What makes a Good Stock Photo?

A while ago I attended a meeting in Berlin, in which a Stock Photography Professional (Art Director) told us about his work. Especially about the selection proces of photographic images his company  are offered on a daily bases. Below is a brief oversight of terms, he and many of his colleagues use to determine weather or not to accept images for their database. Most professional photographers will understand these factors, so I am not going to elaborate to much on them. Just a reminder what to look for, when you’re producing, processing of offering your images for upload Or when you are confronted with a selection after you have uploaded … 

Aesthetic Attributes
  • Quality of:
    • Composition
      • Symmetry
      • Golden Spiral
      • Rule of 3rds
    • Depth of Field
    • Lighting
    • Creative Approach
Commercial Relevance
  • Subject Matter / Concept
  • Visual or Commercial Trends
  • Fills Content Gab
  • Accuracy in Details
  • Styling Trends
  • Free of IP Issues
  • Tech props – current / outdated
Scarcity / Uniqueness
  • Uncommon Topic
  • Diversity & Inclusion
  • Scarce in the Market
  • Exclusive Content
Difficulty / Acces
  • Location Acces (Areal, Hospital, etc.)
  • Model & Property Releases
  • Post-Production Quality
  • Quality of Models
  • Quality of Styling
  • Streetcasting / Professionals
Emotional Impact
  • Authentic / Real
  • Emotionally Moving
  • Narrative: “Tells a Story”
  • Visually Dramatic
  • Fosters Empathy
Technical Sufficiency
  • Sharpness / Focus
  • Noise
  • Color Aberrations
  • Straight Horizon Line
  • Color
Care in Processing
  • Quality of Retouching
  • Filters: seamlessness
  • Color Balance / Profiles
Usage Factors
  • Copy Space / Room for Text
  • Part of a Series / “Campaign Able”
  • Confirms to IAB Ad Formats
  • Flexible Cropping Options