Top 6 Getty image categories for stock submission – thus the essential top 6

Top 6 Getty stock image categoriesOk, so this is not really anything NEW or Fancy, but I stumbled upon this list of the top 6 stock categories that Getty Images is looking for.  NOW, I also suspect that since Getty is looking for these then, they are somewhat universal.  Getty is on the cutting edge of imaging and one of my personal faves, as fresh content and contemporary style is top on their list for imaging style and technical.  I would pay attention to this when you are shooting.  EVEN if you are shooting on a shoe-string YOU CAN submit to all these categories.  Let me list them and show you how:

1.  BUSINESS – ok, a no brainer.  Business has the  money and business is what buys your images.  You may think this applies to corporate (and it does), but think broader: Small business, Kids selling lemonade, a shot of YOU in a goodwill button up shirt and tie with your laptop, whatev.  No limits here.  Just keep it natural and relevant to TODAY or keep it goofy and something to poke fun at.

2.  LIFESTYLE - talk about a broad category. This is essentially stuff that happens in real life and it looks like that really.  Simple??  Sometimes, but it can come across posed and then it is not really lifestyle unless it is a real Italian family dinner at a real Italian restaurant.  This can blur the lines between portrait / concept, but just keep it real and it will be lifestyle.  THIS IS EVERYWHERE.  It is in your home, your kids playing real video games (don’t show the video game).  BBQ on the porch, students gathering on campus.   Natural light here is a plus and EASY on a shoestring.

3. NATURE & WILDLIFE - Whoa!  A double or triple whammy I say.  Nature is everywhere, if even the closest thing you have is Central Park.  Animals are everywhere (true exotic stuff is not everywhere, but check out your local zoo and follow the rules, or find a zoo keeper).   One reason I adore this category so much is that, you can get Lifestyle, Landscape, Wildlife and a combo of the three whenever you are in nature.  If you are hiking to some sweet waterfall, bring your tripod (even that cheap-o from the thrift store) and a few buddies, and a dog.  You not only can get macro nature, animals, landscapes, but also your buddies doing real life.   This even works alone, esp if you are the subject.  Get a cheap wireless shutter trigger and go nuts with yourself.  A 2 hour hike can get you 100 stock ready images.  Just think and be ready. Bring props: water bottles, layers of clothes, ski’s? keep going…

4.  SPORT - This category may appeal to some more than others, esp. if you got beat up by the football team like me while I was in the computer lab.  That said nothing that is a great market can be avoided by the ambitious stock photographer (that means you and me).  In looking at the more high end examples given by Getty, it looks like some compositing and more advanced photoshop knowledge would be required to achieve some of these looks.  Do not let this stifle you!  Shoot some backgrounds of stadiums, etc. to keep in your back pocket to work on in the future.  Getting better is always part of this process.  Stop learning and you are stuck with a beard, Bronica, and are pissed at Agfa for stopping production of Ultra 50.  PUSH yourself.  Here are some things you can do very easily within sport, while you are pushing your expertise:  Sports equipment on white (using a simple LightBox, or Light tent, shoot balls, weights, jump rope, etc), shoot at your local gym and work out a trade, they even have instructors with fancy bodies who would be “wowed” for you to shoot them, shoot sports fields at your local park or school, and finally use friends or yourself doing sporty things like stretching, applying chalk, running, whateves.  Use what you got access to to.

5. IDEAS - or CONCEPTS, this is one of those that appeal to a more creative brain, but is also great for those with less resources.  Concepts are all over the place and they are used to sell stuff.  This allows you to get inside your brain and play around, and while there think of what people are wanting to do and sell.   How can this be represented in a story that is a singular image?  It is really challenging and fun.  Play off of fears and passions.  Arrows are used EVERYWHERE, what will be different about your image?  Concept ideas that are great and SELLABLE appeal to many different uses.  Let the buyer read their uses into it.   This can be hard for some, but my advice is just to read a list of parables, idioms or anecdotes, then translate that into a photo.  A glass half full on white WILL sell.  Just give it your twist.   “A penny saved is a penny earned”, take that and go…

6. TRAVEL - This one is kinda simple, but could be hard if this is all you want to do.  The simple part is that YOU LIVE SOMEWHERE WHERE PEOPLE WANT TO TRAVEL TO.  So start there, get all the long exposure shots of the city at night as you can.  What is NOT travel stock photography is your boring snapshots, so leave those at home and stop it.  If you are going somewhere new, take some time to research the hot spots and great places are for shooting the city.  Also find the ‘cool’ spots where the trendy folks hang.  People buy the trends (until they change).  Wherever you go, there you are.  Wherever you are, shoot the crud out of it…  Avoid stuff that is copyrighted or trademarked unless you are going for editorial and it makes sense.  Most skylines have copyrighted signs, etc.  Editing is a must.  Beaches, etc.  are easier.

If you are looking for a place to start try these six, but more than anything shoot like a madman, keep your camera and model releases on you at all times and don’t be scared to shoot first and ask questions later.

Steve Harmon


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>