Tips and tricks to help you win a Licensing Quest

Photo Stories

Thinking outside the box when it comes to a specific shoot isn’t always straightforward—it often requires taking some extra time to plan ahead. Improvising can work for some of those truly authentic and spontaneous shots, but for shoots that follow a specific theme or Licensing Quest brief, there are certain things to keep in mind to ensure you are getting the most out of your photoshoot.

Many of the tips and tricks in this article are simple and easy hacks to make the most out of the time you have with your model or space. When shooting, you should always consider how you can apply multiple themes and shoot ideas within a single session. This will help boost your shot count and provide variety within your content. Something as simple as bringing a spare change of clothing can instantly transform your photos from casual to highly stylized and dynamic.

Here are seven simple tips to help diversify and spice up your photography content

Shoot locations without people
If you have the required property release, locations without people in them are valuable content.

The new Peak Design Travel bag by Hayden Scott on 500px.com

Always take portraits
Even if you are not doing a portrait shoot, if you are working with a model, make sure to take a few portrait shots—you never know what kind of emotion or interesting details you might capture. Just make sure you don’t only submit portrait shots—we want to see what else you can do too!

 by Brianna R on 500px.com

Change your camera position
Shoot from above or below to change your perspective from always being at the same level as your subjects.

Chanelle by Brianna R on 500px.com

Bring a wardrobe change
You can create the look of a different season or time of day by simply adding a coat or changing from casual to dressed up attire.

Pretty Ladies by Anthony Rayburn on 500px.com

Tournesol by Anthony Rayburn on 500px.com

Shoot a before and after
These shots create a different tone and add to your story. For example, try a shot walking towards a destination (like a coffee shop) and then one walking out after your shoot is complete.

Red Coton by Jean-Baptiste Martin on 500px.com

Let's hicker ! by Jean-Baptiste Martin on 500px.com

Make your models anonymous
This can add to the usability of your photos, the viewer can place themselves in the scene, and it can add a sense of drama or playfulness depending on how you do it. Use light or a prop to obscure faces.

Over La Defense by Antoine Martin on 500px.com

Tell a story
Plan out your shots to create a narrative, even if the photos get used separately. It gives clients the chance to create more freely if they have options and a narrative to work with.

Love Story by ???Victor Dm ??? on 500px.com

Shot lists are another element that should be considered before every shoot. There are a number of classic shots that can be incorporated into your sessions to elevate your commercial collection and appeal. Evergreen content always has a place and is a great way to ensure some of the essentials are checked off as you cover your basis. Once these items are captured, you can move on to the more creative side of your shoot.

Here are 10 essential shots you should take for every Licensing Quest shoot

1. The hero photo
Hero photos are important to capture. They consist of a wide-angle shot with ample room for crop and text, ultimately providing a ‘wow’ factor to your shoot.

Mt Rundle by Tanner Wendell Stewart on 500px.com

2. A medium crop
Experiment with medium crops while facing the camera, mid-frame, against a dynamic background.

Waiting by Matteo Sergo on 500px.com

3. A dynamic background
Looking onto a dynamic background never gets old, this will add a sense of wanderlust and awe in your photo.

pieces of flair by Sam Brockway on 500px.com

4. Natural movement
Freeze a natural action or movement within your frame. Posed shots are cheesy, so try and be as authentic as you can.

Diverse Couple Walking Through the City by Jason Hampden on 500px.com

5. A detailed shot
Get granular! It’s all in the details—zoom in on the small things, like teeth being brushed, coffee being poured, or someone tying their shoe.

Tu/Yo by Nicolas Fuentes on 500px.com

6. Using the rule of thirds
Incorporate the rule of thirds into your photography. This will provide buyers with spacing, crop, and text overlay options within your shot.

rose by Renat Renee-Ell on 500px.com

7. Varied depth
Experiment with the depth—a shallow depth can provide a dreamy effect, whereas an extremely sharp photo can imply surrealism.

Candy Shop pt. 2 by Jagoda Matejczuk on 500px.com

J'tier in Studio by Milton Smith on 500px.com

8. Using interesting tone and color
Focus on your tone and color. Applying simple colors and stark contrasts within your photo creates visual interest and appeal.

The new Peak Design Travel bag by Hayden Scott on 500px.com

9. A narrative location
Incorporate and highlight the location of your shoot. This could be anywhere from the comfort of your own home to a local market in a foreign country. The location will help to provide a narrative for your shoot.

px by Winnie Bruce on 500px.com

10. An immersive shot
Experiential photography is in, so try shooting in the first person. Providing this perspective can contribute to a deeper understanding and help the viewer create an association with their own experiences.

Chiberia 2019 by Mike Ando on 500px.com

Try applying these tips and tricks to your next Licensing Quest submission!

See what’s currently live in Licensing Quests here. For all other Licensing inquiries, and to find out how to start earning a passive income from your photography, be sure to check out our Home Page here.

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