If you want sales, just shoot what is in the news!

Human beings, in general, are masters at over-complicating everything!

Other contributors ask me all the time “what should I shoot to make sales?” My answer is that even though I don’t know what will sell, I do know what is likely trending. It’s a start.

The truth is that there are SO MANY OPPORTUNITIES out there to shoot and instead many contributors play it safe and shoot the usual saturated subjects: dogs / duck on pond, beaches, flags, flowers, sunsets, etc.

What’s in the news?

If you watch/read international news often enough, you’ll know what’s trending since they’ll just outright let you know. Even better if combine this insight with using Google Trends, where I’ve recently published a guest blog post.

Protestors wearing a Guy Fawkes mask light gas canisters to express their anger against French President Macro's government, among other issues, on the streets of Paris
We’ll surely be seeing more of these types of protests in 2019. Protesters wearing a Guy Fawkes mask light gas canisters to express their anger against French President Macro’s government, among other issues, on the streets of Paris

Attack of the Drones at Gatwick Airport

Well, last week Gatwick airport was shut down for two full days leading to severe disruptions. This is the UK’s second biggest airport and a top 5 airport in Europe. The reason it was shut down were due to civilian drone sightings at the runway.

If you can picture how many airports there are and how many drones are being purchased, you’ll realise that the scale of this problem is paramount and this will definitely not be an one-off example. Eventually a commercial airliner will be brought down by a drone, either deliberately or not.

Drone and airplane composites

Probably shooting myself in the foot here and giving away my secrets but anyway, I’ve decided to create some composites of drones and airports. These are all licensed as commercial, as creating such composites to be licensed as editorial is strictly prohibited. Also helps that I already have 100s of shots of airplanes/airports to choose from.

Early days that these have started to sell here and there. Here’s a slideshow:

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Adam Melnyk went further and like a Star Trek Borg, has both assimilated my ideas and adapted. That’s the thing about this industry, you need to always keep improving or you’ll fall behind…

Practical Usage

I was casually using Google Reverse images to search for some of my latest articles and I came across one of my drone composites used in this news piece entitled, “Attack of Drones – A Very Real Threat”.  Was just a sub sale but interesting usage, nevertheless.

attack of the drones

No-Deal Brexit

I wrote about the possibility of a no-deal Brexit as a trending phrase in the guest post. In the past few weeks, the possibility has certainly increased for reasons I won’t get into here. Betfair is offering odds with the “no deal” being slight favourites and I’ve placed a small bet on this result and the UK’s membership to be extended to allow more time for negotiations:

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I’m betting that Article 50 will be extended…

Back to the stock photography world, I’ve decided to create some slogans with a silhouette of the Houses of Parliament which I captured five years ago. I’m a big believer in just leaving copy space blank for buyers to put them own slogans/ads, but these are exceptional cases in exceptional times:

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Then, I turned one of the images into a short clip, thanks to the help of Master Theo. How did I come up with the slogans? Well, from looking at signs at protests and reading the news.

I’ll keep an eye on how these do and perhaps add more phrases and different views of the Parliament. Last thing I want is to spend many hours with dozens of similars to have a few subs…so, so far this is just a test. Time = money.

What else is in the news?

Loads! Just keep an eye out on what’s trending and be inspired by this collection of The best photographs of 2018 – and the stories behind them.

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Palestinian protester, Gaza City Mustafa Hassona/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

More guns in the UK?

Saw this worrying piece in the Guardian about rising imports of firearms today and may be a red flag of things to come…

Please comment below on which types of items you think would make for interesting stock content in the next year.

Collaboration with Creative Income – Editorial vs Commercial

In other news, a few days ago Guilherme from Creative Income and I collaborated on an interesting discussion on editorial vs commercial stock content. It was a live conversation lasting one hour:

1 Hour is quite long to watch so we’ll be editing it into 20 minutes soon for the best moments. Hope you find it useful!

Happy New Year!

Wishing you a prosperous New Year!


About Alex

I’m an eccentric guy on a quest to visit all corners of the world and capture stock images & footage. I’m determined not to waste my life away as a corporate drone and have devoted five years to making it as a travel photographer and freelance writer. I hope to inspire others before it’s too late.

I’m proud to have written a book about my adventures which includes tips on making it as a stock travel photographer – Brutally Honest Guide to Microstock Photography

Check out my new photo review service, where I’ll help take your images to the next level and get them sold regularly!

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