Make money on photos


Nowadays almost every traveler has a good photo camera. Of course, expensive photographic equipment is not the only thing needed to make a quality shot. But if you can make photos on an “advanced amateur” level, then this is already more than enough to start earning money on them.

How to sell photos through photo stocks?

Photo stocks act as intermediaries between buyers (magazines, publishing houses, etc.) and photographers. Photographers upload their own pictures, while buyers choose, pay and download them to illustrate articles, books, etc. The stock takes its commission from each sale. Photo stock does not require you to transfer exclusive rights to the photos, so one and the same image can be sold many times and even through different photo stocks simultaneously.

How do I upload photos to photo stock?

In order to sell photos through a photo stock you first need to register. When this is done start choosing appropriate shots. Photo stocks usually need world-famous attractions, beautiful landscapes, cityscapes, photos of various exotic things (souvenirs, national costumes) as well as images of local cuisine. Just mind one thing you can offer photo stock pictures of people, but in this case, you need to have their written permission to sell their photos via the Internet.

What difficulties may I encounter?

Not all photos are accepted. The photo can be rejected for various reasons:

  1. Technical
    Wrong white balance, grain aberration, etc.
  2. Artistic
    Frame layout, perspective, framing.
  3. Commercial potential
    Of course, all of these reasons are very subjective. I have several friends who work with photo stocks and they told me that when they send 10 photos to 10 photo stocks, then there will hardly be 1 photo accepted by all stocks. In one stock they see grain aberration, in another, they don’t think there’s something wrong. One stock says that this photo has low commercial potential, but another stock accepts it and successfully sells it. So, always send your images to at least 2-3 stocks to ensure you get the most of them!

How much can you earn on photo stocks?

There are different options for buying photos on photo stocks – retail (paying for each photo depending on the size) and subscription (downloading photos in bulk – up to 25 images per day).
The selling price for 1 photo is about $1-2 dollars depending on the option that buyer chooses. Photographer gets 20-30 cents or $1. This rate seems ridiculously low, but don’t forget that 1 photo can be sold 2-5-10-100 times. Besides, when you live your life in travel, make dozens of photos daily and upload the best of them to the stocks, then within a few months-half a year you’ll have so many photos in different stocks that your earnings might reach quite decent level.

Which are the most popular and trustworthy photo stocks?

  1. Shutterstock
    The biggest and the most commercial. The only problem is to become their contributor. To get registered in this stock you need to send them 10 of your best shots and they will accept you only if at least 7 out of 10 pictures will be approved. Once you are approved you get paid $0,25. If your photos sell well, then this rate might grow up to $0,33. You get paid once your profit reaches $75.
  2. Istockphoto
    Also a very popular one with the same rates as Shutterstock. To get accepted you’ll need to pass the same test, but with 3 photos.
  3. Dreamstime
    No tests are required, simply register and start uploading photos. You get paid once your profit is $100.
  4. 123rf
    Photo stock with average volume and efficiency attracts with the simplicity of uploading. The limit to get paid is also $100.

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