Stock Buyers Are Geeksâ€¦Are You?
Have you ever stopped to really think about who your buyers are? Well I have and guess whatâ€”they're design geeks. Design geeks are a breed of
their own. They care more than you can imagine about small details, and they love images with subtle messages that don't bonk them over the head. If
you can learn how to give design geeks what they want, microstock will be very kind to you.
I have a "test group" of some of my most prominent buyers. I often discuss specific shoots with them and I sometimes like to pick their brains in
general interviews. The info they give me is crucial and very very very (very) helpful. In this post I'll give you an overview of things they've told me that
initially came as a surprise.
1. Subtle is better then loudâ€¦ (Yesâ€¦.we get it, alright!)
When it comes to a really great stock image, less is more. Let me just say that again: less is more. Really. Have you never done a shoot and thought,
"I nailed it! This will sell like hotcakes," but when you got it online sales were dismal? In this case, maybe your images were too literal. Designers will
often provide comments like: "no no noâ€¦ this is too corny, too bold, or too straight forward." Translation: if you spell a concept out too plainly, your
image has no magic. Subtlety equals sophistication.
Consider the shot to the right. We don't need any more information to understand that this is two young people in love relaxing on the beach. Because
the image is subtle, it appeals and actually speaks volumes. In it there hints of things we don't see but are led to imagine, which is great.
You know how when you read a great book and then see the movie, it's the movie that often disappoints? Well, why were you disappointed? Because
the literal interpretation wasn't anything like what your imagination could cook up. The subtle images I'm talking about are more like the intriguing book
and less like the literal spell-it-out movie.
An image where less is more screams "fill in the missing slots yourself" and sudde