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Taking Pictures That Sell: People
By Kathy Burns-Millyard

If you want to take pictures that sell very well - particularly in stock photography portfolios - you need to be taking pictures with people in them.

People add variety, interest, and unique perspectives to pictures. Even if you take a picture of something others have taken pictures of millions of times before, if yours has people in it, it will be unique.

Consider: How many ways can you take a picture of an apple? And yes, apples can say a wide variety of things: Nutrition, healthy eating, fruit, food, hunger... all sorts of things. But if you add a person to that picture, you open a whole new world of possibilites. And by opening those possibilities, you have a much better chance of selling your picture more often, to more people, and possibly for more money.

If you're starting a stock photography portfolio, here are three ideas that work very well with people in the photo.



1. Business concepts. Creating business oriented stock photos can create excellent income for you. And business concept photos sell best when people are involved. You could simply have stock photos of people in business suits, or you could have people in business situations too - at a desk, with a laptop, or standing in front of an office building for instance.

2. Health and Fitness concepts. Stock photos of fitness equipment or fitness concepts sell well by themselves, but they sell much better when people are involved. Create stock photos with people on fitness machines for instance, or people in exercise cloths. You could also create stock photos with people get their blood pressure taken, using an insulin glucose meter, or simply eating healthy foods.

3. People doing things. Yes this sounds generic, and that's actually a fantastic thing. People doing almost anything will sell nicely in a stock photography portfolio. You could have photos of people swimming, jumping, laughing, hugging, crying, talking, eating, sleeping and more.

So there you have it. Three ways to start incorporating people photos into your stock portfolio, and making much better money with your stock photos.

For additional information on stock photography with people, please see this followup article: "Stock Photography of People: Model Releases"

2006, Kathy Burns-Millyard. Visit The Free Online Guide to Stock Photography at

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