Passport Composites, Part II

Creating useful stock content is about thinking ahead to how a potential buyer would potentially use such images. That’s the premise behind spending a week putting together passport composites. Call me crazy but if I don’t get at least a few dozen sales from each of these I’ll quit stock forever. That’s how confident I am about these.

In my last tutorial, I outlined how I had a brilliant, yet unoriginal idea, of using the passports I have at my disposal (some of my own and others belonging to friends), to make some composites. On another article, I outlined how I spend a lot of time at the airports and shoot stock, so it would make sense to combine those two.

I must admit that it’s taking me longer than I anticipated to put these together, but overall I’m quite happy. So here they are:

The passports I’ve used:

  • Italian
  • Brazilian
  • Canadian
  • Ecuadorian (won’t repeat it on this post)
  • UK
  • Generic

The airport background locations:

Rio de Janeiro



London Heathrow

Amsterdam Schiphol

Dutch passport, anyone?

Italian Pre-Immigration

Passport (final) - entering italy

UK passport pending approval for above background, which should be the most valuable image of all due to Brexit. My latest image was rejected because of the background passport icon (which I guess is protected by copyright). So, I’ll have to go back and blur it even more or remove it altogether.


Spanish passport, anyone? As mentioned in the previous post, UK and Spain have a close connection due to the expat/holiday links.


I’ve cloned out any design that links the passport to a specific country. I’m really trying my best not to spam my portfolio with too many similars, while at the same giving the client as many options as possible.

Some problems I’ve encountered

Other than isolation issues and keywording rejections, the next problem I encountered was submitting paper money images of British pounds, such as the following:


Upon consulting the Shutterstock’s Known Image Restrictions, UK bank notes are not acceptable, even as editorials. However, Alamy have no such issues, as per above.

I did another series with the Canadian passport and American money which should have no issues, although if I had done it with Canadian dollars it would have been automatically rejected.

Another problem I encountered was ensuring that the background was sufficiently blurred not to be hit with a model/property release request rejection. At one point, after three nasty rejections, I even submitted as editorial but was hit was an “altered editorial” rejection – duh…should have known that.

Next steps

Perhaps even isolated on white background, but I still think that using real backgrounds is more commercial.

In any case, I’ll slow down a bit and see how these do…as I’ve put together enough combinations that I’ll know soon enough if buyers find it interesting (which I think they will). Then, using such empirical data, I’ll adjust and make more depending on which are more popular.

What I love about doing these types of shots is that there’s no cost involved. Not like I need to travel anywhere. All it takes is time and patience to make it excellent.

Stay tuned.





  1. Hi Alex, I enjoy reading these articles especially as it is a good source of ideas. However, it would be nice for you to follow up and let us know how sales were. regards


    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Kevin,

      Thanks for your message.

      Next, I will be publishing an interview I did with a good friend of mine who’s been capturing drone footage for the past few months to draw his initial thoughts and lessons learned on his experiences.

      Good reminder, since it’s been almost a year since I put together the passport series and would be interesting to see which have done well and which have flopped. Will gather some stats on those and publish soon an update.

      All the best and thanks for following me on my journey

      Liked by 1 person

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