Should you take flower photos for stock?

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Stock agencies love to tell new contributors NOT to send in flower photos.

And I get it. Everyone takes photos of flowers because they’re pretty. But just because a flower is pretty… doesn’t mean that your photo of it is a saleable image.

So stock agency inspectors are left rejecting thousands of quick snapshots of flowers.

The truth is: Stock agencies need flower photos. After all, “flower” is the most searched-for keyword of all time!

But if you want your flower photos to sell, they need to be taken with care. Before you shoot, consider light, angles, focus, and of course composition!

Breakfast Stock Club member Elizabeth Coughlan recently discovered a new surge in the need for flower photos in agencies… and shares a few tips for tagging and organizing yours before sending them in to an agency, below…

Flowers and Plants: Now Trendy Again!

By Breakfast Stock Club Member, Elizabeth Coughlan

When I first started uploading images to stock sites in 2011, we were told the agencies had no need of photos of flowers or pets.

My, how things have changed!

I recently had an email from Alamy, saying that they had “gaps” in their collection under the category “Plants and Gardens.”

As a result, I have spent an exhausting two days going through my many thousands of images to find all of my various plants and flowers.

Any I thought were stock-worthy, I put into a Lightroom Collection. Collections are really useful, and very easy to set up. If you are setting them up for the first time, there is an easy-to-follow tutorial in with Bonnie Caton’s Lightroom Mastery course.

When I looked at Alamy’s list of flowers and plants, most of them had their scientific, or Latin name, as well as the popular names they are often known by.

In the past I have spent needless hours Googling images of flowers, trying to find the scientific name to add to my description.

Fortunately, now I have found an app called PlantSnap that helps with the classification of plants. All you do is take a photo with your phone, and the app tells you all you need to know about the plant. It has saved me hours of Googling, and it even works when I take a photo of an image of a flower on my laptop screen.

This flowering Pear, or “Pyrus calleryana” recently sold.

After all my hard work in putting all the plants and flowers in a collection, my happiness index rose when I looked at the recent Shutterstock photo request list, too.

Two categories on the list are, “Flowers in Bloom” and “Home Gardening.”

Shutterstock specifically mentioned that, “close-ups highlighting the beautiful details of peonies, roses, and other flowers will be a popular search term.”

Here are some of my other recent uploads:

But why, you might ask, have close-ups of flowers suddenly become popular?

It is because pattern designers are using images of flowers in their designs. If you look around at what people are wearing as spring approaches, you will see lots of floral patterns on clothing.

Pattern designers need our images. So, if you have loads of flowers and plants sitting on your computer hard drive, it’s time to send them in!

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