You may have heard about stock photography. It is a great way to sell your photograph’s online. There are tons of stock photo sites out there. Some are better than others. Each person may find they prefer one agency over another, myself included.
In 2008, I started selling my photo’s online. It started slow but has steadily increased. Even when I’m not uploading pictures to the sites, I still make money because once your pictures are accepted, they can continually sell.
Many people won’t start selling their photo’s on stock photo sites because they see that they are only going to make maybe .25 cents per sale. That may be true but a lot of quarter sales add up to hundreds of dollars in a short period of time, especially when you have a picture that is in high demand.
I, personally, get the most money from an agency called, Shutterstock. I started selling my pictures there in 2008 and received .25 cents for each picture sold. Once you sell $500 worth of photo’s, you get a raise. I am now making .33 cents per photo and will be getting another raise soon.
Another way to make more money at the same agency is to sell to a magazine or someone that will purchase many of the same photo at one time. You could earn $120 for 1 picture if a magazine decides to use it in one of their issues. The magazine has to purchase 1 photo for each magazine they print. This is how you make the big money.
Each site has a different pay scale. You’ll find that some pay more but in the end you may make more from the ones that pay less.
Here is a list of the stock agencies that I use without a cost to the photographer…
- Big Stock Photo
- Visco Images
Selling stock photo’s can be a great way to have steady income coming in from various places all the time. It does not come without some work though. The key to selling a lot of stock photo’s is keywording or tagging. Keywords are an important part of making your photo’s stand out. When a company is looking for a photo to use in their project, they will search for it using keywords. If you have all the keywords they inserted in the search box, your photo has better odds of showing up closer to the top. The closer you can get your photo to them, the faster they will find you. To keyword or tag your photo’s using Photoshop Elements, go here for directions.
Years ago, when I first started, I used a free program called ProStock Master that suggested keywords for me and then automatically tagged the photo’s with the keywords I picked from their list. Once they started doing automatic uploads to all the top stock sites, they started charging. It’s a great program if you want to pay a monthly charge of $9.99 or more. I’m not one to pay for things I can do myself, even if it is more time consuming.
There is also a website call mykeyworder.com that is made specifically for Lightroom users. I haven’t played around with it enough to actually utilize it but it seems to find keywords that you may have not considered.
Many professional photographer’s use Zenfolio. It’s a great place to have your own website where customers can purchase your photo’s and also have them sent away to get printed right from your page. Much less work if you are willing to pay a monthly price to do it. It’s worth a try to see if you can get sales right away from your efforts. They offer a free trial period so you can familiarize yourself with their product.
Continue checking my blog in the future as I will be adding more stock photo tips.