It’s well known in the business of stock photography, that photographs of news worthy subjects sell and sometimes very well. It’s important for outdoor photographers to create images the markets will want.
Paparazzi’s for example, have been known to make a fortune capturing images of celebrities in ‘news making’ situations. With some foresight and good ideas, so can nature photographers.
Many Outdoor photographers shoot a variety of subjects that have to do with the outdoors, nature, and how humans interact with the outdoors, but often they lack that news making ingredient. Many of those images often languish waiting for a buyer, if there ever is one. There is already a huge glut in superb imagery of most outdoor subjects.
Taking note of what’s in the news related to anything outdoors such as nature, the environment, and even the politics surrounding all of it, can be quite profitable. So if you are wondering what to shoot here is one idea that I believe would do well in todays markets: Global Warming and I am going to show one image I created in just a moment.
There is really nothing new here when shooting stock photos of concepts. It’s just the times have changed some. My stock agents suggested 25 years ago that we shoot ‘pollution’ and ‘green’ and the ‘environment’ so as I ventured across the lower 48 in my pickup camper for two years where I photographed the parks and scenery, I also captured the smokestacks, river pollution, livestock feed lots, and anything I could put in front of the camera that said ‘pollution’ and ‘environment.’
Today however, the hot keyword is Global Warming and if you wonder whether there is a market for images that deal with that topic, just do an online search. You can find articles covering all angles of the topic on news site like CNN and if you look at sites like Getty Images you will find a vast array of images captured on location across the globe as well as conceptual images that were be created on the computer.
Images of real icebergs melting to digital composites showing a lawn turning to cracked mud, it all boils down to the same idea or concept. You certainly can be out chasing tornadoes, heading to the Arctic for melting icebergs, or be the first camera on scene after the next devastating hurricane. But you can create images with a strong chance of selling by generating an idea and then executing it on the computer. Then once you get the images captured or created, get them online quickly and for sale.
Charlie Borland has been a professional photographer for over to 30 years. Based in Oregon, he shoots both locally and nationally for a wide range of corporate, advertising, and editorial clients. He has won numerous awards for his photography and for 7 years in a row he received recognition and awards for annual reports he has photographed.
Charlie has also been actively involved in shooting and selling stock photography throughout his career and operated a stock photo agency for 8 years before merging with Definitive/FPG and later Getty Images.
His stock, nature, and adventure imagery has been used thousands of times worldwide, including over 1000 calendar credits: National Geographic Adventure and Traveler, Outside, Women’s Sport and Fitness, Newsweek, TV Guide, CIO, Sports Illustrated for Women, Time, Backpacker, Sunset, American Photo, Outdoor Photographer, Eco Traveler, Southern Bell, and many more. Charlie shares his knowledge through various editorial articles in Outdoor Photographer, Pro Nature Photographer, Currents Magazine, Digital Photography School, and more. He teaches workshops and classes where he is an enthusiastic instructor and leader whose passion and experience for outdoor and stock photography leave many inspired and highly motivated.