The following subjects are photo requests that are needed by most large agencies, mainly in the UK, USA and Canada. Don’t forget it is important to note relevant facts when you are shooting. Your images may be used for many reasons and on many occasions for years to come. Give them clear IDs. Use photography to explore and to push your personal limits. Look for the clues of life and our likely needs for the future.


Must be properly identified including family. Preferably pictures taken in the wilderness (closeups please or telephoto shots). Domestic cats and dogs in their favourite pastimes. Different kinds of fish from steams, rivers and lakes (also the effects of pollution, extreme weather, etc.). Horses – domestic or wild in wilderness. Insects, all categories (closeups must be captioned with name).


Businessmen and women, business meetings and conferences, business lunches in restaurants, travelling, airports etc. Executives at their desks and at their computers. Secretaries at their desks, on the telephone, computer rooms where larger numbers of people are working (in all shoots people must be well-dressed and must not be smoking). Stock exchanges and related activities.


Taken in the summer, both young and old, walking on the beach, holding hands, swimming, dancing, horseback riding, playing golf or tennis, in or by the pool, sunbathing. Please pay attention to couples in the 45 – 55 age categories and to their lifestyles (hetero and gay). All kinds of activities (no silhouettes please).


All types of computers including desktop and portable, computers in business and being used on the road, in cars, restaurants, airport lounges. Shots of microchips, motherboards (use your imagination) and microscopic closeups. People using multimedia equipment, control rooms, groups or individuals. People all ages at their computers (decision making and using applications).


Especially in the summer – mothers and children, fathers playing with children, families in everyday situations, eating and playing, enjoying picnics, holiday activities, celebrations and/or human tragedies in families (people must be clean and well groomed – close-ups please). Love and appreciation of the family must be shown.


Again the stress is on recognisable season (closeups please). Dishes both hot and cold, salads, fruits, vegetables, favourite dishes, doing the cooking (especially story shot in sequence), dining, food preparation for parties, outdoor barbecuing and serving. Harvesting the produce grown in the summer from gardens and farmers’ fields.


People involved in industry, production (try to tell the industry story from A to Z with 12 images). Choose an industry you are already familiar with. Tip: do your homework first. Difficult but rewarding assignments include the automobile industry (production and service). Tip: the surrounds must be neat and workers clean. Lumber/timber industry, mills, iron works, mining, oil refineries, oil pipelines, welders, deep-sea and saturation diving. Closeup shots of all other industries are needed as well. Use photography to show the unknown and the unfamiliar to the general public.


Medicine is not well represented in stock photography (it seems nobody goes to see the doctor or visits the hospital to take pictures). In the summer there are more accidents and emergencies. These situations present opportunities to the freelance photographer. Doctors with patients, nurses, operating and rehabilitation rooms, medical equipment. Tip: any equipment becomes outdated too soon. So up-to-date photos of equipment are always needed.


Ambulances (inside and outside – in the evening and/or at night). Patients, male/female, both young and old – in beds, wheelchairs, hospitals waiting rooms, maternity wards. Birth of children, babies in the arms of mother and father and grandparents (happy, worried, sad moments). Pharmacies, drugstores, pharmacy staff in uniform, displays of medicines and stylish interiors. At certain times of year homeless people are more visible. Plus alcohol and drug addiction on the streets is one of the wanted subjects. Young people facing the same addiction problems.


Crowds on streets, rush hours, shopping malls, bus stops. Tip: use existing lighting. Capture reflections. Shopping for summer/winter goods, clothes, furnishings. People travelling on holiday and how they spend their time: cycling, horseback riding, climbing, sailing, etc.). Protests and demonstrations (people of all colours and ethnic origins). Depict ‘human rights’ in all countries. Use imagination. Political rallies (show organisation leaders, these people must have names). Protests (close-ups, and also show masses of people). Parades and summer festivals with people, personalities and celebrities, politicians. People living in ghettos, poverty, homelessness (close-up of faces. Tip: use 28 mm lens and get natural light to work for you).


All aspects of science, research (show laboratories, progress on projects, testing things etc.). In science the demand is for new breakthroughs in research. For publication include research teams and/or individuals (people must be well-groomed).  Communication technology – fibre-optics and others as well as related equipment. Commercial aircraft and development (engines and different parts). Major airports, navigation and communication equipment. Note: taking pictures of some equipment may require special permission. NASA programmes, research, space shuttle taking off and/or landing. (Tip: these make dramatic pictures, both day and night). All types of satellites, science and space projects.


Summer outdoor sports (individuals and/or groups). Sailing, power boat racing (closeup shots needed of racing crews at work). Fishing showing the catch. Stream, boat, rocks, surf fishing. All ages. Male/female. Car racing. Use your imagination. Tip: not all shots need to be ‘frozen in time’. Wind surfing, jogging, hiking, golf, general flying, hang-gliding, scuba diving, tennis and other summer activities. Remember the World Cup means soccer is bigger than ever before. 


Photos wanted of all international countries and major cities in Canada, USA and Europe. Tip: time changes all cityscapes. Shots must be no older than three years. Show the date taken. Canada: Vancouver, Edmonton, Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec. United States:  Detroit, Miami, Washington DC, Chicago, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Francisco. Asia: Hong Kong and Vietnam. Tip: travel photos are more in demand where detail is emphasised. Be selective in shooting your point of interest. Tip: use natural light to your advantage. Shadows can be creative, but also destructive. Europe: Paris, Rome, London, Madrid, Geneva, Brussels, Berlin. South America: Peru, Chile, Argentina. Cruises: on big ship holidays with people enjoying the comfort, luxury, facilities, on-board games. Include ports of call (model release is not required if the person is not posing for the picture). Motor homes and mobile homes, from inside or outside – with tidy people in.


Summer presents unlimited opportunities for the freelance photographer. Accidents, natural disasters, floods, storms. Concerts outdoors mostly happen during the summer. Use your imagination and set up the best photo assignment for yourself or with friends. Circus, ballet, plays, opera, buildings/tents. Old historic buildings. Special ‘architecturally interesting’ buildings, structures. Use your own know-how to show how to repair / build, indoor /outdoor. 

Stock photographs must meet the quality standards of Photo Libraries. Don’t bother to send slides that are: out of focus, not clearly captioned, without MR (model release). All PL and photo agencies would like you to understand that certain subjects are requested more frequently and sell better than others. Eg: “Please. No more sunsets!!”

Tip:  Check magazines and online databases and develop an eye for what are obviously stock photos. Editors don’t like to over-use even the best photos. So they want fresh shots of the same popular situations. That is what keeps freelance photographers in business.     

The NZIBS Photography course offers the training you need to become a competent photographer. Photography can give you individual freedom, self-expression and financial gain. You’ll also find photography is an adventure, limited only by your imagination and flair – qualities which will be enhanced throughout the course.

Do you enjoy taking photos? ... Hobby? New career?

Photography can be a fun hobby, and a significant income earner. Learn the skills you need to be a better photographer. You provide the ambition and willingness to learn while your tutor provides technical knowledge and encouragement.