Your line of work does not define you, but it might guide you to finding a job that does. One of our notable contributors, Sergey Tinyakov used to work as a crime scene investigator before making the switch to stock photograph. Today he shares his story, tips and advice as well as insights he learned from his experience.

photograph of traveling man from Sergey Tinyakov's portfolio

Tell us a little bit about yourself, your professional background and how you stumbled on stock photography.

I used to work in the police, investigating crimes related to the death of people. At some point, I realized that life is beautiful and beautiful in itself. So I discovered photography – the opportunity to capture this beauty and share with people close in spirit.

photograph of travels from Sergey Tinyakov's portfolio

Your work has a simplicity about it, how would you describe your aesthetics?

Simplicity and ease often comes after hard work. You need to free your head from excess and open your mind. Then you will understand what you want, and the universe will give it. You just need to try.

3 friends traveling by car image from Sergey Tinyakov's portfolio

What have you learned so far from working with microstocks?

I realized that microstocks are an opportunity, and how to make the most of it depends on you. Any case is difficult to follow through if you do not like it.

How difficult would you say it is to get started with stock photography and what have your personal challenges been?

The first step is the most difficult – fear that you do not know anything about this matter. Another problem is laziness and a desire to make money quickly. Do not be afraid – just do it. Perseverance is the key.

picturesque mountains image from Sergey Tinyakov's portfolio

Could you share a little bit about your creative process of how you come up with ideas for photoshoots?

Here everything is simple. As I said earlier, you first need to understand what you want. What are the goals you need to pursue? Then, it is necessary to understand what people want, and what you can offer them. Analyze, comprehend and find a balance between the needs of people and your pleasure from photography. I love to create. I’m not always able to, but I don’t give up.

woman standing by a wall image from Sergey Tinyakov's portfolio

Could you name 5 things inspiring you/your work right now?

1. People that surround me. 2. Feeling that I’m doing something important. 3. Money that I can get thanks to my work. 4. The presence of free time, which I invest in my personal development. 5. The ability to leave a trace through the work I do.

bike at sujset image from Sergey Tinyakov's portfolio

Do you have a favourite photograph? If so, what’s the story behind it?

Yes. I have one of my photos, it has nothing to do with microstocks – it shows a lonely sitting woman of fifty in a swimsuit, looking like my dead mother on the back. When I saw this scene, I did not hesitate to make a shot and realized that she, this photo is a link to my beloved person.

If we talk about other photographers, I can not single out one, so I collect a visual collection from the photos I like.

Picturesque picture of mountains Sergey Tinyakov's portfolio

What topics have you noticed sell well?

First of all, what is now sold in the world trend (politics, art, development of society and technology) is sold. I would recommend that you follow the key events in the world and create content on their basis, rather than starting from popular search queries.

Such a photograph should be metaphorical and create an opportunity to apply it in a wide range of topics. Classical subjects are, in my opinion, medicine, a passion for adventure and relationships between people.

What are your personal favourite themes to work with?

I like to photograph charismatic people. I prefer tourism, adventure and freedom of movement.

birds in flight photo from Sergey Tinyakov's portfolio

Your #1 tip or words of wisdom:

A little bit does not count. Do business or get off the pot.

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