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How to shoot video game content for commercial licensing

Last year, PepsiCo’s Mountain Dew made headlines by spending 40% of their marketing dollars to reach a niche audience: gamers. Since then, video games have skyrocketed in popularity, spurred in part by the stay-at-home orders associated with the COVID-19 crisis; in fact, over the summer, Nielsen found that 82% of global consumers played video games...

The ultimate guide to minimalist photography

“Minimalism” has been a photography buzzword in recent years, coinciding with larger movements like the “decluttered lifestyles” popularized by cleaning gurus like Marie Kondo. From Apple’s elegant, stripped-back approach to product design to minimalist lifestyle and fashion bloggers like Ivania Carpio, minimalism has helped redefine visual culture—and...

Nine tips for building your photography portfolio

When Richard Avedon first started photographing for Harper’s Bazaar at the young age of twenty-two, he didn’t have a studio. Still, he didn’t let that stop him; instead, he got resourceful by shooting fashion photos in the streets, at nightclubs, and on the beach. It wasn’t too long before he’d built up one of the most impressive portfolios in the business—and...

Best practices: Planning your commercial shoot with a shot list

In recent years, Apple has released some of the most iconic advertising photographs of all time, and many were created using a surprisingly simple tool: the shot list. As the renowned commercial photographer Peter Belanger has said, the team at Apple always provides well-developed shot lists, so they always get the pictures they need, and there’s nothing...

500px Commercial Grants: Project #ShowUs

500px strives to capture authentic representation within the global experience. As part of the 500px Commercial Grants program, we provide photographers with opportunities that encourage inclusivity within commercial photography. 500px is awarding five $1,000 US Commercial Grants to women and non-binary photographers who want to tell their stories...

Your ultimate commercial checklist before you hit ‘submit to Licensing’

Licensing your photos as commercial stock photography is a great way to hone your skills, develop business savvy, and earn passive income, but creating a best-selling portfolio is rarely as simple as hitting the ‘submit to Licensing’ button. Beyond shooting pictures, today’s commercial photographers wear many hats; they play the role of art director,...

Capturing the online shopping experience in commercial photography

Although online shopping was already increasing in the months leading up to COVID-19, the pandemic has significantly changed the way we buy everything from clothing to groceries, likely with long-lasting effects. According to a recent survey of 3,700 customers across nine countries, more than half of respondents now shop online more frequently, with...

Nine ways to improve your online presence as a photographer

The last year might have been a challenging one, but over the past months, we’ve seen photographers pivot their businesses and market their work in unexpected, creative ways online. For example, Dina Belenko released a book filled with creative at-home photo tutorials, while Ryan Longnecker sold new signature presets, and Jovana Rikalo offered fine...

10 tips to make you more productive in the New Year

When Ansel Adams passed away in 1984, he famously left behind a treasure trove of 40,000 photographs. Inside a concrete and steel vault, curators discovered masterpieces, many of which had never been printed. Among Adam’s iconic black and white landscapes were color photos and portraits—a testament to a prolific career. In the end, he created so many...

Visualizing New Year’s resolutions in commercial photography

Last year, Booking.com made headlines with a marketing campaign unlike any other: in January, the travel website designed and opened 20 “New Year’s resolution” suites in New York City, available to book for just $20.20. Each suite had a different resolution theme, from being more active to becoming more financially savvy. For many marketers, every new...

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