What should I shoot? Let us introduce you to a new tool

What should I shoot? This has been the most frequently asked question from our photographers since we started up in 1999. It’s a good question! In a fast-moving industry with hundreds of thousands different image buyers, all with individual needs, how do you stay ahead of the game? Or to put it this way, how do you make sure you have the right images in front of the right customer at the right time? To help answer this question, we’ve released a beta version of our new tool and called it exactly that – what should I shoot?

The idea is to bridge the gap between our customers and photographers by better communicating customer needs to our contributors. From the beginning of this project we’ve been saying that we wanted to make something really useful for our contributors, something that allowed them to quickly browse what’s missing in our collection and spark ideas for upcoming shoots. Imagine you are on your way to Australia, wouldn’t it be great if you could check our Australian picture needs and plan them into your trip?

On the opposite end we often receive the same question from our customers. They ask if we have specific content, preferably shot with the latest visual trends in mind. Picture needs and image trends often goes hand in hand, so we wanted to make sure this was included too.



How it works

The tool has two main features, the picture needs and the photography trends. The picture needs will show you everything that our customers haven’t been able to find within our collection. If you want to see picture needs relevant to your specialist area, you can search the needs by keyword or browse by category using the filter button. Default categories can be applied in your account settings to customize the tool to always show needs that are relevant to you. The trends are handpicked to show you trending topics and particular photography styles our customers love. In this way you can plan your shoot knowing exactly what subject to photograph and apply any relevant trends.

Sourcing the picture needs

Our picture needs are based on direct feedback from customers and our Picture Research team and some are from our own data analytics. All picture needs, whether they are from customer briefs or found within our data, are verified by a member of staff. This is to ensure all the picture needs we publish are relevant and accurate.

In cases where a picture need is listed where we already have images in our collection, it either means that we need even more of that type of content or what we have is out of date.

Covering a picture need

Once you’ve uploaded content that matches a specific need, please let us know by ticking the box “I’ve covered this pic need”. We will then be able to feed this back to our customers. Make sure you also tag your images with the same keywords being used to describe the picture need so they are easy for us to spot.

Once enough content has been uploaded, the picture need will be removed from the tool.

Covering a need doesn’t guarantee an instant sale, but it will increase your chances of making more sales in the long run and it will help make Alamy a platform where customers and contributors are better connected.


Photography trends

As well as getting insight to what’s missing in our collection, we let you know what you can do to stay on top of the current photography trends. You might think that most topics have already been covered in stock photography, but our customers are always after new takes on saturated photography subjects.

Based on industry research and feedback from our customers, these trends are designed to give you further insight into what type of photography we want to see more of in the Alamy collection. Apply the trends when covering needs and plan ahead to shoot topics that will be in high demand.


Share your thoughts with us

As mentioned, this is a beta version of the tool, so we would love to hear your feedback. Do you find the tool simple to use? Is it useful for your practice? What could be better? Get in touch or let us know in the comments below.