Making Your Own Stock Photography

Did you ever write an article or blog post and have a really hard time finding the right photograph that wasn’t in copyright and was available for reuse?

Not to worry. It can be a blast taking your own stock photos! You don’t even need an amazing camera. For web purposes, most sites need you to upload a comparatively small photo anyway, so a camera phone or older digital camera can do wonderful things.

Use the free program GIMP for all of your photo processing and resizing needs. It’s a great program and widely available, and it works whether you have Windows, Mac, or Linux. You can even use it to convert color photographs to make beautiful, vintage looking black and white photographs. I’ll write about that later.

Run around your area with your camera. Take pictures, not only of the things you need pictures of, but also random things. Think about where the item is in the “frame,” sometimes centered isn’t best. Try extreme close ups. Rearrange items, stack them. If you can zoom, do so.

writing tackle
I took this photo when I needed stock for an article about writing.

I made this stock photo a while ago. It’s not the best but it’s mine, and it did a good job of saying what I wanted it to.

It’s easy to make a backdrop, just use a white sheet draped over a chair for small items. Morning light from a north facing window has served me well for a lot of my art photographs. If you want to get fancy, you can get a light set from Amazon for about $50 that includes a tripod.

Experience will teach you more than any tutorial. If you take some really great photos, you can upload them to Pixabay to make resources other artists can use, and maybe earn some donations for them.

Now your photos will be part of your personal story!

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