I recently participated in a two-day student workshop at Full Sail University in Orlando, Florida, created and run by the Adobe Stock team. This was an incredibly valuable event from both student and teacher perspectives, giving them not only theory and practical advice about creating stock content in general, but also in practice, in the form of a hands-on live photo shoot on-location in Florida.
Mat Hayward - Photographer Relations Specialist, Adobe Stock
An awesome shooter in his own right, Mat ran the students through a variety of image scenarios, asking their input on whether projected images would be accepted or rejected as stock images.
Mat shared best practices, ideas and even some of his own work, giving the students an excellent sense of what would appeal to stock photo buyers.
And while the focus of the workshop was on photography and video, Mat also pointed out that animation and illustration content was also in high demand. In fact, video and illustration work typically pay much higher than stock photos.
Paul McAniff - Contributor Outreach Associate, Adobe Stock
Paul, a videographer and new addition to the Adobe Stock team, discussed "shooting on the cheap." Making the most of what you have as a student or budding shooter is so critical at first.
Professional lighting gear is expensive, and often out of reach for cash-strapped students and recent graduates. Paul showed how to create a complete lighting kit for about $100.
Terry White - Adobe Evangelist
As the face of many Adobe design products, Terry may not need much introduction. His easy-going, approachable attitude puts people right at home. Terry shared his advice and even told a couple great stories.
Terry didn't originally shoot for stock at all; he found the existing systems made it inconvenient - even difficult - to contribute work. But when Adobe Stock came around, he gave the process another try and to his delight, this new service from Adobe made it very easy to get started and keep contributing.
Terry also shared the stories behind his top 3 best selling images - and the fact that two of them were never intended to even be stock images; they were instead favors he did for others - headshots for a model and another for someone's resume.
The moral of the story - especially in Terry's case - is to always make sure you have model or property releases signed by your subjects, because sometimes, you never know what will sell, or how well.
After the guest speaker lectures, students grabbed some lunch and worked on their shot lists for the afternoon.
The Stock team, in conjunction with Customer Success Manager Patrick Koster, had selected a great location (Lake Eola) and arranged for both professional and student models for the group to photograph in a variety of scenarios. But first they had to do some planning.
Afternoon Session - Location Shoot at Lake Eola
Several locations were pre-determined:
- Lake Eola Heritage Building
- Boardwalk encircling the lake
- Tourist shopping district
However, students were told they had free reign in the park itself so long as they avoided recognizable people in their photos (other than the models).
Things got off to a fun start when Mat Hayward was attacked by a very grumpy swan.
Students quickly broke out into groups, shooting inside and outside, with assistance from the guest speakers, teachers and people like me and my colleague Steve Adler.