Frequently Asked Questions: Stock Photo Contributors
What sells best are stock oriented images with high commercial value. Designers look for the most popular subjects, such as business people, people at work, financial concepts, lifestyle and sport concepts, food and drink, healthcare, social issues and science and technology.
It depends on a stock photo agency but your contributor compensation will vary from 15% per image purchased via credits or around $0.20 per image purchased via subscription with a minimum average price of the smallest size image at around $1. For more information see our Contributors Royalty Comparison.
Yes, the larger your camera sensor is the larger size of your image will be offered for sale, then the higher your potential royalty is. If a photo buyer is looking for an image for high resolution print, they will pick the largest size available. In this way they will get the highest possible print quality. If you think about stock photography seriously, your images should be taken with high quality SLR or DSLR. Although modern “point and shoot” cameras have large sensors (in terms of number of pixels and not their physical size), they fall behind modern DSLR in terms of image quality (especially noise issues). More information on technical requirements can be found in this article.
Popular payment forms are PayPal and Skrill (Moneybookers), but some stock photo sites still offer to send you a cheque or have their branded pre-paid cards issued to you.
You can get paid once you have reached the minimum payout limit set by a stock photo agency. It varies from $10 to $100. Always check your profile carefully to see if there is an option to set it yourself. Sometimes the agency will pay you automatically once you have surpassed the limit, sometimes the payout must be requested. If you want to buy royalty-free images from the agency you submit photos to, in most cases you can convert your earning into credits and purchase whatever stock media you need.
Yes. Photos are submitted on a Royalty-Free basis, so you may submit and continue to sell your photos to many stock photo agencies and websites (including your own), as long as you do not enter into Exclusivity agreement with any of them or sell you images with Rights Managed license. More information on stock photo licensing can be found here.
It means that you agree to sell your photos on one stock photography website only. Your stock photos remain exclusive to this agency and you cannot sell them elsewhere. If you want to become an exclusive contributor and at the same time sell your photos on your own website, check if it is allowed by the agency’s terms and conditions. For further information on becoming an exclusive author refer to the Exclusive or Non-exclusive article.
All images containing recognisable people require a model release. In general, for all images containing people’s faces you need to have a model release signed by your model. Some agencies are very strict and require a model release even if only body parts are visible. Blank model release forms are available almost on every stock photo website. For your convenience we have compiled a list of Model and Property Release Download Links where you can download and print blank release forms from the most popular stock photo agencies.
Yes, any model (even yourself) has to sign a model release for any image to be sold for commercial purposes. See above for more details.
While church building is a public place and in most cases does not require a property release (be careful here as some agencies are very strict), restaurants or hotel interiors are private property and most likely will require property release signed by the owner (or any other responsible person).
Yes, if you have unique pictures of Ireland in your portfolio read our Picture Ireland Review and contact them to get your Irish landscapes featured and start selling high quality prints.
Also, if you have images that are not on sale with any microstock agency check what ImageBrief offers to photographers. More details about their specific (and interresting) business model can be found in our article: ImageBrief – New Approach?.
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