The Secret to Selling Stock Photography – Is There Money in It?
As with any business, there are going to be clients who are looking for a quick stock photograph for many various reasons. There can be a large amount of money made selling stock photography, if you follow a few tips and know what you’re doing.
What Types of Photographs Should I Sell?
As there are many types of businesses, you should carry many categories of stock photographs. You should carry several photographs from many different business types, as well as personal types.
Some examples of business stock photographs include but are not limited to:
- Business Portraiture
- Business People Working
- Churches & Court houses
- Postal workers, Tradesman, Executives
- Restaurants and Lifestyle
Several types of personal stock photographs you can make available for sale include but are not limited to:
- Homes and Property
- Flowers and Gardens
- Happy moments
How Should I Get Started Selling Stock Photography
There are several tips and tricks to starting up a stock photography business.
1. One of the most commonly overlooked startup issue is the shopping cart for online transfers. If you do not have a shopping cart on your website, you’ll not make money. The same goes for a shopping cart that is difficult to navigate or use. You’ll need to make sure that your shopping cart is able to convert any currency to your desired currency accurately and quickly in order to receive the correct payment.
2. Choosing a website that is already set up is a great way to ensure that your shopping cart works properly. Browse through the images that some of these sites have, and determine if your photographs will be in the same quality bracket as the highest sellers on the site. Determine which types of photographs are the most successful, and attempt to emulate those in your own work.
3. If you do want to register your business with a pre-established store, there are many out there that are highly successful. Some of these include:
How to Be Successful Selling Stock Photography
When you are looking at these websites, make sure to be aware of who gets to hold the title rights to your photographs. If the company purchases the rights to your photograph, you may not be allowed to sale on a secondary website. Make sure to browse the pictures on each site to see the skill level of the most successful photographers, and try to find a site that seems to have photographers with skill levels more equal to yours.
Understand that not all of your photographs will be accepted from the website immediately, and that the better your skills become, the more photographs you can sell.
- If you are given the chance to correct any problems with your photographs, be sure to do so. The more pictures you have accepted to the site, the more revenue you can generate.
- Make sure to keyword your pictures appropriately to increase the traffic to your photograph site. For instance, you would keyword a minister performing a marriage ceremony as wedding, marriage, or holy matrimony. Remember to use as many words as possible without losing the accuracy of the terms corresponding to each picture.
- Do you photos all fit into a concept? The majority of people who buy stock photographs are looking for a quick picture to fit into their business in some way. Look at the highest sellers and determine what concepts they portray, and take photographs to fit into these niches.
- Make sure your pictures are crisp, clean, easy to understand, with a strong focal point. You do not want to lose the concept of the photograph by crowding the subject with too many outside influences.
- DSLR cameras will ensure that you have higher quality pictures to submit for sale. Most of the common consumer digital cameras will generally give blurred or pixelated images that will not sale well.
- Reduce the risk of lawsuit by having any model sign a release form that gives you the right to sale their image. Most commercial sites will have a copy of a model release form available for you to download or print out.
As you can see, selling stock photography may be a good way to generate additional revenue while doing something you enjoy and are passionate about.
The reason stock photographs are in such high demand is because businesses want to focus on their revenue, not spend their time taking pictures on their own.
Many freelance photographers make a full time living selling stock photos, many earning more than $100,000 a year and some allot higher.
It is best to start your own portfolio, build on it and eventually selling stock images could become your career.