Mario Av is one of our top contributors. He started selling his photographs and turned his life around. He was tired of a dull 9-5 job and was able to create his own business and achieve success in a way many people consider impossible.
Mario shares his insights on how he got into a stock photo, what you need to succeed and some tips for starting. It’s not easy to get into stock photography. Your efforts may not pay off immediately. Focusing on the important things will help you build a business that is not only financially viable but also rewarding.
Tell us about your career and yourself.
Hi everyone! My name is Mario, and I am a 31-year-old adventurer. After spending most of my life doing boring office work, I suddenly decided that something had to be done.
Many of my friends were stock photographers back then. They would often tell me of the possibilities that I would have if I sold my images online.
Like many people, I was scared to try something new. One moment I was so dissatisfied with my work environment that I shut down all of my daily routines and focused solely on stock photography.
I have experience as a photographer, a retoucher and an editor for magazines and advertising agencies. All I needed was to take beautiful photos the way I felt was right.
Your photographs should show a lot of craftsmanship. Are you interested in other forms of art besides photography?
I’m a curious, addicted person who seeks inspiration from all around me. I like to fix things and not just throw them away. Yes, I do have many hobbies. I love learning new things.
What’s your artistic philosophy?
Clean images are what I like. It is probably because I have a background in advertising. Photographing moments in journalistic style is also something I love. Many photos are rejected because they were blurred and taken in motion. Through the footage that I began to make, I discovered another way to bring it to my work.
It wasn’t easy to get into stock photography. When did you find success?
Yes. It was insane the first time because it felt like I was working for nothing for the first three to four months. I didn’t know what to do but managed to save money on rent, food and food for my dog and invest in equipment and filming scenes. After one year, I felt relief and finally had a break. My income was sufficient to cover my expenses. I also had enough money to pay off debts and save.
What has worked for you in terms of sales?
My most popular photos were taken in generic shots with me wearing t-shirts. These photos are great for labeling and attaching designs to t-shirts to promote different prints.
Which project or photograph is your favorite?
My portfolio includes photos that I love. I asked friends who are professional coffee roasters and baristas to help me. We made each picture precisely and preserved the beauty of different brewing processes.
Your portfolio has a distinct aesthetic. Are you able to offer advice to photographers who want their style?
We are grateful! Personal style is based on personal experience. You will have more content and experience if you work hard. If you are a fan of music, movies and other art, this will also influence your work. It’s all about personal style.
Do you see any new trends in stock photography?
Trends have become more apparent to me in recent years. These technologies bring humanity and vice versa. It is all about how you present it. Aerials, action cameras, gimbals and other angles are all that matter.
What was the biggest mistake in your career?
My biggest mistake was spending too much on equipment. I didn’t need it and rarely used it. Don’t do this. You only need a good camera, but it doesn’t have to be expensive! A zoom lens such as 20-70mm, or something similar. It is sufficient for 90% of cases.
Your #1 Photography Tip or Word of Wisdom:
Could you keep it simple? Could you keep it simple? Could you keep it simple?