One hurdle that photographers often encounter when selling stock photos is that (in many cases) their image will become part of a bigger project. Unlike portrait and fine-art photography where the photographer creates a final product, stock photos are frequently incorporated into a larger design.

One change I had to make to my workflow was to minimize the post-processing I did on images that would be included in my stock portfolios. Initially this was difficult, since I felt the images needed a bit more punch. I am now comfortable with the process and always think about the “bigger design picture” when processing my stock images.

Todays image is a perfect example of this. Designer John Kicksee uses stock images in his designs of book covers. For the cover of Aces High, John incorporated my image of a crime scene victim into the design.

Doorway Victim

When looking at the original image, you can see the vast amount of changes he made to it for inclusion into the final piece. In addition to a crop and horizontal flip, John took a lot of effort to transform the photo into pseudo-artwork. The final product is incredibly better than it would have been if he had used my photo un-edited.

This is just one more thing to consider when shooting, editing and ultimately selling stock photos.