday, May 28, 2007


You are viewing the stock photography blog of Tom Grill. I will be discussing topics relative to the production of commercial stock photography.

In commercial stock the name of the game is the production of images that command the highest return and sell repeatedly for a long period of time. Stock photography is a commercial medium. It's aesthetic is intrinsically bound up with an image's ability to grab the viewers attention, deliver a conceptual message, and make a sale -- all within a fraction of a second.

At one of my Photo Expo lectures about 15 years ago, I introduced the method of conceptual shooting. This has proved to be the most winning ingredient to successful stock photography. Do it well, and it is intertwined with the image in a way that is almost invisible to the viewer. Do it poorly, and it becomes too obvious and results in a hackneyed look that is more detrimental than complementary. The difference between good and bad usage of concepts is subtle and, consequently, often missed by many stock shooters.

This blog will try to address the better methods for instilling stock images with qualites that make them sell over and over again.