Should I Sell My Pictures As Stock Photography

Thinking it time you started selling your photos as stock photography? Stock photography is big these days and everybody appears to be doing it, unfortunately though, most people are going about it the wrong way.

The first thing you have to do is to decide where you wish to finish up …

Do you want a full time business? Do you dream about throwing in the day job and becoming a full time photographer? Or do you simply need some more cash from your photography? Perhaps you’d be content to buy a new lens every now and then from your profits?

If you want the first option, you are looking at joining a very competitive industry and that is going to take major time, effort and you’re going to have to invest real money to make it happen.

For stock photography you need to think about every aspect of your photography the quality of your work, the commercial potential of the subjects you shoot, how many pictures you have on file and how frequently you add to them. Quality, Content & Volume to be successful in stock photography you have to have each of those aspects absolutely covered.

If you should happen to feel you might be lacking in any of those areas, I’d advise you take a while to work on them first. Take a short course to enhance your photography skills, buy some stock photography books to find more marketable subjects, and then shoot like crazy to build up your catalogue.

Stock is competitive and guaranteed to suck the joy right from your photography if you attempt to start selling your photos before you are at a level where you can make it work.

If you aren’t out for a major life-change though, you really have other more options.

Many serious amateur photographers place their photos with the subscription libraries and hope to make a bit of loose change every year but I honestly believe this is about the least likely to succeed of your options.

Some of these stock photo sites are selling images for a dollar or less each, royalty free, so the photographers gets a few pennies for the sale, and the purchaser gets free usage of the image, for evermore. This doesn’t worry a lot of newbies, but it has a big effect on the industry. If that does not concern you, it probably should.

If circumstances change and you decide one day to sell your pictures seriously, each $1 sale you make is going to make it that much tougher for you to make a living. And to rub salt into the wound, you won’t be able to sell and of those pictures to top-end buyers, because you’ll have no idea where they’ve been printed before or where they’d turn up next.

Sometimes you will find a better option for the hobbyist is to use your imagesimages as content instead of product, and publish them on your own simple photography sites promoting affiliate products. For most photographers this will lead directly to better returns without giving your images away for peanuts, and if you one day opt to get serious about selling your photos, they’re still totally yours to sell.

Brad Stephens contributes digital stock photographyto the GlobalEye library and publishes instant affiliatephotograph web sites in his spare time

categories: stock photography,stock photo sites,selling your photos

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