When you want to make it in stock photography, you will have to shoot images and create illustrations that sell. This means your work does not only need a certain technical quality but also commercial quality. Good stock images are images that buyers and designers are looking for. And the commercial quality is in many cases a clean graphic with a clear concept or message.
In general for stock photographers the biggest sellers are often people shots. They can be used in various ways in advertising and website design. Unfortunately though you can’t just walk through your city and start taking pictures of people walking by. Every recognizable face in a photo submitted to a microstock agency has to be accompanied by a model release appropriately signed by the person or people in the shot. The good news is, you can reuse one model release for all agencies and there are plenty of blank releases in the help and support sections of the different sites.
Also as an illustrator, graphics displaying human characters sell good. Here it really all depends on your vector skills and your style. Material design and flat vectors sold especially well in 2015 (900% rise in material design sales on Shutterstock!) and will propably sell even better in 2016.
Of course other subjects need to be covered and sell well too! Take some time to check out the best sellers of all the top agencies to see what’s popular. You can either go by category or just search a few keywords your interested in.
At Dreamstime you can even play a game called Stock Rank, where you can test your ability to foresee sales potential of randomly paired up stock files.
Visit our Microstock Beginners Guide for more Information on how to get started selling your photography & vector illustrations: