This image of a hang gliding pig (When Pigs Fly) has a clear concept, is timeless, easily readable even in thumbnail sizes, has an attractive model and has an authentic expression…yet has never sold!
I put together the following checklist of criteria that I use to determine if an image will make a successful stock photo. Of course, you don’t need to meet all of these criteria for an image to be a best seller, but it certainly helps to have as many of them as possible. On the other hand, even having all of the attributes listed below does not guarantee a successful stock photo. But you don’t need every image to be a hit to have a great career in stock!
Successful Stock Photo Checklist:
Are the models attractive AND appropriate for the situation?
Is the wardrobe upscale and appropriate for the situation?
Are the expressions authentic?
Is the setting appropriate?
Are the DETAILS perfect?
Does EVERYTHING contribute to a clear, concise and quickly readable message?
Is the image a quick read even at thumbnail size?
Is the concept needed in the marketplace?
Is there room for a variety of crops?
Is there an emotional connection with the image?
Is there space for copy and headlines?
Does the image have staying power?
Does the image feel “real”?
Where have you compromised?