Selling stock photography is becoming an increasingly popular way of making money online. There are several websites to sell your stock photos. The following are tips which will help you create and select better stock photos that will get accepted by agencies.
1. Select a niche market
Selecting a niche market can significantly increase your chances of selling a photo. When you specialize in specific niche markets, buyers will eventually identify you as an authority in that market. To achieve significant sales in the intensely competitive stock photography sites, you will need to select a very narrow niche market. Study the demand in the general market and identify gaps which need to be filled.
2. Submit appropriate photos
Most beginners are usually at a loss concerning what kind of photos they should submit. Many of them go ahead to submit everything in their collection. However, before submitting anything, it is important to first find out what exactly the stock photo websites are looking for. All these sites have specific guidelines which explain what kind of photos should be submitted. This normally includes a comprehensive list of the topics they are searching for. These guidelines will help you select photos from your collection which are likely to be accepted.
One of the best ways of finding out what is selling well is by looking at the photos that are currently popular on stock photo sites. Such photos will give you an idea of what buyers are looking for. In most cases, images which contain people sell best. Research has shown that people are drawn to photos which feature other people, rather than abstract or nature photos.
However, you need to remember that stock agencies will only accept such photos on condition that you submit them with signed model releases. A model release is a contract where individuals who appear in your photos give their consent for their image to be used in a particular way. The contract must be signed by every individual who appears in the photo.
3. Check on quality and copyright issues
The following are some of the things you need to consider so as to increase the chances of your photos being accepted.
Quality is a vital requirement for every stock photography site. You need to make sure that each photo submitted is of the highest quality. Don’t scale up your photos (increasing their resolution) or scale then down (reducing their resolution).
Photo editors like Photoshop should be used with caution. Make sure you don’t under or over expose your images. In addition, avoid photographic errors such as blurs, noise, lens flare and high contrast. Photos with such errors are usually rejected. You can also try some simple online photo editing tools.
You should never, ever submit photos which do not belong to you. This includes photos of third party trademarks and logos. In addition, don’t take photos of well known landmarks or objects which have a visible trademark (such as a McDonald’s restaurant).
4. Understand the types of license
Licensing refers to how buyers are allowed to use your photos. Before submitting anything to stock agencies, you need to be aware of the different license types available.
- Royalty free license
This type of licensing is what is commonly used on stock photo sites. This is where a customer pays a flat fee for a photo and is only allowed to use it, not resell it.
- Rights managed
This is one of the most rigid types of license, and usually costs more than the royalty free license. Under this license, buyers are required to pay each time they use the image. For instance, if a buyer wants to feature your photo on posters or flyers, they will have to pay the base price for every copy that is printed.
This means that once you have submitted a photo to a stock agency site, you are not allowed to upload the same image on any other site, whether your own site or another stock photography site.
This article is written by Charles Mburugu. He writes regularly on topics such as making money online and blogging tips.