Another blog in the series Microstock Photography: In The Field
I’ve written a few posts in the past about the benefits of building niches and creating collections of photos in your microstock portfolio. It’s one of several key strategies for boosting your microstock earnings potential. You can do this in a number of ways, such as by focusing on a unique style or on a particular subject matter.
Adding To An Existing Collection
For example, I have a collection of physical therapy photos that continue to sell well year after year. It started with just a few images, and I’ve added to them frequently. When you have photos that are popular sellers, you want to capitalize on this by continuing to grow the collection and keep it fresh with new images. This keeps buyers coming back for more.
So I was really excited when the opportunity came up to do a shoot at Strive Physical Therapy. Rob is a highly skilled physical therapist who does a lot of work in the areas of sports injury prevention and rehabilitation, so this is what we primarily focused on for this shoot.
At the Shoot
The shoot took place in the physical therapy office. This is so much better than trying to do it in a studio as it gave us access to the actual equipment he uses with his patients, and helped to create authentic looking photos.
Rob arranged to have two models come to act as the patients. As always, I had each person sign a model release before taking any photos.
The greatest challenge was that the room was fairly small, with lots of equipment in it. We had to get creative in where to place our lights and how to compose so that the background wasn’t distracting.
Fortunately we were given the latitude to move machines and tables around as needed which gave us great flexibility. We were also able to take all artwork off of the walls so that I wouldn’t have to use Photoshop later to remove it – that was a huge help.
We had two people shooting – one using a Nikon D300 with a 3.5-4.5 28-70mm lens to capture the wider scene and to zoom in as needed in the tight quarters; the other using a Nikon D800 with an f1.4 50mm prime lens for getting super sharp close in photos with lots of depth of field flexibility. Because of room constraints we used just two strobe lights, and had them on stands with wheels so we could quickly and easily move them around. We put a Pocket Wizard on each camera to remotely trigger the flashes.
I always bring a lot of extra equipment to shoots. You just never know what you’re going to need. Extra lights and bulbs, extension cords, spare camera batteries, and of course, good old gaffers tape (yes, this has come in handy many times!).
During this shoot, the strobes suddenly stopped firing. This is not a fun feeling. After several minutes of checking all the plugs and settings, I finally tried replacing the batteries in one of the Pocket Wizards. And that did the trick! Boy was I glad that my kit also includes a stash of spare AA batteries.
We ended up with a nice set of photos for Rob’s website, and got some great additions to my Physical Therapy and Chiropractic collection on iStock.
How about you – do you have a particular niche that you like shooting in?