So you’ve started taking some decent photos. Need a little extra income? Why not put your camera to use and make a little extra money selling micro stock photos? It can be easy and profitable.
This isn’t a get rich quick scheme, I’m not selling you an instructional booklet you have to buy for $19.95. But let me introduce you to Microstock photography. Many times for websites, advertising or whatever need, graphic designers, agencies, companies need photos. Its not always worth it for them to hire a photography and set up a shoot. A lot of times stock photos are purchased.
The designer goes a site, searches for photos that fits what they are looking for and buys them. The site money and the photographer gets a commission. Now, most likely your family portrait or snapshots are not going to generate much revenue or even be accepted by stock agencies. However if you spend a little time browsing through your photos, at least a few of the best might qualify and be suitable for stock. To take good stock photos firstly your images have to be well exposed, sharp and not too heavily processed. These let the designers do what they need to with the photos.
Your photos also must have stock value. So your family snapshots probably won’t see their way into company X’s next newsletter or packaging. Stock photos cannot have visible trademarks in them, and may also require a property release if a historic building is in it for example. You will also need a signed model release for every identifiable person in your photo. Most stock sites will have a model release you can download, and they will also usually accept generic ones from other sites as well.
What sells as stock? There are many thousands of images available of flowers and landscapes, so if your going to try and submit these, they had better be darn good. People photos sell, especially business people photos. People holding suit cases, in business meetings, group shots, medical professionals etc. Browse around at some of the micro stock sites I list below, most will have a popular images section where you can get a good idea of what you need. Most of these sites have a submission guideline as well, read through them.
Which sites should you sell at?