There are so many articles on productivity on the Internet, that it has never been so easy to get confused about what productivity really is. Does it mean being busy on a daily basis? Or, maybe, achieving every single goal you set? Today, resolving the issue of productivity is urgent for many, and before submerging yourself into the list of how-to’s, let’s briefly define, what it means to be a productive stock photographer.

Being productive as a stock photographer means optimizing your workflow to not only produce great content but also be timely and efficient in getting it recognized by clients. Having dozens of unfinished to-do tasks on your list and thousands of images in your computer folders have nothing to do with productivity.

If you’ve been looking for advice and a sign from the universe that you can finally become a productive stock photographer, here it is. Don’t postpone anything for tomorrow. You can start being productive today by making lists and not-to-do lists, devoting time to keywording, learning keyboard shortcuts and trying many more new things that will bring your productivity to a new level.


Make lists

If you thought that David Allen’s “Getting Things Done” book is useful only for office managers, accountants and CEOs, you’re mistaken. Whether you work in an office or at home, it is a savior for everyone.

According to it, when you free your mind from memorizing tasks and transfer them on external media (you write to-do lists in a notebook, for example), it becomes easier to concentrate on the performance of the task. You see a bigger picture of where and how quick are you heading and, most importantly, you feel less stressed and anxious about forgetting something. Besides, you get that competitive motivation to complete all the tasks and put a tick in every box.

You can put any kind of things on the list. Plans for a day, a week, a month, or a year. Gear you need to collect before the shooting. Locations you want to explore. Concepts and ideas you have in mind. Stock photography platforms you’d to submit your articles to. Models you need to reach out and any other important things you can forget if you don’t write them down. Keep things organized!

You can use different methods to create these lists, depending on what you’re comfortable with. You can have a physical notebook or sketchbook where you already keep track of ideas, it can be on your Notes on a computer and phone, or you can use online platforms like Evernote. `the perks to digital lists is that they will be on all your devices. The options are many, but you really have to find a system that works for you personally.

Once lists become an integral part of your routine, you’ll realize how much more productive you have become.

How to Be a Productive Stock Photographer

And not-to-do lists

Every minute we get dozens of notifications, phone calls, and emails. We are also curious about what’s happening on social media and, you have to agree, it does not really take long to get distracted from getting your to-do list done. Procrastination prevails over a desire to put a tick in the box and at the end of the day, you end up with nothing achieved.

If you’re suffering from all these (as we all are), read Tim Ferriss’ book  “The 4-Hour Workweek”. The guru of productivity promotes the idea of making not-to-do lists. In short, you create a list of things that preclude your best performance. Here’s an example of how a not-to-do list might look like:

  • do not scroll Instagram, Facebook and YouTube feed from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • do not check emails in the morning
  • do not forget to read a book on photography in bed
  • do not forget to use keyboard shortcuts while editing images

Every time you have a temptation to break up a paragraph in the list, think what happens if you answer some message in the evening. If nothing, feel free to postpone the answer until the after-work hours and concentrate on issues that really matter.

Follow trends

Although some people think that stock photography platforms are a wrong place for trendy images, at Depositphotos, we are happy to prove the opposite.

In addition to a library with more than 125 million files, on our website, we also have photo collections that feature carefully curated and hand-picked content on trending topics. Also, clients that use the Depositphotos advanced search (which are the majority) have an option of exploring for the most recent content and discover not only popular but also niche and trendy images.

At first sight, it looks like a big intro to why a stock photographer should follow trends but its aim is to clarify that if you’d like to make money on stocks, being up-to-date is extremely important.

To keep abreast of the latest trends in design and photography, you can follow photographers on Instagram, research on the Internet, and subscribe to our blog. We regularly publish articles on photography and visual trends. Here are the latest ones:

How to Be a Productive Stock Photographer

Have a file with keywording that worked well

When you upload files to a stock photography platform the quality of visuals and their concept matter a lot but this is only half the battle. Clients and anyone interested in purchasing your images need to be able to find your visuals among hundreds of millions of files on the web. To get your work recognized, you should devote quite some time to keywording images for stocks.

On many stocks, including Depositphotos, keywording are keywords and descriptions. Before filling in both, analyze the keywording that the most popular visuals have and make a list of those that, in your opinion, could work for you. If you’re a veteran at stocks, try to analyze the keywording that made your images appear higher in search results.

If you regularly devote time to this activity, it will become easier to get higher earnings with stock photography platforms.

Stop stressing that your gear is not good enough

We live in the second millennium and smartphones have replaced a whole range of gadgets we couldn’t imagine our lives without, even a couple of decades ago. You don’t need a TV to watch a series. You don’t need a typewriter to write a book, and you don’t need a collection of expensive gear to become a photographer.

What you really need is good photography skills that you can get from:

  • exploring the features and settings of your camera or smartphone
  • reading books and profile magazines
  • being creative on a daily basis (sketching, drawing, illustrating, and writing)
  • watching movies and documentaries
  • following seasoned photographers
  • editing your images properly
  • exchanging knowledge with colleagues

This list includes the simplest activities but there are actually many more things you can do to improve your photography skills and (having only a smartphone in your hands) produce works that stand out.

How to Be a Productive Stock Photographer

Learn the keyboard shortcuts

It is twice quicker to switch the language with a keyboard shortcut than on a command line. And you definitely know how Ctrl+C Ctrl+V, Ctrl+Z, and Ctrl+A make the life easier. The same rule applies to photo editing apps.

Whether you’re enhancing images in Photoshop, Lightroom or any other app, your efficiency will increase if you start using shortcut keys. Don’t worry, because of a large number of shortcuts, knowledge comes from practice.

At first sight, these things may seem basic but all together they can help you reach new heights as a stock photographer. You’ll get a smoother workflow, will work quicker and more efficiently, and will finally say goodbye to procrastination. Most importantly, don’t put off for tomorrow and include these how-to’s in your routine today.

For more articles on photography, from improving editing skills to understanding the kitchen of stocks, explore the photography category on our blog.

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