Years ago, the only way to make money selling your pictures was with your own photography studio. Nowadays, anybody, amateur or professional, can find a buyer for their photos online by using stock image sites. Learning how to develop your products, promote your photos, and choose a buyer will help you get started making money fast.
Part 1 - Choosing a Stock Photo Site
1.Look at several different sites’ pay rates. Basic stock photo sites like Dreamstime, freedigitalphotos.net, and Shutterstock are popular choices for amateur photographers, while the pros often choose Getty Images or Corbis. Each of these sites has a different pay rate, but most sites offer at least 30% commission. Be sure to check each site’s commission rate before you sign up.
2.Check the site’s requirements and themes to avoid rejected images. Every site has its own requirements for download quality and its own focus on themes. Your images won't be accepted if you don't follow the site's specific requirements. Make sure your photos meet the requirements and fit the site's theme before you submit them.
3.Register for an account. Registration with the site that you choose is usually free. If the site isn't free, you may want to reconsider using them unless the fee is pretty cheap and a one-time payment. Be sure to read the site's instructions carefully, because there’s often important information about payment and copyright issues included.
4.Review and complete the payment portion of your account. Most sites will pay you via Paypal, although a few sites may pay via check through the mail. You will need to provide the email address associated with your Paypal account, along with any additional information they require. If you don't have a Paypal account, set one up. When you're paid varies from site to site. Some only pay you when you request a cash-out, and others pay on a specific day of the month.
5.Consider registering for multiple sites. Registering for multiple sites can let you make more money, but be careful! If you sell an image on one site, you may have to remove it on all your other sites. Also, some sites will offer exclusive contracts that pay you more if you only sell your photos to them. Read all the fine print before registering to multiple sites!
Part 2 - Choosing and Posting Your Photos
1.Develop a diverse portfolio of digital images. If you only have 4 or 5 main subjects in your images, they will only appeal to a certain kind of customer. While you can still make money this way, it's better to have a diverse collection of images with many different subjects and tones. The more people your images appeal to, the more money you'll make.
2.Choose generic images to make the most money. Generic images appeal to the largest audience, so these photos will sell more often than niche or unusual images. Go through your digital portfolio and pick out generic images with mass appeal. For example, images of flowers and landscapes work well.
3.Select images that are high quality for the best results. Most stock sites have rules about resolution, size, file format, and so on. Make sure your images adhere to those rules so they won't be rejected. If the site you're using doesn't have set requirements, customers are much more likely to purchase high-quality images with good resolution.
4.Upload your photos to the stock site. Make sure your chosen images follow all of the site's rules and requirements, such as image size, resolution, file type, and so on. If your site lets you post images in specific categories, make sure your photos match the categories to increase sales.
5.Tag your images with relevant tags to appear in site searches. When you upload your photos to websites, they’ll be among thousands of other pictures. Thinking of tags for each picture will help them come up first in searches. Pick multiple tags for each picture.
6.Experiment with using a mix of generic tags and specific tags. Generic tags are the most popular ones because they're the most searched for. Using generic tags will get your photos in front of the most people. Specific tags can get your images in front of a different group of people. Use a mix of both, so people searching for something specific can find you, and so can people searching for general terms.
Part 3 - Operating Legally
1.Avoid using images with visible or recognizable brands in them. Using images like these can get you into trouble because you'll be making money off of someone else's brand without their knowledge or approval. Most stock photo sites have rules against using images like this. Avoid them altogether to avoid running into problems.
2.Avoid using images with people or properties in them. Any person that appears in your stock photos must sign a release form before the image can be sold. The same goes for images depicting someone's personal property, such as a local storefront or your neighbour's barn. You would need to track down the correct legal forms and get them signed each time you used an image like this, which would be a hassle. In some cases, it may even be impossible.
3.Take all your photos yourself to get an automatic copyright. According to international copyright law, the photographer automatically owns the copyrights to anything they take themselves. You don’t have to register or sign up for the copyright if you were the one operating the camera.