Crestock’s Top Ten Bestselling Images

Posted Monday, 17 September 2007 by Lars Hasvoll Bakke in Photography, Trends
Creating the large, consistantly high quality portfolio required to become an overall top selling stock artist takes hard work and dedication. The creation of individual, high quality images is not restricted to this group, many hobbyists have all the skills, passion and equipment required, and only need a great idea to get there.
Behind the images on this list we find artists with portfolio sizes ranging from a single image to more than 5000, and Crestock earnings from just a handfull of dollars to the thousands. Hopefully, the list will provide encouragement to the many hobbyists who are looking to "crack the code" of producing sucessful stock images.

World Map Vector
World Map Vector by gudmund
I'm rather surprised to see this graphic performing so well when, needless to say, it is not a particularly unique or creative interpretation of a world map. But I know from experience that a good world map outline without too many extraneous details is very useful for lots of different purposes – from backgrounds for illustrations or presentation slides to geographically based charts and interfaces. I also included a pretty thorough description of what you actually get, which I believe is particularly important for illustrations where you can't see so well from the preview image exactly what you get.

I suppose it's just fitting that our 'home' should top this list. Not stunning by any means, but superbly useful with its clean and simple portrayal of one of the things most of us can agree we have in common. Simplicity, as you will soon discover, is a key feature of most of the solid sellers here at Crestock.

Floral Chaos
Floral Chaos by kirstypargeter
I think this image sells because the colours I used are subtle and not overpowering and there is space to include copy if needed. I tried to create a 'frame' for the page and I hope I got it right!

While it cannot be said to be a 'simple' image due to it's complex mix of shapes, it's low-key colouration means that you won't be overloading the eyes of the viewer if you use this image. A certain level of order in the chaos is essential in an image like this, a clean path running through the image can be seen, leaving ample copy space.

Freedom by Kurhan

Happiness, prosperity, health and fitness are some popular keywords which describe this photo, keywords which it illustrates superbly. Brilliant location, light and colours, coupled with a well directed model gives this photo a look that stands out in the crowd. I personally like the fact that there is just a little bit of forest visible in the right hand corner, it's a nice little 'imperfection' that convinces you this is a real photo, not something cooked up inside a computer.

Red Lips
Red Lips by Dash

A smiling face, nothing else. It is a photo many have attempted, but few have succeeded as nicely. Clean skin (combined with good makeup), superb lighting and most importantly, a big beautiful smile that doesn't look strained. Despite its lack of a specific theme, it's obvious why a photo like this ranks amongst our best sellers.

Valentine Background
Valentine Background by BOOJOO
I never expected that much attention on a very simple Valentine concept, just red vining roses. The reason is probably its simplicity, it pops out even though it doesn't have any contrasting colors. Personally this image is not my favorite, at the time I was creating it I was thinking a design for wrapping paper and as I found out later, it is indeed used on wrapping papers.

Sharing some basic similarities with image no. 3, this image is still very different. It's not as abstract as Kirsty's swirls and shapes, and has more of a defined theme to it, courtesy of the roses, which most of us will immediatly connect with that ever popular concept of love.

Transport Concept
Transport Concept by Mikdam
I'm happy about with the composition of the elements in the photo, resulting in a nice atmosphere. It did take a fair deal of fiddling around to get the atmosphere right. I could see this image used in many areas, especially aviation and business.

Dark and layered, this image stands out from the general feel of the other images on this list, but whoever said that was the golden rule? With a very busy feel it is not necessarily a feel-good image, but it is well crafted and in my mind perfectly conveys the stress often experienced during travel.

Abstract Drops
Abstract Drops by sunlu4ik
In my opinion one of the reasons for the success of my photo is that its cleanliness is successfully combined with freshness and energy. As a whole it causes positive associations in the viewer, it creates a sensation of harmony and tranquility.

Whether it is the result of manipulation or not, this is one of the slimmest fields of focus I've seen at Crestock, just a thin slice of the photo is in focus, and that's all it takes. It displays a rather extreme combination of simplicity and beauty. Like many other images on this list, this one doesn't have a very specific theme or concept, but is still supremely useful, thanks to it being rather generic without being dull.

Digital Fish
Digital Fish by Yuri_Arcurs
This picture is about change of environment or a link between the digital and the natural world. It's symbolic and easy to understand. It is simple in composition and colors. Personally I think it is a bit artificial looking, but at 100% it's pretty impressive.

Conceptualy, this is definitely the strangest of the bunch, quite an interesting idea. The composition is pretty much as clean as it could be for an image of this kind, with exceptional sharpness, colour and other technical qualities.

http://www by 7immy

I've seen various versions of this idea throughout my time here at Crestock, the vast majority of which where rather poorly executed photos, to be found in the rejection pile for very obvious reasons. This one, as opposed to all the rejected ones, is devoid of all the pixelation and disturbances you get when photographing a monitor, it shows very simply what needs to be shown, and otherwise leaves loads of copy space.

Grass by annalia
I think this background is a great seller because it's simplicity and huge copy space makes it usable in many different contexts. Plus, its brilliant colors makes it stand out from other similar images, despite the very common subject.

It is rumored that the single best selling photo in macrostock is a really good photo of grass, pure and simple. This one, while apparently not a photo, is quite an excellent image of such a 'theme', and it is no wonder that it sells well, keeping in mind the huge variety of uses such an image could see.

After all this talk about simplicity, I have to make it clear that simple, clean images with wide useage potential is not the only way to all over good sales at Crestock. While a well crafted image of that kind could yield impressive sales, a portfolio containing a wide array of more specific themes, moods and situations is most likely to yield the best total sales.

If it isn't obvious already, this is not a list of our 'best' images. As fun a job as it would be to scour hundreds of thousands of images to select a mere ten winners, I'll stick to something that is easier to measure; the number of sales.

Several of the artists behind these images have indicated to me that these aren't their own favourites among their portfolio, and indeed, most of the images here aren't the best images by their creators in my opinion, but image quality is of course a very relative subject, and wholly insignificant to the needs of a stock image customer.

The value of this list is in providing a good idea of what it takes for an image to sell really well, since after all, that is much of the reason why you're reading this.

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» 10 Reasons Why Your Stock Photographs Are Rejected
» How to Successfully Launch a Freelance Career
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By fig on Wednesday, 17 October 2007 11:30 AM
hmm, maybe I'm mistaken but it seems like the top selling images have still only sold a handful of times? This coupled with the extremely long waiting times for image approval has kind of put me off using this site.
By CM on Thursday, 18 October 2007 12:23 PM
I've been tempted to submit some work but as fig comments the download stats on the "best sellers" seem very disappointing. Just how many shots must you need to make even a modest return, I wonder. It would be interesting for Crestock to list the top ten amounts earned and the number of shots on file in each case which might give me more confidence to become a provider.
By Alex Brola on Tuesday, 11 December 2007 7:54 AM
The World Map Vector is the best of all, and it's the simplest. Great how simplicity can make such an impact...

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