Review of Digital Stock Photography – How to Shoot and Sell
Michal Heron

The book Digital Stock Photography – How to Shoot and Sell is an excellent addition to a Stock Photographer’s library. I went to my local library and found that it wasn’t carried in the libraries collection, so I did an Inter-library loan (ILL) and within a couple of weeks, the book was sent to me from a library in Colorado.

The book is a comprehensive introduction to the world of Digital Stock Photography.

1. The Business of Digital Stock
2. How to Shoot for Stock – Style and Concept
3. Equipment for Capturing and Scanning Images
4. Shooting What’s Needed
5. Twenty-five Stock Assignments you can Shoot
6. Preparing the Shoot
7. Editing and Post Production in the Digital Work Flow
8. Running a Stock Photography Business
9. Marketing your Stock
10. Finding a Stock Agency or Portal
11. Negotiating Prices
12. Copyright – What Do We Own
13. Model Releases and Business Forms
14. Appendix 1: Bibliography
15. Appendix 2: Organizations
16. Appendix 3: Workshops
17. Appendix 4: Promotions/Source Books
18. Appendix 5: Manufactures

The chapter on Style and Concept provided good thought provoking shoot concepts. How do you capture togetherness as a family in an image. How do you shoot stress? How do you shoot teamwork?

There was also a good section on shooting symbols and what things mean (i.e. the topic of cooperation could be represented by images of teams, a barn raising, shaking hands, etc.)

My favorite portion of the book was the 25 Stock Assignments I can shoot. Each assignment contains the category, purpose, and subject of the image. It contains variation and how to frame the shots, what models are needed, props, ethnicities, and location. Each shot includes what things to avoid and several general notes about each shoot.

As I looked through the assignments, there are good assignments that if shot completely would result in a solid selection of stock images that can make some money. Some of the general subjects include Elderly with technology, Families, and Health Care. All of these are great topics for stock downloads.

In the preparing the shoot section it talks about arranging for models, asking permission from businesses to shoot at a location, offering incentives to get permission for the shoot, creating a storyboard, working with a Production Coordinator, building a prop closet so you have the props you need for multiple shoots, even sending a thank you note to the models after the shoot.

The section on Releases and forms contains sample Model releases, Property Releases, Stock Picture Delivery Memo, Stock Shoot Estimate Worksheet, Stock Photography invoice, and a Stock Photo Request Form.

All in all this is a great book and highly recommended for those looking to get into the business of Stock Photography.