Making Money Selling Stock Photography

Stock photography is just one of the aspects of the industry that has become popular with people looking to make a little money with their photographs. With the advent of digital cameras, more amateur photographers are able to get in on the business. The availability and affordability of quality digital cameras and the Internet has made it easier for amateur photographers to gain experience and make some money.

What is Stock Photography?

Stock images are typically those that are used by advertisers, publishers and other individuals or businesses as "filler" for web-sites, brochures or other media. Photographers generally place their images in a library and people interested in purchasing them can do so based on the photographer or agency's price and rules related to rights of the image or where the image can be used.

Stock images are varied and only limited by the imagination of the photographer. A publisher may be looking for stock image relating to fitness or searching for an image that symbolizes motherhood. It's up to the photographer to decide what might be popular and to take quality photographs that will catch a buyer's eye.

Getting Started in Stock Photography

People interested in getting into stock photography should have a good eye and an even better camera. The market is becoming more competitive with the number of non-professionals who own high mega pixel, quality cameras. Although it's not all about the camera, reviewers may decline an image based on a variety of issues, including poor lens or overall poor image quality.

Where to Sell Stock Images

There are a number of stock photography sites on the Internet. All that is usually required to sign up is an e-mail address and a user name.

The photographer then submits an image which is then reviewed and either accepted or declined. If the image is accepted, that doesn't automatically mean the photographer is paid. It simply means the image is placed in a gallery or library in which buyers can search. If a buyer likes the image, it can be down-loaded and then the photographer is paid.

All sites that pay a photographer have a threshold that must be met before a pay-out is made. This means a photographer must sell a set amount of images, sometimes $100, before they will be paid. Sometimes the site will decline the photo, but offer to place it in the free image library for download. Photographers can do this to gain exposure or they can choose to try to sell the image elsewhere.

Each stock photography site is different in its terms and conditions related to pay and image licenses, however most offer royalty free images. Royalty free images means that a buyer can use an image for in any number of ways for a one time fee. Often times, this one time fee is very low, usually less than $5.00.

Other sites offer other licensing agreements that allow a photographer to sell the image for exclusive rights. This means that the buyer pays a larger amount of money and the photographer and website agree not to sell the image to anyone else for a set amount of time.

Stock image sites also require that photographers who use people in their photographs have model consent forms on file. Photographers should read the terms and conditions of the stock image website before agreeing to sell any image.

Tips and Tricks to Make Money Selling Stock Photography

People interested in stock photography should get to know their cameras and practice taking all sorts of photographs. It's also advised for photographers to review the highest selling or most popular stock images on the stock photo websites to determine what buyers are interested in at that particular moment.

Photographers looking for experience, exposure and maybe a little extra spending money might be interested in getting into the stock image industry. It's easy to get started and if the images are high quality, it may be easy to sell them.