The elusive question that every Stock Photographer asks is: “what images sell the best?” My next question is, “Where can I best spend my time in order to maximize my stock photography potential revenues?”
Man, I think about those questions – a lot! I wish that the various Stock Photography Agencies would just publish a list of what is selling the best. I would even settle to see a list of what keywords buyers are actively searching with and buying with. But that is like asking Google to reveal their Search algorithm for the world to see. I just don’t see that happening any time soon – well ever really 🙂
There are some hints available. iStockphoto.com has a page (http://www.istockphoto.com/participate/contributor-lounge/trends) that lists the most popular downloads and the highest rated files. You can select the time frame to evaluate – over the last 3 months, the last one month and the last 1 week. A frequent study of this page would show trends of what genres and/or topics were trending over time.
Short of spending time tracking that page over time, I don’t know of how to easily determine what categories are most profitable. I also don’t know how to tell which categories are over-saturated with too many images.
There are a couple of data points that I have been thinking about that may shed some light on the questions above. I am going to do more research about and publish on photoincome.com. Look for updates over the next few weeks…
If you have ideas, post comments below.