This series, Simply Sellable, is our weekly effort to explain what type of photos buyers want to license, the trends we see happening across the licensing industry, and what visual thought leaders anticipate being successful in the licensing space. Each week, a member of our Content Team will provide advice, tips, and tricks to guide you, our community of amazing photographers, in your effort to capture that perfectly licensable image.

When it comes to the type of photography buyers are looking for when building creative campaigns, business imagery is always in high demand. Whether it’s for use in an advertising campaign or a personal website, images representing productivity and Monday-Friday work life are relatable to a mass audience. This isn’t necessarily the type of imagery you can just walk outside and capture, so it will require careful planning for the shoot location, props, and models. But the payoff will be worth it for photographers that then find themselves with a collection of highly sought after images. Here are a few tips to get you started in planning a photoshoot focused on creating sellable images around work and office culture.

The Office Space
When planning a business shoot, you have to consider the type of office space you want to represent. You have the traditional office with standard desks, conference rooms, and employees in business attire or there’s the more creative, agile workspace. There’s also the home office to consider. With more and more people working remotely or catching up on work at home, buyers are looking for imagery to reflect this. Keep in mind when shooting, that even in a traditional workspace, buyers are often looking for imagery that is less posed and staged. Buyers are moving away from that traditional “stock” look and want images that are more believable showing people not looking at the camera and not posed as if they’re trying to sell the viewer something.

Let the good times roll! by ??? • Ev Tchebotarev on

For an in-office shoot, consider framing your images within certain business concepts. Some concepts could include meetings, brainstorming sessions using a whiteboard, colleague collaboration, teams using technology, one-on-one interviews. While casting for shoots, be sure to include a mixture of ages, genders, and ethnicities, and have every person pictured sign a model release to make the images sellable.

Tech Tools
Close-up images of gadgets with and without people are great sellers and may be easier to shoot since it doesn’t necessarily require a furnished office space or models with signed releases.

Young woman holding smart phone at a desk. by EasyPx on

Photography focusing on technology devices offer the flexibility of escaping the office so try heading outside to a cafe or other public space to shoot people using laptops, phones, and tablets. Remember that model or property releases may be required if the cafe or people in the background are recognizable. For that reason, consider staging “at work” vignettes that feature a laptop, a keyboard, a notebook and pen, a cup of fresh of coffee — everything one would want to have on hand for a serious work session. Experiment with overhead shots or tight crops on the pieces of the scene that illustrate the work-in-progress feel.

A close crop may also be necessary when photographing products that are easily recognizable. For example, the home button of many tablets and smartphones is copyright protected against commercial use. To ensure a photo will be licensable, either crop these hallmarks out of the shot or remove them in post-processing.

The Entrepreneur
In addition to the typical office view of work, buyers are also looking for imagery of the entrepreneurs and craftsmen that create goods, run a shop, or interact with customers. Small businesses can be fun to shoot because of the range of possibilities the locations offer. Think: a local tattoo shop, florist, or craftsman. Since you’ll be at recognizable locations, property releases are a necessity. Find the 500px model release and property release forms here.

Female customer paying for purchase at coffee shop by Hero Images on

How have you found success staging photo shoots around sellable themes like work and office life? Share your own experience creating a Simply Sellable photo in the comments.

Headline image by Matej Kastelic