Stock photography has gained popularity among amateurs and professionals alike over the past few years, and for good reason. Selling stock photos is a great way to earn some extra money from images that may have already been sitting in your library, and once you get them uploaded, then you can sit back and earn!
While it is quite simple to get your images uploaded to a number of sites, there is more to being a stock photographer than just uploading old photos that are sitting in your photo library. Whether you are looking into stock photography as a way to earn some side cash or as a way to make a living, here are some tips and tricks for selling your photos on stock photography website you will want to know to ensure your success.
Tips for Selling Stock Photography
1. Best Stock Photography Sites
Stock images are used for a variety of content from magazine articles to blog post to advertisements. There are a number of stock photography sites that you can begin to submit your work too but that doesn’t mean you will be able to make a big profit from all of them or that you will be seeing them in magazines anytime soon. The best and most popular stock photography sites include:
When choosing the best stock photography site you want to to do a little research.
- Look to see what images are popular on each site.
- How much do they pay photographers?
- How many images can you submit?
- How much do images tend to sell for on each site?
- Who tends to buy images from each site?
Before you decide on a stock photography site you want to understand how they operate and what restriction you might run into when you submit your images.
2. What to Know About Licensing Agreements
Each stock photography site will often provide photographers and clients with different licensing agreements. Before choosing the one you should understand what each means. The most common licensing agreements include:
- Royalty-free images: This allows the potential buyer to use the image for as long as they want in whatever way they want. It is also the option that tends to have the lowest price tag for buyers which is why it can be so popular. The images, however, are not exclusive to just one buyer. Multiple individuals can buy the same image and use them how they want.
Rights managed license: Large commercial advertisers are more likely to purchase images with these licenses. This provides buyers with limited exclusive right to use the images for commercial and advertising purposes. These licensing agreement tend to cost more as they give buyers exclusive use.
Additionally, there are also Standard Licenses and Extended Licenses which give buyers the option to purchase a different agreement that will give them exclusive use for images and use.
Images can also be used editorially or commercially which can require photographers to submit property or model releases with their images depending on how they will allow images to be used.
This can often be the most boring and time-consuming process when it comes to stock photography. Without keywords, your images won’t get seen so it is something you want to give special attention to. You need to take the time to properly keyword you images, add metadata and have a strong description for each of the images you submit. This is a crucial part of uploading your images and when done correctly will get your images easily seen and increase your sales.
4. Images That Sell
You might have hundreds of images that are of great quality and are visually appealing but that doesn’t mean they are going to sell. When you are starting out with stock photography you need to keep the customer base in mind and these tend to be advertisers. When you are composing your images or submitted them for approval be sure that you think like an advertiser. How well will your images be able to be used for advertisement purposed? Be sure to have some variations of your images and that you have space in the frame where text or content can be added.
5. Image Quality
Quality is key and most stock photography sites have specific guidelines that photographers must follow in regards to the quality of their images. When you are looking over your images before submitting you want to zoom in and be sure you images have little to no noise, grain and motion blur. Another major issue that can be easily spotted is chromatic aberration, where the colors become distorted due to focusing issues with the lens. You also want to ensure that your image is perfectly focused.
6. Limit Editing
Stock photography isn’t about all the fancy editing techniques and tools. Most individuals are looking for realistic, simple, and versatile images. When you are editing your images be sure to minimize what tools you use. Make minor correction so the subject matter remains realistic.
7. Follow Trends
Successful stock photographers stay ahead of trends. While this might mean taking a ton of images you are not enthusiastic about this will allow you to stand out among the millions of other image and it allows you to tap the needs of advertisers more efficiently. Choose a focus area of interest and then learn everything you can about the trends in that area.
8. Keep Images Simple
You want your images to be clean and clear of clutter as possible. Images that tend to sell better on stock photography sites are those that are simple and allows for the main subject of the image to stand out. Remove or be sure to edit out things that can be a distraction, especially object that cut into the frame along the edges.
9. Use Large Resolutions
if you are keeping the advertiser in mind than using a larger resolution size is a must. This will allow them to have more options when using the images as it provides them the opportunity to edit and use the images for a variety of projects. When you list your images be sure to provide potential clients with the option of a number of high resolution and different levels of quality images.
10. Grow Your Portfolio
It isn’t enough to just have a hundred images on the stock photography site. The most successful stock photographers have thousands of images. The more images you have does not always result in more sales but more images definitely give you a better chance of them being found and used. In order for you to make stock photography a viable passive income you need to be continuously adding fresh and new images to your profile.