Inside the Mind of a Budding Stock Photographer

This week we got up close and personal with budding photographer Hafiz Zan as he tells us how to make the leap from hobby photographer to professional photographer, what inspires and excites him and his top tips for anyone hoping to change their hobby into a money making business as a stock photographer.

1. How would you describe your photography style. What do you like to shoot? What inspires you?

I honestly do not think I have a personal photography style. I treat photography as my hobby. Before starting out on stock photography, I mostly like to take photos that captures raw moments, music gigs, concerts and casual moments with my friends.

I also love abstract and symmetry in photography. You can say that I have a mild case of obsessive compulsive disorder or in other words, I love it when my photos look clean and simple.

2.  What gets you excited?

Planning for my next adventure gets me really excited. I consider myself as an intrepid traveller and I love hiking at places nobody has discovered yet. To be able to be in nature and marvel at the mountains, rocks, waterfalls, forests – it is priceless.

3.  What do you hope to achieve in the next 12 months?

Fresh out of National Service, I really wish to hone and perfect my photography skills. I still have plenty of things to learn about stock photography. However, If I could, I would really wish to continue travelling, exploring the world and documenting my travels in a way that has not been done before.

4. What’s your favourite image and why?

To be honest, I do not have a favourite image. All the photos that I have taken always bring back memories that are precious to me. Therefore, it is cruel to make me choose one. However, I do tend to gravitate towards symmetry, beautiful nature photography of the mountains and the milky way.

5. Any tips for photographers who want to take up stock photography?

Being new to stock photography, I am still learning from others and constantly picking up tips and tricks.

What I have learnt from my experience so far is that you have to be meticulous about certain things. For example, in terms of branding and logos, you have to be conscious about these things and make sure not to include them in to your photos. Not unless you want to get sued!

Experiment with different lenses and be creative with your angles. You wouldn’t want to have a similar angle or shot type throughout the whole entire session because that would be boring and typical. One thing I like to do is to have with me a mood board or photos that inspires me whenever I go out and shoot because this would keep me focused to what I need to capture for that session.

Long story short, be creative and free with your photos!

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You can check out more of Hafiz’s work here where it is all available for purchase and use in your next campaign.

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One thought on “Inside the Mind of a Budding Stock Photographer

  1. Such great insight into the process! I’m living that process myself trying to convert my hobby into a career – but stories like this always provide great inspiration!

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