Stock images can be used by buyers for a variety of purposes. They could go into magazines, videos, or marketing material. They could also be blown up and used as banners or hoardings. Hence, it is absolutely essential that stock images are technically perfect. As opposed to the common misconception that good photos are a result of expensive gear, stock photos can be created using basic gear. Here are a list of essential photography gear to kickstart your career in stock photography.
If you are considering stock photography as an additional revenue stream, a good camera is an essential investment. You need to meet the guidelines for minimum resolution and image quality to be able to sell your images. Hence you need cameras with at least 16 megapixels to shoot stock images. You also need a camera with bigger sensor size so that the size of the pixels are large and your images have minimum noise. Additionally, you need to select a suitable camera depending on the genre you wish to specialise in. Do a thorough research before selecting the camera you are investing on. Think long term and good Return On Investment (ROI).
Most photographers agree that lens is more important than camera when it comes to shooting stock photos. Therefore, consider investing more on the lens. The type of lens you need to buy largely depends on your budget, style of photography and make of the camera you. For instance, you would require a fast telephoto lens for sports and wildlife photography, a prime for street, documentary style and portrait photography, or a wide angle lens for photographing landscape and architecture.
If you are serious about stock photography, ditch the pop-up flash. Invest on external lights to create stock-worthy images. You will primarily require two categories of lighting equipment, namely strobes and continuous lights. Continuous lighting means that the studio lights stay on for as long as you want whereas strobe lighting is similar to a flash. It lights up only when you trigger it. It is important to invest in a mix of continuous as well as strobe lighting to capture high quality studio images. It’s all the more necessary if you are focusing on portrait, still life or product photography.
A tripod is necessary for all kinds of photography. It is indispensable for shooting sharp images, specially under low-light conditions. It offers users with the flexibility of shooting at slow shutter speeds without worrying about image blur. Tripods are very handy when you have to get your camera in places you can’t reach. It is incredibly useful while shooting night time shots, sunsets, star trails, the Milky Way and action shots. It is a must-have gear for nature, wildlife, architecture and sports photographers. From studio tripods that are strong and heavy to pocket tripods that are optimized for portability, you can choose from a range of tripods available at various price points.
- Editing Software
You will require basic editing software to post process your images. Lightroom and Photoshop are the two editing software that are widely used and trusted by photographers. While Lightroom is great for light correction, Photoshop is indispensable for heavy retouching. Sign up for the trial versions of a variety of editing software, explore them and choose one that best suit your needs. Nonetheless, editing software is extremely essential for creating stock images.