29 Ways in 29 Days - Making Money with Your Photography
29 Ways in 29 Days - Making Money with Your Photography #5
by, 02-16-2012 at 10:53 PM (6046 Views)
Sorry for the long delay, but here we go with a another way to make money with your photography. You may wonder where companies get the generic looking photos they use in advertising. While they do hire photographers for specific product shots, many companies use what are commonly known as "Stock" agencies. Stock agencies are companies that contract with photographers to sell their photos, and take a percentage of the sale. These agencies can offer each photo for a number of different prices, depending on the end-user's plans for the picture, such as whether they want exclusive rights to the photo, time-excluded rights, national exposure or local use.
Along with Stock agencies, there are also Microstock agencies that offer each shot for less money. Generally, these pix are sold at $1-$3 and are used by students in assignments, small businesses to illustrate projects and anyone that needs a photo to demonstrate the idea they are trying to convey.
To be accepted by a Stock or Microstock agency you must submit a number of shots and get approval from the agency to submit more. Each company has a set of criteria, standards and area of focus that they use to determine what they will take. Knowing this, it is important to research which agencies you want to try to get on with, and what kind of photos you will be submitting. It is not unusual to have to resubmit different photos to a site as you work toward what they want. Don't get discouraged if your photos aren't selected at first, just keep honing your skills with the feedback that the agency gives you.
Just in case you were wondering, there are agencies that offer you several options. You can be an "exclusive" photographer for that agency, meaning that you cannot submit to other sites, but then they will push your images ahead of others. There are also other levels of involvement that are offered depending on what you are wanting.
Speaking of the types of shots you should submit, it is very important to read what each agency wants in its images. The normal shot that you love, looks great and is technically perfect may not be the greatest for stock use. Most of these groups want generic looking photos, with no recognizable brand-name items or logos, and usually an empty space that can have text
written in it. It is also very helpful to view a bunch of the photos offered by each agency to get a feel for what the editors are looking for, and to see what is selling best. On a similar note, remember that buyers need the photos that they will use in publications several months in advance of when their finished product is due, so you will need to be ahead of them by offering targeted photos way before season. Christmas photos should probably be submitted by the end of July, as retailers start ramping up for the Holiday selling season. Pictures for other holidays should be submitted at least 3-4 months in advance. Watch the agency site for clues of when to submit time-sensitive materials. This means that you will need to be thinking forward to the next year's submission deadlines if you are taking your shots during season, or "staging" your images to be submitted when the time comes.
Probably the most famous Stock agency is Getty Images. You will see images from this company, and thus the photographers they represent, in newpapers and magazines and on websites, worldwide. They are very selective in the photographers and photos that they will accept, but once you get in with them, you can make a lot of money on each photo. With all of the sites, depending on the agreement with the seller and the usage that you allow, there is a opportunity to for the photo to sell (rent?) many times over. Some stock photographers claim to have made thousands of dollars on one photo due to reselling. As a side note, once you get accepted, many of the agencies will expect you to submit a certain number of images a month so that they can keep their supply fresh. This just means more income for you.
Some of the more famous Stock and Microstock agencies are:
- Getty Images
- AP Images (Associated Press)
- Polaris Images
You can research stock sites here: http://www.aphotoeditor.com/2008/02/...hoto-agencies/ and here: http://www.stockphotoexpert.com/sell...photo_agencies
and you can sign up for emails telling you how to get your shots sold here: http://www.thephotographerslife.com/
Well, there are many agencies out there to start your revenue stream with. Do some research and keep trying, as this is one of the best and easiest ways to get residual income from your photography.
Cost factor - Basically none, other than props that you might use to stage photos.
Time factor - A fair amount of time researching sites and getting familiar with the language of stock photography will be required in the beginning, but after you have been accepted the only extra time needed will be for uploading shots and collecting the cash!
Difficulty factor - Depends on the quality of your photography and the degree to which you are dedicated to making money this way.