How To Sell Photos Online | Introduction
If you have come across our website and started reading this, you are probably looking for an advice on how to sell photos online. It is possible that you already have some experience and would like to learn more about stock photography. Or maybe you are a beginner or hobbyist photographer and need some basic or general information to start with. No matter whether you are an amateur, semi or pro, at some stage most photographers get an idea of selling their work. In order to be successful and receive any financial benefit you need to learn how to do it properly. You should be aware of some very important issues, rules and details to help you in selling your photos.
You may have thousands of pictures sitting on your computer and doing nothing else but taking up all that precious disk space. Especially today, when all new cameras (whether professional DSLR or point-and-shot ones) have millions of pixels packed in their sensors, one image can take up from several up to a couple of hundred megabytes. So why not to try to upload these images to one or more stock photography agencies and let your images earn some extra money for you? Let’s say one dollar per each image submitted during a year? Now multiply it per 2-3 hundreds (or even thousands) of photos you might have. Don’t you think it is worth trying?
This may seem to be a very general rule but it should give you a rough idea of what it is about. There is always a chance that some of your images can become real stock photos, sell more than once and for much more than $1.
What is stock photography?
Since there is a number of reliable resources, all definitions can be found on the Internet, so let’s make it simple: Stock photos (stock photography) is the business of licensing your artwork (it can also be vector, illustration, video, footage, audio, etc.) and granting someone else the right to use it for the purposes of: advertising, designing, printing, selling and many other. It is very important to remember that even though your image can be used after you sell it to someone, you do not sell the property rights and you continue to be the only owner of the image.
Before you start
If you want to know how to sell photos and be successful, you need to learn how this business works, what stock agencies are on the market, what technical requirements you must meet to upload images and and have them approved. You need to know what images sell best, what subjects you should avoid and what kinds of pictures are sought for. You should analyze many stock photos to see what quality and aesthetic level you have to meet to become stock photo contributor.
Visit stock photography websites, check their categories to see which ones would suit your photographic style and see photos of other contributors, especially of those who succeeded in stock photography business. At this stage you most likely have an idea of what you want to achieve but if not, we hope the following pages will highlight the most important issues of what to do and what to avoid and how to sell photos to the biggest stock agencies.
Why you should read our guides and reviews?
Stock Photo Adviser provides comprehensive information on stock photo websites that you should check. We have no experience in selling footage, videos and music tracks thus we focus mainly on stock photography.
Keep in mind that one agency may offer reasonable compensation to one stock photographer, while it might not be the best place for another. It will depend on your style and favourite subjects, number of images you have in your portfolio to upload initially or number of stock photos you can produce on regular basis, as well as quality of your photographic work.
Stock Photo Agencies
Visit our recommended stock photo agencies list with details, reviews and links to their websites. There are many stock photography sites and marketplaces out there, but most of the showcased here are the ones we have some experience with. We publish reviews and articles once we confirm that a given agency is worth to be featured and recommended to potential photographers or photo buyers. Information provided herein should be taken as a guideline only. After a while you will know exactly in which direction you want to go and what agency is best for you.
Latest News and site updates
We do our best to keep the site and all comparisons up-to-date but sometimes it may be difficult due to rapid changes on the market. If you think that any information should be amended/updated please let us know in the comments or via the Contact Form.
From reading the articles you will learn:
- What stock photos sell best;
- What stock photography sites you should submit your work to;
- How to become a contributor and how to pass any required tests;
- How to prepare your photos for uploading;
- Technical requirements for submitting stock photos;
- Pros and cons of becoming an exclusive contributor;
- What is the purpose of giving away your stock images;
- What are referral (affiliate) programs;
- How you can benefit from taking part in partner programs.