Where Do I Sell My Stock Photos?

From the analog photography era to the current new digital photography and you begin to see the huge leap of technology all in your lifetime. The ability of the internet is one of great aid and untold possibilities in freelance photography and all the hobby forms of photography. Through the enabling of the internet you can now sell your photos online and simply make money with photography. But my current emphasis, I want to put on selling stock photos.

What are stock photos? One would ask. The basic definition of the term is simply all the pictures you have had the chance to take and as such become stock pictures because you have them and they belong to you. How to sell photos, the stock photos, is now the big question if you really want to sell digital photos. Furthermore, on the stock photos, the copyright belongs to you, an intellectual property right that was given you as soon as you took the pictures on your digital camera and as such you have free reign to license, sell your pictures to whomever you so wish.

Selling stock photos

Stock agencies

How to sell your photos is best answered when you consider that there is a broad spectrum of sellers and buyers. Both of these converge together under the umbrella of stock agencies which bring all stock photos and selling of stock photography ensues. Through this agency photographers can then be better placed to avoid unnecessary pleasantries with clients who will be dealing with the agency directly. How to sell photography through these agencies takes the form of a commission or stipend. The agency does all the donkey work of billing, advertising, searching and the rest, then after making money with photos they give you your cut while retaining their percentage off the sale.

With the number of major stock agencies engaged in selling photography, while they vary in prices, commissions and the rest, they have licensing in common. Rights-Managed (RM) and Royalty-Free (RF) are the two types of licensing.

1. Rights-Managed (RM)

This is conservatively earmarked for the high cost photos sold to magazines and other publications. The fees are paid up, highly so, determined by the frequency of use and not necessarily the size of the resultant image after publication, although it is a factor in getting the price.

2. Royalty-Free (RF)

With the low cost photos, selling photography using this licensing type is via the internet. The price here is determined by the image and not usage. All people can sell stock photography anywhere they wish.

Selling Stock Photos – Tips to Succeed

If you are one of the many individuals looking to earn some money by selling stock photos, there are some steps you can take to make your stock photo submissions as successful as possible. Although every stock photo agency has its own submissions and quality standards, these basics tips should help you promote your photos in the best way possible.

First, keep in mind that the better quality the photo you are submitting, the more potential uses it will have and the more sales you will make. Although for online uses, the quality does not need to be high, by offering higher resolution photos (5 megapixels or higher) you will make the photos accessible for many other potential uses as well (such as for print publications).

Next, keep in mind that using photo editing software will diminish the overall quality of the photograph (even though it may enhance individual portions of it), so you should try to keep you photo editing to the minimum amount possible. It is better to spend the time taking a quality photograph than trying to fix a photograph down the road using photo editing software.

Also, when starting with a new stock photo agency, you should go slow at first with your photo submissions. While you might have a portfolio of hundreds of photos you want to submit to an agency, keep in mind that each photograph will need to be reviewed by a real person and that they are likely to reject more of your photos if they are overwhelmed by your submissions or feel like you are “spamming” the photograph submission system.

Finally, attaching the proper keywords to your photographs is crucial to help people to be able to find your photos when they are doing a search online. This in many ways may be as important of a step as actually submitting the photographs, since if no one can find your photographs when doing online searches, you will find making a sale very difficult indeed.

How To Take Stock Photo Images That Sell

Taking stock photo images that sell is not difficult at all. In my opinion, it is actually a lot easier than when I took photos that were artistic and had very complex meanings and messages woven within them. Stock photos that sell have usual characteristics within them. If you try to follow these characteristics your photos will most likely sell much better.

One of the main necessities for stock photos that sell is the quality of the picture. You must ensure that the photo is the highest quality you can get it at. Do not settle for less than your best. What I mean by this is that you need to make sure your photo is as perfect as you can get it and has flawless as possible. If your stock photo has errors it will not get accepted.

The technical aspects of stock photos are very difficult for the beginner. You must be sure your photograph is focused right and is as sharp as possible. An out of focus stock photo will not sell and you should not waste any time or money trying to fix it.

Lighting plays a major role in how great your stock photo looks. Be sure not to go cheap when lighting your photos. Take extreme care to ensure that the transition from light to dark areas of light on your photo are right.

Another very important part of stock photos is the noise. When you use larger ISO settings you will get more noise. It is NOT acceptable to submit your photos if they have a substantial amount of noise within them. Use photo editing software and get rid of that noise if possible.

Stock photos that sell are usually more simple than you think. One of the most selling photos on a popular stock photo agency is a picture of two hands shaking. The angle is a side shot showing both hands and the background is white. I can guess that if you’ve been taking photos for a couple weeks you could take a photograph just like this.

When taking stock pictures be sure that you are photographing a subject that is desired by people that buy stock photos. However, make sure that it is not too competitive unless you are able to compete and know how to do so. The best selling stock photos may be simple but they are precisely executed and nearly flawless.