How can we help you?
Want to know the difference between shooting trash and earning cash?
Your potential customers live photography.
We know what the customer wants to see and it's not badly composed snapshots.
What they are looking for is, beautifully shot compositions that convey a clear message to their audience.
So, If you wouldn't expect it to get on the front page, then don't expect it to get onto Pocketstock.
We want well-lit, in focus, high-quality images. To achieve this you need to consider:
Saleable images are well-lit and well-exposed. Consider the best time of day, the season and the setting.
You need to make sure your light source works for the image you have in mind and camera you are using.
Heavily pixelated images won't make it through our technical check so don't just crank up the ISO or trust
that your i-phone will handle any lighting situation. It won't.
Think about the technical limitations of the camera you are using and shoot accordingly. An i-phone or
small pocket camera is fine for many lighting situations but a small sensor may struggle in low light or with
scenes featuring very bright light and dark shadows and it's not always good for controlling depth-of-field
or shutter speed.
Always plan ahead where possible and use the best camera you have, for the job in hand, but when it comes
to catching `that moment` the camera in your pocket is often the one for the job.
Well lit image
Grainy image high ISO
No one will buy a blurry picture. Your shots need to be pin sharp.
Watch out for camera shake at low shutter speeds. Don't just shoot off-the-cuff: step back,
consider your subject, steady that hand and shoot away.
Image viewed at 100% Out of focus
Image viewed at 100% Sharp
We all need a little help to look our best; working on an image before you upload it is a good idea.
Post-production can't turn a bad image into a good one (if the original isn't good enough to submit, don't
submit it) but post-production can turn a good image into a great one.
Just be aware that too much alteration, can easily turn a masterpiece into a monster.
We have a minimum size requirement of 5 megapixels for all images uploaded to Pocketstock.
It follows that larger images can be used at bigger sizes, so they will always have more sales potential than
the smaller images.
If you have a choice between which camera you use, try to favour the one with the highest number
The best selling images are one`s that help our customers clearly illustrate a situation and convey simple ideas.
Subject matter currently in demand, includes; business people, conceptual imagery, up to date images of
people using technology and observations of life as it happens in your part of the world. This could be anything
from your commute to work or your local cuisine.
For more information about themes, take a look at our Pocketstock Academy where you will find inspirational
ideas and some handy how-to videos that will get you on the right track.
Try to avoid busy backgrounds that distract the eye from the main focal point of the shot.
Remember, we're looking for clarity. Could you tell what the image is from a thumbnail?
Images that include detail of an identifiable property must be uploaded along with a property release, details of
which can be found here.
To find out more about property releases, watch this video.
Don't shoot me
There are things that our Buyers do not want and neither do we.
We all love the great outdoors and it's the great we love. Unfortunately nature is one of the hardest
subjects to shoot really well and many nature shots turn out to be not so great.
We want images of nature at her finest, not a snap shot of her getting out of bed.
Excellent autumn colour
and blue sky combo
No colour, washed out sky,
dull and uninspiring
The best nature images evoke awe, emotion and inspiration. Think about the nature images that you
love and aim for nothing less when you are shooting in the great outdoors.
Certain things, for legal reasons, are not allowed to be sold as stock. Content appears in a variety of places to a
huge audience, so it's no wonder that some companies and people don't allow themselves to be represented
Aside from standard model and property releases, here are just some of the things that can't be sold:
Trademarks, Logos and Products:
No trademarks or logos should be visible in your images. As a stock photographer, you're selling your work
not someone else's. If a product is the main focal point of the image, it will not be accepted.
Performance and Sport:
If you had to buy a ticket, you probably can't shoot stock there. For a how to guide to shooting great sport
images, take a look at this video.
Landmarks and Architecture:
They're some of the most famous buildings and monuments in the world... and they know it! Places with
such a reputation invariably like to control their own image and how they're represented. The Chrysler
Building in NYC is a prime example. As part of the NYC cityscape is more than likely acceptable, isolated on
it's own it will not be.
Click here for tips on the best way to shoot monuments and here for the do's and don'ts regarding
property releases .
Shoot what sells
Successful Stock photography is a mix of creative inspiration and commercial consideration.
So, being objective about your images is vital. You may love a shot because it has a strong personal meaning
for you but, to be successful i.e. make money, your images need to appeal to a large audience.
There are millions of stock photos out there and it's easy to think that it's all been done before but there's
always more than one way of capturing the shot that sells.
Clients have used the same search terms for years but that doesn't mean they want to see the same kind of
images year in year out. Quite the opposite, they want new and innovative images every time they search.
You need to make sure you keep your work fresh, keep it modern and keep it relevant.
For inspiration and shooting tips, check out the Pocketstock Academy.
The must have's
There's no secret formula to shooting successful stock photography. But the top-selling stock images do have a
lot in common, though:
Aside from the technical aspects, image quality is paramount. Image buyers want clean, crisp images, so
view your image at 100% before you upload it and check for obvious imperfections.
What message does your image convey? When framing up for a shot, ask yourself what's going on
in the image?
What could your image be used for? A picture of a family is just that, but people don't `buy` families, they
buy the concept which could be used in thousands of ways.
Remember, your content will be around for a long time; is there a danger it could look out-dated quickly?
Certain styles never change so try and capture that timeless look that will ensure your content sells year
Anyone can be a model... just get them doing something!
Unsurprisingly, there aren't that many search requests for `man doing nothing` so get your models showing
emotion, performing an action or conveying an idea.
Remember to keep it positive, try to capture the spirit of the moment and keep it real. Authenticity is hard to
fabricate and sells very well. To find out more about capturing real looking images take a look here.
Every shot that includes a model, even if you can't see their face, requires an accompanying model release,
details of which can be found here.
If an image of a person is uploaded but you don't have a signed model release, we can't sell it.
To find out more, watch this video.
Similar Shots & Series
We do want series, we don't want similar.
Your potential customers don't want to choose between two or three of the same shot with slight differences. In
fact, they will usually avoid groups of very similar images all together.
One of the shots in a series is always the best and that's the one we want.
By all means, use the same scene, the same model or the same object; just give each image a different purpose.
Get the model doing something else, change the angle, change the composition or change the concept and make
sure each shot you upload gives us (and our customers) something different every time.