Stock photography refers to a central point where photographers can list their photographs for sale for the personal and small business market that is licensed for specific uses. The stock photo sites allow an easy entry point for many photographers to sell their photos to a wide audience, but there are tricks on how to make money selling stock photos. While the sale of an individual photo won’t make for a large sum of money, this model allows for the potential of many sales of photos which may result in considerable income.
If you are thinking about focusing on stock photography business here are a few things to consider.
- Sticking with a niche is important if you want to get attention to your images.
- You can post photos to multiple stock photography agencies unless you have an exclusive agreement with one, which will help your earnings potential.
- Before selecting a stock photo agency, be sure to research which agency you fit well with. Your main concern should be whether they have a market for the images you produce. Some stock photo agencies will take on anyone’s work, but if nobody is looking to them for your particular type of photos, it’s a waste of your time.
- Quality of the images are important but many stock photo agencies will have requirements on file type, pixel counts, sizes, etc.
- You will need to submit hundreds of photos before seeing any income. Prepare for years to pass before making any meaningful money (if at all).
- Making money at stock photos is a largely numbers game. Not in the sense that having a lot of images will help but rather a lot of images that have a central theme. By having many similar photos your odds of making a sale are much higher since the look the customer is looking for is so subjective.
The mistake most amateurs make is they submit a bunch of images and hoping they make sales. You can make money this way but it won’t be much. To be successful in this crowded field, you need to be specialized and submit images with a central theme and then keep submitting for many years. Assuming you are in a niche where people are buying photos and isn’t overly saturated with images, you will be able to find success if you keep at it long enough.
A few well regarded microstock agencies
- Big Stock Photo
- Graphic Leftovers