Top Tips & Agencies - Taking photographs to sell

Very few people remember to take VERTICAL as well as horizontal, useful format, especially for magazines (front covers)

Know something about the subject you are taking – with knowledge comes an understanding of behaviour, for example the comfort zone an animal has.

To enter local and national competitions, they are very much open to all and can serve as an opening with an agency should you wish to pursue being represented

* Take advantage of any location you go to and do research before you get there – if you are part of a team find out if any stills are required, ask Worldwide directly they will always be able to advise you what they’d ideally like.

* Keep your eye out for what images you do see around you – in magazines, newspapers, exhibitions, internal publications within BBC. You’ll start to get a feel for what might work, what format, styles, concepts.

* Take your camera with you wherever you go!

Having said all this however nice it is to sell an image it shouldn’t detract from the enjoyment you had in taking it in the first place. A great image is one with which you’re pleased.

Agencies that you may like to refer to:

The British Association for Picture Libraries in the UK – for all you need to know about picture agencies, finding a resource, jobs going in the industry and much more.

General agencies:
The world’s most famous image collection covering just about everything you could ever think of that might sell. Great for ideas for what commercial photography is out there, very useful to compare what they content they have for Rights Managed imagery (an image is sold for a one-off usage) compared to Royalty Free imagery (an image is sold for a price and can then be used in any way for however long as many times as client wishes).
www.corbis.com(second largest collection online)

The fastest growing image collection online, very useful for individuals who do not have enough content to join a specific agency or who are trying to get a foot into commercial photography. The advantage is that anyone can put their images online (with certain restrictions) the disadvantage is that internal competition is high, for example search on ‘elephant’ you and will get over 12,000 hits.

Natural History specialist agencies:
Used to be the BBC NHU Picture Library.

This is BBC Bristol’s main source of imagery and down at 15 Whiteladies Road – well worth a visit if you would like to see how an agency works, get feedback on your images, see what content they represent, get a copy of their current Wants List.

based in USA, the most impressive array of world famous nature photographers, many of which grace National Geographic pages. If you want first class inspiration this is a good place to start.

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