Almost everyone has an archive of old photos and snapshots that have little commercial value in the stock industry. However, I would beg to differ. You may want to rethink that statement and realize there may be potential for profit among the images you’ve archived through slide scanning.
First of all, there may be many old images that just need minor clean up. Your editing skills will hopefully have improved over time and images that were not worthy for stock photography may only need basic adjustments. You may have learned to use curves in editing software for improving brightness and contrast. Perhaps you’ve learned to work with layers or masks to add pizzazz to improperly exposed images.
Perhaps over time you have purchased new software for editing photographs. Some software packages can replace the sky with a click of a button. Pictures with a bland or dull sky can become stunning works of art with a click of a button and dropping in a new sky with clouds, storms, or even a rainbow. In addition, you can go back to your archives to find pictures of sunsets, storms, and other types of skies. These images by themselves may not be interesting because of the lack of a foreground, but you can utilize those fantastic skies and clouds by using software where you can drop that sky into another image.
Have you learned new photo editing techniques, or downloaded some new Photoshop brushes recently? A simple picture of the woods can become an interesting background by applying a vignette function and adding fog or beams of light with brushes. There are a multitude of brushes for Photoshop and other software packages that provide a virtually unlimited set of concepts and approaches for editing a plain photograph into something worthy of adding to your stock photos portfolio.
If you have progressed into advanced photo editing capabilities, then you might be able to merge different elements together in order to create interesting concepts. You may have a photo of an empty highway and a hot looking car from an auto show. You could drop the automobile onto the road and make it look like the car is cruising down the highway. Many snapshots can be used as backgrounds for various concepts and is a technique worth exploring.
But you don’t need to be skilled with photo editing software to create interesting effects from average photographs. You can add solar flares, motion blurs, even a subtle blur to give more emphasis on a section of the image that remains sharp and detailed. Merely cropping an image to improve the composition can give new life to old images and make them sellable.
For old black and white photographs, there are tutorials on how to colorize them. You will need to have some fundamental skill with software editing packages such as Photoshop, but it’s not hard to do once you learn the steps involved.
If you like being creative, then there is no limit to what you can do. Add wild patterns to old clothing styles, insert a robot into a family portrait, drop a UFO spaceship into the sky of a landscape. Using creativity to produce unique concepts is something the stock industry is always looking for as buyers are constantly seeking new and fresh ideas. Converting ordinary snapshots into digital art has many possibilities and can be a rewarding experience, and even better if it can help your portfolio to generate additional income. Release your inner artist and explore your artistic potential!
At the very least, finding new ways to repurpose old photographs in your archives may provide new ways to expand your portfolio. The best part of doing this is you already have the images sitting on your hard drive or back up storage. If you’ve grown as a photographer, then it may be worth exploring what possibilities there are in your archives and how you may bring new life to old images.
Images via Dreamstime.com